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txmarti

Sliding glass doors, or French doors opening outward - crossposte

TxMarti
10 years ago

I'm in a time crunch as this decision is keeping our plans from moving forward. I posted this originally on the remodeling forum and haven't received any answers.

We are adding on a dining room about 10x12. The two 12' walls will have windows on one side overlooking the yard and doors on the opposite side opening to the patio.

I originally thought sliding glass doors, 3 or 4 panel, about 8 to 9 foot. Dh doesn't like sliders, both for safety, stability, and keeping out drafts.

I'd also like to have a lifetime warranty just because I figure fogging between panes of glass that big are inevitable. But I don't know if there are any with lifetime or even long warranties.

I called a local dealer and the woman didn't even want to talk about sliders, said no one puts them in anymore. Her suggestion was French doors that open outward. Dh thinks those are too easy to break into. But it seems to me that any glass door will be easy to break into, so then it's just a matter of keeping out drafts and ease of use.

I don't really want one opening inward because of size of room doors hitting furniture.

I don't know how often this door will even be used, so all this may not be important at all. But I would like the room to be balanced, so if there are three 3 foot windows on one side, I'd like the same size windows/door on the other.

Any ideas or comments? WWYD?

Comments (30)

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    I'm not sure what your DH's objections with sliders regarding **safety, stability, and keeping out drafts** are all about. We have a slider and have had no issues with any of those things. In fact, I'd say our slider is the LEAST drafty door in our house! You can get low end French patio doors that feel flimsy, have safety issues and are drafty and the same is true of sliders. You can skimp on quality in some building products but windows and doors will get you every time. I love not having a door opening into the room and an outward swinging door would be intrusive onto my deck space. I think it would also feel awkward. Have you looked at your patio layout and how a door opening out to it would work?

    If you'll even consider a slider, look at Anderson Frenchwood series. The styles and rails on those doors are big and beefy, and that's what makes for a rock solid door.

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  • Fun2BHere
    10 years ago

    All eight of my French doors open outwards. I guess they are more vulnerable because the hinge is on the outside, but they make locking hinge covers. I've never had a problem, but my neighborhood is fairly secluded.

    You might consider the sliding doors that look like French doors.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    Yes, we have the Frenchwood series and would recommend them without hesitation. I'm not home to measure but I'm pretty sure our door opening is 6'. Ours is one stationary and one sliding, so each section would be about 3'. Just remembered I have picture on this laptop. We actually have 2 of these doors leading to our deck from different rooms and you can see both in this picture. Don't pay attention to the blue tape on the screen - we were dog sitting and the dog would bang into the screen every time so we put the tape at her eye level!!! My DH does home remodeling, additions and repair for a living and he always recommends Anderson for sliders. Some companies are good for windows but make lousy sliders, others make good patio doors and lousy windows! He doesn't like Anderson for anything else but sliders.

  • scrappy25
    10 years ago

    Outswing doors are not allowed over a step and also not to code if not opening to a covered area, at least in my jurisdiction. There are good reasons for that. So unless you put in a porch ceiling and a larger stoop that is near the floor level when you exit, you probably shoudln't have an outswing door.

    dlm2000, that is such a pretty slider! Thanks for posting it!

  • dakota01
    10 years ago

    My last house had french looking doors in the kitchen and the sunroom. I had both open outward. I was very happy with my decision. I see no real reason why they should open into an interior space. My sunroom was a double though only 1 opened and when I opened it it folded all the over the other door - great for letting lots of air in. and it kept floor space in the room.
    Kitchen was a single it opened very wide due to a wall on the exterior it didn't fold as far over, but I liked it when taking food out to the grill, and I had more space by my table since I didn't have to worry about the door opening.
    I wanted that in my new home - but for some stupid reason I listened to my builder and mine opens to the inside. I much prefer opening outward. I see no reason not to...

  • andee_gw
    10 years ago

    I have Anderson sliders in two rooms and they are heavy! Slide just fine, and have eliminated the cold and drafty aluminum doors of the PO.

