Door wall designs have improved in many ways in the last decade. The current trend to create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors is by using expansive areas of glass. The inherent visible seams of traditional doors and windows impede a seamless transition. Instead, many homeowners are choosing glass folding, lift or sliding doors and panels.
In the past, large glass patio doors were reserved for luxurious homes because they were usually custom designed and extremely costly. Modern manufacturing techniques have enabled door manufactures to design the same style door at a much lower cost. Additionally, there is a large variety of styles available depending on the aesthetics of your home—from contemporary and sleek to traditional and charming.
Here are three popular deck and patio door options available, and the pros and cons of each style.
Sliding glass doors are the most ubiquitous of all patio and deck doors. This common style is composed of two framed glass panels, and one panel slides in front of the other when open. You have seen them on all types of homes, whether a contemporary ranch or classic colonial. They are convenient because the actual door can be opened quite widely vs. a standard door. Compared to a French door, sliding glass doors are significantly lower in cost due to its mechanics and functionality. There are fewer moving parts which makes their design and construction less costly, so a typical model will cost approx. $500.
French doors are a traditional and elegant architectural feature that classically connect the outside to the inside of the home. Keep in mind that French doors are hinged which means that you must consider furniture placement and room functionality as they take up more space when open. Also consider that whether the French door has an in-swing or out-swing, there is a threshold. This bottom track-like part of the door frame is required because it offers a weather-tight seal. It can project as high as an inch above the floor. If you are comfortable with this ‘bump’ and your room dimensions warrant this classic design, they are definitely worth the investment.
Telescoping patio doors are more popular in warmer climates most likely because those homeowners can benefit from their investment all year long. Their design is unique in that three or more panels slide in front of each other to create a very wide opening so there is minimal separation between the in-and outdoors. Telescoping doors allow more options—for example you can open the door entirely, just a tad, or have it open at both ends of the stacked panels. On the other hand, the tracks are usually very wide, up to 18 inches, and may slightly infringe on the space of the interior room. If you prefer a sleek, contemporary or modern look and have significant budget, this staggered configuration is well worth the investment—even in Southeast Michigan.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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