Sliding Doors v. French Doors: A Guide

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Whether you are planning to add a new outdoor living space to your home or you simply want to replace your existing doors, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to purchasing patio doors! If you haven’t purchased doors in a while, you might not even realize just how many options are on the market today. Fortunately, this guide is here to help you decipher some of the things you need to understand before you can make a well-educated purchase.

What is the difference between sliding doors and French doors?

One of the first things you’ll need to decide whether you want to purchase French doors or sliding patio doors. The main difference between these two styles is that sliding doors typically have a fixed panel that is immovable and another, sliding panel that is on a track. This is the door that allows access to the outdoors. French doors, on the other hand, are double doors that swing open like conventional doors. They can open to the interior or the exterior, depending on your space. It is worth noting that if you have a very small room, sliding doors might be your best option to save space.

What kinds of glass panes do I want?

There are dozens of different sorts of glass panes available for both sliding doors and French doors. Sliding doors, in particular, often have a single pane of glass with no wooden muntins, or dividers, that create lites. Single panes are also available for French doors, but traditionally this type of door does feature multiple lites. If you choose a door with 12 lites, for instance, there will be 12 individual divided panes in your door glass.

You should be aware of the fact that many of today’s lites are created by snapping muntins onto single panes of glass, rather than actually use numerous smaller panes, which is how lites were created in the past. This does not change the look of the door but tends to be a less costly manufacturing method, ultimately saving consumers like you money. It can, however, make it more challenging to replace a cracked or broken lite without replacing the entire pane of glass underneath.

What is standard door sizing?

Modern door manufacturers follow certain sizing guidelines. If you live in a historic Carolina home, your door openings may not match today’s standard specifications, so you may have to place a custom order for your new patio doors. Typically, doors are 1 ⅜ inches or 1 ¾ inches thick and 6 foot 8 inches high. Most manufacturing companies also produce 6 foot 11 inch high doors and 8 foot high doors as well. Any other sizes are likely to need to made especially for your project.

Outdoor living is extremely important to homeowners in North Carolina and South Carolina. The team at Hatch Homes understands this because we live and work here too. If you want us to handle your upcoming patio door installation project, contact our office at your earliest convenience. We look forward to overseeing your job and helping you turn your house into your dream home.

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Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.