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When to Replace a Patio Door

Patio doors are a great addition to any home. They provide an abundance of natural light, bring nature into your home, and open up your space.

Patio doors are durable and long-lasting. By taking care of them and fitting them with the latest locking systems and high-quality glass, your patio door will last for years.  If your doors aren’t the best quality, or you’ve forgotten to maintain them - don’t worry, you’re not alone. That being said, without proper care & maintenance the likelihood of your door's lifespan decreasing is quite high. But, when is the right time to replace your patio door?

 In this article, we’re going to explore:

  • The average lifespans of patio doors

  • Signs that they need replacing,

  • How you can replace them

  • The time it takes to have your patio doors replaced.

Patio door in a living room

Photo by mike welch on Unsplash  

How Long Should a Patio Door Last?

On average, the life expectancy for patio doors is 20-years. Yet, patio doors can have a longer or shorter lifespan. This is much the same for sliding doors. External sliding patio doors should last around 20-30 years.

How long your patio doors last come down to these factors:

  • What material are they made from? uPVC, wood, aluminium, and composite all have their own individual life spans for external use.
  • Are they cared for? Are debris and dirt left to build up on the outside? Does it contain moss? If your doors are made from wood, are you treating the wood every 6-months? If you aren’t treating a wooden door, it becomes a victim of weather conditions. Water damaged wood can deteriorate quickly.
  • Is the glass double glazed, triple glazed, or toughened safety glass? These are the recommended types of glass for external use.
  • Did you buy high-quality handles and a locking mechanism? This won’t necessarily decrease your patio doors lifespan. However, damage to the door can occur if you need to frequently change its hardware.


Signs You Need a New Patio Door

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your patio door needs to be replaced. Some signs are obvious, others are subtle. It’s important to always maintain the exterior of your home to ensure you make the most of your doors and windows. Replacing them due to negligence is a frustrating task for homeowners.

Some of the most common warning signs that you need a new patio door are:


Your Door is Sticking or Becoming Difficult to Open and Close

This is not to be confused with the changes in weather having an effect on the doors. Depending on the material of your doors, this is common. If your door continues to stick or you have trouble opening and closing it, it’s time to start looking into replacement doors.

if the track is becoming stuck on your bi-fold or sliding doors, it may be that you need to replace the track or the door’s wheels. Always check this before purchasing an entirely new set of doors.


Cracks or Gaps in the Door or Frame

Whilst some may think that this issue isn’t the end of the world, having gaps or cracks in your door or its frame can lead to bigger issues.

If your door has cracked for wooden frames, this means you haven’t kept up with the maintenance required to keep the door healthy. The door has become ruined by harsh weather conditions - for cracks, this is usually down to rain or snow. Once cracks have formed, they can then expand further as the material becomes saturated with water. This leads to the door becoming unstable. It’s definitely a warning sign that you need a new patio door.

Gaps are also a nuisance. Not only do they look unpleasant, but you’ll start to feel drafts around the frame. This can have a big impact on the money that you spend on your gas and electricity. Heat will be escaping through the door causing you to have your heating on for longer.


Can I Replace my Patio Door with a Different Style?

Whether you want to change your patio doors to bifold or replace your patio door with a french door, it is doable. However, it will require a decent amount of work, especially if you’re replacing a patio door with a single door.

The work that is required depends on whether you’re altering the size of the opening. If you’re replacing a patio door that was once a sliding door, with bifold doors, there won’t be a great deal of issues. These types of doors are usually the same size and can sit within the same size opening so it’s a case of replacing the doors. If you’re replacing a patio French door with sliding doors, and want to have multiple sliding panels, this is where the work is required. You’ll need to expand the opening to accommodate the extra sliding doors.

If you’re going the other way and want to replace an external bifold door with a single door, it is easier to close up an opening than it is to expand it. For inserting a single door into a larger opening you’ll need to measure the single door. You will then fill the opening with brick, cement, plasterboard and plaster.

If you’re struggling to choose between a patio door and an external door, read our dedicated article on patio doors vs external doors. 

Oak Patio Doors

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Patio Door?

To replace a patio door with a newer version, it’s likely to take you a weekend to complete. Professional installers can usually carry this task out in a day. It isn’t hard to replace a patio door if you’re going like-for-like. You already have the desired opening size. 

If you’re installing patio doors into an opening that doesn’t currently exist, the process for installation is longer. This is because an opening will need to be created. The door will then have to be inserted and then the brickwork and plastering will need to be completed to secure the door.

To install a bifold patio door, you must consider how many door panels you’re going to be using. The more panels you include in your bifold door, the longer it’ll take to install them.


How can I Avoid Replacing my Patio Doors?

It is important to perform regular maintenance of your patio doors. This will help to increase their lifespan. Neglecting your external doors will result in you needing to change them much sooner than you may have planned. Use the above measures to check their sturdiness and ensure their security. If your patio doors tick off a few of the warning signs, it’s about time you looked into purchasing a replacement.

If it is time to replace your patio doors, you should first choose a trusted supplier. This is to ensure that you receive the highest quality products which won't need replacing anytime soon. At Express Doors Direct, we go above and beyond to ensure our doors are manufactured to the best standards. If you're looking for new replacement patio doors, why not get in touch with us? A member of our expert team will be happy to assist you.

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