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Recommendation for patio door

Tommymc's picture

Recommendation for patio door (post #207547)

I'm starting a DIY renovation of a small first floor bedroom in our log home.  A job that started out as sanding and sealing the log walls, hanging sheetrock on the interior walls and possibly replacing the windows has started to take on a life of it's own. The room currently has a double window that looks out onto a back porch that runs the length of the house. We've decided that the window could be replaced with glass patio doors so we could walk out onto the porch.  Eventually (so the plan goes) we may make that part of the porch into a 3-season room with lots of glass.  The porch has SW exposure and is the view over our 10 acre field.

My immediate concern is that until (and if) the 3-season room gets built, this patio door will be the barrier between us and Vermont winters.  I would want a door with wood interior, not too fussy about the exterior, but the windows are white vinyl clad (Andersen Narrowline Series 200)  In general, is a hinged door or slider more airtight? Either will work for us.  Any styles and brand recommendations are welcome.


Oh, and since I'll be working alone, something that can be shipped in pieces and assembled in place would work best.


Tommy (post #207547, reply #1 of 3)

Andersen makes several nice doors with the options you mention.  The lower cost are usually a composite or fibreglass interior.  If you want to get exotic-take a look at their folding door units in the Architectural Series.  (no idea on that one's seals and energy ratings).

It used to be said that outswing held the best chance of closing off wild breezes-I do not know if that is true, but it's been mentioned for years.

Marvin are doors we have in our home.  At the time '88, they were top of the line-most expensive-real nice.  I have both a slider and an inswing.  Both still seal well, the cat tore into the inswing's compression weatherstripping-easily found and easily replaced.

I've installed ThermaTru (inswing) and while they were fine-I'd not think them the quality of either Andersen or Marvin.  I've also installed some Stanley's (now Masonite) ((inswing also)).  Again, worked fine, but not quite their on excellent quality.  These were considered entry doors, not the usual patio doors.

One caution, the wider the opening the tougher that heavyweight glass is on any door unit.  Sliders with their weight bearing on wheels are usually easier to adjust (an also choose a quality door company as replacement parts are real important after you pass the 10 yr usual warranty period).

Pella-I've found rollers for their doors to still be available.  Even back to the 60's.  Good thing as a replacement for some of these "walls of glass" can be REAL costly.  For one, none of these door companies seem to think there's a "standard size" or rough opening.

Andersens inswing's (and outswing I suppose) have nice adjustible hinges  (Frenchwood).  You can tweek the up down/side to side as necessary.  A nice feature. (I assume they have continued to do so-been a while since the last install).  They've also been real good on parts for older units.

Pay close attention to the details of these doors, especially the thresholds.  Some of Andersens units have a very high threshold at the interior.  You should set these to your floor as you see fit-for instance-a thick rug inside will lessen the trip hazard possibility.  Further-if you don't allow enough room in any of the brands, you'll not be able to put a wipe your feet rug down.

None are cheap.  But, the repairs or replacements I've had to do have been many on the cheap builders brands (some out of business-the door companies that is) and way less on the quality brands.

Pella deserves an *, because of a problem they had in their cladding systems (which they have since taken care of (we think).

If there's wood involved, the seals become much more important.  That big glass moving at a different rate as the frame can change the seal over time.

Big decision, best of luck.


ps.  Some of the doors that are available cannot have a glass change.  They are sealed units.  Break the glass or have it cloud because of a division seal-too bad.  Whole new panel. 


There, I must have confused the crap outta you by now.

EDIT:   And, goes without saying-especially on a log home-DETAIL for water ............well, against water.  Log movment has done in many window / door installs.  I know of one log home that had vinyl put over it after 10 yrs...............

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Our house was built in 1976.  (post #207547, reply #3 of 3)

Our house was built in 1976.  Southern Minnesota.  We still have the original Andersen slider leading onto our back deck (northwest corner, which is where the weather comes from around here).  I think I replaced the rollers once, about 15 years ago -- otherwise just paint.

Not a perfect seal but pretty good.  For the first 10 years or so it was exposed, before we built an enclosed top deck.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I will second Tommy. We have (post #207547, reply #2 of 3)

I will second Tommy. We have the Andersen 400 Frenchwood gider with the vinyl exterior finish and they hold up great. The thermal glass door has a pretty good efficiency too.