Patio doors

  Folding patio doors for stylish exterior doors  
  Patio doors can span wide entrances and let lots of natural light into a room  

Patio doors are usually fully glazed doors which lead to a garden, patio, or similar outside space. They are different from French doors because they operate by either a sliding or a folding function. 


Because of the way they operate, they have two or more door leaves, meaning they can be used for wider entrances than most other doors. They allow lots of light to be brought in from outside, making them a popular choice for darker rooms.Folding glazed doors from Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery  give you the option for up to eight doors, to really open up your outside space - perfect for summer.


Sliding patio doors 

  Sliding patio doors are glass doors, Probably the most common type of patio doors is a sliding door.  

Probably the most common type of patio door is a sliding door, although they are sometimes viewed as being old fashioned and are increasingly being replaced by folding doors. Most sliding patio doors have one static panel and a moving door leaf which slides back and forth across the static panel and uses the minimum amount of space to open. This means that only part of the doorway can be opened up. 


Some patio doors have more than one moving panel and may open by running on two or more parallel tracks so the doors stack against each other when they're open. You can also get a pocket door which opens into a cavity in the wall, but these are rare and mainly installed in new builds. 


Folding patio doors 

  Folding doors fold together to open an entrance. Patio doors can be folding doors or sliding doors  

Folding patio doors are often chosen because they usually allow more of the doorway to be opened up than most sliding doors. They are also a better choice for particularly wide entrances with multiple door leaves as they stack against each other at one side of the door frame rather than sliding across. 

  Folding patio doors are usually glass doors, Probably the most common type of patio doors is a sliding door, but folding sliding doors allow you to open up larger spaces  

Because they fold against each other as they open they don't require any static panels or wall space to slide across, which means they can be used to span the whole length of a wall. They can even be made to go around corners, allowing whole rooms to be opened up. 

      Folding patio doors for stylish exterior doors  

How is a patio door constructed?


Folding patio doors are glass doors, Probably the most common type of patio doors is a sliding door, but folding sliding doors allow you to open up larger spaces


A patio door consists of a large glass panel which is set in a frame, held with seals, to form a door leaf. They are usually supplied with all hardware already fitted. The glass can be either internally or external fitted and held with window beading, but internally fitted glass is often considered to be more secure. 


The glass used needs to meet certain regulations in terms of strength and insulation, as well as providing some noise reduction. Double glazing is common, but many other options are now available.


The glass is fitted into a frame with glazing bars and beading. These door leaves are then fitted with either a sliding door or folding door mechanism.


Sliding patio doors 

Sliding patio doors are mounted on rollers which move along a track. They will be mounted on rollers from below, as external doors are relatively heavy and can't be top-hung. The track is often recessed into the floor so that it doesn't create a significantly raised area on the door's threshold. 


The rollers use wheels or ball bearing to move across the track. The track is usually straight, but you can get curved tracks to accommodate rounded doors. A guide rail runs across the top of the door frame which holds the door in place from above. 


Folding doors

Folding patio doors  use hinges and tracks. Each door leaf is hinged to the next so they can fold against each other. The doors have pivot points at the top and bottom which run along parallel guide tracks as the door opens and closes. These pivots are either pins or rollers.

      Folding patio doors for stylish exterior doors  

What can patio doors be made of?


Patio doors lead to an outside space, so they need to be made to withstand the elements and provide adequate security, while matching the decor of your home.



  Glass is commonly used for folding patio doors, especially when they lead outside  

The main feature of patio doors is that they're fully glazed. This means that they bring in plenty of light from outside and can create the effect of the house opening into the garden, even when the doors are closed. 


The exact grade of glass you choose will depend on how exposed the door will be and your budget. Different grades of glass have different properties, but high-grade glass will be more expensive than standard glass. 


What can patio door frames be made of? 

  Patio doors can really open up your home to your garden  

The frames of patio doors affect the doors' properties and also influences the overall look of the door. Different materials can be used and they can also have different finishes, so various looks can be achieved. You can also used different materials on either side of the frame, as the internal frame does not need the same properties as the external frame. 


 wooden frames are a traditional material to use for patio doors



Wood is a traditional material in door construction and is usually considered to be the most attractive. If you have wooden window frames then wooden patio doors will match well. They require more maintenance than other frame materials, but they offer good insulation properties. 


The quality of the wood, and the exact nature of it will depend on the manufacturer of individual doors. Options usually include solid hardwood laminate and softwood, or engineered wood with a veneer which is made from a higher quality wood. The quality of the wood used will affect the price and properties of the frame, as well as the finishes which can be applied to it. 

