Patio doors are the gateway to indoor-outdoor living. They are there to create easier access to outdoor spaces, bring daylight and views into your home, and are an important physical barrier separating your home from the outdoor elements. But they don’t last forever. Maybe one day you notice that the indoor temperature near your patio doors is hotter or cooler than it should be, or perhaps you have difficulty opening and closing them. These are telltale signs that it’s time to replace your patio doors. But how do you really know it’s time to replace your glass doors?

A large sliding glass door connects an indoor seating and dining area to an outdoor seating area with a fire pit.

Here are six questions that show what signs to look for that tell you it’s time to replace the patio doors.

  1. Are your patio doors difficult to open or close?
    Sometimes sliding doors can catch or stick when being operated, especially after decades of use. This might be because the tracks and rollers inside the door are dirty or starting to wear. If cleaning the inner components doesn’t do the trick, it may be time for a new door. And if the locking mechanism is broken, you will definitely want to look at a door replacement to maintain the security of your home.
  2. Do you feel the breeze?
    If you are standing near your patio doors in the heat of summer and feel warmth seeping into your home, it may mean that your doors need an upgrade. A seal may be broken (more about that later) or you may have an older door that is just not energy efficient. Most modern sliding glass doors are made from double pane glass to improve heat loss or gain, and the space between the panes can be filled with gas to further improve energy efficiency. Replacing older doors can improve indoor living conditions and can also save you money on heating and cooling costs! (Learn more about the energy efficiency of glass doors here.
  3. Do you see signs of deterioration?
    Maybe your glass doors have some visible wear and tear like scratches, dents, and scuffs, that you are tired of looking at. Or perhaps the deterioration is more than just skin deep. Moisture from air escaping through the glass panels can condense, causing fog that is noticeable when extreme temperatures fluctuate in and out of your home. Water can also leak in between the panes of glass, leading to frame damage and rotting. If this is the case, a seal is likely broken and a new set of doors will fix the problem.
  4. Does your sliding glass door remind you of another decade?
    Sometimes you just want a modern upgrade. Maybe your door frame has a 1980s golden oak finish that you just can’t stand to look at anymore. Window and door frames can be indicative of the era in which they were installed. If this is the case, it may be time to consider modern finishes and materials like aluminum or vinyl. These materials are often more durable and energy efficient and give a modern touch to your living space.
  5. How easy is it to enjoy your outdoor spaces?
    Do your patio doors allow you to fully enjoy your outdoor space from inside the home? Maybe the sliding doors actually block the view to your yard or maybe the access point is too narrow, creating poor traffic flow between the indoors and outdoors. Patio doors should enhance your living experience and blend indoor and outdoor spaces together easily. If your doors don’t do this, it may be time to think about larger, full-wall glass doors that make your indoor and outdoor spaces feel more connected.
  6. Do you just want more?
    Maybe you love your patio doors so much that you just want to add more! One sliding glass door is great, but maybe it’s time to expand the overall size of the opening and add more glass. This allows you to expand views to the outside and let in more light. You could even install an entire wall of glass that opens up to the outdoors via sliding or folding operating mechanisms, creating a true indoor-outdoor living space.

Whether your door is aging, malfunctioning, or simply limiting your ability to access and enjoy the outdoors, it might be time to consider a replacement. Ready to see your options? Design your door or talk to an expert.