For choosing the right aluminium sliding patio doors for your home, you must be aware of all the options available to you and know as much as possible about them. Configurations, mechanisms, glazing, security, costs, energy efficiency and your manufacturer are all important factors that are likely to affect the quality and functioning of your doors so it is imperative to consider them all. These sliding doors are a major investment in your home and so it is all the more important to make the correct choices. Sliding patio doors keep your home safe from intruders; keep it warm, but also to ensure a stunning look and raises the aesthetics of your house.
Aluminium patio doors are much stronger in comparison with their uPVC and timber alternatives. They also offer better energy efficiency, sleek sightlines, better security systems and a wider range of design options to choose from.
There are types of mechanism aluminium sliding doors:
- Inline sliding mechanism
- Lift&slide mechanism
Inline sliding doors
The conventional sliding doors are inline sliding as they are designed to sit on the track a glide smoothly on them. You can choose to have 2, 3, 4 and 6 glazing panels for your inline sliding door. Inline sliding doors are considered superior to bi-fold doors since they offer large panels sizes and increase the view of the space with very slim sightlines at as comparable price. Apart from aluminium, inline sliding doors can also be made from uPVC or timber. These doors are very flexible and versatile and work equally well for both small and wide openings.
Lift and slide doors, as the name suggests, have to be raised before sliding. These have three main components: the rollers, the track to glide and a door handle, using which the door can be lifted and locked. An upward 180 degree movement of the handle allows you to raise the door onto the rollers for seamless gliding. This same handle when pulled down, will make the rollers come off the track and eventually seal the door. The door upon sealing is immovable, making it feasible to lock it in an open position. These are manufactured in 2, 3 and 4 panel setup.
Different opening configurations are possible. Some of popular opening configurations are as follows:
- 2 panel sliding doors (Duo rails)
- 3 panel sliding doors (3-rails)
- 4 panels sliding doors (bi-parting)
- Open corner sliding doors
Bi parting (4 Panels) sliding doors
Bi parting configuration helps in reducing the depth of the tracks in case a very wide opening is to be filled with sliding glass doors. In this configuration, the door parts from the centre and opens left and right, generally with a floating mullion to provide uninterrupted sliding glass for extra-wide structural opening.
Pocket sliding doors
A pocket door configuration is the one in which glass panels of the sliding doors can be concealed inside a cavity within the walls. An ideal configuration for achieving a fully open aperture and merging the indoors with the outdoor living spaces and creating a smooth transition.
Open corner sliding doors
Open corner configuration is one in which sliding doors open to have a free corner without any post. Most sliding doors can be designed and installed at a 90 degree angle, but there are a few that also provide corner opening sliding doors at angles ranging from 65 to 177, this allows you to have the freedom of installing sliding glass doors in non-orthogonal shapes of your homes.
Depending on your needs, you must consider the sightlines offered by different glass doors in the market. Aluminium doors, as a thumb rule, offer minimal sightlines that increase the light drawn inside your home and also maximise the potential of an unhindered view. Sliding aluminium doors offer better sightlines than folding doors when kept shut. Some of the slimmest sightlines available in the market go to as less as 20mm, allowing for an uncompromised view.
Security of the sliding doors
A sliding patio door provides entry into your house, it’s important to consider its security level and choose a door that is very unlikely to break through. A six-point locking system along with toughened glass is one way to achieve that. There are a number of factors that you should consider to make an informed decision about the security of your doors. Some of these are listed below:
- Material of the door – For its high durability and strength, premium-grade aluminium is a popular and one of the best options for sliding door frames
- Glazing – It is only wise to install sliding doors with double or even better, triple glazing.
- Door Lock – For further security, a strong and tested lock like the multi-point lock system must be installed.
Sliding patio doors are a more thermal efficient option than other kinds of patio doors and making them in aluminium increases their efficiency. There are many other factors and configurations that help in preventing the heat from escaping your house. Aluminium frames, double or triple glazing, polyamide breaks and weather seals are the most common upgrades that increase the thermal efficiency of sliding patio doors.
Glass options: Double or triple glazing
Consider your house needs of thermal efficiency, security, noise insulations and your budget before deciding upon the number of glazing layers in your sliding patio doors. Double glazed panels are a necessity from a security point of view where triple glazing provides increased levels of security. Triple glazing is superior in most aspects, but it ends up increasing the cost and installation charges. Increased weight of one extra layer also makes the door heavier to move in triple glazing. It is important to make a choice based on the needs of your house.
Look for manufacturers that provide long guarantee periods. This ensures that your door is a highly durable one and also provides a peace of mind to know that you will not have to pay for any problems, immediately after investing in a door system. A guarantee of up to 20 years is offered on the aluminium sliding patio doors by the industry-leading companies.
Cost of aluminium sliding doors
Your budget is a major factor that will determine your choices. The cost of buying a sliding door varies a lot based on a large number of factors, some of which are listed below.
- Frame material – From timber, uPVC and aluminium, aluminium is the most expensive material. However, it also is the most durable and strong of all three.
- Door mechanisms– Simple inline sliding doors are often more affordable than lift and slide doors.
- Size of the door – larger sized doors and more panels will cost higher and may significantly increase the installation charges.
- Door configuration – more complicated the configurations, higher the cost.