Dreaming of a new patio door for your home? Learn the difference between sliding and hinged patio doors to determine which features will work best in your unique space.

What’s Your Patio Door Style: Sliding or Hinged?

Accessing your patio or deck from the interior of your home not only needs to be functional, but beautiful! However, choosing which patio door style is best for your home can be a challenge. If you’re like most homeowners, getting started is half the battle. Learn the difference between sliding and hinged patio doors to determine which features will perform best in your unique space.

Choosing a style that compliments your space can transform the look and function of your room. Not only can it add much needed light to make the inside of your home appear bigger and brighter, but a patio door can also provide a seamless connection between your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Here’s what you need to know:

Sliding patio doors

The great thing about sliding patio doors is that they don’t swing open — a great space saving choice for smaller rooms.

A sliding patio door includes at least two panels of glass — one stationary and another that slides open on a track. Some sliding patio doors come in two frame styles: Contemporary, which uses a narrow frame on all four sides of each panel; and French, which is wider across the bottom of the frame for a more traditional look. And, if you have the space to make a big statement, think about adding an extra panel or two to expand the opening. This will allow for more natural light to fill the room.

Another plus is that sliding patio doors typically come with a sliding screen door. This means you can let the breeze in, and keep the bugs out!

Hinged patio doors

Hinged patio doors add classic elegance to any room and are perfect for creating a transition between your indoor and outdoor living space.

As you might have guessed, hinged patio doors include one or two panels. Most hinged doors give you the option of swinging in or out. Hinged doors with two panels swing open from the center and are typically referred to as French doors. Just like sliding patio doors, some hinged doors are available in two frame styles: Contemporary or French. And there are additional ways to incorporate multiple panels by mixing hinged and/or fixed panels to maximize natural light and air flow.

Which style is better?

Both sliding and hinged patio doors provide their own unique benefits, but it all comes down to choosing the patio door that compliments your home’s architectural style, décor and functionality. When making a final decision keep in mind the size of your space and your budget, too! Smaller spaces are best complimented by sliding doors; while hinged doors work best in bigger, more spacious rooms.