French doors or a sliding patio door? Toughened or Laminated glass?

16
Found 29th Dec 2017
Thinking to replace an old existing aluminium sliding patio door with a uvpc door with a couple of small opening windows above.

Wondered what members think about sliding patio doors vs french doors and the glass options.

From what I gather:

Pros of sliding patio door

Ability to leave slightly open
More glass so increased light
Supposed to be coming back in fashion
Cheaper

Cons

Security probably not as good
Narrower entrance/exit gap
Still considered 1970s doors by some

French Doors

Pros

Wider opening so easier to carry things in and out.
Supposed to be more secure

Cons

Cannot leave slightly ajar
Apparently less glass
Costs more

Toughned glass

More flexible and rather strong but shatters like bus shelter glass when broken

Laminated glass

Don't think it is as strong but the glass is held in place when broken due to a plastic sheet in the glass. Harder to break into due to this. Costs more.

I keep changing my mind as to the options. Existing size is about 1.7m wide and 2.5m tall
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16 Comments
Why not go halfway and have folding doors?

We went for French windows as they matched the house. But they do drop if you leave them open which makes them harder to close over time.
4TheManyNotTheFew29th Dec 2017

Why not go halfway and have folding doors?We went for French windows as …Why not go halfway and have folding doors?We went for French windows as they matched the house. But they do drop if you leave them open which makes them harder to close over time.


They can be easily adjusted if this happens with Allen key or screwdriver. I had them in a house I lived in for 7 years (they had been installed 5 years before), I adjusted them when I moved in and did a minimal adjustment just before I moved. Left it open all the time wide propped back with a brick or heavy item. They were good and thinking of replacing an old wooden set of French doors in this house with similar doors again rather than a sliding door.

Sliding doors are only back in fashion on conservatories where you can slide half the wall back. They are also quite heavy over time and can be prone to becoming dislodged (maybe less of a problem on modern ones perhaps)
How big is the opening? We have aluminium bifold doors across (what was) 2 x 2m sets of French doors. We opened up the doors and the area in-between and have nearly 8m of bifolds. It has changed the whole room.

They've been in place about 10 years now and don't stick/warp and neither do we have any problem opening them. They weren't cheap but are powder coated, triple glazed and look fabulous. Invest and enjoy.
French doors without doubt. Go for toughened glass unless you’re anticipating they’ll get smashed. Just ask the installation team to put hook and eyes on the outside so that they can be pinned back. Wouldn’t go for windows at the top (extra expense) I doubt if you would use them, or how easy they would be to reach to open and close.
Toptrumpet1 h, 31 m ago

French doors without doubt. Go for toughened glass unless you’re a …French doors without doubt. Go for toughened glass unless you’re anticipating they’ll get smashed. Just ask the installation team to put hook and eyes on the outside so that they can be pinned back. Wouldn’t go for windows at the top (extra expense) I doubt if you would use them, or how easy they would be to reach to open and close.



Windows at the top because I have been told by some installers the height is too tall for a straight replacement door. Depends on the window and door manufacturer as to the allowable dimensions. I also think it is useful to have the windows to allow for some air flow without the doors being open. The windows should be too high up for the indoor cat to get out of them. Being rather open planned I foresee those windows being rather useful and may get the most use out of the downstairs opening windows..
4TheManyNotTheFew29th Dec 2017

Why not go halfway and have folding doors?We went for French windows as …Why not go halfway and have folding doors?We went for French windows as they matched the house. But they do drop if you leave them open which makes them harder to close over time.



Do you mean bi-fold doors? I don't think the gap makes it worthwhile.Would probably be rather narrow sections if opted for bi-fold doors.
Fair enough, just make sure that the dimensions are either one third or one quarter of the aperture for the most aesthetically pleasing and easiness on the eye.
are you trying to match it up to otherr windows on the same wall? If so, do they need equal sight lines from the outside? i.e. can you tell by looking from the outside which windows are the ones that can be opened or are all the bars across and down and surrounds the same width?
cmdr_elito4 h, 18 m ago

Sliding doors are only back in fashion on conservatories where you can …Sliding doors are only back in fashion on conservatories where you can slide half the wall back. They are also quite heavy over time and can be prone to becoming dislodged (maybe less of a problem on modern ones perhaps)


The existing one is a bit weighty. Probably the tracks need a spray of GT85 to get rid of the dirt and lubricant the sliding action.

