Curious About Patio Door Replacement? Here’s Some Info to Get You Started
Moving into a new home in need of some modern touches? Want to bring your cottage into the 21st century? Undertaking a renovation or replacing units due to damage or malfunction? There are plenty of reasons why homeowners in Toronto and the GTA need patio door replacement services. In these instances, it helps to have a better understanding of what to look for in a replacement patio door unit — from cost and aesthetics to considerations surrounding strength, functionality, security, and energy efficiency.
In this patio door replacement guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about patio doors and provide you with the information you need to feel confident throughout the replacement process.
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- What Patio Door Styles Are There to Choose From?
- The Cost of Sliding Patio Door Replacement
- What Are the Key Parts of a Sliding Patio Door?
- What Are Some Key Performance Features for Sliding Patio Doors?
- Energy Efficiency and Sliding Patio Door Replacement
- Ensuring Your Replacement Patio Doors Work For Your Home & Style
- Have More Questions About Patio Door Replacement? Reach Out Today!
What Patio Door Styles Are There to Choose From?
If you are looking for new sliding glass patio doors, you will typically come across three different styles. These styles differ from each other by how many fixed/moveable glass panels they contain. These moveable glass panels are also known as sashes. If you are looking to replace an older patio door system, it’s important to understand configurations that will work with the available opening size. Talk to your provider to ensure that the panel sizes and door designs they offer are customizable based on your unique project requirements.
Two-Panel Glass Patio Doors:
Two-panel patio doors are made up of one moveable glass panel and one fixed glass panel. The moveable panel opens via rollers that glide along a raised track that sits along the bottom of the unit.
Three-Panel Glass Patio Doors:
Three-panel glass patio doors are made up of one moveable glass panel and two fixed glass panels. Depending on the installation, the moveable glass panel can either sit:
- In the middle of the two fixed glass panels and open to the left or the right.
- On the left of the two fixed glass panels and open to the right
- On the right of the two glass panels and open to the left
Four-Panel Glass Patio Doors:
Four-panel glass patio doors are made up of two moveable glass panels and two fixed glass panels. The two moveable glass panels sit in between the two fixed panels, each sliding open outward to the left and right.
The Cost of Sliding Patio Door Replacement
The cost of replacing patio doors can fluctuate quite drastically when you factor in the materials used, the energy efficiency capabilities and additional features. Therefore, it’s important to have a trusted, reliable company assess your needs and provide a quote for the job. Committing to quality replacement patio doors is a significant investment, but it’s one worth making. Investing in quality now means saving time, money, and energy in the long run.
The Cost of Patio Doors in Toronto and the GTA
|Type of Window||Poor Quality||Low Quality||High Quality|
|Patio Door 2-Panel||$900 - $1200||$1200 - $2500||$4,200 - $8,000
|Patio Door 3-Panel||$2000 - $3500||$3500 - $5000||$6000 - $11000|
|Patio Door 4-Panel||$2000 - $4500||$5000 - $8000||$9000 - $13,000|
|French Doors||$1200 - $2800||$1500 - $2500||$4000 - $10000|
What Are the Key Parts of a Sliding Patio Door?
- Fixed Glass Panels: The glass panel that is fixed and immovable
- Moveable Glass Panels: The operable glass panels that slide open
- Insulated Glass Units: Sealed, insulated multi-paned glass units filled with noble gases
- The Frame: Surrounds and supports the various components of the patio door
- The Jambs: The vertical sections of the patio door frame
- The Head: The horizontal section of the frame which sits along the top of the patio door
- The Rollers: Allow the patio door to slide open and closed along its track
- The Track: The part of the unit that houses the rollers
- Screens and Blinds: Protect against dust, dirt, insects, debris, and unwanted light penetration
- Handles: Allow for easy opening and closing
- Locking Mechanisms: Keeps the moveable glass panels locked and secured
What Are Some Key Performance Features for Sliding Patio Doors?
