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What is the best patio door?


If you’re in the process of getting a new patio door, it’s always tempting to replace it like for like. Nevertheless, this might not always be the best idea. Before you rush off to get a replacement, give it a second thought. Your need for a new patio door is actually a great excuse to improve your home’s exterior, liveability, and even value.

You might be thinking “Yeah, yeah… how much difference does it really make?” and ultimately, that’s for you to decide. But as windows and doors experts, here’s everything we think you need to know to choose the best patio door for your home.

In this article, we’ll talk you through the different types of patio doors, what you should look for in a new one, and some other useful considerations.

What is the best patio door?

What is a patio door?

A patio door describes various styles of door that tend to allow access to your patio, garden, terrace, or balcony. They lead to the outside from your home or your porch.

Aren’t these just the same as normal doors? Well, no. Not quite. Patio doors are usually different from ‘standard’ doors in appearance and the way that they can be opened and closed.
While your front and interior doors might be a blend of solid material and glass (for security and privacy), patio doors are designed with that ‘bridge to your garden’ function in mind.

They’re normally made from entirely transparent glass, allowing lots of light into your home. Not to mention they provide excellent visibility to your outdoor space, even when they’re shut. It’s best to think of them as part-window and part-door, as they aim to bring you the benefits of both.

How many types of patio door are there?

There are loads of different types of patio door. They can be manufactured to nearly any size and shape, to fit most spaces, and in a huge range of designs.
Kayvex, we create our made-to-order patio doors using uPVC (for those who want to choose from our range of colours and wood-grain finishes) or aluminium (for those looking for a lighter, slimmer frame). 

Let’s take a look at your style options and each of their benefits.

Sliding doors

If you’re looking for a simple style, look no further than the sliding patio door. They’re made from two or more panels of tempered glass, with one (or more) of them mounted on rollers. This makes them easy to open yet completely secure when closed.

Sliding doors don’t swing out (as you probably guessed from the name) or take up your valuable living or garden area. So, if you’ve got a small space to work with, they’re certainly something to consider.

They do, however, give you a good-sized opening of at least three feet and can be opened as much or as little as you desire without causing any worry that they’re going to swing back wildly on their hinges. Handily, this means that these doors are particularly great at helping you to ventilate your home. Plus, if this is a big deal for you, we offer specialist ‘lift and slide’ patio doors that can be locked fully or partly open. And really, this is the safest option if you have children.

The only thing that might bother you is because of the way the door slides to open, there will always be a fixed glass panel that remains closed in your sliding door.

Stable doors

Only have room for a single door? Consider a stable door. These are rustic doors that are split into two parts that can open independently from the other, which is great if you have pets or kids! While you might think that this could make stable doors less secure, they’re actually as strong and durable as any other high-quality door.

French doors

While French doors can be a little pricier than the others we’ve mentioned, they do have their perks. These classic doors open outwards or inwards as a pair. They’re also hinged at their sides and have no central pillar — giving you unhindered views. 

As these doors create a large opening out into your outdoor space, they’re particularly great if you host a lot of gatherings or dinner parties, or if you have an area where you like to enjoy long summer days. As French doors are still associated with European opulence and style, they’re a sought after feature that will only increase the market value of your home.

Bi-fold doors

If you’re looking for a sophisticated, space-saving option, consider bi-fold doors. These doors have side hinges and a bottom rail so that the door opens to form a folded concertina. The huge benefit of this is that it stacks neatly and tucks itself away to the side when open, giving you as much room as possible.

What should I look for when buying a patio door?

Our top tip is to always prioritise quality when choosing a new patio door. As long as the glass and frame are made by a reputable manufacturer, you should be in safe hands. Just make sure you do some research on the company you’re using to install your doors.

It can also be a good idea to chat to a windows and doors expert. If you do, ask about your potential new door’s security and whether it is an insulative, hardwearing option.

Next — cost. You’ll probably already have a budget in mind, but make sure you’re balancing cost with quality. The cheapest option might seem tempting, but getting the job done in the short term won’t always lead you to the safest, most durable option. While we’re confident in the quality of all our products, the same can’t be said for every company.

What is the most energy efficient patio door?

There isn’t a significant difference between the insulation levels of different style patio doors so long as they’ve been built to a high standard.
This being said, if you’re worried about insulation, keep in mind that wider doors are less energy efficient than smaller walls. Ultimately, insulated solid walls are more heat-retentive than doors. So having less door and more wall space will be advantageous.

Also, if your patio door contains a glass panel, make sure it has high-performance double or triple glazing.

A proper installation is crucial too. So again, ensure your manufacturer and installer are reliable and highly qualified.

Is a sliding or French door better?

Almost settled on a door but stuck deciding between sliding and French? It’s an understandable dilemma — they’re both great doors. To settle it, we’d say the biggest question you have to answer is “Do I want my door to open fully or am I fine with always having a fixed glass panel?” If you’d like a full opening, opt for French doors. If you’re content with or would prefer to have a fixed glass panel, go for sliding!

How we can help

Need some more inspiration? Have a look at our brochures. Ready to buy your new porch? Drop in to see us at our Littlehampton showroom or give us a call for a free, no-obligation quote.

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