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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

need help choosing sliding patio door

SusanJanuary 15, 2013
we have 8 patio doors on the back of our house, a 78' built contemporary on a lake.
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Wow, that is impressive. What help do you need? If I were you I'd visit local showrooms where they sell windows and doors and see the difference in features and styling and price and then make a decision.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
In looking at your home from afar, I am making an assumption that several of the 8 doors (if not all) are placed next to each other and provide access to your terrace with dramatic views of the lake. With all of those openings in close proximity to one another, would you consider folding glass wall panels that not only expand appreciation of your beautiful surroundings but "bring them into" your living space! They have both contemporary and transitional styling. I have attached a photo from the Nanawall website. It's a high end product with high performance (NFRC and Energy Star) ratings. http://www.nanawall.com
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 11:32PM
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What a great setting ! Does the weather allow complete openness between the indoor and outdoor? Or are the patio doors going to be more 'standard' installation?

Mill Valley Contemporary KITCHEN DINING INDOOR OUTDOOR · More Info
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 6:03AM
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I love all the new push across doors, but my most favorite is glass garage doors and they work great and yes you can pull across a screen, and the rollers are inside a beam they build that can come down. It is the best, press the button and up it goes, press a button and out comes the screen. Take a look, it is beautiful, fun and different.

And, do you need all these doors? Or can you do a giant window? And, then the window could have work done on it, leaded or sand blasted etc.

Also, if you have visited New York Museum Of Natural History the new pavilion, I believe Rose Pavilion designed by Polshek and the glass is very very clear, no green, they have taken the iron out. The same at the Pyramid in Paris at the Louvre the glass is crystal clear.
The reason, I bring this up is your vistas look beautiful and this glass shows color unbelievably- like artwork or a painting everywhere you look. Check it out.
Thank you for showing the picture. Being a little closer would help.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 6:19AM
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Ingrained woodworking Inc
I agree with cynthia, visiting showrooms are a great place to start. Many options these days from clad vs vinyl vs fiberglass, different glazings, different hardware and finishes. Brands I would recommend are Pella, Marvin, Loewen, kolbe and kolbe. Look into Canadian manufacturers as well. Seen some nice products.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 6:59AM
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Galle Construction Inc
I agree with the above comments and visit some showrooms. Start with Marvin, they make an excellent sliding door system.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:05AM
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2 sliders flank the fireplaces on upper and lower levels
And the remaining 4 are for bedrooms 2 on each floor

Being that they are bedrooms comfort and safety are key.
My contractor suggested vinyl, and I'm needing to educate myself quickly to move forward on project.
Doors are not std in size which increases delivery time as well as cost.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Ingrained woodworking Inc
Vinyl clad may be fine. All vinyl is not the best choice. Good for a budget but quality is mid grade. Look at Marvin's website. They have good lead times.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
I agree with Ingrained Woodworking Inc. Marvin is a very good product. They have a sliding patio door that works well in a contemporary setting. One thing to remember is that a sliding door "clear opening width" (the space you have to walk thru) is approximately 2" less than the same size french door opening. This is due to the shape of the sliding door handle that keeps the door from going all the way back. If the overall width is 5' then this difference can be problematic for the doors on the first floor which I'm assuming will be used frequently by guests and serving with trays. This difference has less of an impact as the door size (6', 6'6", 7', etc) increases.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Ingrained woodworking Inc
Great comment Scott. An often overlooked detail on sliders is the clear opening.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Jayme H.
Good things are made up here in the frozen North, including Marvins!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
One last comment: What you do not read in a catalog and many times do not hear from a sales rep regarding double sliding doors vs. double swinging doors...

SLIDING DOORS: There is always a center vertical framing member in your line of sight with a sliding door whether in the open or closed position but it will always be narrower than a french door. The walk-thru opening is less than half of the overall double door width. Sliding doors have a choice between narrow framing around the glass and wider framing that mimics French door styling. There is no concern for traffic flow or furniture placement near the door as it relates to the functioning of the door.

FRENCH DOORS: When the doors are open, you have full walk thru space without a vertical frame in the center. When they are closed, there is a wider vertical frame in the center than a slider of the same overall width
3 swing options

FULL IN-SWING-If you have the interior space to allow for both doors to swing in and preferably flat against the adjacent walls, then this is both practical (open doors are not in the way of traffic flow or furnishings) and aesthetically pleasing.

If the adjacent wall space will not allow for both doors to lay flat against the adjacent wall but rather positioned at an angle to the wall with perpendicular being the furthest point into the room, then you must be critical of the amount of floor space and swing space you have for traffic flow and furnishings before selecting this option.

FULL OUT-SWING- If you have overhead protection against the weather to minimize the wear and tear from the elements, then this is an option. If there is no protection, then you must be conscious of weather. Out-swing solves your interior swing issues, however, if you have a furnished porch, deck or terrace with limited space you will have the same traffic flow and furniture placement considerations as you would with the in-swing option.

HALF-IN SWING- If you prefer the French door aesthetic but run into traffic flow and furniture placement problems, then hinge a single French door onto a stationery French door panel. When the door is opened, it lays back against the stationery panel mirroring its image. Although this reduces the walk-thru opening from full to half, it allows for unobstructed traffic flow around. Plus, it is still a wider walk-thru opening than a double sliding door of the same width. In addition, a sliding door will not mirror the image of the door it sits behind when it is opened. This is obvious when there are grilles on the glass.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Susan, from Scott Design, you are one totally amazing professional. The information you have posted here is invaluable--clearly explained information that I would hardly know where to start to look for.

Thank you so much for sharing. I hope that you'll be an active member of the discussion forum, because you have a wonderful depth of knowledge and experience that we can all learn from.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:41PM
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thank you all, we are looking at the french slider style door
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
Cynthia, thank you for the compliment. It means alot coming from another professional designer.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Ingrained woodworking Inc
Scott design, very valuable insights. Door swings in or out are definitely something to think carefully about. I would only add one more thing. See where any wall switches are and try not to set up the active swing door thus that it blocks the switch.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 5:57PM
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