Understanding sliding patio door sizes

To get the most out of your new doors for your extension, it is worth knowing a little about sliding patio door sizes.  The size of your new sliding doors is what offers the best comfort and light in the winter months. Furthermore, you want the right functionality when using the doors in the warmer weather.

In this article, we explain some of the things to consider when choosing aluminium sliding doors and why the size of your door matters.

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Sliding Patio Doors in Aluminium

What are the best sliding patio door sizes for your home?

Our message about choosing the best sliding patio doors remains the same. There is no bad product on the market. A well-made and properly fitted door is reliable and functional whatever the brand or system.  Add to this a choice of colour, flexible threshold options and glass options and you get a great product in the home.

First of all, it’s worth addressing how much to spend on doors. Many homeowners also want windows as well as sliding doors.  We suggest focussing the bigger part of the overall doors and windows budget on the doors.  Windows are fairly similar across the board from most of the major systems.  All windows come in many different types and styles but the smaller window sizes consequently place less stress and demand on the product.  Easy to fit, easy to operate, a window is often just a window and usually reliable.

On the other hand, doors come bigger, heavier, with more components and greater demands placed on them.  A well-engineered door with functionality, smooth rolling and quality hardware is where we suggest spending as much as possible.

steel-look windows in a new home made by everglade windows trade

While there are excellent PVCu patio doors on the market such as the Patiomaster product, Slider 24 from Deceuninck and other systems, sliding doors in aluminium offers more benefits than PVCu materials. 

Sliding patio doors for new extensions.

Choosing the right size sliding door for a new extension gives you much more flexibility and choice than when replacing an existing patio door. There are a number of options to consider here. Most sliding door systems come at sizes to meet small doors on a balcony, porch or other areas.  Bigger sliding doors come at sizes of at least 3 metres wide and 3 metres high. Some ultra-premium doors such as the Panoramah! sliding doors go up to nine metres or more.

Whatever your sliding patio door sizes, you have a fairly good choice of options for a new extension.

  • Conventional sliding patio doors in the familiar inline sliding operation.
  • The latest ultra-slim sliding doors.
  • Just like bifolds, sliding doors on a corner with a fixed or moveable corner post.
  • Sliding doors disappearing fully into a wall when opened.
  • The same flush threshold that is so desirable on bifolding doors.

There are some outstanding products on the market to consider suitable for both standard size or oversize sliding patio doors.

The Schuco Sliding door is one of the best German brands with an excellent lift and slide action. Reynaers Hi-Finity sliding door with gorgeous door furniture and big size capability is another. Also worth considering is the Alumil S650 also sold as the Dutemann Glide-S. This door offers sizes of more than 6 metres with just two panels. Sunflex SVG30 offers a 30mm or 83mm mullion, based on a UK system, but re-engineered to be even better.

The latest slimline sliding doors also offer great solutions.  Many of the products on the market use the Cortizo system such as air 20SL doors, Infiniglide and others. There are complexities with these types of slim doors made around the glass you should be aware of.

Involve your builder and architect when buying patio doors.

Another good tip is to involve your builder or architect at the design stage.  Visit a good showroom, take a look at the threshold for the benefit of your builder.  Also worth doing is asking your supplier for a sample of the door track and threshold.  Not only does this further reinforce what happens at the threshold, but also gives your builder an actual size sample to work with.

Getting your sliding patio door sizes right also means everyone involved in your project understanding the product too. Sliding doors are not all the same. Do this part of your design right and you benefit from either a standard threshold or a flush one.  There is nothing to fear with a well-designed flush threshold.  These are great for aesthetics as well as a minimal step.  Furthermore, wheelchair users or pushchairs and even kids bikes transition easily in and out.

shuco sliding doors
Stepping out in style.  Triple track doors all sliding to one side.

Sliding patio doors for existing openings.

Looking to replace your old patio doors? This is easier.  The good is too, is that old doors came at smaller sizes.  Latest generation sliding doors come at bigger panel sizes.  Therefore old doors such as the Monarch Monaframe in four or six panels now get replaced with fewer panels and bigger glass.  Moreover, you get better functionality, improved security and thinner sight lines.

Any of the doors available are ideal as a replacement for old doors.  And even if you have a hardwood subframe, most doors come with a direct fix arrangement. There are other benefits when replacing your old doors with a new one.

  • Improved security thanks to better locking systems and smoother slide action.
  • Double as well as triple tracks giving you more options where your doors slide.
  • A 50% clear opening changing your three panel doors, as opposed to a 33% clear opening.
  • Neater looking doors when having less panels thanks to less visible mullions.

Choosing how your new doors slide.

A number of options exist in how your new sliding doors open and operate.

Inline Sliding Patio doors. The traditional arrangement where each panel sits on a track and within the overall frame.  Simply unlock and push/pull the door to the designed position.  Slimline doors made around the glass usually come inline sliding only.

Lift and Slide. This is one great way of making big doors effortless in opening and sliding.  A different type of rotating handle controls the door.  The door lifts up when turning the handle 180° and ready to move.  Another benefit is securing the door in the partially open position too.

Tilt and slide.  Available with Schuco, Reynaers, Comar and others are added ventilation.  The door panels tilts in like an opening window, providing ventilation without sliding the door open.

Choosing your sliding door sizes? Some useful advice.

  • Plan early and involve all parties. You will get a smoother project with less stress. Get them to see a door or a sample.
  • Always see the doors in a showroom.  If your builder supplies the doors make sure you know what you are getting.
  • The bigger the doors, the likelihood of additional machinery to transport and fix. The price reflects this.
  • Try out the doors.  Many showrooms already have big sliding doors to see and use. Or get in touch and we can tell you where to view.
  • Expect your doors to be a different brand from your windows.  Neither will they look the same.

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16:42 30 Oct 23
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Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
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15:13 13 Feb 23
We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
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