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Patio Doors vs Exterior Doors

Planning to install a new door?  Then you might be wondering whether to fit patio doors or exterior doors. When renovating your home, it’s important that you plan each stage, and have an idea of what you’re going to do to it. After all, the last thing you want is to plan your kitchen around installing an external back door to later prefer a patio door.

If your home already has a patio door installed, you are able to change your patio back to standard. But, the opposite could leave you in a bit of a pickle, especially if you’ve recently redecorated. Think of all that dust from enlarging the opening!

When it comes to making any home improvement changes, planning is key.

in this article, we will walk you through some of the differences between installing patio doors and standard exterior doors, so you can decide which is best for your home.



The material that you choose should be carefully considered. For any type of external door, the material that you opt for should be weather resistant, protect your home from heat loss, and have heightened security.

Composite doors, for example, are a great choice for external hardware. This is because they comprise all the benefits of other exterior materials to create one masterpiece.

However, In this section, we’re going to have a deeper look at the 3 most popular materials: wood, aluminium and uPVC. 

Wood, uPVC, and aluminium are all used on exterior doors. In fact, they’re great materials to use externally.


Aluminium is the best as it requires little maintenance and doesn’t expand as much as the others in high heat. Not only that, it is exceptionally sturdy.


uPVC is pretty similar, but for a much smaller price tag. Yet, the disadvantage of uPVC is that it can be quite flimsy if you’ve not done your research and chose a trusted supplier. It can also expand a considerable amount in direct sunlight.

All of our uPVC doors are supplied from trusted brands so you can be sure that they will stand the test of time. 


Wood sits right in the middle when it comes to durability and cost. That being said,  if left untreated a wooden door becomes useless pretty quickly. The maintenance required on a wooden door is much higher than uPVC and aluminium.

So, while aluminium is one of the best materials to use on exterior doors, they’re better suited to patio doors. The thinness of an aluminium frame is incomparable; in some lights, you can’t even see the frame.

Standard external doors made from aluminium can seem too cold and too metallic, giving them an industrial feel. If your home’s aesthetic lends to this, then great, but for the most part, a standard home with a standard external door would better suit uPVC or wood.



Size plays a big part in whether you should opt for a standard door or patio door. Patio doors are much larger and, depending on which type of patio door you choose, the entire back wall of your home could become one large glass door!

The question that you need to ask yourself here is “Do I want something to open up a large space or something that simply provides entry and exit?”. Your answer here will determine whether you want a patio door or a standard door.


While you can have standard external doors with glass inserts, the light benefit that you get from patio doors is incomparable.

Whether you choose bifold, sliding or French doors, you will immediately notice how much brighter your interior feels. The large glass frames bring nature into your home, open up your home to feel much larger, and provide ample natural light.



Privacy is something to consider when deciding between patio doors and standard doors. If your garden is overlooked, the odds of you wanting neighbours to look into the back of your home through glass doors is pretty slim. This is where a standard exterior door would be most suited.

But, there are plenty of options available that will allow you to have a set of patio doors without letting neighbours see into your home. These include: 

  • Adding a mirrored film to your glass. This film lets you see out but nobody can see in. Although, the disadvantage to this is that you reduce the flow of natural light.

  • If you have space above the patio door, you can install a small pitched roof. The benefit of this is that your neighbours won't be able to see into your home - whilst the roof provides the door with shade from the sun. The disadvantage to this is that this would only be suitable for French patio doors.



it is a common misconception that patio doors aren't secure. Whilst this may have been the case in the past, modern patio doors can be extremely secure. This is especially the case when fitted with the latest locking systems.

As the primary material for patio doors is glass, it is crucial to invest in high-quality glass to protect your home from break-ins. The recommended glass types are, double glazed, triple glazed, and toughened safety glass.

The type of locking mechanism that you choose will also determine the security standard of your door. Always invest in a locking system that is right for the type and material of your door. Some locks only lend themselves well to wooden doors. As a starting point, we’d advise that you go for a 5-point multipoint locking system. This lock is suitable for all materials and lends itself well to patio doors.

Out of all the types of patio doors to choose from, French doors are the most secure. As the 2 doors meet in the middle and have a central locking point, French doors are incredibly sturdy when the lock is engaged.



Lastly, you’ll want to consider the speed of access. Will the door be regularly used to enter and exit your home? If so, you might want to consider either French patio doors or a standard exterior door. French and standard doors are much easier to open and close compared to sliding and bifold doors. We’re not saying that sliding doors and bifolds are difficult to operate, but if they need to be opened and closed often, having to pull or slide your door isn’t an ideal solution.

There are many reasons why you should choose a patio door over an external door. There are also reasons why you should go with a standard exterior door instead. Although patio doors have their benefits,  when it comes to choosing between external and patio doors for your home, it comes down to your lifestyle, your home's surroundings, and your personal preference.

Whichever type of door you choose for your home, it is just as important to choose a trusted supplier. This is to ensure that you receive the highest quality products. At Express Doors Direct, we have made it our mission to provide each of our customers with top-quality doors. If you’re looking to install new exterior or patio doors to your home, get in touch with us and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.

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