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Patio Doors: Should Your Doors Slide or Swing Open?

When buying glazed patio doors, operability is a prime consideration. Most units either glide or swing open, and affect the way the space works differently. Which kind of patio door system is right for your home? Here are the most important factors to think about:

Patio Doors Should Your Doors Slide or Swing Open

Style Requirements

Patio door experts, including Renewal by Andersen® of Montana, would say that most traditional homes use classic, swinging French door systems. Such doors feature wide-board stile-and-rail construction with mortise-and-tenon joints, channeling the charm of the original French doors. These doors come in multiple grille patterns to accentuate the distinctive character of the home they serve.

On the other hand, gliding doors usually blend in with contemporary home designs better. They utilize narrow framing to provide more glass. In turn, they capture large views, admit more sunlight and create a more seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

Space Restrictions

The biggest advantage of sliding doors over hinged ones is their space-saving format. Their operating panels glide smoothly horizontally, and don’t interfere with adjacent areas. In contrast, swinging doors need room to operate. Fortunately, they can either swing inward or outward to suit the layout of your home.

Access Needs

As hinged doors open completely, they make the entire opening available for access. The same can’t be said about gliding doors because they only make 50% of the door opening accessible at most. Then again, choosing the right configuration can increase the amount of access gliding door systems can provide. For instance, a four-panel, sliding door configuration can allow the passage of heavy traffic and bulky furniture.

Security Concerns

Guarding the primary entry point to your home, choose replacement patio doors with security in mind. Generally, hinged units edge sliding ones in this department because the latter have a history of having simple latches that are rather easy to pick.

Thanks to modern technology, gliding door systems are now equipped with sophisticated locking systems for greater impregnability. Plus, they can come with optional locks to add another measure of security.

At Renewal by Andersen of Montana, we offer different patio door models to meet your unique home-improvement needs. To get the best of swinging and gliding doors, we recommend our Frenchwood® gliding door system. It looks iconic but it also features contemporary design and innovative features.

Learn more about our patio door systems, and their vast array of customization options. Call us at (406) 259-3944 today to schedule your FREE, in-home consultation at your most convenient date and time.


"I highly recommend Renewal by Andersen. We were treated well and everything went smoothly from start to finish. The company kept in contact with me before, during, and after the installation and let me know what to expect. I'm in love with my new windows! I will be using this company again when we refinish our basement. "

July, 21

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