A Complete Buyers Guide To Patio Doors

A COM­PLETE BUYER’S GUIDE TO PATIO DOORS

A new set of patio doors can not only improve the func­tion­al­i­ty of your home, but also the aes­thet­ics, secu­ri­ty, and ulti­mate­ly, its val­ue. Some house­holds sim­ply want to enhance their prop­er­ty with some­thing a lit­tle more inter­est­ing than your usu­al sin­gle exter­nal door, while oth­ers want to raise the val­ue of their home with up-to-date fea­tures. The var­i­ous styles of patio door can help you to achieve these goals, no mat­ter what your pri­or­i­ties are.

There are three main types of patio door avail­able – Slid­ing, French and Bi Fold. The best door design for you depends on a num­ber of fac­tors — name­ly the space you have to work with, the style of your prop­er­ty, and what you most want to get out of your new doors (e.g. bet­ter view, improved access, or enhanc­ing the style of your prop­er­ty). So; where should you begin? Let’s start by look­ing at the pros and cons of each type of patio door in more detail:


FRENCH DOORS

French doors are great for small­er patio open­ings and con­sist of two doors which open from the cen­ter. There is not usu­al­ly a bar run­ning down the mid­dle of the doors, so when you open both sides the open­ing is unob­struct­ed and wider than the tra­di­tion­al sin­gle exter­nal door. Our French doors are made to mea­sure, giv­ing you a com­plete­ly bespoke door set which fits your home perfectly. 

PROS

  • Avail­able with sol­id tim­ber or uPVC frames
  • Suits a range of prop­er­ty styles
  • Can open one or both doors
  • Doors can be fit­ted with out­ward or inward opening
  • Glaz­ing can be enhanced with dif­fer­ent glass pat­terns and Geor­gian bars
  • Addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty upgrade avail­able — the Patlock

CONS

  • Not suit­able for very wide openings
  • Reduced glaz­ing area com­pared with oth­er patio door styles
  • Can slam shut in the wind if not secured
  • Space is required for either out­ward or inward opening
french doors in golden oak


SLID­ING PATIO DOORS

uPVC French Doors and Slid­ing Patio Doors can be fit­ted to both small and large open­ings and are made to mea­sure, allow­ing you to con­fig­ure them in the best way for you and your prop­er­ty. Slid­ing doors can be opened up to the full width of the slid­ing pan­el, mak­ing them per­fect for when the weath­er is good or you need to move large items in and out of your home.

sliding patio doors


PROS

  • Avail­able with alu­mini­um or uPVC frames
  • Indi­vid­ual door pan­els can max­imise your view
  • Size of open­ing eas­i­ly controlled
  • Doesn’t pro­trude from the open­ing inwards or outwards
  • Can­not slam shut in the wind

CONS

  • Slid­ing doors will over­lap and there­fore will not allow the full space to be opened up
  • Not suit­able for nar­row openings


BI FOLD DOORS

Alu­mini­um Bi Fold Doors and uPVC Bi Fold doors are a rel­a­tive­ly new prod­uct in the UK, but they’ve become extreme­ly pop­u­lar in a short space of time. They can span a small or large open­ing and are designed to fold right back to one side in a con­certi­na fash­ion. This will allow you to open your home right up, bring­ing the out­side in and real­ly mak­ing the most of your gar­den or view. Avail­able in alu­mini­um or uPVC ver­sions and made to mea­sure, Bi Fold doors can enhance almost any style of property.

PROS

  • Avail­able with alu­mini­um or uPVC frames
  • Can be pushed right back to make full use of the opening
  • Can open inwards or outwards
  • Can be fit­ted with a traf­fic door’ for ease of everyday-use
  • A low thresh­old can be fit­ted to ensure a seam­less transition

CONS

  • Door pan­els stack’ at a 90° angle, so space is required on either side of the doors
  • The frames will break up the view when doors are shut
bifold doors leading to outside


WHICH PATIO DOORS ARE BEST FOR ME? Q&A

Q: I USE MY PATIO DOORS FREQUENTLY

A: If you use your patio doors reg­u­lar­ly as a way to get in and out of your home, or if you spend a lot of time in your gar­den, then you’ll want some­thing easy to use. You’ll also want a door which doesn’t require you to open the full width of the space up to the ele­ments each time.

