Patio Door Options: Bifold Doors, Sliding Patio Doors, & French Doors

May 23, 2017

With all of the choices available today, how do you figure out which patio door style is right for your home.  That is a great question!!  Lets look at some of the options along with the some helpful tips for each style. 


Hinged Patio Doors

Hinged Patio Doors are the most traditional option for a patio door.  They provide a timeless and classic appearance.  

Hinged patio doors include:

  • French Doors- Both doors open
  • Atrium Doors-Looks like a french door but only one panel opens,  hinges are located in the center of the door between the two panels (the functioning panel generally swings open into the stationary panel)
  • Single Swinging Doors- Single entry door 



Example of a french patio door 

*DESIGN TIP:  One consideration to think about with hinged patio doors is whether you want them to swing in or out (swing into the house or swing to the outside).  Furniture placement usually dictates which direction your patio doors will swing, however this is definitely something to discuss prior to making your decision. 




Sliding Patio Doors


Sliding Patio Doors have really gained popularity in recent years.  These doors are available in two different design styles:

  • Sliding Patio- This option offers more glass and more narrow stiles & rails (more of a contemporary style)
  • French Sliding Patio- Provides a traditional look with the functioning of a slider (has a tall bottom rail to mimic the look of a hinged patio door)

Sliding Patio Doors are available in several different configurations:

    • 2 Panel- You can choose which direction you want the door to open
    • 3 Panel- With a 3 panel, you can select either end panel to open or you can select the center panel to open as well as which direction you would like it to slide
    • 4 Panel- Both center panels open opposite directions,  This option gives you a wide opening consistent with a hinged french door




4 Panel Sliding Patio Door

 * BUDGET TIP:  4 Panel Sliding Patio Doors will give you the BIGGEST Bang for your Buck.  These doors are available up to

16 Ft Wide and 8Ft Tall while being the most cost effective option for a door of this magnitude. 




Bifold Doors or Scenic Doors

Bifold Doors are the most well known option within the scenic doors collection.  Scenic Doors are all the rage in home building today.  Everyone wants bigger windows & doors with more glass.  The Scenic Door Collections offer doors up to 56 ft wide and 12 ft tall.  Talk about BIG!  


The three types of scenic doors are: Bifold Doors, Multi-Slide Doors and Lift & Slide Doors

  • Bifold Doors- These doors open up in an accordion like fashion and stack all to one side.  An option is available, however, to have one panel on either end open like a hinged single door (access door).  This allows for easy access when you do not want to open up the entire system.  


Bifold Door with an access panel

*Innovation Tip:   Marvin Windows & Doors has recently released their Newly Designed Bifold Door.  The new multi-point panel operating hardware on this door provides the smoothest operation in a bi folding door.  No longer do you have to unlock head and foot bolts as you open the door.  The unlocking of each panel occurs within the multi-point hardware.


  • Multi-Slide Doors- This door looks similar to a Sliding Patio Door, but can be much bigger and all of the panels can slide to one side.  The panels can either all stack on one side or can be pocketed into a wall system.   These doors are available with a flush sill or a performance sill.  A flush sill does not provide any protection from rain or snow coming in.  A performance sill is a great option for places like Indiana where we have heavy rain and snow because it provides protection like a regular door sill would.  The Marvin Multi-Slide Door is also available with automatic controls!  Watch the video here.

Marvin_Ultimate_Multi-Slide_Door_Geist Indianapolis.jpg

Multi-Slide Door

*Installation Tip:    Each panel requires additional wall depth, so make sure you discuss with you Builder or Contractor the jamb depth (wall depth) required for this style of door.


  • Lift & Slide Doors-  This is the most expensive option in the scenic door collection.  This type of door is best used in a large remodel or new construction project rather than for a replacement situation.  Another important consideration for this type of door is where you live.  For example, here in Indiana where we have heavy rainfall, you will want to ensure you have a significant overhang protecting the door unit.


  Lift & Slide Door

 *Installation Tip:    Each panel requires additional wall depth, so make sure you discuss with you Builder or Contractor the jamb depth (wall depth) required for this style of door.  This type of door has to be well planned in the early phases of construction because they  have an entirely flush sill built into the concrete (shown in the picture above).  

Are you looking to replace your existing patio door this summer?  Or maybe you are adding on to your current home or building your dream home?  If so, we would love to help you figure out which patio door is best for you and your home!  Give us a call at 317-993-3660 or click below for a showroom visit!
Contact Us for a Showroom Consultation Here

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