Guide to Selecting the Right Patio Door | Tips to Choose Right Door

Patio doors have always been associated with regal, aristocratic homes but are now becoming a larger part of contemporary homes as well. Manufacturers have taken advantage of technology to make patio doors widely available. They have evolved from standard French doors to more modern designs including garden doors, sliding doors and many other designs to complement current home trends. 

Here is a complete guide written by Eco Choice Windows and Doors to selecting the Right Patio Door for your household:


In deciding what works best for the entrance space, you have to measure the space on both the interior and exterior sides. This will help you determine which functional style will work best. You can select from the following types of patio doors:

  • Out Swing: These doors require space on the outside to swing outwards. They work well in situations where you require doors with high strength and stability such as hurricane-prone areas.
  • In Swing: These are the most commonly used doors for indoor spaces as the hinges are not visible from the outside. An additional screen can help provide added protection from natural elements such as dust, rainwater etc. which may sweep in through the door.
  • Sliding Doors: Sliding patio doors are best for constrained spaces where a swinging door cannot be accommodated such as sunroom or balcony spaces.


When choosing a patio door, you must also look at the functionality and ease of use the door provides. This means choosing the right material that does not require a lot of maintenance. You can also upgrade your door with added features such as blinds, solar screens and insect screens. All these functionalities can easily be added to a patio door which is also low maintenance and easy to use. 

Also Read: Get your doors and windows ready for winter

Styling Options

After having decided that your home could do with a patio door, you must also consider what kind of styling you’d like to go for. You can examine the following options to get a better idea:

  • What style best suits the internal and exterior design of your home?
  • Do you want the entire door or a portion of it screened?
  • What are the extreme temperatures you face, to help decide the right material and style?
  • Space availability on both sides of the door?
  • How often would you use the door – would it be occasional, seasonal or face constant traffic?

Glass Options

There has been a major advancement in glass production and its technology. The glass being used today is well equipped to provide protection as well as insulation. For people living in warmer climates, tinted glasses provide good shade protection and obscure glass provides privacy and protection while allowing light to enter. 

In order to decide the right kind of glass for your patio door, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How energy efficient should the glass be?
  • Does the patio door need to absorb, deflect or transmit the light?
  • Should the glass be able to absorb high impacts if you’re living in coastal areas?
  • What are the extreme climates in your region?
  • Would you benefit from clear glass or glass which is decorative and frosty?

You can choose the glass type which matches the functionality you’re looking for.

Care and Maintenance

Depending on the material and framework, certain patio doors require more maintenance. Always look at the material and its durability in different climates and circumstances. Wood is versatile but can also be damaged by extreme exposure to water and snow and has to be treated with a different material on the exterior to enhance its lifespan. For ease of mind, select patio doors which require less maintenance and last throughout time. Learn more about our vinyl doors which are more durable than wood and can withstand corrosion from weather.


Additional Factors to Consider Before Choosing a New Patio Door

1. Availability of Space

The number one thing that you should look into when it comes to a patio door installation is how well the new door fits in with the current space. Oftentimes, we find homeowners nodding this thought away, commenting that they have enough space. “Why would we consider a new patio door, otherwise?” they ask.

As is usual, the onus of helping our clients look beyond this kind of thinking falls upon us. As window and door experts, we have, over the years, come to realize that it is often not about the amount of space. What skips our customers’ minds is how well space might yield itself to the construction of a new door.

If your new patio door is the entrance to a balcony with minimal furnishing, swinging doors make better sense. However, if it acts as a transition to a heavily-furnished patio, sliding doors would be more advisable.

In a nutshell, here is protip #1: while measuring the dimensions of the door frame for a new patio door installation, size up the surrounding areas as well.

Also Read: Lift and Slide Doors: What is so Great About Them?

2. Energy Consumption

We bumped this point from the very end to number two. We have our reasons.

Toronto is not quite the sunshine city of the world and the country, in itself, experiences dark and gloomy winters. Given that a new patio door is a huge expense; wouldn’t you want it to be a worthwhile long-term investment?

If you’re a wise person, (and, we suspect you are, because you’re reading our blog) you would likely say “yes”. So here’s our second protip and a couple of key terms you need to be aware of.

When scouting for new patio doors, look for an Energy Star® rating. This estimate is based on a metric called the ‘U-factor’ that indicates the amount of non-solar heat that a glass surface transmits. In short, the lower the U-factor, the more energy efficient a glass door/ window tends to be. Low-Emissivity (Low-E) glass is another option that enables shorter rays of sunlight to flow through the door, thus helping a home stay warm, naturally.

If Eco Choice is your patio door contractor, you don’t have to worry about this, as we will automatically offer you glass door solutions that will help you save up to 30% on your energy expenses.

3. Durability and Maintenance

This is another area that is commonly overlooked by homeowners. We have had customers coming to us, asking for a particular type of patio door, over another, going solely by the appearance.

It’s easy to fall prey to the belief that solid wood doors are easy to maintain. It’s important to keep in mind that these doors need to be stained, for protection against inclement weather, and sealed.

Similarly, glass doors also require extensive care, simply because they are easily smudged. Using patterned glass might be a way out, but glass still needs to be pampered to last.
Strong steel and vinyl doors are both low in maintenance and durable. Before you make a decision, ask yourself how extensively you will be using the doors. For value-conscious homeowners with a shoestring budget and a need for a sturdy door, we strongly recommend compromising aesthetic appeal for resistance.

4. The Theme of Your House

It goes without saying that the architectural style of your home and the interior design come into play when you’re choosing a new patio door. For example, solid wood doors are most appropriate for homes with cedar walls.

A patio door that looks stylish on its own, but does not go along with the overall theme of your home, is as good as no patio door. Therefore, the fourth tip we would offer is to go with a patio door contractor who has access to a variety of door styles from which you can pick and choose. Makes your life, and new patio door installation, easier!

5. Privacy & Security

This is a factor that does not concern the door itself but is crucial to the safety of the house. You might think that this is an obvious part of a new patio door installation, but you will be pleasantly surprised.

From simple click-type locks to cutting-edge alarm systems, a seasoned contractor will be able to counsel you on the best choice for your home. These factors will surely help you figure out what you need to keep in mind when planning your patio door upgrade experience. 

Although this guide is extensive, we understand that you might have several other questions. Why not reach out to Eco Choice, your friendly, neighborhood window and door expert? We will be happy to guide you and help you with a new patio door installation!

Save up to 30% or more when you decide to make the switch to go-green. Contact us for an expert opinion and more information on energy-efficient products. Eco Choice is surely the right choice for getting the right door! Call 1 (855) 273-3261 now!