|A new Jeld-Wen Folding Door system works to open the indoor to the outdoor living space.|
The focus on outdoor living has become a solid trend that has quickly captured the attention and imagination of builders, remodelers, and product manufacturers as consumers continue to embrace the concept with enthusiasm.
The momentum of the trend has been reflected in recent design awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, as well as the NAHB Design Committee and Professional Builder magazine’s Best in American Living Awards.
The trend certainly has not escaped the notice of product manufacturers, who have been responding with a slew of new and innovative outdoor-related products like decking, outdoor fireplaces, and even solutions for doors.
Experts at Jeld-Wen  say that while outdoor living has become a major focus for homeowners, the opportunity is still knocking to create a truly inspired outdoor space by simply selecting the right patio door.
"The right door effectively bridges the gap between indoors and out, so we always advise people to consider their choices as carefully as they would any other aspect of their outdoor living space," says Rod Clark, who is Jeld-Wen’s product marketing manager. "By selecting the appropriate style and performance features, it's a decision that will pay off over the long run in many different ways."
What makes for a good patio door is a combination of personal taste as well as practical considerations, according to Clark.
|Jeld-Wen experts maintain that patio doors can provide a fresh approach to inspired outdoor living.|
"Patio door options are as personalized and varied as the number of outdoor spaces themselves," says Clark. "It pays to be choosy because the right door will help highlight and enhance outdoor living spaces, making them more useable and comfortable."
Some of the important factors that come into play include traffic flow and access, how best to play up natural elements such as light and fresh air, and take into account the desire for privacy and potential space restrictions. With this in mind, Jeld-Wen experts offer six key considerations for selecting the right patio door:
Tip 1: Get into the swing of it
Sliders and gliders work well for places where space is tight. Inswing, outswing and French doors need to allow for an appropriate amount of space to operate, but they can help maximize indoor outdoor access. Consider factors such as furniture and wall placement before determining which system is right for the space. Other options include a stationary panel with one operating inswing or outswing door.
Tip 2: Explore the great wide open
Wider doorways provide greater access and stronger connections to the outdoors. They can also become beautiful focal points, as demonstrated by Jeld-Wen's Folding Door system that can literally open up an entire wall and operates accordion style. Homeowners can choose systems to create an opening as wide as 48 feet. Jeld-Wen also offers a 90-degree option for its Folding Door system that meets in the corner, with no post required.
Tip 3: Take a fresh approach
Controlling ventilation and being able to bring in fresh air is also a benefit of indoor-outdoor living. Options include not only screens, but different entry door styles not typically thought of as a "standard" patio door, such as a Dutch door. This particular style is literally cut in half, allowing the top to operate independently from the bottom. Advantages include the ability to open up the top portion to allow for fresh air and a greater connection to the outdoors, while keeping the bottom half closed to help corral children and pets.
|Wider doorways provide greater access and stronger connections to the outdoors.|
Tip 4: Take panes to enhance privacy and protection
Glass is the main focal point for patio doors, and selecting the right type offers a number of benefits. Low-E glass helps lower energy bills all year and protects against UV fading. Decorative tempered glass can offer privacy, yet still allow for natural light. Jeld-Wen patio doors with optional ImpactGard® provide protection against severe weather as well as potential break-ins. Jeld-Wen vinyl patio doors are available with optional blinds between the glass to control light and views.
Tip 5: Make friends with low maintenance
Choosing the right materials can reduce time and money spent on ongoing maintenance. Vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum and wood clad patio doors weather well and don't need painting. For easy exterior glass cleaning, Jeld-Wen also offers Neat™ glass, which features a layer of titanium dioxide that reacts with the sun's UV rays (even on cloudy days) to break down and loosen dirt. A thin layer of silicon dioxide lets water disperse evenly and evaporate quickly, which greatly reduces spots.
Tip 6: Be materialistic
Different materials can offer certain style, performance and price advantages. Large glass lites in wood, fiberglass, steel and aluminum are options to consider. Patio doors in wood, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum can help achieve different goals when it comes to coordinating with various architectural styles.
The Jeld-Wen experts also maintain that selecting the right patio door helps create a more enjoyable and functional outdoor space, and it can make a big difference indoors as well.