The fact that you’re reading this means you either want to replace your patio door or buy a new one. You are at least mildly curious about the subject, even if you wish to do neither. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place, no matter what your goal is in acquiring knowledge about new patio doors.


This guide will inform you about the patio door options on the market. It will also cover the differences between their types, material, build quality, and how they generally work.


 Standard Size(in")
Width Height Size
96 80, 84, 96 96x80, 96x84, 96x96
120 80, 96 120x80, 120x96
144 96 144x96
96 * *
108 * *
120 * *


 Standard Size(ft')
Width Height Size
8 6 1/2, 7, 8 8x6 1/2, 8x7, 8x8
10 8, 9 10x8, 10x9
12 8 12x8
9 * *
10 * *



Patio Door Configuration and Standard Sizes


The “standard” for the dimensions of patio doors may vary based on the manufacturing company, but they generally tend to stay in the same ballpark.


The height is the most consistent part of the measurement, as most sliding doors, regardless of the number of panels it has, tend to be in the range of 80 to 96 inches. However, most patio doors are closer to 80 inches, so you could take that as the approximate standard.


The width has a lot more variations, though. Double panel doors tend to be between 60 to 96 inches across. Triple-panel patio doors reach somewhere around 108 to 144 inches. In short, 80 x 60 is roughly the standard for patio doors.


Custom-Sized Patio Doors


If the specifications listed above don’t strike your fancy, you’ll need to delve into the territory of custom-sized patio doors. Over here, you’ll find any size you could possibly want for the right price. The cost for custom sizes can reach more than double that of standard ones.


The more designs and features you add, the higher the price will climb. Adding multiple doors of non-standard sizes or any unique overhead design could easily dent most people’s wallets.


Transom vs Full Height


French and patio doors with transoms have become a popular style for urban homes. It adds a point of intrigue to the doors. But the allure of a full-height patio door isn’t too easy to pass if you have a minimalist taste.


There are a few ways to play around with the transom designs. You could have the same glass as your door to give it the classic rustic vibe. But you could also put coloured glass on the transom to make it stand out. From a technical perspective, the transom doesn’t have any downsides.


On the other hand, the full-height, floor-to-ceiling door has a glaring flaw. Being taller than the standard size means your door will need a bulkier frame and more glass up top. The extra bulk introduces more weight to the equation, and the sliders on your patio door must curry said weight, which could lead to its reduced lifespan.




Aluminium and vinyl are the two most popular materials for patio doors, but you’ll also see a fair bit of wooden frames on the market. Each of these materials has its strengths and weaknesses, so let’s review them quickly.


First up is aluminium. It’s a solid and stylish choice for patio doors, and aluminium sliding doors tend to have a narrow profile, giving a better exterior view. However, aluminium is also a bit heavier than vinyl and considerably more expensive.


Vinyl, on the other hand, is a lightweight material that fits with just about any design. But you don’t really get too many colour choices with vinyl. And the material is a notch lower than aluminium in terms of quality. The quality of wooden doors depends entirely on what type of wood you have, so there’s that.




The frame design is admittedly quite important. When buying a patio door, you’ll want a sturdy frame that matches your home’s aesthetic. Aluminium frames are light, sturdy, and often have a very sleek profile. So high-end doors tend to be made with high-quality aluminium.


Vinyl door frames are also very light and won’t lose structural integrity if you maintain them properly. And it also has excellent insulating properties. The last one is the wooden frame. Wooden frames are a hit or miss if you don’t know much about wood, so it’d be best to research before contacting a salesperson.


Exterior and Interior Finishes and Colours


Wooden doors shine when it comes to exterior and interior finishes and colours. Wood is fantastic in terms of texture and custom colour. There are a lot of choices there too. You could leave the wood with a varnish to bring out its natural patterns or paint over it.


High-end wooden frames will come with powder coating; you can usually choose between 50-60 shades. Aluminium also comes in a variety of colour coatings. Its texture is decidedly less vibrant. Vinyl usually has a far more limited colour option. It’s usually a choice between different shades of black or grey.



Patio doors are usually made with some variant of tempered glass. It’s strong, resilient, and withstands the weather quite well. You could add more layers of glass for better insulation. Adding two sheets of glass instead of just one is called double-glazing. The sheets have a space between them where they usually put some insulating gas.


You can add another layer and have some triple-glazed glass. But that’s overkill unless you live somewhere with severe climate issues. Other than that, these tempered glasses do not break like regular glass panels. They shatter into tiny pieces, which aren’t nearly as sharp as ordinary glass. It’s a nifty safety feature.


Blinds & tints


While a beautiful view is excellent, people don’t necessarily appreciate the sun glaring at them in the face. So, people tend to put blinds up to cover their patio doors. If you aren’t a fan of blinds because of how they look or how it adds a whole extra mechanic in front of your door, you could always go for tints instead.

Some tints will protect you against sunlight. Some tints add extra colour to your glass panel. You could also put the one-way mirror tint for privacy reasons. Regardless, quite a few options are open.



The operational principle of a sliding door is relatively simple. A person applies pressure from one side, and the door moves in another direction. Very straightforward. However, there’s a distinct difference in quality between these sliding mechanisms that vary based on the manufacturer.


You can’t expect to get the same kind of performance from a door made by Pella that you would from Fleetwood. The craftsmanship, material quality, and installation quality all play a significant role in determining the operational quality of a sliding door.

Locking Hardware & Security 

Locks are your only security on a sliding door, so consider them carefully before buying. There are a few different locks.

There are single-latch locks, double-latch locks, multi-latch locks, deadbolts at the top, key fobs, anti-lift mechanisms, etc. Usually, a combination of multi-latch locks and deadbolts is enough for standard security.




That brings us to the conclusion of this guide. Hopefully, you now have more knowledge about new patio doors and what to look for when buying them. There’s not really that big of a performance difference between patio doors in a similar price range, regardless of their material or design, so just pick the one that feels right for your home.


July 19, 2023 — Della Wang