What You Need To Know About Patio Doors

March 29, 2024

Spring has sprung, and you may be taking a more critical look at your home in the light of stronger sun rays and warmer weather. Even if you can’t swing a large-scale renovation, investing in new patio door installation in your Cleveland home could be an easy and affordable way to upgrade your surroundings. Fairview Home Improvement is your source for Cleveland home improvement expertise, and we’re here to talk about patio doors–all you ever needed or wanted to know!

How To Pick A Patio Door

The first thing to consider when looking for the ideal entry door for your home is to pin down what you need from this door. Of course it should mesh well with your home’s existing style and color scheme. But you may also want a patio door that offers greater insulative properties or higher levels of UV protection for your indoor environment. You may want a door with windows and detailed trim, or perhaps a simpler facade with a more streamlined design works better. Privacy and safety are also considerations, from door material to built-in, internal blinds and available locking options. 

Decide on your budget and then work with a local Cleveland home improvement contractor to find dimensions and the best and most important features to include when deciding on your new patio door. These might include whether it swings in or out, ensuring you have adequate clearance, and taking into account how it fits in with your outdoor living space. Choose from sliding, French, and folding patio doors in durable but stylish fiberglass and steel.

When Should You Replace a Patio Door?

Patio doors can offer sweeping vistas that allow you to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your couch. They can also provide easy and convenient access between indoor and outdoor living spaces and bring plenty of natural light into your home. But in spite of all these advantages, if your patio door has outlived its lifespan, it can start to become more of a pain than an advantage. Here are some signs to look out for that could mean it’s time to think about patio door replacement:

  • Difficult Operation: A door’s job is to open and close–if it starts to become problematic for it to easily handle this task, it’s time to think about replacement. Exposure to UV rays and other elements can warp or crack materials over time, and a breakdown of key components in the door can make it a struggle to easily open and close.
  • Climate Extremes: Excessive heat or cold temperatures could be an indication that your patio door is no longer helping to protect indoor living spaces from outdoor extremes. Seals on your door could have hardened and receded over time, leading to cracks that allow cold drafts in your home in winter, and let air conditioned air out during summer. If energy costs are also going up without an easy explanation, the failing door seals or glass that doesn’t have UV protection could be part of the problem. 
  • Obvious Damage: If you’re seeing clearly visible cracks or gaps around your patio doors, it could be time for replacement. Snow and rain can easily get into those openings, leading to extensive structural and flooring damage over time. Older wooden doors may start to chip, peel, or blister if water has already infiltrated and they are starting to deteriorate from within. Mold, mildew, and visible ice along the glass seal or the bottom of the door is another clear sign that the door is no longer doing its job.
  • Compromised Glass: Condensation and fogginess between glass panes can be a sign that seals have broken down and that the glass panes are no longer serving to help insulate your home. And if you live in an area prone to extreme weather events, or have a busy family, keep an eye out for physical damage and consider replacing your patio door with impact-resistant glass.
  • Malfunctioning Lock: If the locking mechanism on your door can no longer be trusted and you’ve resorted to using a broomstick or piece of pipe to ensure no one opens your patio door without an invitation, it could be time to think about replacement. Your family’s safety is a top priority, and knowing that a patio door contributes to your household’s security is key.
  • Outdated Design: One easy way to modernize your home is to update your exterior doors. Besides, if a door is looking past its prime, it likely has already outlived its projected lifespan.

If you feel like your patio door has seen better days, your local Cleveland home improvement specialists are ready to help you find the ideal exterior door for your specific needs that will complement your home and surroundings.

Patio Door FAQs

Maybe you’re not sold on total patio door replacement and you have some lingering questions. Let’s dig in and get some answers!

Can patio door locks be replaced?

Sliding patio doors often use steel mortise locks that are built right into a pocket in the door, and there are a wide variety of specific models of locks to choose from. It takes an expert’s know-how to choose the right lock to ensure easy and reliable operation and determine whether the lock for your door is still being produced or available. If your patio door has hardware that more closely resembles interior door handles, these may be easier to replace with more reliable results.

Can patio door glass be replaced?

It is generally possible to replace glass panes on patio doors. However, if your current patio door features a single glass pane and you’d like to upgrade to the recommended double pane construction for better insulation and UV protection, you’ll need to consult with your local Cleveland home improvement experts to determine if that’s a possibility in your case. Inquire about available features, like security glass, tinted glass, or energy efficient glass panes and whether a replacement patio door would be a more affordable option in the long run.

Can patio door rollers be replaced?

The short answer is yes, they can be replaced, but this is a job that requires finesse. Too much force and the door may be damaged when it is removed from the frame. This is a job best handled by an experienced home improvement contractor. They'll be able to get to the bottom of the issue as to why the door doesn’t easily slide, which could point to poor installation, settling over time that has made the door unlevel in the track, or damage to the rollers themselves. Repeated use over long periods of time can also cause wear and tear that are best resolved by patio door replacement. The removal, repair, and replacement process is a tedious one that’s safest and easiest for a professional to tackle.

Can patio door frames be painted?

While some patio door finishes are easily repainted, others don’t take to a new coat of paint as well. It can generally be done, but it’s best to check with the manufacturer to ensure that painting the frames does not void your warranty. You’ll also want to know which type of paint will best adhere to the materials your door is made of, and which tools will allow you to achieve the best finish. This can be a project that sounds easy but is actually quite complex once you get into it, and you may want to rely on a trusted professional to evaluate the state of your doors and recommend repainting or replacement.

Can a patio door be removed?

Generally, yes, a patio door can be removed. The process takes some strength, skill, and often more than one person to prevent damage to the door in the process.

Can a patio door be repaired?

It depends on what the repair is and the state of the door overall. If the door is older and in rough shape, a repair may only delay the inevitable and you may find yourself needing to replace it in a short time anyway. If it is older and standard sizes have shifted since the original installation, it may be less trouble to opt for a total replacement.

Professional Patio Entry Door Installation in Cleveland, Ohio

So you’ve decided that your home’s patio door needs an overhaul. Maybe you’re first considering repair to several elements, but find out that parts are no longer available or that the total cost of all needed repairs is more than you wanted to spend. It might be a better idea to get in touch with your local Cleveland home improvement experts at Fairview Home Improvement and schedule a free consultation to evaluate the situation. We specialize in an array of home improvement services, including entry door installation in Cleveland homes, and patio enclosures for Cleveland homeowners. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and to talk about your specific patio door questions.

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