Modern Patio Door Options For Period Properties

Patio doors … practical and a good light source, particularly in a terraced home or old houses with small windows.

These days, patio doors are available in a variety of styles and materials. They may be sliding panels, French doors or folding doors. Frames range from white or wood-effect pvc, stained timber or powder-coated aluminium in a variety of standard colours.

If you own a period property, the chances are that you will either wish to retain its characteristics or (heritage listings notwithstanding) go for a contemporary makeover for a comfortable modern lifestyle with a ‘wow’ factor.

Many patio doors are available with Georgian-style panelling, in pvc, wood and aluminium, and some are available in a leaded light design. Modern mock-tudor or georgian-style houses look absolutely fine with white plastic frames but many owners of older character properties consider pvc too incongruous. Timber frames are favoured, as wood has been used for centuries and was likely to be the original material in most traditional properties.

In fact, other than stately mansions with French doors opening to their grand terraces, period properties were unlikely to have had patio doors when first built. Installing them, then, has already steered away from tradition and therefore opened the way to increasing the benefits.

The cheapest form of wooden patio door is probably softwood French doors. More recently, timber bifolding doors have come to market via national d-i-y companies. These off-the-shelf kits are generally supplied in a range of sizes and the owner or builder installing the doors must adjust the hole to fit the doors.

Be bold – go for colour

Alternatively, there are aluminium bifolds that are custom made to fit the hole, often installed within a couple of weeks from order, by an experienced team from the manufacturer or supplier. There are many other advantages to choosing this option: aluminium frames are strong yet much slimmer that wooden frames; aluminium folding doors are suitable for widths of 6 or 7 metres; aluminium frames can be ordered in over 200 colours!

Styles include Georgian and Leaded-light designs, plain door or with a horizontal bar. Other options include integral blinds housed inside the double glazed cavity and a choice of glass styles including tinted, obscure and more.

There is another type of patio door on the horizon – the double-glazed Glass Curtain – a frameless set of doors that individually slide across the gap and can pivot at the end of the track to stack against the wall. Glass Curtains are currently available as frameless room dividers.