USA: Patio Doors: Patio Door Manufacturers
ABOUT PATIO DOORS
Patio Doors are usually made of wood, but may also be made of fiberglass, aluminium, or steel. They may consist of simple fixed and hinged panels, they may have bypass sliding operation, or they may slide and fold. Slide and fold patio doors have the benefit that they can open the whole side of the room to the outside space. The leading patio door manufacturers, described below, have comprehensive websites, including online patio door catalogs, specifications, and information on colours and materials, and care and maintenance of patio doors.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
The key considerations are the type of operation, the type of material for the framing, and the type of glass.
Types of operation
There three main choices for the type of operation: hinged, sliding, and sliding folding. Hinged doors are suitable only for relatively narrow openings, up to about six feet. In such cases a pair of hinged doors can be fitted. These may be inward or outward opening. The advantage of inward opening doors is that they are protected from the weather when opened, and will not swing around in the wind. The advantage of outward opening doors is that they do not take up space within the room.
Sliding doors are usually provided as two, three, or four sections, with one or two of the sections being able to slide back. Sliding doors are robust and economical. Also they do not take up any space within the room. Their disadvantage is that typically less than half the space can be opened up.
The third option, which is increasingly popular, is the sliding folding door. This will typically consist of between three and six glazed sections, which are hinged together at their edges. Alternate hinge points are fitted with pins sliding in top and bottom tracks, so that the door can be opened in concertina fashion, with the panels folding into our outside the room. The great advantage of sliding folding doors is that they enable the whole space to be opened, so that the space and air can flow freely between the room and the outside. There is usually a facility to open one section as a hinged door, without folding back the rest of the door.
In terms of type of material for the framing, the main choices are vinyl, wood, aluminum and aluminum-faced wood. Vinyl is the cheapest option. It has the advantage of requiring no maintenance, but the frames tend to be thicker than for wood or aluminum doors. White vinyl is liable to yellow; alternative wood-like colors are available. Wood, particularly hardwood, gives a warmer higher-quality look compared to vinyl. Aluminum is a popular material; it required no maintenance and can have a slimmer frame than vinyl. Also aluminum patio doors are available in a wide range of powder-coated permanent colors, which will not need re-painting for the life of the door. When using aluminum we would strongly advise using a powder-coated color finish; bare aluminum will quickly start to weather in an unsightly way; also it has a rather cheap, industrial, look. An attractive, but expensive, option is aluminum-coated wood. This gives a powder-coated aluminum finish on the outside, requiring no maintenance, and a warm attractive timber finish on the inside of the room.
Types of glass
As to type of glass, the doors will typically have double-glazed glazing units, to provide improved thermal insulation. You should also consider using low-emission glass (also known as low-E glass). This has a thin film coating, either a pyrolytic coating of tin oxide or a thin silver layer applied using magnetron sputtering. In both cases the coatings reflect infrared energy, thus tending to keep radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it came, while letting visible light through. This reduces heat gain in summer and also reduces heat loss in winter.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
Jeld Wen. Jeld Wen started in 1960 as an Oregon millwork plant with 15 staff. It is now a large door and window manufacturer, with more than 20,000 employees worldwide. Its range of doors includes wood and molded wood fiber interior doors, and wood, vinyl, steel and aluminium exterior doors, including patio doors. Jeld Wen wood doors are available in mahogany, walnut, oak, hemlock, poplar, hickory, maple, pine, alder, cherry and fir. Fiberglass patio doors have the look of real wood, but do not warp or crack. Jeld Wen vinyl doors have color that will not chip or peel, and never needs painting. Optional low-E glass increases the energy efficiency of the patio doors. Grilles may be provided between the layers of glass to add visual interest to the door without incurring any maintenance. Jeld Wen vinyl doors have a lifetime warranty.
Masonite. Masonite has been making exterior and interior doors, including patio doors, for more than 80 years. It has its headquarters in Tampa, Florida, and has more than thirteen thousand employees worldwide. The section of its website dealing with external doors is organized into the following parts: Fiberglass Entry Doors, Steel Entry Doors, Door Systems, Finishing Instruction, Adjustable Steel Door Frames, Royal Mahogany Entry Systems, Specialty Glass, and Technical Specifications. Masonite Doors are available in both fiberglass and steel. They feature composite-backed sills; this avoids rot, and enables the bottom of the sill to the sealed firmly to the foundation, preventing water intrusion. The vinyl jambs are pre-finished white, never rot, and do not require maintenance. Wood frames are available if preferred. Thermal astragals with locking flush bolts and rubber boots seal off the elements.
Simpson. Founded in 1890, Simpson is one of the oldest forest product companies in the Pacific Northwest. Its converting facilities are in Tacoma and Southwest Washington. It subsidiary Simpson Door Company manufactures a wide range of exterior and interior wooden doors, including patio doors. Its exterior and doors include: Mastermark Collection, American Red Oak, Mahogany Collection, Performance Series, and Craftsman Collection. Simpson also supplies wrought iron doors and impact-resistant doors. Glazed leaded inserts are tripled glazed to reduce heat loss. Simpson offers the following wood options: Douglas Fir, Mahogany, Western Hemlock, Eastern White Knotty Pine, Poplar, Maple, Red Oak, Cherry, and Knotty Alder. It presents a wide range of glass options, with privacy ratings shown from 1 to 10. These include Sable, Screen Dot, and Cross Reed.
Thermal Industries. Thermal Industries, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was in the 1960s the first company to introduce replacement vinyl windows to the US market. In addition to vinyl window and vinyl railing products, Thermal Industries supplies a range of energy-efficient vinyl patio doors. These have fully welded construction, with aluminum reinforcement. Low emissivity glass is used to reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. Optional insulating gases such as Argon and Krypton may be incorporated in the double glazed units. Doors from Thermal Industries are made from rigid, low maintenance, poly vinyl chloride components. Specially formulated virgin vinyl compounds from Georgia Gulf are custom blended and extruded for each framing component. Two specialist options for vinyl doors are Vycap, involving two colors of vinyl co-extruded into a single piece, and DreamWood, which is a wood capping process with vinyl outside and true wood inside the home.
OTHER PRODUCTS RELATED TO PATIO DOORS
Publisher: Abacus Construction Index is a professionally edited directory of recommended construction websites, published by Extonet Ltd. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from included websites.