What to Consider When Choosing a Sliding Glass Door

What to Consider When Choosing a Sliding Glass Door

The global market size for door solutions will reach a staggering $126.53 billion in 2027, up from $92.19 billion in 2019. One of the top drivers for the skyrocketing demand for new doors is the growing consumer spending on home remodeling. 

One of the door types that are all the rage at the moment is the sliding glass door. That’s because of the many desirable features that these types of doors have, including beauty, durability, space savings, and energy efficiency.

Of course, given that a top-quality glass window door can last decades, many homeowners never have a reason to think of replacing theirs. That’s why most homeowners are at a loss on what features to look for when the time finally comes to buy a new sliding glass door.

If you’re wondering how to go about choosing the right glass sliding door for your home, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide for you to help take the guesswork out of the process.

How Can You Tell It’s Really Time To Replace Your Sliding Glass Door?

Glazed Terrace Patio Glass Sliding Door in the Countryside

Sometimes, replacing your patio door is a matter of personal preference, and you can afford to put off the project until a time that works for you. But if you notice the following signs about your door, then it’s time to replace it right away.

There’s Cosmetic Damage

A dingy door or window signals it’s time for door or window replacement. Does your patio door have extensive scrapes, scratch marks, or chipped paint? Replacing it can improve the overall look of your patio.

Operating the Door Is Difficult

With aging or damage, your patio door may become difficult to operate. Opening and closing it becomes a chore. The door sticks often and makes loud noises when you operate it.

These are tell-tale signs that your patio door is well past its prime. Outdated windows display the same signs. 

Once you see these signs, it’s time for a new door. You’ll probably need to think about replacement windows too.

You Notice Drafts or Heat Transfer

Your patio door needs to fit snugly in its frame to keep your indoors comfortable. If the door lets drafts in when closed, chances are it’s already warped. Replacing it can offer a permanent solution. 

The Design Is Outdated 

One of the top reasons homeowners opt for door or window replacement is that they want a new style. Are you happy every time you look at your current patio door? If the door no longer matches the decor of your house or porch, it’s probably time to replace it with something that truly complements your style.

The Door Has Structural Damage

Impact incidents, such as a mistakenly thrown baseball or a hail storm can cause major structural damage to your patio door. Regardless of what caused the damage, it’s best to clean up the shattered glass and other debris and replace the door.

There’s Frequent Water Intrusion

The seal around your door loses its effectiveness over time. You’ll start to notice increased levels of moisture around your patio door and water dripping down your wall. When that happens, it’s time to replace your door.

Choosing the Right Sliding Glass Door for Your Home

Open Plan Living Area with Glass Sliding Door and Garden

So, it’s clear that you need to replace your patio door, but you don’t know where to start. Follow these tips to get everything right.

1. Pick an Energy-Efficient Material 

Your home’s windows and sliding glass doors typically close much more energy per square foot than any other surface in your house. That’s why you want to opt for energy-efficient glass when buying a patio door. It’s one of the practical ways to save energy at home.

Generally, you want to focus on two things when it comes to patio door material:

Glass Type

Consider Low-E glass. That’s because this type of glass comes with a special coating that helps block UV radiation from getting into your home. In addition, Low-E glass is known for its energy efficiency. 

You can also opt for decorative glass, particularly if the style is at the top of your list when replacing your patio door. This glass adds a glamorous design element to your deck, backyard, and home. It also makes it difficult for people to see inside, which is perfect for your privacy. 

Door Frame Material 

You’ll also need to think about what material you want for the door frame. Among the most popular options are fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum.

Generally, you want a door frame material that’s not only energy-efficient but also durable. Besides, the material should perfectly complement the rest of your home.

You could opt for vinyl, which is affordable and low maintenance. The big problem is that it doesn’t come in many color options.

2. Choose a Style that Works for Your Home

As soon as you’ve made a decision on the material that works best for you, it’s time to determine which type of sliding window door to choose. As you’re going to find out, these doors come in many types. Let’s look at some of them.

Standard Sliding Glass Doors

These patio doors feature two panels, a stationary one and one that moves to open or close the space. There’s a track along the top and bottom of the stationary part of the door. Operating the door involves simply sliding the movable panel along this track.

French-Style Sliding Glass Doors

A french-style sliding glass door features wider rails and stiles. Thus, this door has a larger, more luxurious appearance and feel. The door is also more versatile.

French-style sliding doors are perfect for both modern and classical homes.

4-Panel Sliding Glass Doors

This type of door looks like two standard glass doors that are pushed against each other. There are twin sliding panels on either side and two stationary panels. The doors form a wide, elegant entryway that offers a great view and allows a lot of natural light into your home.

Bi-Fold Sliding Glass Doors

Bi-fold sliding doors have two glass panels that are connected by hinges. The moment you open the door, it folds up. This door type is more modern than all others we’ve listed here.

Pocket Sliding Glass Doors

As the name suggests, a pocket sliding door rolls into a pocket within the wall once you open it. That means the glass panels completely disappear. The biggest advantage of these doors is that they take up less space than other types of sliding doors.

3. Think of the Door’s Location 

Where exactly do you plan to install the sliding glass door? If you’re working with less space, it’s best to go with a pocket s or 4-panel sliding door. 

4. Consider Security 

One of the top concerns for homeowners thinking of sliding window doors is their security from accidental damage and deliberate break-ins. When choosing a patio door for you, consider getting an internal locking system that prevents the door from being opened from the outside. 

Choose a glass option that offers high resistance from impact. A good option would be tempered glass, polycarbonate glass, or double-laminated glass. All of these options are tougher than regular glass, meaning they can offer a higher degree of protection from both accidental and deliberate impact. 

5. Think of Maintenance 

All types of sliding doors require maintenance to stay in good shape for a long time. However, some sliding glass doors need more maintenance than others. Talk to your contractor about getting an option that doesn’t need too much maintenance. 

Caring for Your Sliding Doors

Your sliding glass doors are a big investment, so you want to make sure they last as long as possible once the installation project is over. We’ve put together a few simple suggestions to keep your sliding glass doors looking glam at all times.

Handle Sliding Doors Glass With Care

This is a no brainer. Unlike other door materials, glass is fragile, so you need to handle your patio door more gently. Avoid pushing your sliding doors too hard as the impact can damage the glass and track area.

Clean the Glass Regularly 

Over time, your sliding doors will gather dirt and dust. That’s why you need to set aside time to clean them well. Use a soft, clean cloth plus some mild, soapy water to do so.

Clean and Lubricate the Tracks

The tracks are an important part of your patio door, so pay attention to them. Over time, grime and rust can form on the tracks, making it difficult for the panels to glide over them smoothly. 

The solution is to clean and lubricate the rollers and tracks often. You can remove any debris using a vacuum cleaner. Tackle any stubborn debris using a toothbrush and cleaning solution before applying the lubricant. 

Get It Right When Choosing Your Patio Door

A new sliding glass door can instantly improve the appearance, functionality, and value of your home, but only if you choose the right one. Besides your personal preference, think about your home’s design, the style of the door, the material it’s made of, and the door’s maintenance needs. These are just some of the factors that will point you to the right patio door for your home.

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