Sliding Patio Doors
Fitting sliding patio doors to your property can immediately make your room feel more spacious, increase the amount of natural lighting and add value in the process.
Sliding doors come in varied options, probably the most common would be a 2 panel configuration where 1 or other of the doors is fixed into place, whilst the other can be set up to open to the left or right.
Having said that, for larger openings multi-panel or Bi-fold Door configurations are available.
Please bear in mind that in many cases the use of toughened safety glass is mandated by UK building regulations where glazed areas reach floor level.
Tempered (heat treated) safety glazing is usually standard, but you can opt for laminated glazing as an extra feature but it will cost more.
Sliding doors can be sometime viewed as more vulnerable to burglars than those that are hinged to the main frame. However, if you include such features as Anti-lift tracks, toughened glazing & good quality locks, then it should be more than adequate.
You can also go for products that have been accredited as “Secured by Design” which is an accreditation from the Association of UK Chief Police Officers and it demonstrates that the design has been tested to high standards of security.
Secured By Design
The official police flagship initiative, combining the pricipals of “designing-out” crime with phsical security.
Sliding Patio doors can be manufactured to fit into almost any size opening. However, the minimum recommended width would be over 1.6 metres or 5 ½ feet.
There are suppliers who will build quite large doors, but your average limit for the height of the glass would be around 3000mm per pane, and the width the same at 3000mm per pane.
2 panel doors will have usually have one or the other door fixed into place and the other sliding. The moving door can be on the right or left
3 panel doors can have 2 doors that move & 1 fixed or 2 fixed & 1 moving.
4 panel doors can have the 2 centre panels moving. These panels will open from the centre and slide to the sides making a 2 panel width opening in the centre. Alternatively, 3 of the doors will move to the left or right.
For an opening that is not quite big enough to accommodate 4 full size doors, but you don’t want to use 3 full size doors, you can opt for 2 full size at the centre with 2 fixed smaller fixed side panels.
This 4 panel configuration will work up to the point where the overall width of the whole opening becomes too large for 4 doors.
For installations with more than 4 doors, consult with your installer regarding which doors you require to be movable.
Low level or floor level thresholds can be incorporated into the designs. This feature is useful if there are occupants who are very young (toddlers) or infirm, use wheelchairs or walking aids as there is nothing to step over or to trip over.
If you opt for low level thresholds, confirm the threshold design has been weather tested to meet British Standards.
The moving doors should have at least a 3 lever mortice lock built into the unit. Where available they are also best fitted with a multi-point lock system.
For all sliding patio door products, ensure that your installation has Anti-lift tracks so that the door cannot be forced out of the tracks by intruders or burglars.