Finding just the right patio door for your home is something that can cause people a lot of stress for a number of reasons. Patio doors aren’t exactly cheap, and many people that are on a budget want to get the most bang for their buck. The right patio door can also bring in a lot of natural light into your home, but that’s only if you pick the right one.

A patio door is something that you will be using nearly every single day, and because there are so many patio doors on the market, it’s difficult and frustrating to find one that will work perfectly for every single home. From a sliding patio door to a glass patio door, you’ll want to take your time when searching around for one that works for you.

The goal of every homeowner is to keep their home feeling functional and looking great. A patio door is somewhat of a focal point to a home, and for that reason, you’ll want to pick one that will have your home making a bold statement for itself. A good patio door will also have your home feeling less drafty and will reduce your energy costs from month to month.

It always helps to have a guide on what to keep a lookout for when you’re in the market for choosing a patio door for your home. Some things you’ll want to consider and ask yourself:

  • The style of the door – is it hinged or sliding?
  • What type of material do you want to go with for your door? Fiberglass? Vinyl? Wood clad?
  • What glass are you wanting to go with? Low-E insulating glass is known to be the most energy-efficient
  • Are you going to be getting a professional installer to do the job?

1. Figure Out What Type Of Patio Door To Get

Step one is usually always the most difficult and time-consuming step for the majority of homeowners, and it consists of figuring out what type of patio door you’re going to go with. Certain patio doors complement certain homes in a better way than others on the market.

Some of the options to consider are:

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are known to be the most common style of patio doors out there. They work best for contemporary styles and they consist of two glass panels with a frame around each that slides past each other. This style of patio door allows for a very large opening of nearly ten feet if each slide is open. There are also some other variations of sliding doors that you can consider:

French Slider

A french slider is a door that consists of four panels. Two of the outer panels are fixed and two of the inner panels are functional. With a french slider door, you’ll be getting a very large opening of nearly 16 feet in total. A door like this is something that will bring a tremendous amount of natural light into your home. You’ll also reap the benefits of increased airflow, as well. Before considering this option, you’ll want to keep in mind what track system will be for your home.

Telescoping Patio door

Another option to consider is the telescoping patio door. This door consists of a few panels that move past one another in order to make a wide opening that makes it feel like there is no gap or barrier between you and the outdoors. This is perfect for homeowners that want to bring the outdoors in.

French Swinging Door

If you’re wanting to bring the outdoors into your home, French doors are a perfect way to do just that. These styles of doors have a hinge on them that allows them to slide both in and out.

Sometimes people stray away from in-swing doors because of the amount of floor space that they take up. These doors swing in and this can take up a lot of room in your home where you might want to have furniture or other things situated.

With out-swing doors, you won’t have to worry about where your furniture is situated in your home because they swing outward instead of inward. These doors are more suitable for areas of the home where you don’t have to worry about screening. If you decide on getting out-swing doors, make sure to get hardware that will prevent them from being slammed if it’s a gusty day outside.

If you’re considering French doors, you’ll want to keep in mind what the threshold of them is. This is the weather-tight seal that’s located around the doorframe. It can usually result in a seal that is about one inch over the floor, and that can sometimes cause issues with the functionality of the door. You’ll want to discuss this with your manufacturer or architect and see if they can remove it without affecting anything.

2. Material For Your Patio Doors

Material is another thing to consider for your patio doors, and there are typically three materials that are the most popular:

Wood Clad

Wood-clad patio doors are aesthetically appealing and come in a variety of different types and prices that range from cheap to very expensive. They provide a lot of increased comfort because of their insulation characteristics and come with a lot of flexibility in how they are designed.

Another nice thing about wood-clad patio doors is that you can customize them with whatever color of paint that you think might look pleasing. These doors are durable, but you have to make sure they are protected from termites, moisture, decay, stains, and mold.


Fiberglass doors are very resistant to all of the elements of nature. They are durable doors that work exceptionally well in every climate you put them in. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, and they also work well in any style of home.


Vinyl is known to be quite an affordable material for those looking for patio doors. They provide very good energy efficiency and lower the amount of noise you’ll be experiencing in your home. These doors are extremely durable and resistant to weather. You won’t be spending much time maintaining them because they don’t require staining, refinishing, or painting. Vinyl doors are very long-lasting doors, and even if you do accidentally scratch or dent them, you won’t even notice them.

3. Glass Material

Figuring out what type of glass material to get is another thing you’ll want to spend a good chunk of time considering. The right glass will have your energy bills being less from month to month and will have your home feeling more comfortable throughout the year.

It’s recommended to go with at least two panes of glass for your windows. Also, consider going with Low-E protection for increased insulation. Some other characteristics you might want to think about are:

Impact: Getting impact-resistant windows will have you feeling more protected from intruders trying to break in. You’ll also have a greater degree of control over the noise, protection from the sun’s UV rays, and more energy efficiency.

Insulation: Getting glass that has Low-E protection will ensure the heat from the sun gets into your home while keeping your home feeling warm from the cold at the same time.

Privacy: If you want to increase privacy in certain areas of your home, consider getting a textured glass surface. This will still allow the natural light to get in but will obscure the view for your increased privacy.

Safety: Safety should always be at the top of your list of things to consider when selecting windows or doors for your home. Tempered glass is a lot stronger than your standard glass material, and if it ever does crack apart, it will do so in small particles instead of a million very sharp and dangerous pieces.

4. Personalization

The last step to finalizing your patio door involves personalization. You want a door that keeps your personality and style in mind, and things that you can consider customizing are:

  • Hinges
  • Door handles
  • Grille styles
  • Shades

Figuring out what patio door to go with is something that will take a lot of time and effort. Always do as much research as you can when you’re looking for one, and consult with a professional if you have any questions along the way.

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