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FAQ - Patio Doors


Panoramic Doors are comprised of a patented system of panels that slide and pivot independently. This allows for multiple configurations that are not possible with bi-fold or multi-slide doors, including configurations that create an opening ideal for ventilation. This feature also allows the space on either side of the door to be useable, unlike with bi-fold doors where space must be kept clear to open the doors. Individually sliding panels also make Panoramic doors lighter and easier to operate.

Panoramic Doors do not have any hinges like traditional bi-fold doors. Aesthetically, this creates a cleaner look from the inside and outside and reduces the pinching hazard of the door.

Panoramic Doors are bottom track supported, meaning that the header does not have to support the weight of the doors. Consequently, installation is often less expensive, and remodels are easier than with top-track supported systems.

Panoramic Doors are on a single track, unlike multi-slide doors that require an additional parallel track for each panel and result in a wide bottom track.

Big patio doors, such as folding and sliding glass walls, open the living space, creating a seamless flow between the indoor and the outdoor. This trend in residential and commercial architecture increases the amount of usable space available for living and entertaining. Big patio doors make the room feel larger and more open, let in more light, and bring nature into the living space.

A folding door system (often referred to as a bi-fold or accordion door) is a type of door that opens by each panel folding back and forth into each other. A sliding door system is a type of door that opens horizontally by sliding, usually parallel to a wall, which also may have multiple panels. A Panoramic Door system also contains multiple panels, however, each panel slides and pivots independently.

Several factors should be considered in choosing the right kind of patio door system including the size of the desired opening, configuration options, ascetics, materials and color options, ease of operation, installation requirements, and price.

In top-hung door systems, the doors hang from the top track, so all the weight of the panels hangs from the header. With a bottom rolling system, the doors roll along the bottom track, so all the weight is supported on the bottom. Both systems will have a guide that runs along the track opposite to the track that the weight is supported on.

Bi-fold doors and accordion doors are two different names for the same general type of door system. This door system is broken into panels with hinges on alternating sides of the joints so that the panels fold onto each other in both directions like an accordion.

Both vinyl and aluminum have their merits. Aluminum patio doors have a modern look and are designed to be sturdy and resistant against wear and tear. Additionally, aluminum patio doors are lighter than their steel counterparts. Vinyl patio doors have a more traditional look, are typically less expensive than aluminum doors, and are often more energy efficient.

The signature series door system allows for the choice of one to two master swing doors that can be placed on either end or both ends of the system. The absolute series will have one master swing door, which can be located on either side. For all systems, the master door(s) can be either outswing or inswing.

The quality of doors and hinges is an important factor in security, as is ensuring the frame is firmly fixed to the walls. The main panel of a Panoramic Door system has a multi-point locking system that locks into the receiving door. Each sliding panel of a Panoramic Door system has a tongue and groove system that becomes a single wall once every panel of the door system is closed.

There are several differences between “bi-fold” and sliding doors:

View when closed: In general, the larger the panels, the less interrupted the view when closed. Certain configurations of sliding doors with large panels offer the most unhindered view. When bi-fold and sliding-door systems have similar panel sizes, the views will also be similar.

View when open: Bi-fold doors are more likely to give an unobstructed view when completely open. Some sliding door configurations require a fixed panel that does not open, while other configurations that slide into pockets in the wall can offer an unobstructed view.

Tracks: Bi-fold doors create a level threshold between outdoor and indoor, which is better for wheelchair users. Sliding doors require more of a lip that can be a potential tripping hazard.

Installation costs will vary based on several factors including the size of the opening, the number of panels, weight support mechanism, specialization required, brand, and geography.

The price of different types of patio doors will vary based on size, material, configuration, and manufacturer. In general, you will find prices from around $600 – $1,500 per linear foot.

Every Panoramic Door system includes a master swing door for easy entry and exit. Individually moving panels allow you to position each panel in a variety of configurations from fully open to completely closed and everything in between to control both air and traffic flow.