At Paradise Windows, we’re often asked about French doors compared with sliding patio doors, and the pros and cons of each. We know that deciding between these two types can initially feel slightly overwhelming.
There are benefits and potential challenges to both, and much depends on your home’s layout and style, what you need and the available space.
Here, we discuss both types of back door in detail to help you decide which model would best suit your property. Before you decide, take time to understand the differences and potential limitations of each design.
French doors typically overlook a garden or patio. They’re usually hinged double doors which mainly open outwards (although not always), and help break down the barriers between the inside and outdoors. When they’re open, you have full access to the whole width of the opening, creating a real feeling of light and space and this is ideal in particular for smaller properties and gardens. In style, shape and appearance, they’re clearly similar to French windows.
It’s true that you’re limited to having only two panels which open outwards, but you can have full or half-length glazed panels next to them for bigger areas.
And these models are highly versatile, with colours ranging from standard white to a rainbow of fashionable pastel shades. Equally, they’re available in an array of different materials, from uPVC to composite french doors or aluminium.
Sliding patio doors typically comprise two panels, one fixed and one mobile to slide open.
As with French doors, sliding patio doors come in a variety of colours and materials, such as uPVC and aluminium. You can also fit them on more than one side of your property, creating a seamless corner.
Compared with French models, they can be opened to create larger spaces, bringing plenty of light and air into your home. However, because one part of the door does not slide, you can’t access the whole width of the opening. That effectively means that half of the door is always blocking your space.
Nonetheless, they work very well for larger spaces and offer a great solution for stylish, modern properties, and can help open up your home to the outdoors. Meanwhile, today’s advanced technology means these models function better than ever.
If you’re looking to replace external doors, French doors could bring a number of benefits to your home, including:
French doors may not be right in every situation. Here are some things to think about:
For their part, popular sliding patio openings offer a number of benefits, many of which are the same as for French doors, including easy access, chic appearance, thermal efficiency and connection with the great outdoors. Here are some others:
Again, there are one or two of these, the main one being that they only slide open halfway, meaning that in smaller spaces, fully-opening French doors may provide greater insulation. Where space is severely restricted, you may find these units a less practical choice, since there may not enough room for the doors to slide open.
The main difference between sliding and French doors lies in the way each type opens: French doors open outwards via a hinge, while patio doors slide along a track and open to the side.
French doors are arguably more suited to heritage properties. Sliding patio doors, with their more modern appearance, often look ideal in contemporary homes.
Finally, if you have less room, French doors often provide the best solution. But if you have sheds of space and are keen to let in maximum light, sliding doors may well be the best home improvement.
At Paradise, we offer French and patio sliding doors in a range of colours, materials and styles, including composite french doors, uPVC sliding doors and french models. If you want a composite model with an upmarket feel, check out our models from Solidor, especially for a period property. Get in Touch today!