Sliding Patio Doors or Double Opening Doors?

(37 Posts)
CointreauVersial Tue 02-Jul-13 21:12:21

We are replacing the double doors in our living room, leading onto the patio. We have the choice of sliding doors (French windows) or double-opening doors. We haven't the room or the budget for fancy bifold doors. The house is fairly contemporary (1980s extension), and the cost is broadly similar. So far, I've thought of the following pros and cons:

Sliding:
+ Thinner frame, so more glass, no ugly handles spoiling the view.
+ No danger of slamming doors
- Can't open fully - only half open at once

Double Opening:
+ Can have a full/double opening on sunny days.
- Have to be fastened back, no pots beside wall.
- Danger of slamming
- Thicker frames, so less attractive when closed.

Predictably, I want one option, and DH the other. So please let me have your opinions and share your experience.

Mrsladybirdface Tue 02-Jul-13 21:17:26

we've just had this debate and went with sliding, mainly as space saving and because of the trapped fingers scenario. love them and the fact you can just leave it fractionally open to let in a breeze

Rockdoctor Tue 02-Jul-13 21:54:37

I have always freaked out at the thought of sliding doors since a good friend's toddler slid the door over his foot and severed his big toe. They managed to stitch it back on - but I will never get the image out of my head.

To be fair that was many years ago and they may be safer now.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 22:02:21

We have had a sliding door for about 20 years. Never had a problem, even with young children. It has been open and closed countless times, and is still fine, apart from a probable weaker handle?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 02-Jul-13 22:02:57

We've just replaced old siding doors with double doors and I have to say they do look nice. I do know what you mean about just being able to leave sliding doors open a bit though. I just prefer the look of traditionally opening doors.

CointreauVersial Tue 02-Jul-13 22:12:38

Argh, no clear winner so far.....!

I can't imagine anyone losing a toe on a sliding door; anyway, we've had them since the DCs were born, and no toes lost so far.

Do they make glass doorswhich repel handprints? grin

RoseFlowerFairy Tue 02-Jul-13 22:22:35

I don't like sliding doors at all, I would prefer the double doors with a panel of glass with an opening.

ILikeBirds Tue 02-Jul-13 22:59:45

We have double doors, love the fact that we can open them up completely and have a huge opening right onto the decking. I personally think they look better than sliding doors when closed even if there is less glass.

Joanna2010 Tue 02-Jul-13 23:34:37

I prefer the look of double doors but I can see why sliding doors may be more practical. No help at all then grin

CointreauVersial Tue 02-Jul-13 23:50:53

Ilikebirds - have you been talking to my DH? grin Just wondering, with this dreadful weather, how many days this year have you had both doors open to the elements?? My argument is that 99.9% of the time we will be looking at the doors when closed, so best maximise the amount of glass.

Aaargh!

wonkylegs Wed 03-Jul-13 08:11:21

My dads sliding doors were jimmied and busted open by an intruder. Apparently this can be quite easy for some sliding doors. Make sure that whatever lock mechanisms you have are really good.

nemno Wed 03-Jul-13 08:39:15

I think wooden painted double doors but not (UPVC) look nicer but our 25 year old aluminium sliding doors have just had their rollers oiled, cleaned and adjusted and they are as good as new. With no painting they are maintenance free and still bright white.

We've just been through this.

Double-opening (these are actually French doors)
pros
- look more traditional
- open wider if we ever get a summer
- more design options available
cons
- need a step to the same level outside, so if there is a step down from your living room to patio you'll need a platform outside the door
- need to be pinned back or they can slam
- take up more room when open

Sliding (patio doors)
pros
- don't take up any room when open
- don't slam
- no step needed
cons
- less traditional looking
- fewer designs available

We went for sliding in the end, mainly due to space issues both inside and out. I was dubious at first as we have a Victorian house and I thought they might look a bit 1970's, but they've been in about 2 weeks and I just love them. Incidentally, we went for cream timber-effect to avoid the synthetic modern shiny uPVC look.

CointreauVersial Wed 03-Jul-13 12:41:31

Thanks NotGoodNotBad, I got my terminology wrong then, I see!

I don't quite understand the bit about needing a step/platform if you have opening doors.....but our patio is fairly level with the living room floor anyway. I guess you have to step over a lip whatever.

The platform part was something about Building Regs (round here at least) saying that if a door opens outwards, whether a double door or a normal single door, you must step out at the same level, and the platform must extend out for the width of the open door + 40cm. If it's sliding, you don't have to. No idea why. confused

kitsmummy Wed 03-Jul-13 13:14:06

To me sliding doors (eg patio doors???) are really dated and 70s/80s ish? French doors every time for me

To me sliding doors (eg patio doors???) are really dated and 70s/80s ish?

That's kind of what I thought till mine were finished - but they're lovely smile.

nemno Wed 03-Jul-13 14:56:44

French Windows

I'll get my coat .....

blueshoes Wed 03-Jul-13 15:10:08

We went for French doors because it was more in keeping with the period of the house. Our decor is also more traditional and we did not go for the minimalist look. If our house was minimalist, then would consider sliding doors.

