French Doors vs. Sliding Glass: Which Patio Door Style Is Best?

french-doors-vs-sliding-glass-doorsAre you planning to replace your patio doors? One of the first decisions you’ll make is whether to choose hinged French doors, which swing open, or sliding glass doors. Neither choice is wrong. But if you don’t have a strong preference for either style, your decision might be easier if you consider the pros and cons of each patio door style according to the following criteria:

Operating Space

Among the primary benefits of sliding glass doors is their ability to open without taking up space inside your home or on the patio. If you have a relatively small home, porch, or balcony, you may lean toward sliding glass doors that will allow you to use more square footage for plants, shelving, and furniture instead of the clearance required for opening a French patio door.

Your Home’s Architectural Style

Fortunately, today’s door replacement options include both hinged and sliding patio doors that feature sleek and modern designs as well as more traditional looks, which means you can probably find French or sliding doors that will complement your home. However, doors that slide open will create a much different effect than their hinged counterparts. How so? Just picture Juliet hearing Romeo’s approach and seeking to step out onto her balcony. Will she fling the doors open wide with dramatic flair that’s worthy of the stage? Or will she pull a sliding door open so she can efficiently move outside and greet her lover? Even if she has a smoothly operating sliding glass door that doesn’t disrupt the scene, the visual effect for Romeo will be quite different depending on which patio door style Juliet selected for her balcony.

Convenience & Versatility

Patio doors are available in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, so it’s best to partner with an experienced patio door dealer and installer who can evaluate the opening in your home and help you select the ideal door style to meet your needs. For example, if you have an exceptionally wide opening to your patio, you may want a four-panel configuration with two operable doors in the middle. Or, as more and more homeowners are discovering, a bi-fold patio door may be the perfect option. This multi-panel style combines the functionality of traditional French doors with that of sliding glass doors to allow you to open a single hinged panel or slide and stack all of the glass panels to one side. When the panels of a bi-fold patio door are stacked to one side, you’ll have a wide-open space that’s perfect for those indoor-outdoor gatherings when lots of people are transitioning between your patio and kitchen.

Additional Criteria to Consider

No matter which patio door style is right for your home, you’ll want to make sure you invest in high-quality materials and construction. Plus, if you’re like most homeowners, you’ll want patio doors with energy-efficient glass and heavy-duty locking mechanisms for security.

Moreover, if your patio door style is important to you, then you undoubtedly want to have plenty of other aesthetic options—like frame color and specialty glass—to choose from.

If you’re planning a patio door replacement in the Cincinnati area, make sure you reach out to Holmes Custom Renovations. We offer beautiful French-style, sliding glass, and bi-fold doors that are engineered to deliver many years of reliable performance in our local climate. When you partner with us, we’ll also provide you with expert guidance to select the best design options for your new patio doors. Contact us today for more information.