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10 Advantages of Sliding Glass Doors & Windows
Bringing the Outside In With Ease
The many benefits sliding glass doors and windows bring has made them a popular choice for decades, though they’ve come a long way from their sometimes creaky and breezy beginnings. Modern slider windows have enjoyed many upgrades over time, resulting in windows that are more energy efficient, secure, and easier to open and close than older models.
Whereas many window and sliding glass door replacement companies only offer sliding windows and patio doors in a few standard sizes, all of Thompson Creek’s windows and doors are custom-crafted for a perfect fit. Our custom sliding windows and doors are available in 2-panel and 3-panel designs, with screens and keyed locks standard on doors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other advantages they offer…
Do you prefer to illuminate your home with energy-efficient natural light for as many hours each day as possible? With their oversized glass panels, and sleek, streamlined frames, sliding windows and doors allow for more natural light to enter your home than most other popular styles. While you can opt to outfit either with window grids, most homeowners prefer a fully unobstructed view. Another popular option to turn the brightness up a bit further is to add a transom window above your sliding window or door.
Rejoice for airflow! Our custom sliding doors and windows love nothing more than a refreshing summer breeze, but their enhanced ventilation properties come in handy year-round.
- Accidentally burned the turkey at Thanksgiving? Open the patio door to air out your home quickly!
- Cleaning the kitchen or bathroom and want to open a window while the heavy-duty cleansers are working their magic? Simply slide open the window before the first spritz.
- Or perhaps you’re pedaling away on your exercise bike and it’s hard to stay in the zone with the humidity in the room climbing? Fully slide open your windows or doors, and the fresh air just might help you literally go the extra mile!
Replacement slider windows and doors are exceptionally easy to operate, making them an ideal choice for seniors, or anyone with limited strength or range of motion. You don’t have to reach and pull to open or close them, making them a smart choice for homeowners with back pain, or those who might be on the shorter side.
While all of Thompson Creek’s windows are expertly crafted to serve you well for many years, sliding windows have the added benefit of fewer mechanical parts to worry about maintaining, or breaking down over time. They are inherently durable as they’re crafted from the same quality materials as all our replacement windows, with their simpler design lending an added advantage over pulleys and springs.
Sliding glass doors make an exceptional choice for high-traffic homes that have kids and adults alike coming and going all day on different schedules. Because sliding doors are so quiet, they make it easy for family members to exit and enter without waking others, or disturbing their video calls or classes if they’re working or learning from home.
They’re also a perfect fit for those who entertain often. Having a weekend barbeque with friends? Sliding doors allow you to easily transfer dishes to and from the outside, and for the kiddos to run in and out without constantly opening and closing a traditional swing door. If some guests are on the patio, and others are inside at the kitchen table or island, the sliding patio door helps the gathering feel more connected, and can encourage people to move around and mingle more.
While sliding glass doors and windows are a great fit for homes of all sizes, they’re especially popular among owners of smaller homes who are looking for replacement windows that help their space feel more open, particularly if their home has low ceilings. Because horizontal sliding windows open left to right instead of up and down, you can get a lot more window on a “short wall” than you could with a vertical window style.
Even if you appreciate the many advantages that come with living in a smaller space, less square footage can leave you feeling a bit “closed in” at times. This is particularly the case for long, narrow row homes or condos that only have windows at the front and back of the home, being connected to other homes on one or both sides. A sliding glass door at the rear of the home can help illuminate the whole space, with transom windows above the front door providing additional natural light – and style! – as well.
Another key consideration for sliding doors and windows is that because they function by gliding horizontally along an existing track, no additional room is needed for their full operation. You don’t have to account for a door swinging in or out, and can place a sliding glass window in spots that might be a struggle to reach, or areas facing a walkway or porch, making an outward-opening window impractical.
We like to think of large sliding windows and doors as an operable alternative to picture windows or glass walls. If you want as unobstructed a view as possible, but also need your windows to open and close, an oversized slider window is the perfect solution. Whether your home looks out onto a cityscape or expanse of nature, a clear view of the outside world can help enhance not only our home, but also our mood.
When most of us consider the safety and security our home’s doors and windows provide, we tend to think of their more tangible components, such as the quality of the materials they’re crafted from, and the integrity of their locks. But one of the most important safety features they can offer is one of the simplest – the level of visibility they provide.