There could be a maximum height for sliding doors - we were looking at concertina doors, so not sure whether the same applies to sliding doors. But with French doors, I could have a foot higher worth of glass which I can enjoy the benefit of 365 days a year.

I love our French doors. Very pretty.

kitsmummy Wed 03-Jul-13 18:32:31

Not good - do you have any pics as I genuinely would be interested to see them smile

Will have a go at uploading when DD gets off the main computer...

OK kitsmummy, got round to uploading some pics.

The first three show the old door - and why we wanted a new one. Narrow kitchen, door when open blocked the kitchen. The patio is small as well, and is a step down, so a French door would lose us some space outside.

The second three show the new door - very space saving, and very light indoors now. I tried to get a closeup of the woodgrain effect but you couldn't really see it on the picture.

Incidentally, the kitchen is not an extension - it's constructed in different materials, but it's as old as the rest of the house.

Excuse the mess everywhere, other renovations to follow. smile

CinnamonAddict Thu 04-Jul-13 21:53:17

We had the same problem, dh wanted French doors, I wanted sliding. Because dh hardly ever had any preference on anything in the house, he got the French doors.
I'm ok with them, they do need something to hold them open, we haven't got anything there yet.
We have those without the top window bits you sometimes see. Ours are glass from top to bottom, they are 2.20m high.

I wanted French, DH wanted sliding... I went with my head (sliding) due to the space, rather than with my heart (French, more traditional I think), and for once I'm glad DH got his way. smile

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 22:01:43

We've just gone for double from blown old aluminium sliding. They look so much cleaner and brighter that the extra trim thickness isn't an issue. We went for outer edge mounted but inward opening as we have lots of room at that end of the lounge and the doors are quite small so don't actually take up much floor space.

CointreauVersial Thu 04-Jul-13 23:06:14

50:50 split so far - c'mon, people, I'm after consensus here! grin

A few pros and cons we hadn't thought of, so thanks for that.

Our opening is quite wide so the doors would be massive....I'm worried they would get in the way.....and would anyone bother to fasten them back? Hmmm....

DH doesn't get his way much here either. grin

kitsmummy Fri 05-Jul-13 06:40:00

Thank you notgood - you're right, they look great! (V pretty house btw)

CointreauVersial Fri 05-Jul-13 13:02:59

Lovely slidey doors, Notgoodnotbad - look very smart! I can absolutely see why that was the better option for you.

Our doors would open outwards, but that will leave a massive "exclusion zone" on the patio outside.

Thanks smile

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 05-Jul-13 18:58:23

You can have stiffner bracket things put on the top so they give a little bit of resistance (amount is adjustable) to being closed. Not as good as tieing back but less likely to slam at every light gust.

flipchart Fri 05-Jul-13 19:02:03

I love my large sliding door.
I have vertical blinds with them.

Looks good

flipchart Fri 05-Jul-13 19:03:44

Oh! I meant to add, we used to have a single door with a window frame at either side but swopped it for the sliding door.
More space. I'm so glad I did it and wonder what I was thinking when I put in the original door.

We switched from sliding to French about 10 years ago and have not regretted it for one moment (the frame surrounding the sliding doors was completely rotten when we moved in so they had to go). We only find the door slams very occasionally and it is open pretty well all the time we are at home when it's warm enough. They look nicer and I love being able to have the double opening. It's useful when we need to get large items of furniture etc into the house too. Our patio is large enough that having the doors open doesn't intrude onto the space and we have big pot plants behind the doors.

sliding here, i have it currently opened just enough for a lovely breeze, no trapped fingers in hinges or toes and no openings them outward into anyone's head and when its windy i don't worry about them blowing in the wind also as on back of house not really bothered how they look they are just so practical .

LondonJax Fri 05-Jul-13 21:40:40

We're revamping our kitchen and dining room soon - knocking them semi through - and we've decided on sliding doors. We have a slider in our living room and, even when it's only open a fraction on a gusty day, the door from the hall to the living room can slam so goodness knows what the dining room to hall door would do if we went for a french door where it's either open or shut, nothing in between. Plus, as we have a six year old and friends hurtling around the patio, I didn't want something we could open outwards. My friend, who lives in a similar house nearby, had french doors and when we were in her garden last summer one of the mums opened the door whilst she was busy chatting and looking the other way. The door swung back and hit one of the kids who was running on the patio. Luckily no harm done but it made me realise that the way we use our patio needs a sliding door. Yes we could be careful, yes the kids could be told just to play on the lawn but kids are kids and people forget when they're focussing on something else. We also have a big group of people over at some point most summers and french doors would just take up valuable sitting and boozing space! grin

arlenelm Fri 30-May-14 05:12:28

I will say go with sliding patio doors. It will give so much light to the interior as well as uses less space compared to the double opening doors. Just like you mentioned in your pros and cons, there is no need to be afraid of slamming doors which can be a concern with kids at home. I also feel they look way better than the other, but obviously it depends on the construction of the entire building as well individual person’s liking.

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