Patio Doors Designs & Styles

patio doors openAs almost a National pastime, home improvements come in many guises, adding a new room, a coat of paint or a new kitchen could be on your list. But one of the more enduring loves of British homeowners is apparently the patio door.

The patio door has been the saving of many a dark and dingy room, giving it a new lease of life by allowing huge amounts of natural light to cascade through the glazing and in the process making the room more attractive, relaxing and even feel much larger than it actually is.

So, what types of patio doors are there in the market that can make this big impact? – let’s have a look.

Sliding patio doors, have distinct advantages over swinging doors (like French Doors) in that they don’t rely on side hinges to open, but instead travel on rollers fitted into overhead and underfoot tracks – this allows for a much larger single panel than can be used for s side hinged door.

For a very large opening, you would need to have a lot of supporting posts to which you could fit the doors hinges, but with a sliding patio door, there is no such impedance. The doors move within the outer frame, gliding easily to one side or the other.

Design styles

Of the most popular installation of patio doors we have

  1. inline sliding patio doors
  2. bifold patio doors

Whilst when closed it would be difficult to tell these two designs apart, when opened, there is a distinct difference in function between the two.

Inline sliding patio doors all travel within the same track and therefore will always occupy a space within the outer frame. As an explanation of how this has an effect on clear entrance and exit space, think about having 2 panel set of sliding doors. when one is fully opened, it overlaps the other and therefore you will only have a clear space of 50% because the 2 doors will be still at one side or the other of the frame. For a 3 door set that would give you around 2/3 clear space and for a 4 door set it would amount to about 3/4.

The other thing about a 4 panel inline sliding patio door set, is that if you have 2 panels opening from the centre (one sliding to the left, one to the right) then this will result in a clear space of around 50%.

Bifold patio doors operate in a completely different manner. The opening function allows the doors to concertina or fold to the sides and stack out of the way – this results in an almost 100% clear entry / exit and gives panoramic views and superb access to the outside.

How much do sliding patio doors cost?

Effectively, the cost is determined by the style (bifold or sliding), the frame material (upvc, aluminium, timber) and the size. These factors will also be added to by the cost of the labour. If you need to create the whole opening in the first place, it will cost a lot more than if you are just fitting new doors into an existing space.

To get a better idea of how much the prices for various sliding patio doors are, then you can see some average prices at this cost guide.

Sliding Patio Doors Cost Guide