Blog > Category Post > Updated: 2016-Jul-28

What's to know about buying vinyl sliding patio doors

What's to know about sliding patio doors
The same technology that has evolved vinyl windows over the last 10 years, has also evolved vinyl sliding patio doors. There's so much more to offer in sliding door options to make maintenance easier, make doorways safer and more secure. And increase the aesthetics in your home. Here's a quick guide to what you should know when buying vinyl sliding doors.

Perfect backing on to decks and back yards, sliding patio doors are typically made of wood, vinyl, wood with vinyl clad and aluminum. However vinyl has become the leading choice, as vinyl sliding patio doors are the most cost-effective, are energy-efficient and require little maintenance. Vinyl sliding doors have come a long way in the past 10 years, offering many options that increase the comfort, style and energy-efficiency of your home.

Why a sliding patio door, rather than a hinged door?

  • Takes up less space
  • Allows in more light
  • Offers an unobstructed view
  • Quick opening when foot traffic is heavy
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Built in sliding screen door offers great ventilation

Security features

Gone are the days when you would to need to place a piece of wood at the bottom inside rail of your patio door, for that added sense of security. Today’s sliding patio doors can be accessorized to a whole new level of safety and security.

  • Kick locks or security bolts (some manufacturers offer as standard, others as optional)
  • Heavy duty lock & key latches (standard) or multi-point locks (optional)
  • Reinforced metal sashes housed inside the vinyl frame provide rigidity and security
  • Tempered glass and laminated safety glass (optional) add another level of safety and security

Custom sizes

Many manufacturers allow for custom sizing, transoms and side lites, however the tempered glass option may be restricted to certain standard sizes.


2, 3, 4 panel options allow you to control your space with single (right or left slider) or double slider configurations. Most sliding doors come equipped with long lasting nylon and various metal rollers at the head (top) and sill (bottom) that provide a clean, quiet and smooth ride.

Weather proofing

Most sliding doors come with slopped sills that direct water way from the door and weather stripping to provide a nice tight fit that keeps the elements and sound out. Glass options are available to let as little, or as much light or UV rays in as desired.


Advancements in window technology, provide options and solutions that can be applied on a per room basis. Glass can be ordered in various: thicknesses, strengths for increased security; specialty coatings, tints, double or triple glazing to control lighting, interior comfort and reduce energy costs. Between the glass spacer solutions lessen the transfer of cold or hot exterior temperatures into the house.


Mini-blinds can be incorporated into the factory sealed panes to allow for the adjustment of light, and privacy and eliminating the need for drapes, exterior vertical sliding blinds or other window treatments. Utilizing a interior magnetic controller, the blinds can be adjusted with finger-touch ease. No need for dusting, no fear of damage due to home traffic, no effect on the factory seal.


Optional grills are available in the standard Colonial and Prairie configurations, however some manufactures offer the same grill flexibility as windows in order to help you create a perfect match with the rest of your window styling.


Standard handle hardware is typically white, or black and available in a single or multi lock (optional) configuration.


Screen are typically made of extruded aluminum with fiberglass mesh on steel rollers for durability and ease of operation.

Exterior Colours

Best assortment of window colours are available with wooden sliding door which are virtually limitless (stains), followed by aluminum which is typically available from various manufacturers in about 30 colours (powder coated), then vinyl which is limited to about 8-10 standard colours (vinyl spray or laminant). Colour warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. And prices vary considerably depending on your preferred material, so when looking at prices, be sure you are comparing like materials.

Interior colours

The standard colour for all sliding patio interior is white, but many manufacturers offer, various woods, simulated wood, vinyl wrapped wood, or stainable vinyl materials providing plenty of interior window colour flexibility. Again, prices vary depending on your preferred material.