The Homeowners Patio Door Buying Guide

February 2024

The Homeowners Patio Door Buying Guide

February 2024

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Special Patio Door Feature Part 1. Look out for Part 2 coming up!

Are you ready to make a big statement in your home’s design by choosing the right patio door? The perfect patio door for your home will complement your home’s architectural style and help to define your outdoor living space. What type of patio door you use depends on your home’s design, and your lifestyle. There are several factors that have to be considered when choosing a patio door. If you’re uncertain about the type of door you want, this guide may help you make the right decision. We’ve compiled the top tips and knowledge trends for homeowners ready to purchase a new patio door.

Key Signs it is Time to Replace a Patio Door

• Old, single-pane glass
• Moisture damage and rotting wood
• Noticeable air leaks
• Cracks in your sashes and sills
• Condensation or fogging between glass panes
• Excessive noise from outside
• Zero functionality: door does not open or close easily
• Door does not lock properly
• You are using a stick to lock the door side panel because bumper is broken.

Choosing Patio Doors for Your Home

Whether you have a specific look in mind or you want to make your patio door a focal point, you need to know your options. Your patio door should fit the style of the room, your budget, the functionality of the space and improve the overall appearance of the room. If you are thinking about putting your house on the market in the coming years, it is recommended that you choose a door that is timeless so that it appeals to future home buyers as well. By selecting a door that is durable and appealing to a variety of decorating styles, you should notice a large improvement in the value of your home.

Determine which Patio Door Material is Best for you.

Patio doors are available in vinyl, wood, fiberglass and aluminum and can be customized to fit your home’s architectural style. The right patio door can help to create an inviting space to bring the outdoors in or create a seamless transition between your interior and exterior living spaces.

Choose a material that’s durable and requires little or no maintenance. Wood is expensive and will require regular maintenance. It may not be the best option especially in harsh climates. While steel doors are more secure and durable, they may require maintenance in moist climates.

Vinyl and fiberglass are both more long lasting when compared to other traditional patio door materials, but which of the two is better? Fibreglass patio doors are reinforced via glass fibers, which can add durability and strength to the patio door structure. However, fibreglass is not as well equipped for extreme weather conditions, which can make them a questionable choice in certain Canadian climates. In more moderate climates, a fibreglass patio door is likely to outlive it’s’ patio door counterpart by a few years, but a well built vinyl door can be equally as effective. Vinyl can withstand extreme frigid temperatures, and is not known to lose structural integrity due to cracking from extreme climates. Patio doors made from vinyl are energy efficient, durable and can withstand harsh weather.

Patio Door Colour Options

Ensure that the material you’ve chosen matches or complements the color scheme in your home. For example, a vinyl door with a wood siding would look mismatched. A fiberglass door could do the trick because it complements the wood siding.

The colour on vinyl patio doors is co-extruded, which results in a more vibrant and durable colour finish. Extruded colours on vinyl patio doors will not peel or chip, unlike fiberglass or other material. You may find more colour options with fibreglass patio doors, but if durability/longevity is a priority for you, this may come at the cost of those colour options.

Know your Space: Choose the correct Patio Door Style

There are two primary patio door types to choose from and these relate to the way the door opens and closes.

Swinging Patio Doors are also referred to as hinged patio doors. They feature full glass panels and frequently hung in pairs. The doors are hinged to a central mullion and open like a butterfly’s wings. Another type of a hinged door is the French door, which features hinges at the side jambs; the panels meet as you close the door. The latch features an astragal fixed to one of the doors.

Sliding Patio Doors are popular and ideal for small spaces. These doors are also referred to as gliding or bypass doors; they let in a lot of natural light and last longer. Sliding panels are incorporated with panels to create a wide continuous surface of glass. The glass panels slide parallel to the wall so it will not interfere with walking space and furniture.

Energy Efficient Patio Doors for Canada

Toronto’s climate is modified by its proximity to Lake Ontario. It mainly experiences warm, humid summer and cold winters. In such a location, you need an energy efficient patio door to conserve more energy. This will save you more money reducing utility costs while increasing energy efficiency. You can choose a patio door design, which features a double pane glass or thermally insulated panes. Ensure that the weather stripping on the doors is of high quality to prevent airflow.

Both fibreglass and vinyl patio door have hollow cavities which can be filled with insulation. This feature is highly important in slowing the transmission of outside temperatures to inside the home, thus making them more energy efficient. Fibreglass patio doors have the reputation of being the more energy efficient option; this can be true when comparing fiberglass and vinyl patio doors of moderate quality. However, well made and high-quality vinyl patio doors are superior in terms of energy efficiency to fiberglass. The secret to buying high-quality and energy efficient vinyl patio doors? Make sure that they are Energy Star certified; a vinyl patio door with this distinction will easily outperform a fibreglass patio door with conserving energy and saving you the form of home heating and cooling costs.

Energy Efficiency and U-factor Range for Patio Doors.

When measuring the energy efficiency of a patio door, you will want to know the level of insulation it provides you with. This is done by measuring the U-factor which ascertains how much heat is transferred through a door. The lower the U-factor, the better the resistance to heat flow in and out of the door. This means you get a better quality door. The values for U-factor range between 0.25 and 1.25. The optimal measure for your vinyl patio door will depend on your location.

The cold Canadian climate requires heat to be retained in a home. In such cases, a U-factor of 0.29 or less is ideal for patio doors. If you have skylights in your home, then 0.55 would be the ideal level to look at. If you do not depend extensively on air-conditioning, you will want your patio doors to retain some of the heat of the sun during the day. In such cases, 0.32 U-factor is good.

LoĒ-180ESC™ Glass Made for Energy Star® 2020 Requirements in Canada

When the weather turns bitterly cold in Canada, LoĒ-180ESC™ glass is a warm welcome to any home. LoĒ-180ESC™ is an updated version of LoĒ-180 glass and is designed to help meet the 2020 performance requirements for Energy Star® Canada. With a glass U-Factor of just 0.26 and an SHGC of 0.42, LoĒ-180ESC™ is the ideal product for passive solar applications in Canada.

Shopping For “Made In Canada” Vinyl Patio Doors

Purchasing vinyl patio doors that are Made in Canada have a plethora of added benefits, but what does “Made in Canada” entail? The guidelines for a “Made in Canada” label means that a window must have at least 70% of its production process done within the country. The product must also have had it’s last substantial transformation occur within Canada. What does this mean for you? This means that you are buying products that are designed to suit Canadian standards and lifestyles, made by experts in the field: other Canadians! At Window City, for example, we extrude our own vinyl from raw material for in-house production by our team of highly skilled engineers. Our vinyl patio doors are sealed units that can stand up against the toughest of Canadian Winters. We also support local businesses ourselves by providing business opportunities to local contractors, builders, renovators, and dealers.

In Conclusion

Patio doors can quickly become a substantial investment. For this reason, and to ensure you maximize the return on your patio door investment, you need to know what to look for. Investing in a quality product will save you time and money. Are you ready to upgrade your existing patio doors or select new patio doors for your new build? Contact Window City and find out more about Canadian-made patio doors, and see the difference for yourself.

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