Hinged Vs Sliding Patio Doors for Your Home’s Needs

When it comes to choosing a patio door for any part of your home, there are a few templates that you might be considering. Two of the most well-known here, and which often serve as an “either/or” choice in this realm, are the hinged patio door and the sliding patio door.

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we’re proud to offer a huge selection of both interior and exterior doors to our clients, including high-end glass sliding doors and many other options. What are some of the differences between these two door types, what are the pros and cons of each, and how do you go about choosing between them? Here’s a basic primer.

hinged sliding patio doors

Basics on Hinged Patio Doors

As the name indicates, hinged patio doors are those that open on hinges like any other door in your home. There are typically two panels involved here, with one being stationary and the other opening outward (or inward, depending on how they’re hung).

There are a few different types of hinged patio door to consider if you’re going this route:

  • Single-hinged doors: Also known as French doors, these are the kind that typically have one stationary panel with another that opens outwards. These are known to be classic, sophisticated, and elegant, bringing an Old World charm to any home.
  • Double-hinged doors: Also called swinging or double French doors, these have two panels that both open outwards. These are great for larger doorways and can provide a real feeling of openness when you want to let some air and light into your home.
  • Folding doors: These hinged patio doors have multiple panels (usually at least four) that all fold up against each other when opened, much like accordion doors. These are a great option if you’re looking to really open up a space, as they can provide an unobstructed view and easy access.

Pros and Cons of Hinged Patio Doors

For those considering them, hinged patio doors have several major benefits associated with their use:

  • Full opening capability: One of the main advantages of hinged doors is that they can open up fully, giving you an unobstructed view and easy access to your patio or deck. This also helps anytime you need to move large items in or out of your home, as you won’t have to work around a fixed panel.
  • Better security: On the whole, hinged patio doors are also considered to be more secure than their sliding counterparts. This is because they’re more difficult to forced open from the outside, and they typically have stronger hardware overall.
  • Ease of repair: If anything does go wrong with a hinged door, it’s usually fairly easy to take care of. The hinges and other hardware are all readily accessible, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble making repairs as needed.

There are also a few potential drawbacks to be aware of before choosing hinged doors:

  • Size limitations: Because they need to swing open, hinged doors are typically limited in size. This can be an issue if you have a particularly large opening that you’re trying to cover.
  • Weather-related concerns: In areas with high winds, hinged doors can sometimes swing open on their own (or even get blown off entirely). If this is a concern in your area, it’s something to keep in mind.
  • Limited patio space: If you have limited space on your patio or deck, a hinged door may not be the best option. This is because they need room to swing open, so you’ll need to leave enough space clear around them to avoid any issues.

Basics on Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors, on the other hand, open by sliding along a track. These typically have two panels as well, with one panel fixed in place and the other able to slide open.

There are a few different types of sliding doors to choose from:

  • Basic sliding doors: These are the most common type of sliding patio door, and usually have two panels of equal size. One panel slides open to the side, revealing the fixed panel behind it.
  • Stacker doors: Also known as multi-slide doors, these have multiple panels that all slide open along a single track. These are great for larger openings and can really open up a space when you want to let some light and air in.

Pros and Cons of Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding doors are ideal for many settings, with several major benefits:

  • Contemporary and modern: For those looking for a more modern look, sliding doors are often the way to go. These can give your home a sleek and stylish look that hinged doors can’t always match.
  • Easy to open and close: Sliding doors are also very easy to open and close, especially if they’re equipped with the right handle. This can be helpful if you have young children or elderly family members who might have difficulty using a hinged door.
  • Space-saving: Sliding doors don’t need any extra space around them to open, which means they’re ideal for small patios and decks. This also makes them a great option if you have limited space in your yard overall.
  • Screening and ventilation: Most sliding doors, especially on patios, come with some type of screening. This can help keep bugs and other pests out of your home while still allowing you to enjoy the fresh air.

There are also a few potential drawbacks associated with sliding doors:

  • Security concerns: Because they slide open, it’s possible for someone to force them open from the outside if they’re not properly secured. This is something to keep in mind if you’re considering this type of door for your home, and you should be sure to secure them properly.
  • Weather-related concerns: In areas with high winds, sliding doors can sometimes be blown off their tracks. This is less of a concern with newer doors that are properly installed and secured, but it’s something to be aware of nonetheless.
  • Harder to clean: It can sometimes be difficult to clean the outside surface of a sliding door, especially if it’s in a hard-to-reach spot. This is something to keep in mind if you’re considering this type of door for your home.

For more on the choice between hinged and sliding patio doors, or to learn about any of our window or door options, speak to the team at Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors today.