Choosing the perfect patio door for your home isn’t always easy. You have many choices to make and things to consider, such as your personal style, your budget, your space restrictions, usage requirements, and more. One decision will be whether to go with a sliding door or hinged French door. Besides price, here are the most common factors to consider when deciding between sliding doors and French doors.
Your home’s layout will have a big impact on the door style you choose. If the doors will be close to furniture or other obstructions, a sliding door would make the most sense to conserve on space. But while sliding doors give you more flexibility in terms of furniture arrangement, French doors offer a wider opening. This can be beneficial when you have to move large pieces of furniture into and out of your house or when you host parties with a lot of foot traffic. In these cases, you don’t want to be limited by the patio slider’s width.
With a two-panel French door, both sides are operable. This essentially allows you to open it 2x as wide as a two-panel sliding door. If you have the floor space, go with French doors that open into the room. If you’re tight on space, a slider would be a better choice.
Both styles bring a unique, distinct look to any room. They also both come with many different options. You’ll have to think about the configuration you want in order to make a decision in the end.
Both doors let in natural light, but patio sliders have large panes of glass, thus letting in more light and giving you an unobstructed view of the outdoors. This feature also gives the illusion of having a larger space, just like how mirrors in a small room can achieve this same effect.
If you have a more traditional home, though, you may rather go with French doors because they complement that style better. As a general rule, French doors compliment older homes, but you can mix and match grille styles to achieve a contemporary or a classic look.
Sliding glass doors tend to be more convenient to operate, but they have a larger threshold due to the track that the doors slide along. This means there’s a slight lip you have to step over to get in and out. And when it’s time to replace a hinged door with sliding doors, this threshold can have an impact on your existing flooring.
Weather is another thing to think about. If you get high wind gusts, sliding doors won’t blow shut like French doors will. Be aware that during snow storms, swing-out doors may hit that wall of snow and not be able to open until you shovel the area. If you have swing-in hinged doors, snow or rain can stick to the exteriors and introduce moisture into your home.
As you can see, both door styles have their pros and cons, so it all comes down to personal preference, space, design and convenience.
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