The best sliding patio doors

Written by cathy welch
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The best sliding patio doors
A patio door can bring the outdoors in. (room image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com)

Installing a sliding glass patio door is a cost-effective way to maximise your views and bring the outdoors into your room. After considering what style of patio door best suits your decor, select your slider based on its security features, quality of construction, performance and energy efficiency. Be sure your patio door comes with the manufacturer’s warranty and that the warranty offered will meet your need. Double check to see if the warranty is transferable to others in the event you sell your home before your warranty expires.

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Security

Choose a patio door with a multi-point locking system that latches the door to the jamb in three to five places. This will not only increase the safety factor of your door, but will help to stabilise it and prevent warping. Buy a door with reinforced strike plates, as this will deter breaking and entering. Check out the integrity of the door. Ensure that it is strong and durable. Opt for a door with a spring-loaded foot bolt that can be locked even when the door is open.

The best sliding patio doors
Look for extra security features. (Key image by robootb from Fotolia.com)

Quality of Construction

Sliding patio doors are available in wood, vinyl-clad wood, vinyl, fibreglass or aluminium. The material you choose will affect the durability, customisation and security of your door. Many prefer wood for its aesthetic value, as it can be painted or stained to match your home’s decor However, wood tends to warp, split and rot. Fibreglass is a great choice. It is indestructible, maintenance-free and can be painted.

The best sliding patio doors
Wooden doors tend to warp and split. (old wood grain pattern image by Yali Shi from Fotolia.com)

Performance

Better patio doors can be opened and closed with the touch of a finger. A door with dual tandem heavy duty panel rollers (a stainless-steel option) will slide easily. Choose ergonomically correct handles for comfortable use of your sliding patio door. Look for a sliding patio door that comes with an adjustable threshold to ensure a tight seal.

The best sliding patio doors
Better doors will close with the touch of a finger. (finger signal image by Imagenatural from Fotolia.com)

Energy Efficiency

Double-paned insulated glass is a must when you are looking for energy efficiency. Choose a sliding glass patio door with the highest insulation ratings. Doors come with a “U-Value,” which is the energy efficiency rating of all of the door’s construction components. The lower the “U-Value,” the higher the door’s energy efficiency. To ensure the best choice, look for a door with the Energy Star label. A door that fits tightly in its frame will minimise air infiltration. Some doors come with shades built in between the door’s double panes. This feature helps to maintain the internal temperature of your home, control the level of desired sunlight and provide privacy when needed.

The best sliding patio doors
Shades inside your patio doors help control light and provide privacy. (interstices et pérégrinations image by rachid amrous-spleen from Fotolia.com)

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