A Mini-Guide To Choosing The Frame, Glass And Hardware For Sliding Patio Glass Door

Your outdoor living space should be a beautiful and functional extension of your indoor living space. The extension between indoors and outdoors begins with the style of door you choose for the connection.  There are a number of reasons why sliding glass patio doors are the ideal solution for bringing the interior and exterior of your home together. However, shopping for sliding patio glass doors can be slightly overwhelming. There are typically several dozen choices available to choose from at your local home improvement store, so how do you know where to begin. The tips in the following mini-guide will help you through the process of shopping for a sliding glass patio door that best suits your needs.

Choosing the Frame

One of the first choices you will need to make regarding your new glass patio door is the frame. Sliding patio doors come in a variety of frame styles, including wood, aluminum and vinyl.

  • Solid wood frames are typically a high-end option and generally found on custom manufactured doors. Some factories manufacture a wood clad frame, which is a less expensive option. Wood clad frames are an aluminum frame with an outer wood cover to give the illusion of a wood frame, but at a lower cost than solid wood.
  • Aluminum frames are generally the most economical option for glass patio doors. There are aluminum frames available in different styles, such as an option of choosing an aluminum frame that is constructed in two pieces, which prevent frost from getting on the inside aluminum panel.
  • Vinyl frames are usually the most popular option. Vinyl frames are typically mid-priced and easy to clean. Vinyl is usually difficult to scratch or damage, but if damages do occur, it is generally easy to repair or replace.

Choosing the Glass

The type of glass you choose for your sliding glass patio door is an important consideration. Glass panels are available in either single or double panes.

  • Double pane glass typically preferred for a number of reasons. Double glass will be tempered, which means that if it breaks it will not shatter and cause a safety hazard.
  • Another option in glass for your glass patio door is Low-E (low emissivity) glass. This type of glass is used to create energy efficient sliding glass doors, because it reflects heat back to the source as opposed to absorbing and transmitting the heat inside your home. Another benefit of having Low-E as your patio glass is that it helps to reduce ultraviolet light transmission, which will prevent your furniture, patio door coverings and your carpet from fading and discoloring.

Choosing the Hardware

Now that you have chosen the frame and the glass for your sliding patio door, you will need to choose the hardware. Most sliding patio glass doors have a single point lock, which is generally a hook style latch that locks by hooking into the door frame. A single point lock is usually not very secure, because the patio door can often be lifted out of the frame, even when the handle is locked.  A better alternative may be to choose a double point lock, which means there are two hooks that point in opposite directions and lock into the door frame. This type of lock will prevent the possibility of the patio door being lifted out of the frame.

A sliding patio glass door can play a major role in joining the interior and exterior of your home together. The glass will allow a lot of natural light into your home as well as give the illusion that the space is bigger, by making it appear as the spaces separated by the patio glass are one large space. Sliding patio doors are a great investment, but it is important to take your time and choose the features of the door that best suits your needs. Contact a dealer, like First Class Glass, for more help.