The Ultimate Door Buying Guide – US Window & Door

Get the Perfect Door, Every Time with the Help of Our Door Buying Guide

Buying a new door is a simple process. Unfortunately, it is deceptively simple – this is why most homeowners end up with the wrong door time and again. If this also happens with you, then this door buying guide is perfect for you.

We’re going to explore the process of buying a new door and exploring the options that are available to you. With the help of our guide, you will get a door that is functional, meets your design requirements, and is aesthetically pleasing. 

So, whether you’re getting a door for your entryway or your patio, let’s get started with the help of this door buying guide.

 

Are You Getting a New One or a Replacement Door?

When you’re shopping for a door, consider whether you are looking to buy a completely new one or to get a replacement door for your old one. A replacement door is just as good as a new one but it will be in the style, frame and sometimes, the design aesthetic of the old one. Replacements are the perfect option for if you’re happy with the kind of door you have.

If you’re not happy with the door type/design or have some other issues, then it is better to get a new one. Opting for replacement doors will just be a waste of money as you’re just getting the same door again. With a new one, you can explore different options and pick a door type that you are happy with. Once you have factored this out, you can then begin to focus on other areas.

 

Budgeting for a New Door for Your Home

When was the last time you bought a door? Since doors last for decades, most people don’t realize that getting a door replaced or a new can be a costly endeavor. In fact, if you are not careful, you will end up with an exorbitant price for your doors. 

Even when you are picking ones that are costly, go for quality above everything else. Good quality doors are durable and will last you for decades. They also don’t need repairs or replacements as frequently as other doors. That’s why it’s better to invest in Milgard doors. Not only are they stylish and available in different designs, but they also come with a lifetime warranty.

This means that even with a high cost, you get to save money in the long run. The life-time warranty will make it cheaper and easier for you to get a replacement for your Milgard door over the years.

 

The Location for the Entryway or Patio Door

Pay attention to the location of the door. This will define the kind of door you get for your home. Additionally, there are certain considerations to pay attention to. For example – if you are getting a door for the entryway, you need to get one that is sturdy, durable and made for exterior wear. Other options for an entry door can be storm doors that can withstand rough weather and strong winds.

On the other hand, for indoor rooms, you will have more flexibility especially if you are getting patio doors. If you don’t pay attention to this area, you’re going to end up getting doors that don’t work properly. So, you could have a beautiful door but if it doesn’t work properly because of the location, you will have to get it changed. 

Our top pick for durable entryway doors happens to be Masonite doors. They make truly breathtaking doors that are going to make your entryway look amazing. Plus, good entryway doors can increase the value of your home so these can be a worthwhile investment to make.

 

Focusing on the Styles for Your Patio Doors

Apart from the location, you also have to consider the style for the door you are buying. This is definitely among the top things you should pay attention to, especially if you want to get a new door. Most patio doors are usually divided into the following different styles:

  • Sliding Doors

These are commonly used for patio doors and are perfect for smaller rooms and houses. It is a good idea to use these as they slide along a single track horizontally. The sliding door saves space and allows you to have a functional, pretty door without having to sacrifice on space. 

Since it is a sliding door, you don’t have to worry about space getting consumed by having a swing door. These can be designed to accommodate left-handed use or for right-handed use. While these normally only have 2 panels, you can opt for 3 or 4 door panels if you need them. 

  • Swinging Doors

The next option is the swinging patio doors. These are a favorite, especially in the French door style. These are also loved because they allow natural light to enter the house. These are also flexible that you can either get them with an in-swing or an out one.

  • In-swing patio doors mean that they swing inwards when you open them – the door will swing towards you.
  • Out-swing patio doors mean that they swing outwards when you are opening them – these doors will swing away from you.

Additionally, when picking this kind of door, you should also consider the available space, the visibility, and placement of the hinges. For in-swing doors, you need to make sure that there is enough clear space to open the doors. Similarly, for out-swing doors; you don’t want them knocking into any objects as they open outwards. 

  • Sidelight Doors

These are unique options and not always available but Milgard has a collection of unique patio door designs that accommodate sidelight doors. These are small panels on the side of the door. These have hinges and open outwards.

The main aim of these panels is to allow for more ventilation indoors. By opening these panels, you can increase the airflow, keep your home cooler and create a unique patio door design that is bound to impress everyone. 

