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Pella Lifestyle Series wood sliding patio door living room
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Hinged Patio Doors vs. Sliding Patio Doors

Both hinged and sliding patio doors can create a functional and beautiful access point between your home and patio. But each type of patio door has different features to consider.


Patio doors create a convenient entryway between your indoor and outdoor living spaces. The differences that distinguish hinged and sliding types of patio doors are important to consider when shopping for a new or replacement patio door to complement your space.

With the right information about each offering, you can transform the look and function of your room. Read on for more information about what separates hinged and sliding patio doors.

Open Up Your Home with Hinged Patio Doors

Sophistication is often the aim when a homeowner opts for hinged patio doors. They are a classic choice. Functionally, hinged patio doors stand apart from sliding patio doors because they are hinged at the sides and can either swing in or out, depending on what works best for your space.

Pella® Architect Series® patio doors can be tailored to accommodate a variety of styles. Exquisitely crafted, our hinged patio doors can complement a more traditional architectural design. If you are interested in something more contemporary, there are several modern color choices along with an assorted collection of minimalist hardware to complete the look.

In terms of function, hinged patio doors from Pella come in two different styles: either two operable doors that swing open from the sides, or a single hinged door.

Single Hinged Patio Doors

Simple elegance is a hallmark of a single hinged patio door. It is one door panel and can provide a more formal entrance, often linking to a deck or even a sunroom. You may see it paired with large windows to create the appearance of a wall of glass. Single hinged patio doors are frequently found in spaces with less wall space. They can be customized with additional features to add character to your home’s design.

Available door combinations include a single hinged door with a left or right sidelight, or both. Transom windows can be placed above the door regardless of what type of sidelight you choose.

Double Hinged Patio Doors

If one is not enough, double hinged doors are the answer. This style features two panels that swing open from the center and are typically referred to as French patio doors.

There is a degree of versatility to double hinged patio doors, as they can make a dramatic statement in your home, regardless of whether your style is contemporary or traditional. With French patio doors you have the option of an in-swing if you want the doors to open into a room. An out-swing option works well when the double patio doors lead out onto to a patio or deck.

Folding Patio Doors

We have covered single and double hinged patio doors, but there is another type of hinged patio door that could be what your home needs — bifold patio doors.

Pella’s bifold patio doors are coveted for their efficiency, functionality and durability. These multi-panel doors fold and stack neatly to the side, giving you more space and creating a completely blended environment between your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces.

Save Space with Sliding Patio Doors

If hinged patio doors are the more traditional option, sliding patio doors are a contemporary touch. True to their name, sliding patio doors slide open on a track. They are made up of two panels of glass, one stationary and the other able to slide open and closed.

This is what makes sliding patio doors a great space-saving choice for smaller rooms. However, if you have additional space to work with, you can always add an extra panel or two to expand the opening.

Another advantage of sliding patio doors is that most homeowners will also include a sliding screen. Screen doors allow you to let the breeze in and keep the bugs out.

Sliding French Patio Doors

One variation of sliding patio doors that you don’t see quite as often is the sliding French patio door. It is a unique blend of two different styles, with the save-spacing convenience of a sliding door and the fine detailing of a hinged patio door.

Sliding French patio doors capture the elegant and luxurious look of a double hinged patio door with a more contemporary design that takes up less space. These doors have the look of a French door with wider stiles and rails, but functions as a sliding glass door.

Multi-slide Patio Doors

Invite the outdoors in — and the indoors out with multi-slide patio doors. 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.

Expansive panels slide open easily and intuitively, stacking against each other or tucking away out of sight into a wall pocket. Door panels can travel to one side or part in the middle. Add extra versatility and enter or exit at either end of your door with Pella's dual-vent option.

Hinged Patio Doors vs. Sliding Patio Doors

Hinged patio doors are generally more popular in homes with a traditional architectural style and sliding patio doors are a modern staple and especially popular in homes with less space.

Both sliding and hinged patio doors provide their own unique benefits, but it ultimately comes down to choosing the patio door that complements your home’s architectural style, décor and functionality. Only you can decide what works best for you and your home.

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