Sliding Patio Doors

Let light and fresh air in with a sliding patio door

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A sliding patio door is more than just a door; it’s an enhancement to your house that gives you access to the outside world while letting natural light into your home. With the right patio door, you may even increase the value of your home. Below, we walk you through the benefits of adding a sliding glass door to your home and the options available to you when you’re looking to purchase one.

What Are Sliding Patio Doors?

Double sliding patio doors are most often comprised of two panels of glass, where one side slides open to allow passage through the doorway. In some cases, a sliding glass patio door might include three or more panels, enabling you to let even more air and natural light into your home. 

There are several installation types of sliding patio doors, so you can either hide the doors inside a pocket in the wall or open just a single panel to create a small opening for entry and exit into your home.

Unlike bifold patio doors, sliding doors don’t require any additional square footage inside or outside your home.

Sliding Patio Door Types

There are a variety of sliding patio door types, giving you the chance to enhance your home’s appearance in a way that suits your tastes and the style of your house. While the looks you can achieve with a sliding glass patio door are practically endless, we cover the most common types of sliding patio doors.

Traditional Sliding Patio Doors

A typical double patio door features two side-by-side panels. The two panels are installed on a track. One door has rollers that enable it to slide along the track in front of or behind the other door. A screen is typically installed along the track as well, allowing you to let fresh air into your home without leaving the space open completely.

Multi-Slide Patio Doors

Multi-slide patio doors feature three or more large glass panels that can slide over each other to create a small opening. Often, a multi-slide patio door can be opened fully, with the glass tucking into a pocket in the wall. This creates a larger opening and passageway to the outdoors, which makes for a great entertaining space in the summer months.

Sliding Patio Door Benefits

Sliding patio doors offer a host of benefits, making them a better choice than a traditional door for a number of reasons. These doors add curb appeal and architectural beauty to your home, as well as security, functionality, and natural light.

Easy to Operate

Sliding patio doors are easy to open and close and have locks and security features that you can use with little effort. On top of that, the panels are simple to clean because you can access them easily from the inside and the outside. 


Sliding glass doors are durable and are built to last. With proper care, a sliding patio door should last as long as 30 years, and in many cases, these doors continue to work even longer, with some lasting up to 50 years.

Floor Space

While traditional doors require floor space to open and close, a sliding door doesn’t take up any square footage in your home. This makes them a great option for homes with limited space and in rooms where you’d rather preserve your floor space to maintain a feeling of openness or to enable movement throughout the room.


While sliding doors occasionally require lubrication along the tracks or realignment, maintaining them is relatively simple and inexpensive. Other maintenance might include replacing worn-out rollers or weather stripping, which is, again, simple and inexpensive. Additionally, exterior patio doors typically require frequent cleaning. You can use glass cleaner to remove debris, dust, and fingerprints from exterior glass and wipe along the track with a damp, soapy cloth or sponge.


Sliding glass doors are inexpensive when compared to traditional and French doors, thanks to an easier installation process. Of course, with customization and advanced features, the cost of your sliding patio door can increase to above average, so if you’re trying to keep costs down, it can be best to select standard features.


Sliding doors are very secure. When you activate the lock from the inside, these doors can’t be opened from the outside. Also, they can accommodate an array of additional security features, including guardian locks, kick locks, and folding security bars.

Sliding Patio Door Features & Options

When you purchase a new sliding patio door, you can select features, options, and styles, giving you the opportunity to create a door that accommodates the style of your home as well as your own unique tastes.

Sliding Patio Door Screens

Adding a screen to your patio door is a great way to let fresh air pass through while keeping pets and children inside and bugs and other pests outside. You can move a retractable screen or a sliding screen out of the way quickly to use your patio door as an entryway to your home.

Sliding Patio Door Glass

Glass patio doors are typically made from tempered glass, adding an element of safety in the event your door is broken. The panels are generally made with two panes that are sealed together with air in between for added insulation. At Thompson Creek, our glass package options also include triple-pane glass and obscure glass, which offers added privacy without compromising natural light.

Grilles for Sliding Patio Doors

Grilles are a popular choice for modern patio doors. They help you customize the look of your doors and add an element of style to the exterior of your home. They’re mounted inside or outside of the glass, and their design can be tailored to your specifications, helping you create a door that looks unique and suits your space.

Sliding Patio Door Hardware

You can also customize the hardware on your sliding patio door to suit your preferences. This includes door handles and locks for ease of use and added security. Handles and locks are available in a range of shapes and colors.

Sliding Patio Door Security

As mentioned earlier, sliding glass doors can accommodate a variety of security features. Consider adding a guardian lock to the top of your patio door to keep children from accessing the lock while unattended or a kick lock or a folding bar for extra security.

Sliding Patio Door Sizes

While there’s plenty to consider about a new sliding door for your patio, size is among the most important feature you need to think about. Patio doors come in standard sizes, but they can also be customized to suit your space. It’s good to keep in mind that custom sizes will cost you more, so if you’re working with a budget, a standard patio door size is usually best.

Standard Sliding Patio Door Size

Standard sliding glass doors are usually 80 inches tall, and they vary from 60 to 72 inches in width. There are also 8’ standard size sliding glass doors, which usually come in 96 inch by 96 inch dimensions.  The size you choose depends on the space available in your home and, of course, the amount of natural light you’d like to let into your home.

How to Measure for a Sliding Patio Door

Measuring for the size of sliding patio door you need can be difficult, so it’s normally best to rely on the advice of a professional who can measure your space accurately and provide you with a quick, efficient installation.

If you prefer to give it a go yourself, measure the door starting at the inside of the side jamb and ending at the center stile at the opposite end to get the width. To get the height, measure from the top, center, and bottom of the bottom track to the top of the door opening and use the smallest of the three measurements.

Sliding Patio Door Replacement

Once you’ve settled on the style and materials you prefer for your new or replacement sliding patio door, it’s important to find a professional installer who can handle the process for you. There are several methods for installing a sliding door, and a professional can determine the one that’s best suited to your home and the look you desire.

Pocket Installation

Pocket patio doors slide into a pocket inside your wall, helping you to create a wider opening in your home and making the transition from indoors to outdoors seamless. Pocket installation is a more difficult process and, in most cases, is more expensive than full-frame installation.

Full-Frame Installation

Full-frame installation is the most common method of installing a patio door. It consists of stripping the opening down to your house’s studs and installing a full door frame and the sliding glass panels. A full-frame patio door doesn’t open as wide as a pocket door because one panel needs to remain static.

To learn more about adding a new or replacement sliding patio door to your home, contact Thompson Creek and schedule a free estimate.

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