Swinging (hinged) and sliding patio doors have functional and aesthetic differences. By definition, a swinging patio door is hinged. Swinging patio doors usually come in pairs. Sometimes they are hinged at the side jams and meet in the center. This type of arrangement creates French doors. Other hinged patio doors are hinged at the center and swing towards each other. Some pairs of swinging patio doors include one operational door, and one stationary door. Swinging patio doors can swing either in, or out. Sliding patio doors include at least two panels, one of which slides past the other on rollers. (image via windowkingusa.com)
Advantages of a Sliding Patio Door CT
Ventilation: Most French doors, or other types of hinged patio doors do not include screens. Sliding patio doors almost always do. If your patio door is in the kitchen, we recommend sliding patio doors with screens because kitchens need ventilation. The best stove fan cannot ventilate as well as a window, and letting fresh air into your home has many health benefits.
Space Savers: Sliding patio doors move parallel to the wall and do not require designated space for operation. This is a major advantage for small interior spaces and CT decks. Swinging patio doors require more design consideration. Measure the width of the door and draw a semi-circle with that same radius. That is space that you cannot use. If you choose swinging patio doors, decide where you can afford to lose that space. If interior space is more limited, chose out-swinging doors. For example, Connecticut sunroom additions with doors to the outside usually swing outwards because sunrooms are small. However, beware that out-swinging doors are prone to more accelerated weathering if you leave them open. If outdoor space is more limited, choose in-swinging doors. This can be a better option for CT decks that are used for entertaining.
(image: french/hinged door via justdoorlasvegas.com)
Disadvantages of a Sliding Patio CT
Operation: Sliding patio doors don't always slide as easily as you would like them to. The rollers can wear out and debris can accumulate in the tracks and increase friction. Even a brand new sliding door is difficult to operate when you are holding a tray of marinated meats to throw on the grill.
Size of Opening: Sliding patio doors do not fully open, whereas hinged patio doors can open to the full width of the door configuration. The wide useable space hinged doors provide might only be utilized on move-in and move-out day, but when you are moving large objects, hinged patio doors make it much easier.
Safety and Security: Patio doors are more vulnerable to security breaches than other types of doors because they are made of glass, and many are not equipped with modern locking mechanisms and other safety features. Patio door safety features should be a primary consideration regardless of the style you choose. For both types of patio doors, we recommend a multipoint locking system. We also recommend not just having, but also using a security system.
Style: It is difficult to compare French doors (or other hinged patio doors) to sliding patio doors because the styles are entirely different, but both are versatile. Sliding patio doors are more modern, but they are incredibly versatile because they are not the focal point of a room. French doors are more traditional, but also suit any style of home. The room's d'cor, as well as the window treatments you choose (if any) contribute much more to the overall aesthetic of the room than the type of door itself.
Color & Appearance: Some homeowners are very particular about colors. Sliding patio doors usually come with fewer color options than swinging patio doors.
Energy Efficiency: Glass is never as good of an insulator as wood or fiberglass, but some types of glass are much better than others. Always check for energy star ratings, built-in weatherstripping, and Low-E glass.
Privacy: Sliding Patio Doors often come with internal blinds. Internal blinds give you the best control of lighting and privacy, without the hassle of cleaning.
The advice provided is only meant to serve as a general guidline. Discuss specific needs with your CT home remodeling contractor because the best solution varies with each home. Installing a patio door for CT decks is not a DIY project, especially if you are replacing an existing door. The condition of the wall surrounding the door needs to be examined by a professional. It is not uncommon to find wall rot surrounding doors to CT decks. Our experts at Fiderio & Sons are offering a free consultation. Take advantage so that your patio door will be ready as soon as the season allows!