Advantages of a Sliding Patio Door
When I was a child of about 6 or 7, our home had two layers of wood-framed varifold glass doors – each set about a foot apart from the other – providing double insulation while connecting our living room with our front patio. I guess that installing a double layer of doors, protected further on the inside by thick, heavy drapes, was one of the best ways for my parents to insulate our home against the winter cold, back in the day.
I spent many joyful childhood years playing in a little crawl space between these double sets of doors (it’s amazing to think of the small spaces we can fit into as kids!), but I remember that it could get pretty cold in my tiny play area during winter. The freezing winter chill would slip in through the gaps, making my snug little “pretend” home rather uncomfortable, even when I bundled up.
Luckily, there have been many technological advancements since then, and my kids no longer have to deal with the wind singing through the joints and small gaps between the doors, as I once had to back in the 1980s. Today, the double varifold doors have been replaced by a set of large, sleek, sliding glass doors that have done wonders to make my home look warmer and so much more updated.
These sliding patio doors have given my home a feeling of openness that further enhances my living area’s aesthetic charms. Sliding patio doors have allowed me to maximize my natural lighting, increase airflow into my home, and have helped increase both my home’s aesthetic, as well as dollar value.
If you’re thinking about installing sliding patio doors, too, then here are the things that sold me on them that you might want to know about too:
- They let in lots of natural light – Sliding patio doors typically have large glass panes that run from the ground up to the top of the door, letting in lots of natural light. More light streaming into your home allows you to save on energy while bringing more warmth and brightness into your home.
- Energy efficiency/Air – The large opening that a sliding patio door offers does wonders to improve the home’s airflow and circulation. Chase out the stuffy air and let the fresh breezes flow in to cool your home and improve the air quality, smell, and feel. Cut down on air conditioning and, because today’s sliding doors are designed to be efficient insulators (they’re fitted with composite gaskets that offer optimal thermal insulation) effectively keep dust, drafts and rain out of the home as well.
- Environmentally friendly – Some sliding doors boast eco-friendly traits. Some are made from wood or from a highly superior composite material like Fibrex, which is renewable, durable, low-maintenance, and acts as a good insulator.
- Great glazing – Having an unrestricted view of my home’s outdoor areas allows me to keep an eye on my kids playing outside, among other things. Being able to choose the glazing and coatings allows me to opt for products such as low e-Glass, which can reduce harmful UV rays by as much as 98 percent, prevent energy loss, and provide better acoustic insulation, among other similar benefits.
- Traffic Flow – Larger doors also translate to better traffic flow to and from the house. Moving large items like couches, beds, tables, and even the Christmas tree is easy with sliding doors because, being twice as wide as regular sized entry doors, they allow for easier navigation and access. Sliding patio doors also bring the added benefit of allowing your home’s outdoor and indoor spaces to flow together seamlessly. The large glass panes can give you a year-round view of your garden landscape and panoramic views beyond.
- More Space – Sliding doors can add beauty and elegance and rid you of that small, cramped feeling by making a room appear more spacious. In addition, sliding doors do actually save space in your home because they slide one over the other on a track rather than swinging out when opening.
- Safety – In the past, sliding doors were thought to be dangerous because they weren’t always installed using safety glass. Today, however, you can get sliding doors with shatterproof safety glass. For added security, perhaps consider also getting sliding doors with incorporated gaskets, aluminum seals, and fixed leaves as well.
Contrary to what some may think, sliding glass doors won’t lower the energy efficiency of your home. Ask around and explore your options, and you’re sure to find the perfect sliding patio doors to suit your needs best.
Nella Little is an experienced home improvement contractor who specializes in doors and windows for Renewal by Andersen® of Atlanta. A mother to two sets of twins, now aged 14 and 6, she’s often had to make sure that her personal remodeling decisions always take into account the safety of her kids as well the beauty and comfort of her home. She loves giving practical tips to customers, drawing largely from her own experience.