      Folded patio doors made of Oak for classic style  

The advantages and disadvantages of wood

  Advantages and disadvantages of wood  




  • Looks attractive

  • Expensive natural wood veneers can easily be applied to cheaper face materials

  • Can be stained, or painted, and can come ready finished

  • Good insulation properties

  • Can be expensive

  • Requires more maintenance than other materials

  • Can be prone to warping and rot if it gets wet

  • Needs to be sealed on all edges

   uPVC frames are a popular choice for patio doors, they're inexpensive and require very little maintenance.  


uPVC is usually one of the cheapest options for patio door frames but it is fairly long lasting and requires very little maintenance. However, uPVC will not usually outlast other materials. uPVC doors come ready finished, which means they can’t usually be altered once fitted. 


uPVC doors are usually considered to be the least attractive, but if you have uPVC windows or siding they will match to give your home a uniform look. White is the standard colour but you can usually get other colours and woodgrain finishes, although these will be much more expensive. They provide good insulation properties. A uPVC cladding can be used on wood to protect it from the outside.


The advantages and disadvantages of uPVC 

  Advantages and disadvantages of uPVC  




  • Usually one of the cheapest options

  • Easy to maintain

  • Good thermal insulation 

  • Won't rot, peel or flake

  • Changing door hardware or the finish will be difficult or even impossible

  • uPVC will not last quite as long as most other materials

  • Extreme temperature shifts can cause it to crack

  • Not considered as attractive as other materials

      White primed folding patio doors for a stunning entrance  
   Aluminium can be a good choice for patio door frames  


Aluminium can be used for the whole frame or as a cladding to wood or other materials. It is a strong but lightweight material which should require very little maintenance. It's excellent strength usually means the frame can be especially thin, meaning the maximum amount of light gets into the home.


It’s not as naturally appealing as wood but is usually powder coated and available in a choice of colours. Aluminium frames require a thermal break to improve their insulation properties, otherwise this material would be a very poor insulator. 


The advantages and disadvantages of aluminium 

  Advantages and disadvantages of aluminium  




  • Tough and durable

  • Naturally rust resistant, and usually protected with an anodised finish

  • Lighter than steel and fibreglass

  • Available with various finishes

  • Doesn't dent easily

  • Won't look as elegant as natural wood

  • Can be prone to denting, especially on corners as aluminium welds are not as strong as steel ones

  • Can have weak weld joints

   Fibreglass doors can be produced in many colours  


Fibreglass or GRP (glass reinforced plastic) can be one of the most expensive frame materials, and is often used as a composite with other materials which combine to provide optimum properties. But the quality varies between manufacturers, and cheaper fibreglass doors will be much lower quality. 


It’s strong and durable, has excellent thermal properties and requires minimum maintenance. It’s available in a range of colours and can have a wood grain effect which can make it indistinguishable from natural wood.  


The advantages and disadvantages of fibreglass 

  Advantages and disadvantages of fibreglass  




  • Very durable and resists denting

  • Resistant to moisture and won't peel, swell, or warp

  • Requires very little maintenance

  • Available in many different colours and with various finishes, including wood grain

  • Excellent thermal insulation properties

  • Can crack under severe impact and is very difficult to repair

  • There is a big difference in the quality of individual fibreglass doors; high-quality fibreglass is expensive

  • Cheaper versions are painted, rather than having the colour all the way through them; this shows scratches

  • It won't be expected to last as long as a solid wooden door

   Steel is an option for replacement doors but is not considered to be particularly attractive  


Steel is not used commonly for patio doors as it’s heavy, and therefore, difficult to install. But it is very strong and durable. There are various treatments that can be used to protect the steel - each will affect the life expectancy and cost of the steel, with galvanised steel usually being the longest lasting.  


Steel is more likely to be used as a composite material, combined usually with wood, giving it extra strength. You will need to maintain steel a little more than some other materials, but not as much as wood. Regularly checking steel for damage or rust spots means it can be treated and protected from corrosion.


The advantages and disadvantages of steel

  Advantages and disadvantages of steel  




  • Won't warp or crack

  • Offers excellent protection against the elements and any rough treatment

  • Steel doors will be durable and long lasting

  • Can be painted in a choice of colours

  • Even when they are finished they won't be as attractive as natural wood 

  • Steel is heavy and can be difficult to install

  • Needs to have a thermal break to improve insulation properties

  • Can be prone to rust if it gets scratched and isn't repainted

  • Can dent and is difficult to repair

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