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  1. #1
    alex09's Avatar
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    Default sliding patio door or swinging patio door

    Hi,

    I talked with few uPVC windows and patio doors companies and each claiming to have the most energy efficient door. The more I talk , the more confused I get. Also I'm debating between a sliding and swinging (half french door). We know a sliding door is more economical, but which is more energy efficient and which is prone to less mechanical problems? We would also love to get shades seal in the glass. Any suggestion?

    Thank you in advance,

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Hinged doors are more energy efficient in regard to air infiltration and exfiltration - more air will leak under and over a sliding glass door than around a hinged swinging door.

    Sliding glass doors are less secure security-wise and more prone to greater maintenance needs (mechanical problems, sliding problems, locking problems, etc.).

    Sliding glass doors do, however, give a much greater view, and when open do not take up floor space.

    Depending on the house would depend on which I went with, currently we have sliding glass doors and do not want French doors.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: sliding patio door or swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by alex09 View Post
    Hi,

    I talked with few uPVC windows and patio doors companies and each claiming to have the most energy efficient door. The more I talk , the more confused I get. Also I'm debating between a sliding and swinging (half french door). We know a sliding door is more economical, but which is more energy efficient and which is prone to less mechanical problems? We would also love to get shades seal in the glass. Any suggestion?

    Thank you in advance,
    Both are about the same, IMO. A sliding door and a set of French doors have so many air leaks that I would say they are about the same with the French doors being a little tighter. If I had to rate one over the other I would go with the Sliding door for the view. French doors are prone to rotting and tend to be more difficult to seal along the bottom so that water does not seep under the threshold.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    alex09's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Hey,

    Thanks for your suggestions.


  5. #5
    Wayne Price's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    It also depends greatly on what brand you get. A generic French door is going to leak more than, say, a Marvin or Andersen door which has aluminum or vinyl cladding, respectively. Better brands usually have superior locking mechanisms with top and bottom latches that seal the door against the weatherstripping as opposed to your standard door knob and deadbolt. Most sliding doors have the same type of "finger hook" latch mechanism, but even then not all doors are created equal. The better ones have an additional movement that pulls the door tight against the jam, Cheap ones just latch. With sliders, you also have a bit more maintenance - sometimes keeping that track clean can be a bugger.

    I'm not sure what brands are available in the UK. Here in the US, Pella is the biggest brand which has the blinds sandwiched between the glass. While I don't think they are quite the quality of a Marvin door, they are a bit cheaper and definitely the way to go if you are looking for integrated blinds. Andersen doors are my favorites, though, if you are looking for a good balance between price and top quality. The door brands I mentioned are wood. Vinyl sliders are OK and work fine if you are on a budget. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

    (I sold and installed windows and doors for 2 years with a small family shop.)


  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Price View Post
    It also depends greatly on what brand you get. A generic French door is going to leak more than, say, a Marvin or Andersen door which has aluminum or vinyl cladding, respectively. Better brands usually have superior locking mechanisms with top and bottom latches that seal the door against the weatherstripping as opposed to your standard door knob and deadbolt. Most sliding doors have the same type of "finger hook" latch mechanism, but even then not all doors are created equal. The better ones have an additional movement that pulls the door tight against the jam, Cheap ones just latch. With sliders, you also have a bit more maintenance - sometimes keeping that track clean can be a bugger.

    I'm not sure what brands are available in the UK. Here in the US, Pella is the biggest brand which has the blinds sandwiched between the glass. While I don't think they are quite the quality of a Marvin door, they are a bit cheaper and definitely the way to go if you are looking for integrated blinds. Andersen doors are my favorites, though, if you are looking for a good balance between price and top quality. The door brands I mentioned are wood. Vinyl sliders are OK and work fine if you are on a budget. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

    (I sold and installed windows and doors for 2 years with a small family shop.)
    Wayne: Agreed.


  7. #7
    RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    JP,
    Do you "Not want hinged doors" or just the "FRENCH" version of the hinged door?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY NICHOLAS View Post
    JP,
    Do you "Not want hinged doors" or just the "FRENCH" version of the hinged door?

    In my case we have an 8 foot slider and a 6 foot slider, to replace with *any* hinged swinging door would take up much current 'viewing space'.

    Besides, the 8 foot slider opens to a 4 foot opening and the 6 foot slider opens to a 3 foot opening, and, ... today they are both open to the screened rear porch.

    And there are no 'doors open' which get in the way of anything and take up floor space.

    Our front door is a very nice hinged swinging door with oval lite in it. I would not want a slider there, besides, that door is the 'required exit door' and therefore must be a hinged swinging door.

    I replaced the solid slab pocket door between the breakfast room and the laundry room with a 9 lite French style door which slide into the pocket.

    So I guess the answer is ... depends on where the door is located.

    All hinged doors take up floor space, some locations require hinged doors, French style doors exposed to the exterior are, as Scott pointed out, very prone to leaking and decaying out.

    Sliding French style doors offer the convenience of sliding glass doors, but when exposed to the outdoors they have the same problems as hinged French doors.

    Our sliders are protected from the outdoor weather by our screened rear porch, so weather exposure is not a concern there, but French style sliders would dramatically cut down on the viewing area, with the glass sliders, the screened rear porch 'looks like an extension of' the breakfast room and the living room, even with the sliders closed (no curtains, verticals or blinds on the sliders).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    In my case we have an 8 foot slider and a 6 foot slider, to replace with *any* hinged swinging door would take up much current 'viewing space'.
    JP: Not "any". I have seen some rather pricey hinged units that swivel, but you'd have to sell that fleet of Cats to afford them.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Not "any". I have seen some rather pricey hinged units that swivel,

    Aaron,

    But ... ??? ... to where do they swivel to?

    Sliders stack on alongside the other, do those swivel back up against the wall, in which case they would still take up floor space to allow for them to swivel back flush with the wall (that would take a track for them to swivel ... er ... slide in back to the wall).

    In some of the older homes in Coral Gables in South Florida, they had extended leaf hinges on those doors such that the doors could swing on a pivot point and be flush with the wall, but you still could not use that floor space.

    Or do you you mean they swivel as in one door is hinged to another door which is hinged, where the first door swings back to the second door which swings back to the wall? Still needs floor space, even if you stopped on where one door swings back to the other door ... that swinging action takes clear floor space.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    But ... ??? ... to where do they swivel to?
    JP: Out. They swivel out and against the exterior wall. Or, you can just put them in the center of the patio and twirl them around, like a large vertical paddle fan that uses no electricity. Think Green - and lots of it.

    Don't get nervous now, I know you're protective of the Fabulous Feline Fleet. Or is that Flotilla?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Out. They swivel out and against the exterior wall. Or, you can just put them in the center of the patio and twirl them around, like a large vertical paddle fan that uses no electricity. Think Green - and lots of it.

    Not thinking green (as in $$$), thinking of all that unusable floor space ...

    ... just like I was saying.

    I'll keep my sliding glass doors, thank you.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not thinking green (as in $$$), thinking of all that unusable floor space ...

    ... just like I was saying.

    I'll keep my sliding glass doors, thank you.
    JP: Save that money for cat food - GA$


  14. #14
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    Default Re: sliding patio door vs. swinging patio door

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Save that money for cat food - GA$
    They only like that "Premium" stuff anyway.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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