Buyers Guide

A brief look into the pros & cons and different design features of patio doors.

Traditional Sliding Patio Doors

4 panel sliding door obscures view

Easy to Use

  • Panels slide along a track to open and close.
  • Controlled ventilation: Open sliding panels only as much as needed at the time.
  • Screen door available to allow airflow while keeping bugs out and pets in.

Space Saving

  • Sliding panels do not encroach on living space or deck area at any time.
  • Furniture can be placed close to the door on both the inside and outside.
  • Screen door is low profile and slides near panel.

Great View

  • Larger glass panels can offer a great open view of the outside when the panels are closed.
  • Less vertical separators than a folding door.


  • Sliding panels are not connected to each other.
  • No stress between panels.
  • Simple operating system.
  • Easy to repair.
  • Bottom-track supported.


4 panel sliding door obscures view

The Door Does Not Fully Open!

  • Because the sliding panels must remain on the track at all times, even when fully opened, much of the opening is blocked by both the stationary and moving panels.
  • You do not get full use of the opening
  • The view is obstructed by layers of door panel frames and screens

The Best Solution? Not so fast…

Unlike the sliding patio door that is greatly limited on total open space, the bifold door offers a way to maximize the open area. It is for this reason they first became very popular with restaurants and stores. The bifold door offered a way to add an extra level of elegance or grandeur while helping to create an open atmosphere.

hinges and pull handles
bilfold with plant
bilfold with plant

However, bifold patio doors loose many of the benefits of the sliding door and have added limitations.

  • Bifold patio doors hang from the header often requiring substantial retrofitting before installation.
  • Bifold patio doors require much more hardware to operate making the door more difficult to maintain.
  • More difficult to operate because you have of the many locks and pull handles that must be used.
    Door panels leave the line of the track when folding. This prevents the positioning of furniture or other items near the door.
  • More space is needed on the inside and outside.
  • The operation often deteriorates over time as the panel-to-panel hinges age.
    Expansion of the panels can cause binding.
    Complete operation failure is a possibility.

An Innovative Approach to the Folding Patio Door

Panoramic Doors offers an innovative design that allows more use configurations. This means you control the airflow and traffic areas to meet the needs of the day. No longer are your stuck with just “one” way to open your doors. Enjoy complete control you want over your living or business environment and surrounding.

6 panel Panoramic Door Closed1

All Panels Closed

6 panel Panoramic Door 6 Open

All Panels Open

6 panel Panoramic Door 4 Swing Door Open

Main Swing Door Open

6 panel Panoramic Door center open

Panels Configured for Opening in Center

6 panel Panoramic Door 4 panels center

Panels configure for Opening On Both Ends

6 panel Panoramic Door swing open panels separated

Panels Spaced for Dispersed Airflow

Simple and Easy to Operate

panel operation 1

Open the main swing door.

panel operation 1

Slide adjacent panel to end and swing open.

panel operation 1

Continue with each panel until door system is completely open.