If a house is of a certain age, chances are good that the door to the patio is an aluminum glass slider which doesn’t work well and leaks air in several places. With energy costs on the rise and tax credits available, many homeowners are deciding to replace their old patio doors with more attractive, energy efficient models. The replacement doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the old door, only new. There are other options available.
Center Door and Sidelights
In the space occupied by an aluminum sliding glass door, a regular swing door with fixed sidelights can be installed. The hinged door is at the center of the space and the entire unit is not unlike that seen at the front door of a home. A keyed locking mechanism secures the door and is far superior to the thumb latch usually seen on older patio doors. The entire framework is wood and can be painted or stained to match existing woodwork in the room and outside. Doors and stationary panels come with many options such as decorative grilles, special energy features and art glass for a custom look.
Gliding Wood Doors
For homeowners who like their sliding doors but not the aluminum frames and flimsy locking mechanism, there are gliding wood doors (manufacturer’s term) which operate smoothly on superior tracks and come equipped with locks that pull the operating door tight against the frame and lock it in place for much greater security. These come in the usual two-door arrangement with one moving door, but if space for widening the opening is available, they can be purchased in wider units with two center doors which glide away from center past fixed panels at each end. They come ready to paint or stain and can double the light coming into the room. Gliding doors come with many glass and grille options to make them efficient and attractive.
French doors are a favorite architectural feature that add European elegance to a home and increase its value as well. A pair of traditional French doors which open in the center can be installed in place of an old sliding door and will immediately change the room’s ambiance in a positive way. The doors come in stock sizes but can be made to order in any size that is needed. These doors come with wide wood frames and can be stained or painted according to existing decor. The glass is energy efficient, and optional between-the-glass treatments such as blinds, fabric shades or decorative grilles are available.
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