Published at Sunday, September 24th 2017. by Romaine in Patio Doors.
Generally, timber frames are considered more traditional and can look beautiful! Hard wood such as oak is, as the name suggests, far more hard-wearing than a soft wood such as pine. Weather, especially strong sun, can take its toll on timber frames which could need to be varnished or painted annually. Wooden frames can swell and shrink with humidity, therefore opening and closing doors can require force and gaps can allow draughts in colder temperatures.
Most people are familiar with the sliding glass patio doors. Usually, this is two doors with big, open space windows that allow a lot of light into the home. The doors use a sliding track system that has little round discs sitting inside a mechanism providing traction. Sliding glass doors made out of wood can be plain or very dramatic in design. It really depends on what you envision for your particular home decor.
Some manufactures offer optional extras, such as tinted glass, anti-sun, laminated, obscured glass and Argon-filled double-glazing. It is also possible to match existing period features by specifying Georgian bar or leaded-light in rectangular or diamond style. An innovative option is switchable privacy glass which enables molecules inside the double-glazing to become transparent or opaque at the press of a button; this is expensive, though, typically doubling the original price of good quality patio doors.
Sight lines is the term used to describe the interruptions in the view through the doors; in other words, the width of the vertical opaque areas between the glass when the doors are closed. On hinged doors, such as French doors and bi folding doors, timber and pvc frames generally have broad sight lines because, unlike aluminium, narrower frames would not be strong enough to be fit for purpose. As a guide to the width of two frames together, cheaper pvc door frames can exceed 200mm, aluminium frames are typically between 135mm and 160mm and frameless patio doors sight lines are under 40mm. Depending on the width of each door and number of doors to be installed, the difference in glass to frame ratio could be significant.
Patio doors may be constructed from a broad spectrum of materials. These include glass which is the most common choice, and which may be incorporated as a solid panel or in a multitude of small panels which are set within a frame. If you reside in colder climates, you may consider having your glass double paned, insulated or specially treated such that its able to trap the heat inside your home. Alternatively, you could go for doors made from aluminum and vinyl, which tend to be cheaper options ideal for those working with a tight budget. You should however keep in mind that you get what you pay for and should therefore not expect aluminum or vinyl doors to wear as well as the glass patio doors.
Because slide-and-pivot doors have no hinges, there is no requirement for a sturdy side frame; its only purpose is to cover the gasket that seals the double glazed unit. This means that the views afforded through the expanse of patio doors have minimal interruptions. At the time of writing, there are two versions of frame-less glass doors available in the UK, both using the slide-and-pivot technique: one manufacturer supplies their frameless glass doors with kite-marked double glazed units which have a visible seal, the other uses an almost transparent method of sealing their double glazing. Contemporary by design, the absence of visible characteristics makes frameless glass doors a viable option for period properties.