5 Considerations When Choosing Between Sliding and Hinged Patio Doors

When it comes to home remodeling, selecting the right entry door leading to a patio is a crucial decision that impacts not only the aesthetics of your home but also its functionality and energy efficiency. The debate between sliding patio doors and hinged patio doors is a common one among homeowners — especially in the Central NJ area, where many people enjoy outdoor entertaining.

Each type of door offers distinct advantages as well as disadvantages. Here are five key considerations to help you make the best choice for your Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, or Morris County home.

1. Space and Layout

The first consideration is the space and layout of your home. Sliding patio doors are ideal for situations where you want to conserve floor space. Since they open and close by sliding parallel to the wall, they don’t require the clearance that hinged doors do. This makes them a superb choice for compact patios or decks and smaller homes.

On the other hand, hinged patio doors, which swing inward or outward, can add a classic or traditional touch to your home’s design. They’re well suited for historic homes where sliding doors might look out of place. Hinged doors work exceptionally well in homes with larger outdoor spaces that have the necessary clearance for the doors to open. What’s more, double French doors offer one of the widest entries available outside of specialized bifold doors.

2. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another crucial consideration, especially in Central NJ, where temperatures can vary dramatically with the seasons. Both sliding and hinged patio doors can be energy efficient, but their design and installation play a significant role in their performance. Sliding doors often create a tighter seal because they close flush against the frame, which can help reduce air leakage and energy loss. This makes them an excellent option for energy-conscious homeowners looking to maintain efficiency in heating and cooling.

Hinged doors, while they can also be designed for high energy efficiency, may require more precise installation to ensure a tight seal. For either type of door, look for energy-efficient features like double or triple-pane glass, low-E coatings, and thermal breaks to minimize heat transfer and improve insulation.

3. Accessibility and Traffic Flow

Consider how the door will affect accessibility and traffic flow in and out of your home. Sliding doors provide a wide opening, which can benefit families that entertain often or have family members who require barrier-free access. The ease of opening and closing sliding doors also makes them a practical choice for busy households.

Hinged doors, while potentially offering a broader opening (especially if you opt for double doors), might be better suited for homes where the door will be used less frequently for direct access to outdoor spaces. Additionally, because their swing can obstruct areas close to the door, it can affect how furniture is arranged and how people move through the space.

4. View and Natural Light

For homeowners who value natural light and want to maximize their view of the outdoors, the choice between sliding and hinged patio doors is significant. Sliding doors typically offer larger panes of glass with minimal visual interruptions, providing an expansive view of your backyard or garden. This can be particularly appealing for homes with scenic landscapes, allowing for an unobstructed view of the beautiful greenery we have in New Jersey.

Hinged patio doors generally have more frame and less glass area, which can limit the view and amount of natural light entering the home. However, some options can still offer substantial glass areas, especially in French door styles, combining aesthetics with desirable natural light.

5. Security

Security is a paramount concern for any homeowner. Modern sliding doors have come a long way in security features, including multiple locking points, shatter-proof glass, and even built-in security bars. However, some homeowners might feel more secure with hinged doors, as they can be perceived as more robust and can’t be lifted off tracks.

When choosing between sliding and hinged patio doors for your Central NJ home remodeling project, carefully consider the five aspects mentioned above. Knowing your space constraints, energy-efficiency goals, accessibility needs, desire for natural light, and security concerns will guide you to the best choice for your home.

Whether opting for the sleek, space-saving design of sliding doors or the classic appeal of hinged doors, your selection will significantly impact your home’s functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. Still undecided on what kind of door is right for a specific application in your home? Schedule a consultation with the professionals at Bellari!