Dear Glass Detective,
We want to replace sliding doors (wood frame) that are too heavy for us to operate. We need:
1) Good insulation (Jackson, Wyoming)
2) Light weight/easy operation (we are over 65 years old)
3) Moderate cost
In the specs I cannot seem to figure out how to compare how easy the doors slide (weight) between brands, styles, or materials. All help appreciated.
Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective regarding your request for help in selecting the appropriate sliding glass doors for your home in Wyoming. Based on the information provided, I am going to suggest you consider either a vinyl or aluminum door.
Of the two, I almost always prefer the aluminum but only if the aluminum frame for both the doors and perimeter framing are what is known as “thermally broken”. Thermally broken frames have a barrier inside which helps prevent thermal energy loss. The glass should be tempered insulating units and if the door faces east, west or south, I would recommend that the glass have low-e coating for energy saving purposes.
Today’s well-made doors slide easily and should give you years of good service. And remember, you almost always get “what you pay for.” I hope this is of some value to you and good luck with your project.
-The Glass Detective