How to Choose a Back Door

Find a secure, stylish door that gives you access to your backyard or patio.


Photo courtesy of Vitrocsa

By: Peter Walsh
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Your back door provides a second entrance to your home and it also allows you access to your deck, patio or backyard.

Since the back of the house is often a private space, there is little need for a door to conceal the inside of a house from neighbors or the street. This gives you a lot of options, from French doors to sliding glass.

To prevent sun fade on furnishings, consider low-E glass or built-in blinds sandwiched between panes. Whatever style door you decide on, be sure it has double-paned glass and proper weather stripping to save on heating and cooling costs.

Back Door Ideas

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Form Follows Function

Photo By: Eric Perry

Room With a View

Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

To Screen or Not to Screen

Focus on Design

Go for Low-E

Sliding Door Benefits

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding doors open and close on a track system that runs along the bottom and top of the doors. Sliders are perfect for tight areas in your home because there's no need to provide extra space in the room for a swinging, hinged door.



Consider how you plan to use your backyard when deciding on a door. These sliding pocket doors capitalize on entertaining space, allowing guests to enjoy the outdoors while dining inside. Photo courtesy of Ply Gem



stone walls and sliding doors

Hinged Doors

Hinged doors allow the maximum amount of access to the outdoors from inside the home. Doors that swing inward need extra room inside to open so are not appropriate where interior space is tight.

Screens Are a Must

Why have large expanses of glass doors and not be able to keep them open and bug-free in warm weather? Most sliding doors are available with a screen that slides along a track on the top and bottom to keep insects out.

Some have retractable screens that roll up into a casing on the side of the door. Screens for French doors are hinged on the sides and open the same way the doors open. They fit into a jamb casing that surrounds the entire door frame.

Cost: $60 to $250

Next Up

Deciding on a Garage Door

New garage door options maximize durability, energy efficiency, performance and safety, without compromising on style.

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