Ideas & Inspiration

A Simple Guide to Patio Doors

A Simple Guide to Patio Doors

May 12, 2022
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Patio doors are traditionally viewed as sliding glass doors. However, what many homeowners don’t realize is there are plenty of additional options. All of which can modernize, beautify, and add convenience to any home.

Even if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or heavy winds, you aren’t limited to specific choices when it comes to patio doors. In these regions where high performance impact doors are needed to keep your family safe, you’ll find there are a number of attractive door types to choose from to help protect your home and loved ones.

Check out our guide of the different options you can choose from that offer the features you need and want.

Styles of Patio Doors 

Sliding Glass Door

Featuring our WINGUARD® ALUMINUM Preferred Sliding Glass Door SGD770.


Sliding glass doors are timeless, classic, and highly convenient. Designed to slide along a track, these doors provide you with instant access to the outdoors from inside your home. They mostly glide open to patios, decks, and balconies. Today’s styles are beautiful and you’ll find a variety of sliding glass door types to choose from. Definitely no longer a one-size-fits-all type of door.

French Door

Featuring our French Door WINGUARD® VINYL Preferred French Door FD5555.


French doors are an alternative to traditional sliding glass doors and are mostly composed of glass. As opposed to sliding on tracks, these beautiful doors open on hinges. Imagine swinging new French glass-paneled doors opening to your patio, garden, and even your balcony. These attractive doors add a touch of sophistication and class to any home. Since they are largely made of glass, they also provide excellent airflow and plenty of natural light.

Cabana Door

Featuring our CLASSICVUE™ ALUMINUM Cabana Door CD290.


The Cabana door is hinged with glass panes. Mostly inserted for entryways to porches, garages, or pool baths, these doors come in single or double door options. These doors offer a polished look to your home. Built for durability, these doors offer a polished look to your home. And you can choose to customize with frame color options and a variety of glass tint colors.


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Featuring our WINGUARD® VINYL Sliding Glass Door.

Materials in Patio Doors 

Patio doors, either impact or non-impact, that are made of vinyl or aluminum provide your family with the protection and comfort you want. Because both vinyl and aluminum are durable, you can’t go wrong with either.

You’ll find vinyl doors to be highly energy-efficient and extremely low maintenance, and they offer a good amount of soundproofing. Aluminum offers durability, minimal maintenance, and adds great curb appeal. Both options are valuable add-ons to your home, but which you choose will depend upon your individual needs and preferred style.


If you’re seeking a patio door, you’ll find strong versions beyond traditional glass doors and without limitations in style. For instance, you’ll find plenty of French door options to suit your personal tastes. Styles include both the single French door and double French door.

Other Patio Door Features 

As with any purchase, you’ll find different factors that aren’t standard. Patio doors are no different. Features you might want to consider when selecting the perfect patio door include the following.


The solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, measures how well your door prevents solar heat from entering your house. You want to look for a door rated with a lower SHGC because it transmits less heat and provides you with a stronger shading ability. However, doors with higher SHGC ratings are more effective at collecting solar heat in colder months. If you live in a warm climate, such as Florida, you’ll want to buy a door with a lower SHGC to gain the benefits. Not only does it prevent solar heat from entering, but it’ll also be more effective at reducing cooling loads in summer.


The U-factor matters when buying patio doors. A U-factor is the rate at which the glass in the door transmits non-solar heat flow. Generally, the lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient your new door will be, helping to lower your cooling costs.


If you live in a coastal area, another consideration when purchasing glass doors is the Turtle Code. For instance, a number of counties and cities located on Florida’s coast have adopted sea turtle lighting ordinances. These ordinances were written to restrict the level of light permitted through windows and doors. Artificial lighting tends to confuse hatchlings who are trying to reach the water by following the moonlight.


The patio doors you choose will affect your home’s interior if you live in a sunny, hot climate. Choosing a patio door with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is a good option for homes in these areas. The Low-E component is beneficial because it won’t just contribute to lowering energy bills, it will also help protect your carpet, flooring, curtains, and furniture against UV fading. In essence, glass with UV protection reflects heat to keep it outside your home.

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Patio Doors Can Meet All of Your Needs 

Choosing new patio doors for your home isn’t a decision that should be made lightly. The doors you select will directly impact your family’s comfort and safety. Not to mention, your energy bill. The best of all is, you don’t have to compromise style to get it all. When selecting your door, by keeping in mind the above factors, you’ll be able to purchase a high-performance impact-resistant door that will tick off all the important boxes for the features you both want and need.

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