Patio Doors That Maximize Form and Function

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Perhaps you have a simple transition from your interior to a deck or patio, or maybe your home is designed to push the boundaries and blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. In any case, your choice of patio or scenic doors can really make a statement! Here’s how different types of doors compare in terms of style and performance.

Integrity Wood-Ultrex Outswing French Door

The Integrity Wood-Ultrex Outswing French Door is the perfect choice for this location, because opening to the deck outside won’t interfere with the stairs inside.

Classic French Doors

Swinging patio doors offer a traditional touch, and they’re perfect to add personality to openings on the smaller side. That’s why you’ll often find French doors on older homes, because structural engineering at the time couldn’t open up the broader spans that so many newer house designs boast. But there’s plenty to appreciate with regard to aesthetics, so this look will continue to have fans. There are even contemporary interpretations these days!

When selecting French doors, you have a choice between inswing and outswing construction. Inswing versions were favored in the past, because they kept the hinges out of the elements. Today’s improved hardware quality means the choice usually comes down to a matter of clearance—will opening a door interfere with walls or furniture? Outswing doors have the advantage in most cases. Whichever you like, there are plenty of ways to customize the look for your home. Consider different finishes, hardware styles, and divided lite patterns to create the appropriate kind of appeal.

Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door

The lower level of this home features the Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door to seamlessly connect the open floor plan inside to the outdoor living space. Upstairs, a sliding door is used to maximize square footage on the deck.

Bold Folding Doors

If you have a wider aperture, you can look into doors that practically erase the wall. These are typically selected for contemporary homes to achieve a very open feel, but they come with finishing options to help tailor them to any architectural style. Anybody who wants their interior to be flooded with light and views should explore the possibilities afforded by scenic doors.

Folding doors are available in a number of panel and operating configurations. You can specify the size you need—up to 55’ wide and 10’ tall!—and place the swinging access panel door for everyday use where you want it. The panels hang from the top of the doorway and glide easily along the sill track. You also have choices for the door sill, so you can optimize the system for performance and accessibility. Because folding doors open outward and the sashes stack perpendicular to the door frame, they give your deck or patio some extra flair that sliding doors don’t.

Marvin Modern Multi-Slide Door

If you want to preserve clearance inside and out, the Marvin Modern Multi-Slide Door stays in its track throughout operation. It even has ADA capable sill options in addition to its sleek, thin frames for larger expanses of glass!

Sleek Sliding Doors

Everybody’s familiar with sliding patio doors, but the possibilities go way beyond the standard fare. How would you like a four-panel system that opens from the center for a French door feel? Maybe you want to slide the whole partition away? Scenic versions for wide breadths rival sizes available in folding models and offer the same finishing possibilities, but they operate within their sill tracks so you don’t have to worry about clearance. You can also choose how you want them to open—from one side to the other or bi-parting from the middle, with sashes that stack on the side or disappear like a pocket door. It's a pretty big category, so be sure to compare products to find the best solution for your home.

Whether you’re shopping for a simple patio or a grand connection to the outside world, check out Integrity® and Marvin®. They offer a wide range of patio and scenic doors to serve every need, no matter where you live! You’ll find products rated for coastal conditions and every climate zone, so you can outfit your home to withstand difficult environmental challenges and save on energy costs. Find a dealer to discuss the possibilities!

Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online