  • Moving Glass Walls 

Moving glass wall doors are popular because they’re versatile, you get style with functionality and you’re able to make your patio look prettier. As the name suggests, this glass door takes up a whole wall of the living room or the lounge area. When picking moving glass wall doors, you can pick from the following different types:

moving glass wall system
  • Bi-Fold Doors

For people who’re looking to save space and get a beautiful view, bi-fold doors are the best option. These are usually available in an accordion-style fold and the glass panels fold on to each other. The panels are then stacked to one side of the glass wall.  These can also be used indoors as room dividers.

    • Stacked Doors

Like bi-fold doors, stacked doors stack on one side but take up more space. There’s no accordion fold to make the stacked area smaller. On the other hand, when a stacked glass window is completely open, you get more open space because of the clear glass panel and the open area. 

    • Pocket Doors

If you want to minimize the space consumed by panels and have more open space, you should opt for pocket glass doors. These have a pocket in the wall where all the panels slide into and stored. This also means that the pocket hides the glasses so you’re not going to sacrifice your open space when you are using them.

These are the most common types of patio doors you can find. However, these are usually customized in some manner or the other to accommodate the aesthetics, usability, and preferences of the client. You’ll see that Milgard has a number of different designs that apply to these door styles.

door material

The Material for the Door Frames

Apart from the door styles, we’re also including the material for the door frames in our door buying guide. Good frames are essential because they give your door the polish and finish it needs. They’re also an important functional element. 

Therefore, the kind of door frame you have will directly reflect the kind of frame you have. The kind of materials used for the frame also determines its longevity and usability. While there are plenty of options, you will usually find that door frames are made in the following 4 different materials. 

That’s why; we’re only looking at the following kinds of frames you can find for entryway or patio doors in our door buying guide.

  • Wood

Wood is a popular material because it adds a warm, cozy feeling to a home. It’s also a naturally beautiful material. Some wood types only need a coat or two of polish to complement the door or the interior design of the house. 

For insulation, woodworks extremely well too. Unfortunately, it does not do well with moisture and humidity. In such instances, the wood can swell, crack or start to get mold. Similarly, it’s high maintenance and can be prone to scratches.

  • Vinyl 

Vinyl is another favorite material to use because frames made from them are very energy efficient. They offer amazing insulation which means your indoor environment stays comfortable with ease. Vinyl frames also fare well outdoors – the material is UV resistant and does not fade quickly.

Similarly, the durability and low maintenance nature of vinyl make the vinyl door frames the no. 1 choice for most people. These are also more affordable than wood frames and can deal with almost all climates, including humidity.

  • Fiberglass

Another option that is often used in place of vinyl is fiberglass. This material is even more long-lasting than vinyl and is known to resist warping, rotting, and swelling. For this reason, it is used widely as it can deal with almost any climate.

It’s also great for insulation but may need to be treated to give the best results. Cost-wise, fiberglass frames can be more expensive than vinyl but do consider them to be an investment as the material is extremely durable and very low-maintenance. 

  • Aluminum 

If you’re looking for a non-corrosive option for your frames, you can’t go wrong with aluminum. This material is perfect for high humidity environments such as the beach. The sand does not harm the frame as much as it would with other materials.

Aluminum is also lightweight and it is a favorite material of choice of most builders. However, it’s not the best when it comes to insulation. That’s why you need to get it treated specially for this factor. Luckily, you can find plenty of treated options that allow you to get aluminum frames in your home with ease. 

The good news is that Milgard makes patio door frames in all the materials we have discussed above. You can also get in touch with them for more information regarding this area.

 

Don’t Forget About the Details

Apart from knowing the materials for the frame and the design type, we’ll also take a look at some other details. Paying attention to these can ensure that you get a door that fits in with the vision you have in mind:

  • Color 

Most people don’t like getting patio doors because they feel like there are not enough color options available. Lucky for you, you can now find more color options in the market for your doors. Milgard specializes in offering unique colors that have a finish unlike any other.

  • The Hardware

The doorknobs, eye hole and bolts, and locks all need to be in a style or color that suits your door. Luckily, you will be able to find plenty of hardware sets that are not only designed for a particular series but can be used individually. 

  • The Grids

The grids for patio doors are necessary for when you have a period setting or a house with an older design. These can make the doors fit right in, even when you’re getting replacement doors. Grids can be available in different sizes, types and more, according to the door you are getting.

With the help of this easy to follow door buying guide, we hope that you will have a great time shopping for the best new or replacement doors. If you feel like you need more help, please get in touch with us and we’ll answer all your questions and queries!