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White sliding glass patio doors with traditional grille pattern on contemporary patio.
8 minutes

Types of Patio Doors

Choosing the right patio door for your home will help increase the value of your home and enhance its architectural appearance. Pella’s guide to patio door types will walk you through the benefits and options of each patio door.


Understanding the Different Patio Door Options

There are traditionally two types of patio doors: hinged and sliding. Both types of patio doors provide different benefits to your home. You’ll want to consider the space available near your patio door to determine which type is right for you. Hinged patio doors require more space, as they open by swinging in or out. Sliding patio doors allow for more functional space around your patio door, as they open by sliding on a track.

As a homeowner, you’ll also want to consider the placement of your patio door for security purposes. For example, hinged patio doors normally come with a deadbolt and may make a great option if your patio is near a busy street. Sliding patio doors have a different locking mechanism and may be a better option for a backyard view. Each type of patio door provides a different locking mechanism for peace of mind.

Hinged and French Patio Doors

Hinged patio doors, also known as French doors, are a classic patio door option. These doors consist of one or more panels and open by swinging in or out. When selecting your hinged patio door, you can choose from two operable doors, one operable door with one fixed door or a single operable door for a simplified look.

Pella's French and hinged patio doors are available in three different wood product lines. Select from Pella® Architect Series®, Pella Reserve or Pella Lifestyle Series patio doors to find the right fit for your home. For a truly custom look, the Pella Reserve line has many door combinations including a transoms or half-circle windows that can be added above your patio door. Choose from multiple grille patterns for the ability to create a style that is unique and modern. Pella® Lifestyle Series patio doors have the option to upgrade with accessible, integrated blinds and shades that are tucked in between panes of glass. Pella Lifestyle Series products are also exceptionally energy efficient and work to reduce noise pollution from the outside.

All of Pella's wood hinged patio doors are available to personalize with different interior and exterior finishes. Upgrade the hardware on Architect Series patio doors for a more custom look to match the style and finishes of your home.

Sliding Patio Doors

Homeowners love sliding patio doors for their ease of use, customizable style and affordability. Since sliding doors don't swing, you gain more usable space in your room, allowing for furniture to be placed near the door. This type of patio door is a great source of natural light and is easy to maintain.

Pella offers sliding glass doors in wood, fiberglass and vinyl to fit your home's needs and your budget. For wood sliding patio doors, Pella Architect Series and Pella Reserve products are great options. Both lines offer hardware upgrades and a variety of interior and exterior finishes. Pella Lifestyle Series products are also an option for wood sliding doors, with top-of-the-line performance features.

Fiberglass sliding patio doors are available through our Pella Impervia® product line. Pella Impervia fiberglass sliding patio doors are extremely strong and designed to withstand major temperature changes. They are made from the strongest, most durable material available for windows and patio doors.16

One of the more common options for sliding patio doors, vinyl is a versatile and energy-efficient material. Pella offers vinyl sliding patio doors in our Pella 350 Series, Pella 250 Series and Encompass by Pella product lines. Pella 350 Series products are our top-of-the-line vinyl option and stand up to the extremes. Pella 250 Series products are a good mid-range option for vinyl sliding patio doors with optional enhancements like built-in blinds and an integrated footbolt. For both energy-efficient and low-maintenance frames that never need painting, Encompass by Pella patio doors are a great solution for homeowners. Encompass by Pella is our most competitively priced option for vinyl sliding patio doors.

No matter the material you choose for your sliding patio doors, you can be assured you are getting a high-quality and long-lasting product for your home.

Multi-Slide Patio Doors

Choosing a multi-slide patio door from Pella means you'll be creating an expansive panoramic view and an elegant transition from indoors to out. Multi-slide patio doors are a great choice for homes that have a large deck or patio, as they help create a larger open space. Pella allows you to design your ideal view by mixing and matching panel configurations that move in different ways, with stacking options available for maximum airflow.

Multi-slide patio doors are available in wood on our Architect Series and Pella Reserve product lines. There are multiple configurations available — up to 10 panels wide — in stacking or pocketing applications. Add in a grille pattern to create an elegant look or opt for no grilles to get a more modern style and clean sightlines. Both multi-slide patio door product lines are ideally suited for cold, wet climates as they are able to protect from the elements thanks to EnduraClad® aluminum cladding.

Bifold Patio Doors

Bifold patio doors function differently than multi-slide patio doors. Bifold panel doors are multi-panel doors that are connected to slide and fold together when opened, similar to an accordion. Pella also offers a single swinging door option for easy, everyday access without having to open up all of the panels. When the weather is just right, bifold patio doors open up a space and allow light and fresh air into your home.

Bifold doors are available in wood on our Pella Reserve and Architect Series lines. Wood bifold doors can be customized with modern finishes, upgraded hardware and classic grille options — each to fit the needs of your home. Bifold doors also have a concealed dual-point lock system for added security and easy operation.

Whatever type of patio door you are interested in purchasing to enhance your home, Pella's team of experts are here to help you find the right option that fits your needs and your home's architectural style.

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