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Patio door provide a bridge between your home interior and your outdoor living space. They give you great views, allow you to easily keep an eye on the children while they're playing outside, and add an element of style to your household decor. Replacing your patio doors provides opportunity to add both aesthetic and safety features to your home. Following are four strategies designed to help you choose the best possible patio doors for your individual environment.
Consider Getting Treated Glass
If your home interior features hardwood flooring or colored rugs, consider getting doors with glass that has been treated to minimize UV rays. Prolonged exposure to UV rays causes many surfaces to fade and even become discolored over time. Hardwood flooring is the most vulnerable to UV damage, but rugs and furniture upholstery can also be significantly effected by the sun shining in. Other items that can be damaged by UV exposure include artwork and wooden furnishings. Since one of the purposes of having patio doors that feature lots of glass is to fill the home with natural light, don't defeat the purpose by keeping drapes pulled when the sun is out -- ask contractor about options for treated glass to protect your home interior.
Consider a New Style
If the patio door that you're replacing never really seemed to fit in with the rest of the home, consider replacing it with one that features a completely different style. Sliding glass doors are popular among modern homeowners because of their low-maintenance properties and large amount of natural light they let into the room. These are ideal for smaller homes where doors that open in or out might decrease available space too much. However, if you have the room, folding patio or swinging patio doors can add architectural interest. For the ultimate in elegance and glamor, consider having French doors installed.
For the classic look provided by French doors without the high price tag, consider getting doors with snap-in wood grills that replicate the look of individual panes of glass. These are easier to manufacture than traditional French doors in which each pane is built in separately , and the savings are passed on to the consumer.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Purchasing a new patio door provides homeowners with excellent opportunities to save an energy costs. The chances are good that the door you are replacing is an older one that was installed before advances in manufacturing technology resulted in the production of highly energy efficient doors and windows. Ask your contractor how products certified by the U.S. Department of Energy's ENERGY STAR program can save you money. Tighter fits, superior weather stripping materials, and improved core materials combine to meet ENERGY STAR standards and will help keep cool air from escaping during summer's heat and warm air from leaking out during winter. As an added bonus, energy efficient doors experience much less surface condensation, keeping your view clean and clear even on rainy or foggy days.
Consider the Materials
Although classic French doors are traditionally made from wood and glass, it's possible to get a similar look with doors crafted from other materials. If you'd rather limit the amount of wood used in your home, steel and aluminum offer attractive options that are low-maintenance and less expensive than their counterparts made from wood, and both materials are recyclable. If your household contains active children who are in and out constantly, durability will be high on your list of desired attributes for doors. Vinyl doors are almost indestructible, and won't chip, fade, or rot with the passage of time. Of course, there's always good old wood if you're a staunch traditionalist!