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How to Choose the Right Patio Door: French Doors vs. Sliding Patio Doors

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white french patio door

The right patio door can enhance your view and indoor-outdoor living area. It can also help save on energy costs, reduce outdoor noise and become the center of attention in your home. But starting a replacement patio door project can feel like an impossible task. There are many patio door styles to choose from including sliding and French patio doors. Not sure of what’s right for your home? The patio door professionals at Pella can help you find the right solution for your home.

See our outstanding craftsmanship up close at your local showroom. Or book a free, in-home consultation to review all the choices. We can build almost any door you’re picturing.

Which Patio Door is Best for My Home?

Find out more about the different types of patio doors that Pella offers. From customization, energy efficiency and style—the sky's the limit to get your perfect patio door.

French Doors

French patio doors swing open for an unobstructed view of the outdoors. This double-door style can make your room feel brighter and larger. It allows for an abundance of natural light.

You can choose how wide to open them—just a crack or all the way—to welcome refreshing breezes during the summer. Wide panes of glass capture the sun’s warmth during the winter, helping keep your room pleasant. French-style patio doors open inward or outward, depending on the model. They need more clearance to fully open—specifically for doors that open inward, so that’s something to keep in mind when you consider the furniture in your space.

French-style wooden patio doors are available through the Pella Architect Series and Pella Lifestyle Series. 

french door in bedroom

Pella® Architect Series French Doors

Pella® Architect Series showcases traditional and contemporary wood options. Our professionals at Pella of Providence can help you find your style—from traditional colonial to modern farmhouse. Or help you develop your own design. 

Pella® Lifestyle Series French Doors

Pella® Lifestyle Series offers the most wanted designs, features and performance options for wood patio doors. All at a fantastic value.

Lifestyle Series French doors are designed to create ease in your everyday life. Customize them with useful integrated blinds, shades or security sensors.

Are French Doors Energy-Efficient?

Yes! Many Pella French doors have been given the ENERGY STAR® certification. Energy-efficient patio doors can help you save more on heating and cooling bills and keep your home more pleasant year-round.

French patio doors have many customizations available. Dual- and triple-pane glass options are available for some models, as well as InsulShield®. It’s important to choose the right type of glass for your door using our climate guide. This guide will help you understand which glass option is best for the location of your home.

Customizing Your French Patio Door

Depending on the architecture of your home and your personal style, there are many different features and options available to make your new or replacement French patio door just what you’re looking for.

Pella offers a wide variety of colors and finish options for the Architect Series and Lifestyle Series product lines. You can add a custom grille or between-the-glass blinds which can help to cut down on allergens around your home. Even the small details are covered with various options for hardware upgrades to fit nearly any style from farmhouse to traditional.

Multi-Panel, Multi-Slide and Bifold Patio Doors

Multi-panel doors offer the most light and opening space of any model of patio door.

These broad panels are becoming extremely popular in today’s modern homes. They smoothly stack against each other or tuck discreetly into a wall pocket. These doors blur the line between indoors and outdoors, allowing you to take advantage of each square foot of space.

  • Pella offers multi-slide patio doors in several models: lift-and-slide panels, which stay put until easily engaged on rollers.
  • Multi-slide panels, which can open to one side or in the middle.
  • Folding glass doors or bifold patio doors, which fold away nicely.

white sliding patio doors

Pella® Scenescape™ Doors

Pella® Scenescape™ doors feature fine wood furniture detailing. Select from various door styles up to 10 panels wide. Stacking, folding and pocketing applications are available. With a thermally broken frame design, these doors are also appropriate for cold, wet climates.

Are Sliding Glass Patio Doors Energy-Efficient?

Absolutely. Pella has energy-efficient models that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements in all 50 states.1 Choosing an energy-efficient patio door can help you save more on your utility costs and keep your home more comfortable throughout the changing seasons.

Dual- and triple-pane glass options are available for some models, as well as InsulShield® and impact-resistant glass. Depending on where your home is located, a Pella professional can work with you to assess what type of glass is best for your home.

Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding patio doors are more versatile than ever. Advancements in design and performance factors have led to the creation of different varieties of sliding glass doors. Traditional sliding glass doors consist of two large glass door panels. Sliding glass doors are a great option in rooms with less space flexibility, as they don’t swing to open like French, or hinged, patio doors. Traditional two-panel sliding doors are available in wood, fiberglass or vinyl.

sliding patio doors with grilles

Pella® Architect Series Sliding Doors

Pella® Architect Series sliding patio doors feature exceptional wood furniture design. Select from virtually endless design options, including custom sizes and grille patterns. And attractive hardware in rich patinas and other timeless finishes.

Add self-closing InView™ or Rolscreen® retractable screen door options to make your new patio doors more convenient.

Pella® Lifestyle Series Sliding Doors

Pella® Lifestyle Series wood sliding patio doors offer outstanding performance options including increased energy-efficiency and sound control.

Pella® Impervia® Sliding Doors

Pella® Impervia® sliding patio doors use Duracast®. This material is the strongest, most durable material available for patio doors.

This patented fiberglass is exceptionally energy efficient. It’s also durable in extreme heat and cold. And there are flexible design features and options to create the style you’re looking for.

Pella® 350 Series Sliding Doors

Pella® 350 Series sliding patio doors are made from premium, low-maintenance vinyl.

Thanks to SmoothSeam™ technology, the interior corners on these doors are nearly invisible and extra-durable tandem nylon rollers provide smooth use.

Encompass by Pella® Sliding Doors

Encompass by Pella® vinyl sliding glass doors work with almost any budget.

These durable doors will look good for years. Bid farewell to painting with easy-to-care-for vinyl frames that complement your home.

Are Sliding Glass Doors Energy-Efficient?

Definitely. Many of Pella’s sliding glass doors have earned ENERGY STAR® status. Energy-efficient sliding doors can help you save more on heating and cooling bills. It can also keep your home more comfortable no matter the weather.

Dual- and triple-pane glass options are available for some models, as well as InsulShield®.

Bring Your Design Vision to Life with Pella

With the various materials, types, features and options, the new or replacement patio door of your dreams is just a phone call away. A Pella design expert will evaluate all of your wants and the needs of your home to find the best option for you.

Contact your local Pella showroom today to get started on your next home renovation project.

Some Pella products may not meet ENERGY STAR® guidelines in Canada. For more information, contact your local Pella sales representative or go to

In testing performed in accordance with ASTM testing standards, Pella's Duracast® has displayed superior performance in strength, ability to withstand extreme heat and cold, and resistance to dents and scratches. Special shape windows are made from a non-Duracast fiberglass composite.

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