Sliding patio doors are the ideal choice for homes where indoor and / or outdoor space is limited. Not only this, but the large panes of glass with minimal framing provides a far less restricted view than bifold doors when closed.
How do they work?
Sliding doors are large panes of glass which are fitted onto horizontal tracks. They close from side to side as opposed to bifold or French doors which will open either into your home or the outside space. They can operate on single track or multiple tracks, depending on how many moving panes you would like the option to open. If you choose to have more than one door that opens it gives you a greater flexibility as to whether you open one, a few or all of them.
Design and materials
Most sliding doors are UPVC and include between two to four panes. The material used for the frames is typically aluminium or timber, the colour of which changed to suit the aesthetic of your home.
Another benefit of sliding doors that is often underrated is the fact that it’s very difficult for the wind to blow them shut. Swing operated doors are at the mercy of the elements which, aside from the inconvenience, can present a safety hazard.
In addition, because the ratio of glass to frame is very much in favour of glass, there is very little to obstruct your view of the garden when the sliding doors are closed. So even in the chilly depths of winter or in torrential downpour you can still enjoy a wide view of your garden from the safety and warmth of the indoors. They are installed in a frame which raises the threshold from the ground meaning your home is at less risk of rain seeping under a door as can happen with bifolds.
Early installations of sliding doors gained a reputation for being easy to break into because they could, with enough force, be lifted off their runners. However, modern sliding door systems are now as secure as any other type of door. Features can include completely protected running tracks, multi-locking systems at every join, steel bolts at the top and bottom of the track, interlocking panels with laminated and internal glazing plus the highest quality hinges.
Are sliding doors the right choice for you?
There are some things to remember when considering sliding doors for your home.
- The size of the glass panes you can install will obviously be dictated by the existing layout of your home and the space you’re looking replace / fill. For example, a bay window isn’t suitable for a sliding door installation and if you have a small space you may not be able to introduce the larger panes that make sliding doors such an attractive option.
- The more overlapping panes you have the wider the tracking frame you will need. Across the threshold this can present both a small barrier to the outside and a trip hazard.#
- Generally, sliding doors are fitted in such a way that one pane slides behind the other, so there is always at least one pane of glass in view.
- It is possible in some cases to install doors that slide away into pockets in the wall, removing this drawback, but this may take up space within the home, make installation more complicated and, of course, may raise the cost of the job.
- While roller tracks have made modern sliding doors far easier to open and close than they used to be, there’s no denying that moving large panes of glass from side to side on a regular basis could become a chore in times of high traffic.
When compared to other types of patio doors, the average cost of installing sliding doors falls somewhere in the middle. While they are generally a less costly option than bifold they are more expensive than standard French doors. You’ll be able to find a range of standard sliding doors from the biggest DIY chains but it’s also worth getting quotes from independent traders who may be able to provide more bespoke designs.
The cost of the doors themselves will be impacted by the materials used, the design and size required, but you’ll also need to budget for labour costs which will vary from supplier to supplier.
We can provide you with sliding doors quotes from up to 3 professional installers in your area.
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