    Have you thought about window treatments before deciding on slider vs. inward opening French doors?

  • luckygal
    10 years ago

    My home and sliders are now 16 years old and no problems with any of your DH's concerns. They have lowE glass and I live in the far north where it gets cold but never a draft from them. However, I wouldn't use sliders again as they are heavy and get heavier the older I get! LOL I use one of them many times a day to let the dog out in her yard.

    If you are planning three 36" windows why not have a door in the center flanked by full length windows. Do you really need more than a 36" opening to the deck? That way the door won't impinge on furniture arrangements as much. I would definitely have the door opening inward.

  • annzgw
    10 years ago

    You may also want to check out the Pella brand of sliders. It's what we have at each end of the deck and I've never had problems with them. If you go with a quality slider you won't have any of the problems DH is concerned about, plus they slide with ease.

    As for warranty, they have a 10 yr warranty (labor costs included for only first 2 yrs). I've only had to call Pella twice for fogging in windows and they came out and made all the repairs.
    You'll have a better selection if you buy from a store specializing in windows and doors, not a big box store.

  • natal
    10 years ago

    An outward opening door is not appropriate for all situations ... yours is one. You don't want a door opening outward with a step down. That's just asking for trouble.

  • erinsean
    10 years ago

    I don't believe I have ever seen an outside door open out, unless it goes into an enclosed sunporch/three season room. I would think that would be very awkward. I wonder if there isn't a city building code that prevents or outlaws this....I really don't know but would be strange, I think..

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I posted to this earlier but it's not here now.

    dlmw2000, your door looks great. Did it come primed? I appreciate your dh's professional opinion on that too. I always wonder what builders put in their own homes.

    I haven't planned on putting any window coverings on that wall. It opens onto a patio that will be enclosed. If it bothers me though, I'll probably put curtains over it. I've seen some with blinds or shades inside but wonder how long they will work.

  • Pipdog
    10 years ago

    I have two sets of sliders that lead out to a patio/outdoor living room (one set is from the living room, one is is in the den). I added window coverings on the sides of the sliders as we get a lot of sunlight flooding in - they're rarely closed, but they do soften the space. I also have curtains on the outside patio side of the sliders.

    I love our sliders -- they stay open most of the day:

  • lukkiirish
    10 years ago

    I haven't read the feedback, so I'm sorry if this is a duplicate suggestion but my mother was in a similar situation a few years back and ended up getting a very secure french slider and loves it. They're heavy duty and and sealed well. I think not all doors are equal and the key is to spend the money necessary for good quality.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    Primed??? Ha! marti8a if you think I can remember!!! Those doors were put in almost 20 years ago! I'm sure somewhere on the Anderson website you can find the options.

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    pipdog, I love your sliders and am drooling over your patio and bench. Those look like some I found when I first started looking. Dh doesn't think we have room for a 4 panel though, so it will either be 2 or 3 for us.

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    dlm2000, yours look brand new.

  • hopmom
    10 years ago

    We now have three new Andersen french style patio doors -- 2 in our family room that lead to the deck and 1 in the walkout basement. All have only one side that opens.

    I just asked the contractor the other day why we didn't get one that swings out for the basement -- he told me they only make them with doors that swing in. (?)

    So far, we are happy with them. We replaced our sliders with these doors -- I've never had good luck with sliders (but maybe I've never had good ones).

    Here's a pic showing family room doors:

  • seashellsandpearls
    10 years ago

    Ya, well...
    you can say that doors that open out are asking for trouble all you want.. don't mean a thing. Here in Florida, all exterior doors open out. It's code, has to due with hurricanes and wind patterns, I am told.

    Sea

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    lukkiirish, do you remember what brand your mother got?

    We looked at some doors today, one Andersen and some cheaper vinyl ones. I liked the way the Andersen rolled best, but didn't like the way it latched. It didn't lock tight and could still move a bit. It didn't look like dlm2000's door handle at all, and we were wondering if it was the cheaper series or if they have changed the way they made the lock.