The lever lock built in has gone in the middle edge of the frame. I sliding things should push up to a lock position but it drops back down. Ages ago I added extra bolt locks to make it secure. Maybe I'll look into whether a replacement mortice type lock could be fitted without causing damage or making an eyesore. Not desperate to get the patio door changed. Windows are more of a concern due to being single glazed. Wish the previous owner had fitted double glazed wooden windows instead of single glazed. Secondary glazing quotes cost nearly the same as new uvpc windows but seem like they will be an irritation to live with. Not in a conservation area and the street is not normally noisy.
Toptrumpet17 m ago

Fair enough, just make sure that the dimensions are either one third or …Fair enough, just make sure that the dimensions are either one third or one quarter of the aperture for the most aesthetically pleasing and easiness on the eye.are you trying to match it up to otherr windows on the same wall? If so, do they need equal sight lines from the outside? i.e. can you tell by looking from the outside which windows are the ones that can be opened or are all the bars across and down and surrounds the same width?



The windows which I am looking to get replaced will be dummy vents/equal sightlines. I know this costs more + lose a little glass area in non opening ones. Although both small windows will be opening above the patio door. Will probably have the door height around 2m and the rectangular shaped fanlight windows (taking up the width of the door) above with the rest of the height.
Sounds like you’ve got a plan. Now just need to find a good local company. Make sure they show you samples of both the frame and handles/locks. Ask if they can also give you addresses of local installations they’ve doneso you can drive past. You could even knock and ask about them then.
It is really amazing how much quotes vary for windows and doors. Even when quotes are for installing the same brand and model. Some quotes for windows were double the price of others; yet the windows and what is included is very similar. The sliding patio & french door quotes vary quite a bit but not as extreme as the windows.

The main thing is that it is all gets properly installed. Security varies a bit but on the whole the main brands appear to be rather similar in construction, u values etc.

If anyone else is looking into upvc windows or doors, then ensure you are getting virgin upvc which shouldn't discolour. Recycled upvc can discolour.
Cue the jokes about virgin upvc
Regarding difference in quotes, many companies only want big jobs not one off or one Window/door jobs and will quote high as they don’t the business. Personally I wish they were just honest and not quote to save time and energy and get a reputation for being expensive. See if you can find a window company that do their own manufacturing in house, should keep costs down.
Alternatively, you could see if you could get one off the shelf and fit yourself with a friend.
What have you been quoted for French doors? You can get them for about £700 delivered (1700w x 2500h) and a builder could easily fit them in 3-4 hours


justdoorsuk.com/whi…php
chocci47 m ago

What have you been quoted for French doors? You can get them for about …What have you been quoted for French doors? You can get them for about £700 delivered (1700w x 2500h) and a builder could easily fit them in 3-4 hourshttp://www.justdoorsuk.com/white-french-doors-top-light.php



Thanks for the link. Several window companies have pushed for french doors over a sliding patio door. They say french doors cost more but it seems sliding doors cost more to purchase.

Quotes were around £1300 to £2400 for the doors fitted. Some of the quotes with the 2 small windows above were at the cheaper end and with main brand frames.
thetarget1 h, 41 m ago

Thanks for the link. Several window companies have pushed for french …Thanks for the link. Several window companies have pushed for french doors over a sliding patio door. They say french doors cost more but it seems sliding doors cost more to purchase. Quotes were around £1300 to £2400 for the doors fitted. Some of the quotes with the 2 small windows above were at the cheaper end and with main brand frames.


I have French doors after replacing my previous sliding doors and far prefer French. The sliding ones were just a pain opening them briefly to let the cat in and out

With your width of only 1.7m,you definitely don't want ones with side panels as there will be far too much upvc

Mine cost £450 from wickes 5 years ago and still look and function like new. Took me and my dad 4 hours to remove old and fit new. It really wasn't difficult.
Edited by: "chocci" 30th Dec 2017
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