Are Exterior Sliding Doors Ideal for Your Home?

Are Exterior Sliding Doors Ideal for Your Home?

May 10, 2021
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
exterior sliding door for your home

Exterior sliding glass doors have made great strides in design and function in recent years, with the introduction of Milgard’s most popular models. Current versions offer a wide range of features, such as improved technology, more advanced security features, and a variety of lighting options. Most people install sliding doors for outdoor use; for example, they are perfect for porches, terraces, and patios with beautiful views. Exterior sliding glass doors make your home look bigger, appealing, and modern, making it more attractive to visitors.

Patio doors are available in two variants, and homeowners love them for their versatility. Both are uniquely beautiful and functional. One is partially or completely glazed, and the other is completely open to the outside world. When choosing a new or replacement door, the architectural style of the house, including the door material, the size, shape, and the type of door itself, must be taken into account. 

Choosing the right material and type of exterior sliding patio door will further enhance the value and style of your home. So make sure you choose a quality product that will last for years. The installation of these systems is a big decision, which is why you should be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of glass sliding doors. Let’s examine what these are.

Pro 1: Allow Natural Light into Your Home

Replacing your traditional patio door with an exterior sliding glass door can help make your home more energy-efficient, improve security, and increase the value of your home. If you have a large wall in your house, it can be replaced with a large door turning the room into a veritable conservatory with a sliding glass door or a bi-fold glass door. The right door can open a room, give it natural light and remodel your home’s exterior.

stacking sliding door

The large glass panes of these sliding doors allow plenty of natural sunlight into the house during the day. The glass runs from the floor to the top door panel, so the light comes through easily, covering the entire home and lighting it up all day. Bringing in natural and ample daylight makes your home more attractive and cozy. This will also make the house an energy-saving zone and reduce the monthly electricity bill. With sliding glass doors, you can reduce your energy costs through natural lighting and keep dust, draughts, rain, bugs, and noise away.

Pro 2: Require Minimal Space

modern sliding door

Sliding doors can be a practical and attractive addition to your home as they offer numerous advantages for both residential and commercial properties. If you want to use one room for two different functions and separate them, these doors are ideal. For example, if you work from home and you have your office in the bedroom, a sliding door fits perfectly, providing a workable space. 

Or if your children share a room, a sliding door in the middle will give your children privacy without changing the layout. It gives them their own space but, at the same time, allows them to be together whenever they want.

Sliding glass doors can create an optical illusion, similar to a mirror that makes the room appear larger than it really is. They also save you space as you don’t need an area between the doors to open them. You can slide them open from left to right with ease and without crowding the room. By installing a sliding door, you can separate the rooms and make your home more spacious.

Pro 3: Provide a Room with Outdoor Views

Indoor and outdoor living spaces have become a popular trend for home remodeling as homeowners seek to expand their living space by opening up patios and backyards. The integration of patio doors in your living room is an easy way to create a living area indoors and outdoors. Homeowners make use of sliding glass doors to create a clear connection to the outside. With high-quality sliding glass doors, you can get magnificent views of the outdoor areas, and they can also act as a gate to the outside, making them a great addition to any home renovation project.

milgard bifold doors

A sliding patio door is no longer just for your patio as it can serve multiple functions than just being the entrance to your home.  Add a focal point and encourage room movement by installing an exterior sliding door in your home. Exterior sliding doors can be used to create a transition between the space inside and the outside of your home while also giving it character.

If you want expansive views and wider entrances, bi-fold doors and moving glass walls are perfect options. These types of patio doors consist of large glass panes that preserve the appearance of windows and walls. If you opt for a more traditional or classic look and feel, French sliding doors can also be used to extend the living room. French sliding doors offer the same functionality as most sliding doors and can provide privacy for more intimate moments. Most sliding door options open to merge the indoor and outdoor living areas, and they can also be opened from the outside. Sliding glass doors have a lot of glass and relatively thin frames. This setup allows you to look out the window at your backyard and the surrounding scenery without having to leave your house. In summer, you can enjoy a wonderful meal with your family, while in winter, you can look up at the stars from the warmth and comfort of your couch.

Con 1: Security Flaws

When installed out of sight, sliding doors can be an easy target for determined and courageous intruders. While some of these problems are due to poor placement, they can also be fixed with a few simple modifications.

If you want to preserve your privacy when replacing doors and windows, use decorative glass for less transparency, or you can add architectural interest to your doors by adding a grid pattern or blurring the view. This way, you can hide your interior from prying eyes. Make sure you also choose hardware options that fit your living style as well as maximize your home’s security.

Con 2: Require Regular Cleaning

Sliding doors and windows can be challenging to clean. Unlike other types of windows, which can be easily cleaned inwards, it is difficult to clean an entire window or a sliding door when it is out of your reach to do so. The work can be done with a ladder, which is not a serious problem, but if you have a higher sliding window, it can be difficult to clean the exterior, especially during winter. There are also corners accumulating dust or dirt due to inadequate cleaning.

sliding door providing outdoor  views from living room.jpg

High maintenance and price requirements are usually associated with the use of glass. Glass doors need more upkeep than normal doors because they are exposed to stains and dirt. If you live in severe climate conditions, sliding doors and windows can become fingerprint magnets because people tend to push the glass up without touching the main handle or knob. It can be an ordeal when you need a person to clean the windows because fingerprints can form very quickly over time.

Sliding glass doors can deteriorate with time, and if the door does not open easily, it may be due to rust or warp deposits in the house. The frame needs proper maintenance as well. This ensures all the moving parts of the door to function and glide smoothly. If you notice a crack in the glass, it should be replaced immediately, and you should replace the glass door every 15 years.

Con 3: Vulnerable to Extreme Weather

Glass can be a liability when it comes to protecting your home from burglars, and more so if you live in an area with severe frost or storm. In this case, glass doors may not be the practical option for you. The locks on most sliding doors are not as strong as other doors, and if a lock breaks due to extreme weather conditions, it can cause damage to the glass door, which can cause problems for your security system.

Find Out More about Exterior Sliding Doors Today

Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of sliding glass doors, you can weigh up your choices and figure out if the benefits and additional costs are worth it.

Increasing the overall appeal of your home can be costly as glass doors are pricier than normal doors on average. However, with the overall value and benefits you get from installing them, it can be a worthwhile investment. So make sure you choose high-quality exterior sliding doors to ensure you get the most value from them for years to come.

pocket sliding doors

Sliding glass doors are becoming increasingly popular in living rooms and are aesthetically hard to beat. While wooden doors still dominate this category, glass doors give modern homes an elegant appeal. At US Window & Door, we offer patio doors and exterior sliding doors suitable for almost every budget and architectural style. If you are already thinking about installing sliding glass doors or windows in your home, contact our window and door experts or visit our San Diego offices for more information, or to get a free estimate.