How to Choose the Right Doors for Your Patio or Outdoor Space

Posted on: 28 November 2016

If your residential property includes a large patio, balcony, or other outdoor area, you want to choose the right doorway for that space. A plain sliding glass door along one side may not be the right option, as it means not being able to open up that space entirely and enjoying the view, and this can also limit foot traffic in and out of the space. You do have other options than a standard patio sliding door; note two of them here so you know the best choice for your property and for really getting maximum enjoyment from your space.

1. Bi-fold doors

Bi-fold doors come in several sections which are all connected on hinges to one another, and they slide and fold up flat against one wall like an accordion or shutters. One advantage of bi-fold doors is that the door wall doesn't need any additional framing or vertical studs, so you can open that space completely. This allows for maximum viewing of the outside as well as the most room for foot traffic and fresh air.

Bi-fold doors can often be custom made so you can opt for as many panels as you wish, keeping them narrow so they don't jut so far into the room when folded against the wall. They can also be installed with a standard hinged door at one end, for quick entry and exiting without having to open any panels of the bi-fold door itself.

2. Stacker sliding doors

Stacker sliding doors also come in several different panels, but they're not connected to each other; instead, they all slide from one side to another. You can slide all the panels to one side so they're stacked on top of each other, or just slide open one panel from either side. This gives you a bit more control than bi-fold doors, as you can choose which end of the door wall you want to open.

Since the stacker doors just slide left and right, they also don't jut into the room when opened as do bi-fold doors, so they may be better for smaller spaces where folded doors may be in the way of furniture or foot traffic. However, the frame of each panel may obstruct the view outside slightly, and you cannot open the space entirely as you do with bi-fold doors since the panels all need to stack on top of each other when opened, so this can detract from your view somewhat.