What do I need to consider when buying patio doors?

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Your new patio doors may be a straight replacement for worn or old existing doors. Or perhaps they’re part of a wider revamp of your double glazed windows and doors. Alternatively, you may be extending your home with a new area leading from kitchen or living room to your garden. Each circumstance is different, and will carry with it different specifications and requirements. Add to this any restrictions of the property and impact of material and thermal performance, and deciding on a new patio door can actually feel quite complicated. Here, we go through the different options and what they mean for your home.

Standard Patio Doors

What space do you have for your patio doors? Is it a wide space, a high space? Does it lead from a living room, kitchen or dining space? And does it open onto an expanse of patio, or a more shady diminutive garden yard? These elements of space and style tend to lend themselves to specific styles of standard patio door.

Sliding Doors

Sliding patio doors continue to be a popular external solution to the rear of a property. Styles and materials vary considerably, so there are options to suit a range of aesthetics and budgets. Sliding door options now include a more contemporary feel with many people choosing Crittal-style panelled sliding doors with aluminium frames. These are statement doors which give your space a unique and exotic look.

French Doors

Balconies, small patio spaces and cottage gardens will always benefit from period styles when it comes to external patio doors. French doors sit beautifully in spaces where a more gentle whimsical style is appropriate. Their narrow width doesn’t impose on the external space, and they are practical for daily access use.

Extra wide doors

If you have a bit of extra space, then use it! A wider door to the rear patio is a great way to maximise natural light in a smaller kitchen. When space is tight and you don’t have room for sliding doors, it’ll open the space out in the Summer. Plus, toughened glass technology now means that glass doors no longer compromise thermal performance or security.

The Bi-fold Door Trend

Bi-fold doors continue to be increasingly popular. They’re more flexible and easier to install than in days of old, so it’s easy to see why people like them. So what are the factors that keep bringing customers into the bi-fold? These doors offer a number of benefits to a home and how you use the indoor/outdoor space.

Natural Light

External bi-fold doors are often fitted across a large wall space, often forming part of a kitchen extension. With slim frames and large panes of glass, they increase the amount of natural light in your living space. This makes a pleasant and comfortable room in both Summer and Winter.

Low Maintenance

Similar to other window and door materials, bi-fold frames tend to be made with uPVC, timber replacement composite, or aluminium. Subsequently, bi-fold door frames themselves need very little maintenance. The door structure is also low maintenance. As the doors pivot rather than slide on runners, occasional lubrication will keep the mechanism fluid and protected against friction.

Flexible Use

Through recent years, we have been using our homes in different ways, demanding more flexibility. We combine living, working, and leisure within our homes and bi-fold doors fit well into this lifestyle. With an integrated hinged door, the structure allows quick access for daily use, while full opening combines your patio and kitchen for a large social living area.


Visually, bi-fold doors look great. You can select frames that tie in with the rest of your window scheme in a range of colours. By dispersing additional natural light, these doors bring a warmer aesthetic to a space and focus attention the outdoors.

Space Saving

Bi-fold doors are not just for large lofty spaces. They can be a space saving solution for smaller homes where floor and wall space is limited out to the patio.

Thermal Performance

Having so many glass panels between the inside and outside no longer compromises energy efficiency. In fact, double glazed bi-fold doors can even outperform traditional patio door designs in energy efficiency ratings.


The appearance and structure of your patio doors is just one element. These styles are available in different materials, which may effect the thermal and ongoing performance of a door. So, which are the key materials that you come across when you select new patio doors?


Toughened, engineered glass keeps external doors both thermally efficient and secure. This is because double glazed products contain an inert gas such as argon, which is heavier than the surrounding air. It’s incredibly effective at preventing heat transference, which maintains an ambient indoor temperature. For patio doors, you may want to explore tinted or low-e glass.


As an affordable and sustainable material, aluminium remains a popular choice for door frames. It’s anti corrosive and expected to last up to 45 years. Plus, you can choose any colour to powder coat the patio door frames. Aluminium framed doors perform extremely well in energy efficiency.


This material covers a huge range of products and budgets. From the basic white to other muted and neutral tones, the scope is broad. UPVC performs well in all of the areas required by building regulations. The material is energy efficient, has great soundproofing properties and is extremely secure. Alongside all this, there is no maintenance required.

Wood replacement

The highest spec of uPVC is found in a timber replacement system such as Residence 9. This range so accurately replicates the appearance of wooden doors that they are accepted by many planning authorities. The energy efficiency of these composite products tends to sit around a U-value of just 0.8. This means that thermal insulation is excellent.

Within each style and material of patio door, there are a range of specifications and budget options. At Bill Butters, we know that every home and project is unique. So we take time to explore the options that will complete your home and fulfil your needs. Just contact us to begin the conversation.