Patio door ideas and advice


If you’re planning on laying a modern patio, then chances are that you’re also considering installing a brand-new set of patio doors to go alongside it – after all, what’s better than being able to walk straight out of your home and onto your patio?

Of course, alongside settling on a patio design, you’ll also need to think about exactly what sort of patio doors you want to install. Not every patio door style is the same and some may be better suited to your property than others.

So, to help you get a better understanding of the different types of patio doors out there, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about modern patio doors and their features, as well as a few design ideas for patio doors, in order to make deciding on your preferred door style that much easier!

What are the different types of patio doors?

Generally speaking, there are four different types of patio doors currently on the market, each of which open in their own distinct way to provide a unique doorway into your garden:


Sliding doors

The classic patio door style, sliding doors offer a fantastic balance between letting in plenty of light, offering expansive views of the outside, and delivering the sort of wow factor that comes with owning a bespoke set of patio doors.

No matter the size of your home, these modern patio doors are easily sized to match your desired opening. Combine that with their lift and slide opening function and you’ll have no trouble letting in that summer breeze on those sunny days.

bi-folding doors

In search of a more luxurious and eye-catching patio door design? When it comes to modern patio doors, few are more capable of transforming your garden space than a dedicated set of bi-folding doors.

Fully foldable, once open, bi-fold doors can be casually stored off to one side, giving you unrivalled access to the whole of your new entryway. And if you don’t want your doors all the way open, you can simply unlock your traffic door instead to welcome in fresh air.

French doors

Getting their name for their popularity on the continent, French doors have continued to be a mainstay when it comes to patio door options across the UK, and for good reason. Blending simplicity with beauty, French doors are well-suited for use in modern and contemporary homes alike.

Offering a fantastic view of your garden through two fully paned doors, this sort of patio door can look amazing when combined with kitchen or dining room windows, giving you a handy exit outdoors that doesn’t require a sizable budget.

Traditional-style external doors

While all the patio door options we’ve just described can be a great choice for anyone seeking to install a door to their back patio, if your patio is instead at the front of your house or attached to your driveway, then you may prefer a more traditional external door.

Designed using toughened aluminium frames, and fully secure with multi-point locking systems, our external doors come in a range of style and colour options that are tailored for use in contemporary and traditional homes alike.

Patio door glazing options

Now that you know what the common types of aluminium patio doors are, you’ll next have to consider what sort of glazing options you want installed in your new doors, such as whether or not you’ll go with double-glazing or triple-glazing.

For example, here at Express, we offer advanced, low-emissivity glass as standard for all of our products. This glass is double-glazed and coated with a unique film that helps to regulate room temperature by reflecting heat back indoors.

But that’s just one of our glazing options. We also offer solar control glass that’s perfect if you plan on having large glass panelling around your new door. As well as our shield glass that is tailored for additional UV protection, noise reduction, and anti-smash properties.

Patio door ideas for your home

Having talked about the various patio door options available to you, let’s now look at some distinct patio door ideas to give you a better idea of what to consider when picking the right patio door style for your home:

1. Corner patio doors

Starting with one of the most distinctive ideas for patio doors on our list, if you have a large budget and a suitably sized home, you might want to consider installing a set of corner patio doors.

Feasible using either sliding or bi-folding doors, and sometimes without a corner strut, this sort of door layout can look great in modern homes that favour an industrial or contemporary style while also maximising just how much of your home you can open to the outdoors.

2. French window doors

Blurring the line between windows and doors, the next of our modern patio door ideas focus on installing a set of French doors flanked on either side by a matching set of framed windows.

This sort of design simultaneously gives you a standout feature window while also granting you direct access to your patio from whatever room you choose to install them in, giving you the best advantages of both home features.

3. Narrow sliding doors

If you’re home gets plenty of light, but is on the slightly smaller size, then your best option for installing modern patio doors might be to go with a set of narrow sliding doors, rather than a basic external door or French door design.

Simply put, sliding doors offer you great views and fantastic size flexibility with their varying pane setup, allowing you to open up a small space without worrying about the potential space lost to external or French doors when they’re open.

4. Office patio doors

Although patio doors are traditionally reserved for use in your kitchen, dining room, or lounge, if you have a downstairs office, then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t install your new patio doors in this room instead.

In fact, home office patio doors are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the arrival of hybrid working. They let in plenty of that essential light throughout the working day and are an excellent ventilation option on those hot summer days.

5. Balcony patio doors

Last, but by no means least, if your home is lucky enough to come with a balcony, even if it’s just a Juliette balcony, then you should definitely consider updating its look with a set of French or sliding doors.

For one thing, adding either of these new patio door styles will substantially improve the light coming into your bedroom, and as an added bonus, you’ll get the luxurious feeling of opening your doors wide whenever you want to step outside.

Patio door FAQs

Almost ready to purchase your aluminium patio doors? Are there still a few questions you want answering? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below to see if we have the answer you’re looking for:

What are patio doors?

Patio doors are typically identified as any door that features some sort of glazing within its door frame, whether these be large, singular panes, or multiple smaller panes divided by bars.

They’re styled to allow in plenty of light and provide easy access to a garden patio (hence the name) giving homeowners added flexibility in how they enjoy their garden in the summer months.

What are the best value patio doors?

Generally speaking, if you’re looking for the most inexpensive patio door option, then a traditional external door or set of French doors are going to be your best option as they’re usually smaller in size than sliding and bi-fold doors, requiring less time to build and install.

However, if you want to get as much value out of your new patio doors as possible, then you should definitely consider sliding or bi-folding doors. Not only are they better suited to bigger spaces, but they offer unbroken sightlines for uninterrupted views of your garden.

How much are patio doors?

The price of your new patio doors will naturally vary depending on their size and design. As we’ve already mentioned, French doors tend to be cheaper than sliding and bi-folding, but this may not always be the case.

For a more accurate idea of how your new patio doors might cost, get in touch with our experts today for a free quote.

How wide are patio doors?

In almost all cases, the width of your patio doors will on be constrained by the style you choose and the size of your house. For example, French doors are going to be much narrower than bi-fold doors, the latter of which we can offer in enormous five-panel bi-fold doors and six-panel bi-fold doors for larger homes

How to insulate patio doors

Despite what you might read online, patio doors of all kinds have a rather undeserved reputation for being poorly insulated. This simply isn’t the case (at least for our products), as most modern patio doors come in double-glazing as standard.

Not only that but the frames of aluminium patio doors in particular act as excellent thermal breaks for retaining temperature, ensuring that your home stays at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.

Choose Express Bi-folds for your patio doors

With all that covered, you should have a much better idea of where to start when looking to install a new set of patio doors in your home. And if any of the ideas or styles we’ve highlighted sound interesting to you, then why not book a visit to one of our showrooms so you can see them in person?

Here at Express, we have well over a decade of experience making bespoke aluminium home features, including both doors and glazing solutions. Get in touch today to learn more about our process or download our free product brochure for more information on our different products.

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