Hinged Patio Doors
Whether you've recently installed a new patio or are just looking to upgrade the entryway to your existing outdoor space, hinged patio doors can likely make entry and exit a more efficient and elegant experience.
Your options for patio doors are fairly limited, which isn't a bad thing, necessarily. You could choose to stick with a simple, single hinged door; the issue with this when it comes to a patio, however, is that outdoor paces tend to have a lot of chaotic ingress and egress traffic—like people carrying trays of food, or kids and pets barreling in and out, for example. For this reason, most people choose to widen the opening to a deck or patio to at least double the width of a single door. Hinged patio doors are a great option for this technique, as they provide an optimally wide and easy-to-open entryway.
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
In terms of style for your hinged patio doors, you'll find that most home improvement stores or door retailers will offer a wide variety of designs, from traditional to more modern, contemporary looks. Your chief decisions will be which style matches your home best, and what size hinged patio doors you want to install. The latter will likely be determined by the size and shape of the interior space leading to the door and the exterior space entering the patio.
Once you've decided on the style and size of your hinged patio doors, all that's left to do is install them. You can hire a contractor or, if you're handy, install them yourself (this is a job that rates right around medium difficulty).
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas