Types of Patio Doors – A Helpful Guide

The installation of quality patio doors can transform the way a home looks, feels and is used, no matter what size space they’re installed in. With modern designs incorporating the best thermal technology, quality materials and different configurations, the patio door is not just an asset in the summer, but all year round! But with lots of styles of exterior doors available, how do you choose the right patio doors for your home?

First, let’s take a look at the types of patio doors available on the market.

Schuco aluminium sliding patio door

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding doors are one of the most popular choices for exterior patio doors. A sliding door system does not open out like a traditional french door, instead it smoothly glides inside a track to create a wide opening. Exterior sliding doors are ideal for homes with a small or large opening, and can be made to measure so that the door can open the full width of the panel. This in-line slide design is perfect for quick access to the garden as it enables you to slide the panel to create the space needed. Modern sliding systems with large glass panels also increase natural light, a fantastic feature for opening up small spaces.

Lite Haus UK’s exterior sliding doors are made from top grade aluminium with the finest German engineering. Features of our modern patio sliders include narrow sight lines, thermally broken frames and integrated burglar resistance. The new generation Schüco ASE 60/80 sliding patio door is the newest addition to our aluminium range and comes highly recommended! Download the latest brochure to find out more.

Lift and Slide Doors

Modern sliding doors are also available in a lift and slide operation. Whereas sliding doors sit within the track, a lift and slide patio system sits directly on the track which changes the way it functions. When you lift up the handle to open the lift and slide door (180 degrees), the sliding panel is lifted onto the rollers and is very easily moved into the desired position. This operation is particularly suited to large and heavy panels as advanced running gears can easily reduce friction.

The specialised lift and slide design ensures extra protection against the elements, with excellent drainage and water-tightness. When you choose aluminium lift and slide doors like those in our Schüco range, you can still benefit from narrow sight lines, good thermal insulation and total security, so this design is a definite contender for your home!

Folding Patio Doors

External folding doors are at the top end of the market and are favoured as one of the best insulated patio systems. The innovative folding design means each door panel can be stacked back to create a complete opening, giving the appearance that you have removed a wall of your home. Not only does this make for an amazing feature, but it is highly effective at creating more space and blending inside and outside living.  Take a look at how effortlessly a folding patio system moves in our video below.

Lite Haus UK install and manufacture the premium Schüco ASS 70 FD because we believe it is the best foldable patio door on the market. With a wide range of configurations and RAL colour options, we can customise your choice to fit your exact space and design requirements. What’s more you can choose to incorporate a traffic door into the design so that your folding patio system can also function as a tradition french door – perfect!


Corner Patio Doors

A patio door that opens at a corner has the unique ability to open up a space in an unexpected way in your home. Whether it’s folding or sliding, a corner patio door will transform a dark corner into a light and functional space. It’s important to consider this type of installation carefully as support columns may be required for this design, so you should seek advice from your chosen manufacturer or architect.

Exterior Pocket Doors

With an exterior pocket sliding door you have the opportunity to open up your home even more than a with a folding patio door! This is because of how a pocket sliding patio door is installed. The track and framing for an exterior pocket system is integrated in the walls of your home and so the panel effectively disappears into it. This removes any barrier between inside and outside and creates amazing panoramic views. For pocket doors with multiple door panels, a thick depth will be required for the construction so you will need to review whether this is suitable for your home.

As well as providing top quality insulation, security and versatility like our other Schuco products, the ASE 67 pocket sliding system creates a level threshold. This makes moving from inside your house and out to your garden or patio safe and accessible to everyone.


Which Patio Door Option Is Right For Me?

Our experts are on-hand to help you choose the best patio door for your home. So give us a call on 024 7646 0115 to discuss your options! But here are some things to consider when deciding.

If you frequently use your patio doors or it is used as an entrance

Accessibility is an important consideration if you use your exterior patio doors a lot. Whilst exterior folding doors open effortlessly, they aren’t as quick to open and close as a sliding system. So if you want a new system that allows you to pop in and out with ease, a sliding or lift and slide design is the way to go. However, it is possible to turn a panel on your folding system into a traffic door so this style can still be suitable for those homes that need to use it as an entrance. Read our guide to configuration options for more information.

If you want to make the most of light and good weather

All of our modern door styles can open up your home to lots more light and ventilation; however bifolds are the favourite when it comes to making the most of the summer weather. Folding doors are most desired by architects and you’ll often see them featured on Grand Designs as they are perfect for removing the barrier between a home and garden. Completely folded back, the line between your kitchen and patio is removed and so your living and dining space is easily increased. This makes this type of patio door design perfect for a summer BBQ!

If you are building a large extension

Innovative glass patio doors are the perfect finishing touch to any home extension regardless of the sliding system you choose. However if you’re planning a new extension and have a lot of space to work with, a pocket door is a great choice. You’ll need to incorporate the design into your planning from the outset but with the ‘disappearing’ aspect of these doors you can benefit from uninterrupted panoramic views!

If you want to improve home security

Security is essential to any home and with quality aluminum patio doors burglars don’t stand a chance! Here at Lite Haus UK we manufacture and install Schüco products all of which offer total security for peace of mind. All products are tested to meet rigorous UK standards for burglar resistance and can be fitted with multi-point locking systems. The sleek design of all sliding and folding systems ensures that all security components are not visible from the outside. Go to our YouTube channel to see just how burglar resistant they are!

If you want to save money on your energy bills

Schüco sliding, folding and panoramic doors are world renowned for their excellent thermal insulation. Whichever style you install, you will benefit from exceptional levels of thermal insulation and improved energy efficiency. Aluminium frames are thermally broken so they’re guaranteed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer!

If you’re planning a complete home renovation

Aluminium patio doors are custom to made to any specification, so they can work with any design concept you have planned! What’s more, alu frames are available in countless RAL colours, twin colours and marine grade finishes. The versatility of each design means you can make the most of any shaped room so for a complete home renovation you could easily combine different door styles!

If you’re working with a tight budget

Folding patio doors are the most expensive product but also one of the best modern designs on the market today. Here at Lite Haus UK we understand that not everyone can afford the high-end brands and so we have designed our own range of affordable bifolds to provide a cost-effective alternative. Find out more about the Lite-Style range or check our pricing guide.

Looking for a patio door quote?

Speak to Lite Haus UK to get a free quote for any type of modern patio door. Give us a call on 024 7646 0115 or complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch. If you’re interested in external bifolds, design your own today using our online designer!

Aluminium corner patio installation