If you’re looking into patio door replacement, there’s a good chance your current unit is outdated, malfunctioning or simply not delivering the year-round performance you need. If you’re in the market for an upgrade on your current sliding patio door system, it’s important to invest in a unit that will deliver at a high level, year after year. Above all, sliding patio doors should:
- Be strong and durable
- Maintain an easy, effortless gliding functionality even after thousands of open and close cycles
- Provide safety, security, and peace of mind
- Help you control light and heat
With these performance considerations in mind, let’s cover some key features to look for in your patio door replacement units.
1. Strong, Durable Reinforced Frames
While they are popular in the window and door industry for their excellent efficiency and their lower upfront cost, vinyl PVC frames lack strength, rigidity, and durability. They are highly susceptible to wear and tear as well as expansion and contraction in fluctuating climates. As a result, traditional vinyl frames are not ideal for patio doors, as they cannot guarantee long-term durability and performance.
The key, then, is to take advantage of vinyl’s excellent energy efficiency while also addressing its structural flaws. This is where Hybrid Fusion Frame technology comes in. These patio door frames are made up of a skeleton of galvanized steel and aluminum wrapped in vinyl (U-PVC). In this way, we provide the best of both worlds: the strength and durability of steel and aluminum with the efficiency of high-performing U-PVC.
2. Stainless Steel Tracks & Rollers
Your sliding patio door hardware should be able to perform smoothly and consistently, year after year and season after season. An elevated stainless steel track fitted with stainless steel rollers provides more strength and durability. It can also help to ensure a smooth, seamless gliding motion even when dust, dirt, and debris accumulate at the bottom of the track.
3. Multi-Point Locking Systems
Safety and security have to be the highest priorities for any window or patio door replacement project. Our patented dual-point locking system contributes to the system’s grade 40 security rating – the highest attainable security rating for a product in its class, while additional kick locks may be added for extra security.
4. Easily Retractable Solar Screens & Thermal Blackout Blinds
Built-in retractable solar screens can help you control how much heat and natural light enters through your patio doors. In warmer, sunnier conditions, a Solar Screen can dampen the intensity of the sun’s rays to make the indoors more comfortable and reduce the strain on your cooling system. Conversely, you can leave them open in the winter to capitalize on as much natural light and heat as possible.
Built-in retractable blackout blinds offer another layer of thermal protection. By preventing comfortable inside air from escaping outside, they can effectively double the insulating value of your patio doors. Plus, their ability to completely block light penetration is ideal when you are looking for enhanced privacy and security.
Energy Efficiency and Sliding Patio Door Replacement
Patio doors are large glass surfaces exposed to the elements and drastically fluctuating climates. As a result, you should be confident that you are installing highly efficient units that will insulate properly and reduce the strain on your home’s HVAC system. There are a number of considerations and factors that go into choosing energy-efficient patio doors, which we will cover in this section.
1. Understanding Key Energy Efficiency Metrics
These are the factors used by organizations like ENERGY STAR® and the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) to gauge the energy efficiency of windows and patio doors.
U-Factor: U-factor determines the rate at which heat escapes through a window or patio door. The lower the U-factor number is, the better the window is at mitigating heat loss.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): SHGC represents how much solar radiation a window or patio door lets into a home. In other words, it determines how well the unit can resist unwanted heat gain. The lower the SHGC number, the more effective the unit will be at reflecting and repelling heat.
Air Leakage: Air leakage infiltration measures the amount of airflow into the building via the unit and exfiltration is the flow of air out of the building. The lower the number, the better your unit will be at preventing unwanted airflow.
Visible Transmittance: This metric determines how well a unit permits the flow of natural light into a home. The higher the VT, the better. By allowing more natural light, the unit helps reduce the need for artificial light sources.
Note: A “good” or “bad” Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating largely depends on the climate where the home is located. For homes in Northern Canada exposed to long winters and minimal warm weather would want a higher SHGC to take advantage of more solar heat gain. Conversely, a lower SHGC is essential in the Southwestern United States, where homes are exposed to ample sunshine year-round. Put simply, a lower SHGC can reduce cooling costs, while a higher SHGC can reduce heating costs.