  • dakota01
    10 years ago

    The doors that I had that swung out were Peachtree. The only issue w/thier door is the ones I bought were wood. So, living in the north - sometimes they would swell and I had a hard time locking them.
    Another poster mentioned outward opening and a step down being an issue. My kitchen had just one step down and it was never an issue..
    I really do find that my new house w/doors opening inward (other than the main front door) are more of a PITA than outward swing. YOu really have more interior room with outward rather than inward swing.

  • lukkiirish
    10 years ago

    No, but I can ask her and get back with you. They open up to a sun room and are really gorgeous.

  • lakeaffect
    10 years ago

    marti8a-

    We have 2 sets of aluminum clad, low e, argon filled sliders and a set of the same outward opening french doors, all by Eagle (now owned by Andersen, but independent when we purchased them 8 years ago). They all operate easily, close securely and have no air infiltration, we are in NNY and have wind, cold and snow and have never had a problem. While I like the look of french doors better, we chose sliders in two our of three locations because we wanted screens on the doors, we don't have or want A/C, so screens are on the doors are a must for us. The one french door we have will someday open onto a small sunroom/conservatory (hopefully), that's why we chose a set of french doors in that area.

    Eagle, as well as the other well known manufacturers, have lots of options on the interior; primed, painted, stained, different wood species, hardware options, etc. We rented a house with vinyl sliders when we were building and I would not recommend them at all, they didn't work well, ice built up in the channels and the cold air poured in seemingly from the entire opening. I strongly prefer the wood interior and aluminum clad exterior, but overall I would get the best ones you can afford, good doors and windows pay for themselves in the form of lower energy costs.

    Good luck-

    sandyponder

  • natal
    10 years ago

    Marti, check out Marvin if you have a dealer in your area.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    pipdog - what a lovely setting!

    hopmom - lovely doors and trim - the light in that room must be fantastic.

    marti8a - almost every major window/door company has different quality lines. They sell the lower end stuff to big box stores and those likely have fewer options than what you would order through a contractor. There are hardware options, grill options, cladding options...... Hopefully you can find a quality, independent dealer in your area who handles more than one line so you can compare. Whatever style you choose, as many of us are saying, this isn't the place to bargain hunt. That doesn't mean you have to go with a huge national brand as there are sometimes smaller, local companies that make a great product - I just don't know what is available to you.

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    There isn't a lot in our area, but we're not that far from Dallas and we haven't checked with the builder yet. We started this to get the measurements for the plan to submit for a permit, and then thought we needed to know for sure which door we wanted for sure in case the measurements varied.

    I think we're going with a six foot door and two three foot windows opposite. That should be plenty of light for a 10x12 room.

  • Susan
    10 years ago

    if you have snow don't go for the outward swing. i learned the hard way.
    i have 15 year old marvin sliders, one eight footer and the other is a twelve foot door. both are heavy and rock solid.
    i plan on moving the big door to another wall when i remodel.

  • TxMarti
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    We seldom have snow here. I'd say never but we had freak heavy snows in 2009 & 2010. But generally, if we get anything, it will be ice and sleet and it never lasts long.

    While I went to the quilt show today, dh went to 2nds & Surplus to kill time. Why he didn't want to look at quilts with a mob of women, I have no idea.

    Anyway while there, he saw a door that he thought might work well. He said it looked to be 6' wide, with two side panels that were about 18" each and French doors in the center 3' area. So they could open inward and not be in the way.

    {{!gwi}}

    The one they had was green, and behind other doors so he couldn't open the doors, so next we'd like to see one in a showroom. They were Atrium brand.

  • MorahS
    9 years ago

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me if I would be better off installing good quality Anderson sliding glass doors or a cheaper brand with outward opening french doors outside.My contractor says this is possible if he gets a special door frame. I am trying to figure out which option would provide the most security as well as the best insulation.

  • Michael Contopoulos
    7 years ago

    Pips of, how wide is the opening for those French sliders? Also, what brand? We're thinking about doing 4 panel sliders like that in a 110" opening (Anderson a series).