What Are the Different Types of Patio Doors That Exist Today?

Patio doors serve the same purpose as a regular door — to separate one area of your home from another. But these doors are more than that, they take indoor-outdoor living to a whole new level.

They’re a fantastic feature if you want to increase the usability of your house’s one exterior wall. If you’re still on the fence about installing patio doors, perhaps reading about the different types of existing patio doors will sway you.

These doors come in a number of varieties to suit just about any taste. Keep reading and find out the different types of patio doors.

Patio Door Opening Formats

Patio door opening formats refer to the various ways the door can be opened. There are a variety of styles and configurations that can be chosen to best suit the patio or balcony area. These various formats are available to suit any space or need, making patio doors a versatile choice when considering the design of outdoor spaces.

Hinged or French Patio Doors

Hinged patio doors offer two popular opening formats, the swing, and the in-swing. The swing format allows either door of the hinged patio doors to open outward, while the in-swing format allows one of the doors to open towards the interior of the house.

The type of format you choose when considering French patio doors can vary based on many factors, including the space available, the exterior landscape, and your desired level of security. The swing format may be the preferred option for those wanting a more open atmosphere both inside and outside. The in-swing format is best for restricting the entry point and providing an extra layer of privacy.

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors are a popular choice due to their ergonomic design, energy efficiency, and overall aesthetic appeal. These types of patio doors come in a variety of opening formats, with the most popular being a two-panel sliding patio door, which has two larger panels running in opposite directions, making it easy to open and close.

Multi-slide pocket doors are also gaining popularity, as they can slide back into a pocket, lending to a more uninterrupted view when open.

Lift-and-slide doors offer a unique design with panel options to meet any sized opening, as one side panel features a raised track, which offers easy operation even with a heavier panel.

Lastly, folding patio doors are ideal for large openings, as the panels fold over each other and can be opened in one or both directions depending on the style.

Multi-Slide Patio Doors

Multi-slide patio doors are a type of door that is made up of multiple panels which move in line with each other and slide open. They come in a range of popular opening formats, from single sliding panels to double, triple, and quad sliding panels.

Single sliding panels are great for smaller spaces and make the most of the available space. Double sliding panels offer great flexibility and are perfect for larger patios, allowing two separate operable panels.

Triple sliding panels offer the most versatility, allowing for the central panel to move in either direction, with the side panels staying still. Quad sliding panels predominantly come as two sets of double sliding panels which open in either direction, perfect for large patios that need to be used often.

Whatever your needs are, as a smart homeowner, you can be sure that a multi-slide patio door will have the perfect opening format to fit your needs.

Bifold Patio Doors

Bifold patio doors have 2, 3, or 4 folding panels. These panels are hinged together so the door can be opened, folded, and stored along one side of the doorframe. This leaves your patio or deck open for use.

Determining the opening format will depend on the available space and your desired configuration. A single-opening door allows for a single entrance, whereas a double opening allows access from both ends. Folding doors are available with left or right configurations or with an inward or outward opening.

Patio Door Materials

Patio doors come in a variety of materials, each with its own set of advantages. The best patio doors will depend on the homeowner’s budget, design style, and local climate.


Vinyl is strong and doesn’t corrode or rot, so you don’t have to worry about it in humid climates. Vinyl is also flame-resistant, which is a great safety feature, and the vinyl frames can be produced in a variety of colors, allowing for great flexibility in design. Vinyl does not require painting, making it less of an expense for homeowners in the long run.


Fiberglass is an increasingly popular material for patio doors, as it is both durable and attractive. This lightweight material is extremely resistant to corrosion and weathering, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use. Compared to materials such as wood and aluminum, fiberglass is more resistant to heat and cold and will not warp or expand in varying temperatures.


Wood patio doors can be made from a variety of different types of wood, including pine, cedar, and redwood, which can offer different levels of protection from the weather. A wood patio door will also be easy to customize, with the option to stain, paint, or even replace individual side panels. However, while they are extremely decorative and durable, they can be susceptible to warping and rotting if exposed to harsh weather or if not regularly maintained.

Aluminum or Steel

Steel is a heavier and more durable material, making it ideal for providing strength and added weather protection. However, because it is heavier, steel may take more effort to open and close.

Aluminum, on the other hand, is a lighter material that doesn’t need as much effort to move. It also costs less than steel. However, when exposed to harsh weather, aluminum can corrode or dent more easily than steel.

Generally, both types of patio door materials should last for several years if insulated and maintained properly.

If you are planning to install patio doors, check out Renewal by Andersen door replacement for better results.

The Different Types of Patio Doors That Exist Today

Patio doors are a great addition to any home and can provide an easily accessible entrance to the outdoors. There are many types of patio doors that vary in material, opening style, and design, so there is an option to fit every residential patio. If you’re thinking of adding a patio door, do your research to find the one that is right for you!

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