2. Seal Integrity and Glass Unit Formulation
The glass units used to create your patio door system should help keep your home well insulated and sealed off from the elements. Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) are key to ensuring your patio doors can:
- Prevent heat generated by your home from escaping during the colder months (measured by U-Factor)
- Prevent unwanted solar heat gain during the summer months (measured by Solar Heat Gain Coefficient)
- Keep a perfect seal year-round
Can improve U-Factor and create a more insulated glass system. This process involves filling the space between the window’s glass units with krypton, argon or xenon gas. These heavier, noble gases are preferable to filling the unit with air because they can better impede the transfer of heat through a window.
The Magic™ Difference: Most IGUs on the market are separated by ½ – ¾ of an inch. Due to our innovative approach to window hardware design, we are able to extend that space to a full inch. This means we can fill our IGUs with 25%-50% more gas. More gas leads to more effective insulation.
Low Emissivity (Low-E) Coating:
A very thin, transparent coating that helps regulate and control SHGC. There are a variety of different types of Low-E coating formulations that are possible. The right formulation has everything to do with where the home is located. In Southern Ontario, where the weather changes drastically from hot to cold over the year, a balanced Low-E formula such as the ClimaGuard 70/36 is best. It’s designed to allow you to take advantage of the sun’s heat in the winter, while not having it be overwhelming in the summer months.
The Magic™ Difference: Because we manufacture and formulate our own glass packages, we will always work to provide you with a Low-E coating formulation that will work best for your home in both the summer and the winter.
Warm Edge Spacers:
Insulate the edges of a glass unit and keep the glass panes firmly apart from each other. These spacers add structural stability and mitigate the stress that comes with thermal expansion and contraction in different weather conditions. By expanding and contracting at the same rate as the insulated glass unit, they help to prevent any gas from escaping and the IGU’s seal from failing.
3. The Thermal Efficiency of Frames & Blinds
The right frames and blinds can help to improve the thermal efficiency of your patio door units.
Vinyl PVC Frames: As a material, vinyl PVC is highly thermally efficient. It has a very low thermal conductivity, meaning that heat and cold have a very difficult time transferring through the material. Provided they are reinforced with stronger materials such as aluminum and steel, this thermal efficiency makes vinyl an excellent window frame material.
Thermal Blackout Blinds: Recall that the right thermal blackout blinds can effectively double the insulating value of your patio doors.
Ensuring Your Replacement Patio Doors Work For Your Home & Style
Every home and patio door replacement project is unique. From aesthetics and architectural style to questions of climate and home construction, you should feel confident that you are getting the best patio doors for your home.
Install Patio Doors That Work For You
We have been manufacturing windows and door systems for over 40 years. Over that time, we’ve come to understand the unique seasonal and environmental circumstances that home and cottage owners have to deal with year-round. That’s why we design, formulate and manufacture our own glass window and door systems in-house. This is in contrast to other replacement window and door companies, which often outsource manufacturing and production.
Because of this, we provide customers in Toronto and the GTA with customizable options for their space, including glass types, gas fills, glazings, and coatings. The customization of our glass units allows us to tailor the performance to specific preferences, climates, and architectural styles.
Match Existing Styles Or Go With Something Bolder
We can work with you to ensure you are getting the designs you want, whether you’re looking to match something classic or go in a bold new direction. Choose from custom colours, textures, and grille patterns to make your window and patio door units pop or blend in seamlessly.
Have More Questions About Patio Door Replacement? Reach Out Today!
At Magic, we’re here to help you realize your vision and redefine your space with stylish, innovative, high-performance replacement patio doors. Regardless of whether a replacement is necessary or you’re just looking to refresh your home or cottage’s aesthetic, one of our qualified representatives will be happy to walk you through the replacement process and help you find solutions that will work best for your space.
So let’s talk! Call us today to book a free, no-hassle consultation or simply book one online.