How to Choose a Back Door
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.
Form Follows Function
Back doors allow you access to private entertaining areas, like decks, gardens and patios. Before you buy, consider how you'll use your space. Do you need sliding doors to maximize the view; French doors for easy, elegant access or even a Dutch door, to let in air and light, while limiting entrance? Photo courtesy of HGTV Green Home 2012
Room With a View
If you entertain a lot, and have a gorgeous view to frame, consider wide, glass doors perfect for allowing guests to mingle on the patio while soaking up the ambiance. Design by SPG Architects
Sliding Door Benefits
Sliding doors need less space to operate than their swinging counterparts. They're perfect for areas with small landings (like steps to a patio or deck) where a swinging door could cause someone to fall if they accidentally stepped off the landing to accommodate the door. Photo courtesy of Milgard
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
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