French doors lend them­selves well to small­er open­ings where this is the case, as just one door can be used to pop in and out of the prop­er­ty. If you’re trans­port­ing large items in and out of your home or if you’d like to let the fresh air in on sun­ny days, both doors can be opened.

Slid­ing patio doors can opened to just the width you need to squeeze through, which helps to keep the heat in dur­ing the win­ter months. How­ev­er, depend­ing on the size of your Slid­ing doors, this may not be easy to do for those with­out the required strength, such as the very elder­ly or young children.

BiFold patio doors will need to be fit­ted with a traf­fic door’ if you don’t want to have to open up the full door set each time you need to use it. The traf­fic door acts like a nor­mal door and can be used inde­pen­dent­ly from the rest of the panels.

Q: I ONLY USE MY PATIO DOORS IN THE SUMMER

A: If you only use your patio doors when it’s sum­mer, per­haps in order to let fresh air and sun­shine into your home or to make the tran­si­tion from kitchen to gar­den eas­i­er when host­ing BBQs, you have one stand-out option. BiFold doors real­ly come into their own dur­ing the sum­mer months, allow­ing you to open up almost the full width of your patio door open­ing. This cre­ates a seam­less tran­si­tion between out­doors and in, and is ide­al for those who want to enjoy their gar­dens more in the sum­mer. Of course, Slid­ing and French patio doors are also great for sum­mer use, as they can also open up a wide space. Your choice depends on the space you have avail­able and your per­son­al tastes.

Q: I’M LOOK­ING FOR THE MOST SECURE PATIO DOORS

A: Bur­glars tend to tar­get the rear of a home due to the fact it’s eas­i­er to stay hid­den in the gar­den, which gives them more time to attempt entry to your prop­er­ty. If you’re con­cerned about secu­ri­ty, new patio doors — no mat­ter which type they are — are a good idea. Mod­ern con­struc­tion tech­niques and built-in secu­ri­ty fea­tures help mod­ern patio doors with­stand attempt­ed entry much more effec­tive­ly than old­er ones. 

large pane sliding patio doors


Q: I HAVEGREAT VIEW — HOW CANMAX­IMISE WHATSEE?

A: Bi Fold doors and Slid­ing patio doors give you the biggest sur­face area of glass, mak­ing them both a great option to max­imise your view. If you are able to extend the open­ing to fit wider doors in, this can be very effec­tive – par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes to fit­ting Bi Fold doors.

Q: I WANT LOW MAIN­TE­NANCE PATIO DOORS

A: As a gen­er­al rule, patio doors made of alu­mini­um or uPVC are rel­a­tive­ly main­te­nance-free options, and should be your mate­r­i­al of choice if you don’t want to wor­ry about too much in the way of upkeep. Sol­id tim­ber doors may need to be treat­ed over the course of their life­time, so if you’re look­ing for some­thing total­ly main­te­nance-free, they aren’t the best option for you.

Q: MY PATIO DOORS NEED TO MATCH THE STYLE OF MY PROPERTY

A: In terms of cus­tomi­sa­tion, alu­mini­um doors are avail­able in a wide vari­ety of colours, mean­ing there’s almost cer­tain­ly an option to match the colour scheme of your prop­er­ty. Both uPVC and alu­mini­um doors can be cus­tomised to suit any style of home, with options such as tim­ber-look fin­ish­es and Geor­gian bars. Our full range of patio doors are ful­ly cus­tomis­able to com­ple­ment your prop­er­ty perfectly.

Q: MY PATIO DOORS OPEN OUT ONTOBALCONY

A: If you don’t have a gar­den then you may be con­fused as to what is avail­able to you, as most patio door guides will exclu­sive­ly refer to ground-lev­el instal­la­tions. All of our patio doors — includ­ing Bi Folds — can be installed on high­er floors to open out onto a bal­cony or raised ter­race. If you’d like to have your bal­cony mea­sured to see what options are avail­able to you, we wel­come you to book a free sur­vey with us, in which one of our expe­ri­enced sur­vey­ors will be able to advise you on the best option.