When homeowners ask what Patio Door we recommend, the first question I ask is this a high traffic doorway? The reason is the low end sliding glass doors many have seen at the Big Box home improvement stores are made of thin vinyl, the frames are hollow, or with metal reinforcement. These doors can work for some people in low traffic areas like a bedroom.
Here in the Boston area, I never recommend this grade of Patio Door that we have found won’t hold up to the winter weather or the nor’easters we can get at any time of the year that can have winds over 70mph. What can happen is wind driven rain will leak through these sliding patio doors.
These low end patio doors also come with very cheap sliding screens that kids tend to break in a short time. This is the type of patio door that many DIY homeowners chose and very few Professional Contractors would use or recommend this grade of sliding patio door.
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The Patio Doors we recommend come down to two units. The number one is the Alside sliding glass Patio Door. The Alside unit comes with a vinyl clad wood frame that gives the door much more strength over the hollow vinyl frames units sold at many lumber yards. The doors are vinyl with steel reinforcement. The glass is tempered low-E with argon gas. The sliding screen is standard and is well made. The standard unit comes in white and wood grains are an option. These units can be ordered with a keyed locking handle. White is the standard and brass is an option. They also offer a bottom toe kick lock, so you can throw out that old broom handle.
For home owners that want a maintenance-free Patio Door, that we know well stand up to New England weather, the Alside Patio Door comes with lifetime non-prorated warranty is a unit we are happy to recommend.
Sometimes a homeowner will want more decorating options than vinyl can provide and in those cases, we recommend the Andersen French Wood sliding patio door. This is a well made door that is a vinyl clad wood unit on the exterior and wood on the interior.
The wood on the interior can be panted or stained. The locking handle and even the sliding screen are sold separately. The warranty is 10 years on the frame and 20 years on glass. These doors hold up well in high traffic areas as well as in New England weather.
Always remember that installation is key. It is best to use a replacement window and door contractor that has experience with the product line you chose.