Need Glass? Get Started Here:

Mid-Range Patio Doors Exceed Expectations

Interior of home with a blind covered patio door.
5 min read

Find it helpful?

Share With

If you’ve been shopping for patio doors during the past few years, you’ve probably seen the big, beautiful products with sliding and folding glass panels that offer breathtaking views.

Unfortunately, they also often have price tags to match.

But what about the smaller  patio doors— you know, the ones you’re much more likely to actually invest in?

They’re certainly big business. Research from the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) found that sliding patio doors represent about 11.4 percent of all entry doors in the U.S. market in 2013. Additionally, an April 2014 study commissioned by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), another trade group that represents the door and window industry, showed that the market for residential patio doors of all kinds grew 15 percent from 2011 to 2013. It’s expected to keep growing into 2016 and beyond.

So what are the trends in these popular products?

Patio Doors for Indoor-Outdoor Living

In February 2014, a “House Crush” poll revealed that 54 percent of women and 46 percent of men think outdoor living spaces make them “fall in real estate love.” That trend is here to stay, says Mark Montgomery, the vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Windows, a manufacturer of patio doors.

Because so many people love outdoor living, there’s now a patio doors to fit every budget, he says. If you and your family want to be able to move easily from inside to outdoors, a sliding patio door is an attractive way to do that. A sliding door is also an option if you want an entranceway that is energy efficient, strong, secure and attractive. Replacing a worn, outdated, inefficient patio door with a new, on-trend sliding patio door makes for a more comfortable living space. It also increases the value of your home, Montgomery says.

Montgomery adds that sliding doors are an especially great option if you live in a smaller home and are looking to upgrade. Because many of those residences lack the space for a swinging patio door or bifold doors, a sliding door can offer a more spacious feel at an affordable price.

Affordability and Performance Work Together

Beyond indoor-outdoor living, perhaps the biggest trend in mid-range patio doors is a greater emphasis on quality, both in thermal efficiency and overall performance. That’s important. These are often your home’s busiest entryway, and they’re often located in the main living space.

Greg Koch is the director of national sales for Deceuninck North America, which supplies many manufacturers with designs and materials for sliding doors. He says these products are becoming feature-rich. In fact, there are almost as many options on the low-end doors as there are on high-end products. Sizes are larger, and they’re also available in a wider range of colors. That’s because the manufacturing process for vinyl, the dominant framing material for sliding doors, now allows for more colors than white. That was the main choice for years because it reflects heat and was less likely to warp than those older dark hues.

Koch also says modern patio doors perform much better in terms of energy efficiency, security and resistance to adverse weather such as hurricanes.

Mark Davis, the executive director of the Earthwise Group, a national network of locally owned, independent manufacturers that designs and builds custom windows and doors, says less-expensive patio doors can provide views, performance and energy efficiency that are almost the equal of higher-end sliding doors. The standard vinyl patio door has evolved into a reliable, durable and energy-efficient product. He says that’s great news if you’re in the market for a product that will improve the livability and curb appeal of your home.

Get an Estimate

For Patio Doors, Simpler is Better

Ease of use is another critical consideration if you’re in the market for a sliding patio door, says Laura Weil, the sales manager for Euro Vinyl Windows in Woodbridge, Ontario.

For example, her company initially manufactured tilt & turn doors. That style is more popular in Europe than North America. However, relatively few homeowners in the U.S. and Canada are familiar with how those products operate. So if you want to keep things simple, stick with the basic sliding patio door and you’ll avoid the “this is how you open my door” tutorial during your next neighborhood get-together, Weil says.

Sliding products are much more user-friendly than they were in the past, says Koch. Where once you used to have a fixed sash and an operable sash, now there are larger units with operable panels that can fill much larger openings. As far as exterior profiles, design features are being integrated into the frames themselves in response to consumer demand.

These Aren’t Your Father’s Screen Doors

A typical mid-range sliding patio door has come a long way from the one you might remember on your dad’s 1960s-era suburban ranch house.

So have the sliding screen doors that are often paired with these products, says Darrell Bedford of Wizard Industries, a manufacturer of screen doors. Basic wood frames and wire mesh have been replaced by aluminum frames and specialty meshes such as solar weaves. There are even screens that can keep pets inside the house. Many are so strong that they can provide a level of protection from home invaders as well.

Retractable screens are another popular request. Bedford says his company gets lots of questions about those from homeowners who have large lift and slide systems. Most of those require retractable screens.

Bedford also says spend extra to get high-quality screen doors. Look for those that have polyurethane wheels and extruded aluminum.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Trey Barrineau

Trey Barrineau was the editor of Door & Window Market magazine (DWM). He edits and writes a wide range of content, from breaking-news items and first-person blog posts for the Web to 4,000-word, deeply researched features for print. He also manages DWM's social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. He came to DWM in December 2014 from USA Today. During his time at Key, Trey’s work has received national and regional recognition from the publishing industry. His 2016 coverage of Venezuela’s takeover of a U.S. glass factory was a 2017 finalist for the Jesse H. Neal Awards in the Best News Coverage category. In 2016, he won a silver medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Awards of Excellence for the Mid-Atlantic Region for a 2015 feature article on the lack of skilled labor in the door and window industry. Prior to joining DWM, Trey was a multiplatform editor and writer in USA Today's Life section from September 2000 to December 2014. While there, he won more than a dozen awards for outstanding headlines. Before that, he worked for more than 10 years covering news and sports at daily newspapers in North Carolina. Trey is a 1988 graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. In 2016, he earned the Fenestration Associate professional certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). He lives with his wife Jacqui and their occasional office-dog Siri in Northern Virginia. Find out more about Trey on Linkedin.

More Articles from Trey Barrineau

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

© 2024 All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

image 14 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a
means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 

© 2024 by All rights reserved. No reproduction without express written permission from