unique patio doors exterior hinged patio door single panel

Unique Patio Doors

Six unique patio door styles featuring multiple slides and folds.

Adding the right patio door can upgrade your home’s design and functionality by making the inside of your home appear bigger and brighter and providing a seamless connection between all living spaces.

If you’ve recently updated your home’s interior design, replacing your patio door can also help complete the look.

Wondering what style is best for your home? Here, we’ll discuss the differences between sliding and hinged patio doors to help you determine which features will perform best in your unique patio space.

Exterior shot of a patio door back porch home dusk

Photo by Nat Rea Photography

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.

Bifold patio door open

Bifold Doors

These spacious, multi-panel doors fold and stack neatly to the side to give your home the space you need while creating a completely blended environment between your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Folding door panels can travel to one side or part in the middle, so you can customize them to the functionality that works best for your home.

Architect Series hinged patio doors closed no grilles

Shop Architect Series patio doors

French/Double Doors

Whether you call them French doors or double doors, this patio door style is classic, luxurious and beautiful. If you want the doors to open into a room, choose an in-swing. The more popular choice for French patio doors is an out-swing, where the doors can open up to the patio.

Sliding Patio doors open two panel

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.

  • Classic Sliding Door: 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!
  • Multi Slide Doors: Pella Scenescape™ multi-slide patio doors invite the outdoors in – and the indoors out. Expansive panels slide open easily and intuitively, stacking against each other or tucking away out of sight into a wall pocket to expand your living space right to the patio.

This article was written by

Kolbie Creger, Social Media Specialist

An Instagram enthusiast and tiny house fanatic, Kolbie is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on social media and brand strategy. In true Iowa fashion, her free time varies by season. You can find her in the gym coaching high school basketball throughout the winter, attempting to roller blade through downtown Des Moines in the spring, and sipping iced coffee on the back of a boat every other chance she gets.

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