When planning home improvement updates, exterior doors may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Think about it though – exterior doors not only give you protection and security from the elements, but can also add style and natural light to your home. With this in mind, Simonton has laid out some easy-to-follow steps on how to select a patio door that will meet your performance needs and fit your style.

How to choose exterior doors for your home.

How to choose a patio door in five easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Choose the patio door style that best fits your home.

Sliding Patio Doors. A great space-saving option, sliding patio doors boast style and extreme functionality. Sliding glass doors create an effortless transition from indoors to out, and if you have a vinyl sliding door, it will require little to no upkeep. The expanded glass area offers an incredible amount of natural light to fill your living space, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere no matter the time of year.

Swinging Patio Doors. Available in center-hinged, garden and French door styles, swinging patio doors add a hint of elegance. French patio doors both swing, while the center-hinged and garden door styles have one fixed panel. The best part about these beautiful options? They’re easy to customize to match your home’s style.

Step 2: Decide which patio door material is best for your home.

Vinyl Patio Doors. Vinyl patio doors are built to last for years to come and stand up against severe weather in your area. Vinyl is less expensive than wood and fiberglass, but still has the energy efficiency benefits that wood and fiberglass have. Vinyl patio doors also come in a wide variety of colors to choose from, including a woodgrain laminate that is designed to look like real wood.

Wood Patio Doors. Wood doors boast a stylish look and can be customized to any paint or stain color you choose. However, they are commonly more expensive than the other materials and require more upkeep to make them looking beautiful year after year.

Fiberglass Patio Doors. Fiberglass requires little to no maintenance, can weather outdoor elements and can be customized to blend effortlessly with the design of your residence. However, with its benefits comes a higher price. Fiberglass is the most expensive patio door material.

Aluminum Patio Doors. Aluminum is one of the least expensive materials to choose from, but it also has downsides. Because it is lightweight, aluminum is unable to retain heat or keep cool air inside as efficiently as other materials. So, you can expect your energy costs to increase with aluminum doors. They can also dent or scratch more easily.

Step 3: Select custom patio door upgrades to show off your style.

Grid Styles

Choose from a variety of grid styles for your patio doors such as colonial, diamond, perimeter and more.

Patio Door Hardware

Customize your patio doors with hardware options like dark bronze, nickel, polished brass and many other options.

Color Options

Browse through a wide selection of interior and exterior colors to give your doors a pop of style and to match any room or exterior siding on your home.

Blinds Between the Glass

Simonton’s Inovo patio comes with the option to have blinds placed between the glass. The best part is they are easy to use – check out this helpful video from Simonton to see how they work.

Patio Screen Door

Enjoy the gentle ease of an additional sliding screen door to filter in fresh air and keep pesky insects out. They are easy to install and remove – watch this video to learn more.

Whichever custom options you choose, Simonton Windows and Doors make a great addition to any room. Browse this inspiration guide for more patio door ideas.

Step 4: If you live near a coast or in a cold climate, consider these options.

Beyond style, color and finishes, there are a couple other features to consider when selecting patio doors to outfit your home.

Impact resistant patio door from Simonton Windows & Doors.

Impact resistant patio door from Simonton Windows & Doors.

Impact resistant patio doors.

If you live on or near a coast, you should explore using impact-resistant patio doors. You may also hear these doors referred to as coastal doors or hurricane doors.

So, what makes impact-resistant doors different? They feature a heavy, invisible plastic interlayer sandwiched between the glass panes. This interlayer helps prevent the glass from being punctured by flying debris. Under extreme conditions, the outer glass panes may shatter, but the interlayer will not break out of its frame, keeping the inside of your home safe.

Find more information about impact resistant doors and windows here.

ENERGY STAR-Certified doors.

When products are ENERGY STAR-certified they have to meet certain criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appliances like your refrigerator and washer/dryer can be ENERGY STAR-certified, but so can the materials you use to build or improve your home, including exterior patio doors. We’re proud to be an ENERGY STAR partner and offer glass packages that meet the EPA’s criteria for each climate zone. With one of these packages, your door will deliver an additional level of thermal performance, which can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs year round. Learn more about how Simonton Windows and Doors makes products more energy efficient.

Step 5: Find a pro near you.

Ready to get started? To balance your dream design with project costs, check out our blog post about the true cost of patio doors. You’ll learn how to plan for your exterior door renovation and become educated on hidden costs that could happen along the way.

Then, find a pro near you to get a quote.