A Quick Guide to Buying New Patio Doors

Given the sheer number of patio door options on the market, deciding which ones will work best for your home can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are some suggestions that can help you narrow down your choices.

Door Style

There are two basic patio door styles:

  1. French doors – French doors are hinged doors and feature two sashes that meet in the middle. They work best with traditional home styles. French doors require space to swing open and closed.

  2. Sliding patio doors – Sliding patio doors feature one or more sashes that slide along tracks on the bottom frame. They work best on contemporary home styles and don’t require swing space.

Elements of either style can be combined to suit certain design requirements. For example, we offer sliding French doors, which feature the aesthetics of our French doors, but built with sliding sashes.

Frame Material

  1. Wood – Wood is the oldest type of frame material that’s still in use today. Despite its high-maintenance requirements, many homeowners choose it for its natural grain and texture.

  2. Aluminium – Aluminum is a lightweight and affordable frame material. However, it requires an insulated core. Bare aluminum is vulnerable to corrosion and, therefore, requires a coat of paint.

  3. Steel – While commonly used for building entry doors, some manufacturers offer steel patio doors. Like aluminum, they require protection against corrosion.

  4. Vinyl – Vinyl is best known for its low-maintenance features and often does not require repainting, thanks to its molded-in colors. Despite its popularity, vinyl has its own set of cons: limited color and size selection, “plasticky” texture and vulnerability to temperature extremes.

  5. Composite – Composites are made with polymer and a reinforcing material. Fiberglass is a well-known type of composite, made with polymer and spun glass fibers. Our parent company, Andersen® Corporation, engineered an exclusive type of composite: Fibrex® material. Made of polymer and wood fibers, it combines the best features of wood and vinyl. All of our replacement windows, as well as some structural components of our patio doors, are made of it.


Avoid single-pane glass, especially with mostly glass patio doors, as it could be detrimental to your home’s energy efficiency. Instead, choose double-pane glass. The airspace between glass panels provides insulation that slows down heat conduction. This airspace can be optionally filled with non-toxic inert gases to enhance insulation.

Grilles and Hardware

Once you have chosen your glass and frame materials, customize it with grilles and hardware. Unlike their traditional counterparts, today’s patio doors feature a single large piece of double-pane glass. You can choose snap-on grilles that can be removed for easy cleaning or have them set between glass panels.

Hardware is available in a wide variety of styles, finishes and configurations. In addition to standard latches and stops, choose security features like multi-point latches and solid brass hinges.

Renewal by Andersen® of Quad Cities is your leading provider of replacement windows, patio doors and entry doors. Give us a call at (844) 366-7784, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Bettendorf, IA, and nearby areas.