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Alternatives to Sliding Glass Doors

Updated February 21, 2017

Alternatives to sliding glass doors abound. When you choose an alternative door, consider your needs. Do you want the door to allow a lot of natural light to enter the room? Do you have children or pets that you want to keep in (or out)? In any case, you'll want to choose a door that complements the interior of your home.

Bifold Doors

Bifold doors have panels that are hinged together to form one large door. They come in different sizes, patterns, textures and materials. Some of the materials are aluminium, glass, unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) and wood. A variety of styles are made to match your home's character, such as colonial or modern. These doors are made with two doors which fold to only one side or four doors that let you fold two doors back on each side. You can open the doors all the way or only partially. A tracking system makes them easy to operate.

Swinging Patio Doors

Swinging doors come with single, double and triple panels. There are also center-swing patio doors, which look like French doors except one side is fixed and cannot be opened. Patio doors that swing out save interior space so you can put your furniture closer to the door. Patio doors that swing in open into your home and can give you more space on your porch or outdoor area. Swinging patio doors are made with wood, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), steel and fiberglass. They're more energy efficient than sliding doors because they have a tighter seal. If you want extra security, look for swinging patio doors with a swing-loaded system that latches when you shut the doors.

Dutch Doors

Dutch doors enhance the beauty of your home because they can be made to match the interior or exterior of your home. They provide added functionality in the form of upper and lower sections. You can open one section to let in light and ventilation or shut both sections for a standard door. You can keep the bottom door shut to make sure your pet or small children don't go outside. Dutch doors come with flat panels, raised panels or glass. Most Dutch doors come prehung, which means the doors and hinges are installed in the frame. Many Dutch door designs can be made into a double or exterior Dutch door.

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