A Homeowner’s Guide to the Different Types of Patio Doors

90% of American homeowners plan to renovate their homes in the future.

Making big decisions in your home as you renovate can be stressful. Even something like choosing a new door or window can feel overwhelming. 


Are you in the market for a new patio door?

Find out more about the types of patio doors you can choose from, the materials they are made of, and more by reading below. 

What Are the Common Types of Patio Doors?

Before you can choose the right door for you, it’s a good idea to learn about what your options are to be an informed buyer.

Here are some of the most popular patio doors you’re likely to come across in your search.

Sliding Doors

These are the main type of patio doors available, so you’ve probably seen them before. They are versatile, easy to use, and affordable for many homeowners.

You simply slide the door back and forth to open or close the door. They make it easy to get in or out of your home fast, which is great in the summer months and when you want to spend time outside.

Another benefit to this type of door is the fact that they almost always have glass fronts, which lets a lot of light into your home. You can also buy sliding doors with screens so that the door can be open for fresh air, but the bugs will stay outside. 

Folding Doors

A folding patio door is a bolder option when compared to sliding doors.

These are meant for wide-open sections of your home that require a door. The door folds into itself similar to an accordion.

Most folding doors are going to have more than 2 panels, but less than 8 panels (although these numbers can be higher or lower). It’s easy, but expensive, to get a customized folding door made for homes that need something more specific or unique.

This door functions on a track, similar to the sliding door, so it does require a little bit of maintenance to make sure it can fold properly. 

Pivot Doors

A pivot patio door will rotate on the hinges that are fixed to the top and bottom of the door. This is different than most doors that have hinges on the sides. 

Because the pivot can be placed at different parts of the door, this type of door requires more space inside and outside so that it can open and close.

Barn Doors

Also called Dutch doors, barn doors have two parts that meet horizontally. 

If you’re going for a very modern or rustic feel, these can be a good option to fit the style of your home. There are a lot of different materials and lengths that you can choose from, so it’s easy to make them look like they match the rest of your interior and exterior. 

Swinging Doors

A swinging door has hinges on the sides, much like a standard door, but they swing back and forth across the interior and the exterior of the home. This means they do take up a little more space. 

You can get swinging patio doors with different finishes, like a glass panel or a funky color, to get exactly the look you want. 

It’s important to note that if you’re looking for energy-efficient patio doors, swinging doors are likely not going to be the best option for you.

Corner Doors

Corner doors are simply patio doors that are placed on the corner of your home rather than on one wall. They do require extra support in many cases but can be a great way to spice up the look of a room or add additional light to a specific part of your home. 

Because they do have a very modern feel, corner doors are a good option for someone that wants a more contemporary look. You can have corner doors that function like sliding doors or folding doors to maximize the efficiency of the style. 

What Is the Best Patio Door Material?

The five most common patio door materials that you can choose from include:

  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass

You can choose to have a frameless patio door as well if you want to go for a very modern look. 

All of the materials have their own pros and cons, but it’s important to think about how the material will look with the rest of your home. This door impacts the appearance of the inside and outside of your house, so the type of material should match much of what you already have.

Remember that patio doors can be painted or stained as well, so you can be creative with the look of the door you choose.

You should also think about how energy-efficient you want your home to be and how long you hope the doors will last. 

If you live in a climate with very hot or cold temperatures, energy efficient patio doors are a wise choice. You should also consider the durability of the material of your door to make sure it can withstand your temperatures. 

Find the Best Doors for Your Home

Because there are so many different types of patio doors, you may feel choosing the right one for your home is difficult, especially if you are going for a specific style in the home. 

Determining what you want your patio door to look like, deciding on which material you prefer, and envisioning the door in your home will help you figure out how to choose a patio door. 

Did you enjoy this article? If so, check out the rest of our website for more additional content like this.  

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