Know Your Patio Doors August 22, 2013 A patio door can add a lot to your home. It can be a beautiful design element that gives your home character and functionality. Patio doors are still often considered a utilitarian addition to the home but the designs have gone beyond mere utility and now can be considered artistic. They’ve also become more energy efficient, which is an important factor in today’s homes. Buying a high-quality door is not cheap, but it pays to do so because it will add value to your home. You can choose either hinged or sliding patio doors. If you have an area where furniture won’t be in the way, a hinged door is recommended. Sliding patio doors is the ideal choice when space and furniture arrangement is an issue. A high quality door not only offers access, but it also adds aesthetics, performance, and energy efficiency to your home. A sliding patio door, when pulled, should glide quietly over the track; a hinged and sliding patio door should have, at the very least, double-paned insulating glass. There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting your patio door. All manufacturers offer Low E gas with or without argon in between the panes for increased energy efficiency. Manufacturers offer many other features, such as blinds or grilles between the panes, outside removable grilles, key operated locks, and even your choice of grille designs. If you visit home improvement stores you will find a variety of doors. These will range in quality but even these so-called “high quality doors” will be average at best and there won’t be a large selection. It’s better to work with a specialty door store. They will have a knowledgeable salesperson who can show you a wide variety of doors and options. Home improvement stores will have a more limited stock, but a decent utility door can be purchased there, if that’s your preference. Look beyond aesthetics when buying your door. Ask questions like: What is the warranty and is it transferable to the new owner if you sell your home? What is the design of the locking system? Are the screens and hardware included in the price or are they extra? Does the manufacturer offer good customer support? This way you will end up with a high quality door from a company you can trust.