When planning your next home remodeling project, think about 5-foot sliding patio doors with built in blinds. There are many options when considering what type of doors would best fit your specific project, size, style and cost. Picking the perfect doors can really tie a room together.
Why Sliding Doors?
Choosing between sliding and hinged doors is something that will come up as soon as you start shopping. However, there are many benefits of sliders, the first being the obvious space concern. When you open your extravagant French style doors, they take up floor space. The outswing can affect cabinet accessibility and furniture placement. With sliders this issue is wholly negated.
From an aesthetic standpoint, sliding patio doors give the best view possible and have little visible hardware. Sliders are one big window, where swinging doors are often paned. For people who want to let in sunlight and look out on the landscape, sliders are clearly the way to go.
As the cost of heating and cooling our homes increases, the efficiency of windows and doors becomes more and more important. More window space and less insulation has been a classic concern for sliding doors, however, with new developments and techniques large windows can actually be equally or more efficient than a paned window.
Another big consideration is size. Looking at your room dimensions is the first thing to do. Standard sized doors are five or six feet wide, and just over six and a half feet high. There are also over-sized models that come in 8 and 12-foot widths. The other option is to have custom sized doors made. This is more expensive and since the doors need to be specially ordered, it will take decidedly longer than a standard size purchase.
The upside of the narrower style is the ease of installation and maintenance, and better insulation. Certainly a smaller patio door will be easier to install with a much lower risk of damage to the house or door. Also preparing a room for installation is significantly simpler with smaller frame sizes. Ensuring that your rough opening is sized correctly and perfectly level becomes considerably more difficult as the size increases. The same goes for maintenance. Making sure that your tracks stay clean and straight is much simpler with five feet as opposed to six, eight, or twelve feet. As for the energy issue, any window will be less efficient than a wall. The more wall-space you replace with glass, the less energy and cost-effective it will be.
Now that you’ve chosen the size and type of patio door, you need to focus on the specifics. Everything from handles, knobs, and shape to what type of material you want to use.
Windows, Handles and Locks
When looking at added windows there are two main kinds: sidelights and sunburst windows. Sidelights are positioned next to the door, they allow for extra light and more control of airflow when opened. Starburst, or half circle windows, are located above the door and are a nice stylistic touch, however they usually don’t open.
Most handles are relatively the same. The most important consideration is what look you are going for, a sleek gold turning handle is great for a modern home where a wood pull has a more rustic feel. It all depends on your project. Most handles will come with some sort of lock mechanism, which don’t differ too much. A better lock will mean a better seal, and therefore a higher efficiency.
There are four main options for your frame material: wood, vinyl, metal (aluminum or steel) and PVC. Metal is great for its durability; it can take a lot of wear and tear. Vinyl and PVC will be lighter, easier to install and cheaper. Wood is a very nice stylistic choice. Some common wood options are oak and cedar. These can really tie a room together, though, may need to be replaced if not properly taken care of. The other way to go is frameless. This can look very elegant, but with this style it is very important to have professional installers to ensure that the tilt and slide are just right, therefore it could cost a bit more.
There is a plethora of styles and brands, and your perfect blinds are out there. Built-in blinds are the nicest because there is little to no upkeep. Certainly the classic festooned or Austrian blinds are much more appropriate for a double French door, nevertheless you can achieve the look you want. Hobbled, Roman and bamboo blinds look beautiful. Venetian blinds are the go-to for built-in blinds. They come in a variety of materials such as, cloth, wood and even paper.
Another option is interior, or enclosed blinds. Enclosed blinds are most often a Venetian style. They require no cleaning or dusting, and look great. The other advantage is that cleaning your window and frame becomes very easy, because there is no hardware to get in the way.
Some retailers have started to market electric and remote control blinds. These are by far some of the most expensive, but if that is not an issue they can make your room feel like you’re living in a movie. At the push of a button your shades recede to reveal the sun and just as fast, you can have them down again. Instead of hitting your snooze button you can set your curtains to a timer to open in the morning. This is an exciting new option that is being offered.
Where to Buy Some of the Best Brands of Patio Doors
Wading through the entire inventory at a giant home improvement store can be exhausting and confusing. Some top brands to consider are Andersen, Pella and Crestline. You can find these brands and many more at large home improvement and appliance chain stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. Another option is looking at a specialty shop, focused in carrying the best in doors and windows. As with all other things, once you find what you want it’s a good idea to look online. Websites like Alibaba and Somfy have great deals. With the Internet however you will sacrifice customer service. Sometimes you can find a second-hand or used building supply store that will have great classic items for sale and will give you a good price.
Finding the patio door that is perfect for your home is important, take the time to consider just what you want. When your room is complete you will be happy you took the time and choose the door that ties the room together.