While it’s a bit of a running joke that Millennials and Gen Z don’t open their door unless they’re expecting someone, many of us are indeed more cautious than our parents and grandparents. Unless we are anticipating company or a delivery, or have an otherwise clear view of the face behind that knock, chances are good that we are going to simply wait for the person to go away.
With the enhanced visibility replacement slider windows and doors provide, there are no surprises. We are given the opportunity to clearly see what’s going on outside before we decide if we’ll open the door. In addition to being beneficial in the event of an unexpected visitor, this also lets us keep clear sightlines on anything else that might be going on outside, such as kids or pets playing in the yard.
Just remember that while it’s easy to see out, that also means it’s easy to see in. If your sliding doors or windows are easily accessible, or in an area with heavy foot traffic or nearby neighbors, you’ll want to install blinds or curtains for privacy.
While it isn’t likely that you’ll want to remove panels from your sliding doors or windows very often, having the option is a favorite feature for many homeowners. Have an especially wide sofa, refrigerator, or bed frame to move in and can’t quite get it through the front door? Glass patio doors allow you to completely remove the panel that slides, giving you those precious extra few inches of clearance that can make all the difference. And – as long as the panel is already off – you can take 5 minutes to thoroughly clean the tracks before putting it back in place. Another checkmark in the book for Saturday’s chores!
Simply put, sliding doors and windows look nice, adding timeless style to homes of all sizes, layouts, locations, designs, and ages. Because they are, by their very nature, more glass than frame, they never look out of place – the true “plays well with others” of the window world! And if you do want to add some design elements to the glass panes, that can be easily accomplished with Thompson Creek’s variety of stylish window grids.
- 2 Panel Sliding Glass Doors: The most common, classic style available, double sliding patio doors feature one fixed pane of glass, and one pane that slides open. The homeowner can choose which panel they prefer to be stationary, and which will be operable, so be prepared for a bit of rock, paper, scissors if you’re right-handed, and your spouse is left-handed, or vice versa!
- 3 Panel Sliding Glass Doors: Our triple glass doors feature 2 fixed panes at the left and right, and a center sliding panel. These provide abundant natural light with clear views that truly bring the outside in.
4 Panel Sliding Glass Doors: Our four panel multi slide glass doors are commonly chosen by homeowners who want as much light as possible, and feature 2 fixed end panels, and 2 sliding middle panels. If you’ve always dreamed of a window wall, but want the added benefit of operability, here is your sliding solution.
- 2 Lite Slider Window: This window style is most similar to a classic patio door, featuring one fixed window, and one sliding window
- Double Sliding Window: For this option, both window panels slide, offering enhanced cross-ventilation capabilities over a 2 lite slider
3 Lite Slider Window: In a 3 panel sliding window, the center window is fixed, and both end vents slide.
One of the best things about exterior sliding doors is opening them wide for fresh air and sunlight on those perfect days where you don’t need the heat or the AC. To ensure all our clients are able to enjoy their patio doors to their full potential, we include custom fitted sliding door screens with your purchase. You can simply slide the door open, and the screen closed, to keep bugs out, and cats and dogs in!
While cleaning the inside of sliding windows and doors and windows is a breeze, cleaning the outside can be a bit more difficult, and is truly one of the only disadvantages of this style. Whereas double hung windows are designed to tilt toward you for easy cleaning, the tracks that slider windows and patio doors move along make such an option an impossibility.
So what’s a homeowner to do? Luckily, you have a few options!
- For sliding windows that can be easily reached with a step stool or ladder, you can simply gather your cleaning supplies, and step outside for a few minutes to wipe them down. Be sure to set your ladder or stool on firm, dry ground, and avoid cleaning on a day when the ground might be slippery or unstable, such as following snow or a heavy rain
- If you want to do a “deep clean,” you can remove your operable windows or doors from their frames completely. Once the window is removed, set it safely aside against a wall, and get a wet cloth and some dish soap or another gentle cleaner to wipe down the track as well
- Can’t reach the slider window or patio from the outside, and don’t want to remove it completely? This is where a power washer or telescoping window washing extension pole comes in handy. The latter can be purchased for a very budget-friendly price online or in a home improvement store, and easily collapses for storage between cleanings
Outside of a bit more work in the cleaning process, replacement slider windows and doors are truly an easy-to-use, attractive option whose benefits far outweigh any drawbacks. If you’d like to discuss how sliding windows and patio doors can enhance your home, reach out to Thompson Creek today!
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