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Hinged vs. sliding patio doors: What is better?

Taking time to consider the best design for your home opens the door to fully enjoying your dream space

As summer approaches, many people begin thinking about home improvement projects to make their enjoyment of Canada’s warm months outdoors even more pleasurable.

Deciding to upgrade your patio doors is just one example of how you can improve your home both visually and functionally this spring. Replacing old doors can increase home security with more effective locking mechanisms, cut costs on your energy bills by swapping old, drafty doors with energy-efficient, airtight ones, and make spending time out on the patio both easier and more pleasant. 

If you’re looking to invest in new patio doors, you may feel overwhelmed by the options available. One key decision you’ll have to make is between hinged and sliding patio doors. If you’ve never considered this topic before, the decision may feel daunting.

Fear not – together with Ottawa patio doors experts we’re here to help you learn everything you need to know to help you feel confident in making this decision. Read on to identify the right patio door for you.

Hinged Patio Doors Explained

Commonly referred to as French doors, a hinged patio door is typically a six to ten foot glass pane bordered with wood, vinyl, or another synthetic material. This is a classic style that has stood the test of time, giving any home an elegant entrance to their outdoor space. The door can have either a single, large pane of glass or be divided into multiple panes held together by grill bars, to give a different visual effect. 

Hinged patio doors are a great option whether you have a single or double door. Since you can decide whether you want them to swing into your home or out toward your patio, this style of door can be customized to work for you no matter what kind of space restrictions you may have.

They come in many different colors and styles, so you’re sure to find one that compliments your home’s aesthetic. 

Sliding Patio Doors Explained

This contemporary design is sure to give your home a clean, modern feel. These doors are most commonly made with single large panes of glass surrounded by wood, aluminum, or vinyl. You can get sliding doors with grill bars and smaller panes, however, if that better suits your preferences.

Since sliding doors don’t swing, but rather open on a track, you don’t need to worry about how they will intrude into your floor plan. They bring in a significant amount of natural light, since they are generally two large side-by-side panes of glass. To increase the natural light coming into your home, consider installing dual sliding doors. This design requires four glass panes in a row, two stationary and two sliding, giving you an optimized view of your outdoor area and making your home feel open and airy. 

So which style is right for you?

While both hinged and sliding patio doors are great options that can enhance functionality and market value, choosing which to invest in requires you to consider your home’s floor plan, architectural style, and aesthetic. You want your doors to be well insulated, secure, and attractive, sure – but what message are you striving to communicate in your home and how can your patio doors help you get there? Consider these things when making your decision:

  • Architecture and Aesthetic: While either door could be designed to suit your space, Ottawa patio doors experts claim that they do typically convey different things and suit different architectures. French doors are sophisticated, elegant, and serve as a grand transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. Sliding doors, conversely, are sleek, modern, and minimalistic. Which of these sets of adjectives more closely align with your aesthetic?
  • Space: Are you tight on space? Because hinged doors require space for the doors to swing either into your home or out towards your patio, it’s essential that you have adequate space in which to do so. If you’re looking to conserve your space for decor elements, sliding doors may be a better choice for you.
  • Design Options: While both hinged and sliding patio doors can be customized to your specifications in terms of color and hardware, there are more design options available in the realm of hinged doors. If versatility is important to you, consider shopping this style over sliding doors.

The Bottom Line

Making design decisions can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to lighten the burden. By taking time to carefully evaluate your space and your goals in renovating it, you’ll narrow your focus and find clarity in the search. Once you know which style of door is right for your home, reach out to a professional to shop specific brands and designs. You’ll have the doors of your dreams in no time.