Patio doors connect your outdoor living spaces to the rest of your home. Not only do you invite more natural light and air into your home, but you also add architectural interest to your outdoor spaces. For large patios and poolsides, combine three doors for an even grander entrance. When choosing a Patio door, there are three layout options: a true patio door where one of the doors is stationary and the other is hinged, a gliding patio door where one of the doors is stationary and the other glides, or a French door where both of the doors are hinged and open.
Center-Hinged or Jamb Hinged
Patio doors where one of the doors is stationary can have the active door hinged to either the exterior jamb or to the center mullpost. A screen can slide in front of the active door for air flow, but can then slide in front of the stationary door for outside access. A track is built into the head jamb and sill for easy screen movement. Any center or jamb hinged units with a screen must be inswing, however if no screen is necessary then the unit can be outswing.
Sliding or Gliding
Gliding or sliding doors have one door that is stationary. The active door will glide along a track in the sill and the head jamb. Due to the stationary door, there can also be a screen applied for air flow and the screen will slide in front of the staionary door for easy access outdoors.
A Double Hinged door is often called a French Door. Both doors are hinged to the exterior frames and are able to be opened. One of the doors will be the active door that is more commonly used, while the other is a passive door. The passive door will have an astragal attached and some sort of locking mechanism into the sill and head jamb. The lock can be unlocked as well to open both doors for extra air flow. If a double hinged door swings into the home, a screen can be used on the unit.