Replace and expand your patio sliding door to bring your backyard in.
by Terence Jochum
When searching for their dream home, I find many buyers are looking for homes where the indoor and outdoor spaces flow together and are well connected. This is most commonly achieved by having a home with an inside-out layout that has a large patio or deck sliding door connecting them. As we all know, most sliding doors installed ten years ago are small and do not really open up the space to the outside. That is, until recently. when slider and slider pocket doors were introduced.
Many updated homes and new construction now build with a slider system included that hides in the wall or has a partition style opening. When I purchased my home, it had an old patio door and the windows in and around it had become fogged from broken seals. I knew I needed a new slider system, especially given the backyard I purchased.
I researched manufactured door systems (regionally) and window installation companies in the Phoenix metro area. I requested my usual three bids and was educated on the different materials and system options available. Most importantly, I asked to see their before and after work, which largely involved the competence and quality of their initial construction cut out and their finish work. Most window companies do not paint but that was not a problem for me to finish.
After considering everything, and with my budget in hand, I went with the partition system. Especially since adding a hidden slider is very costly in existing construction (versus new construction). With my home having a contemporary build and style, combined with the fact that my large slider was facing north with very little sun exposure, I went with a very commercial looking black aluminum system to also match my newer existing windows. While it is true that aluminum conducts heat from the outside in, I felt like it would still be much more efficient than what I had and was not really interested in spending $20,000 on a wood product.
The result was much better than I imagined. I pushed the limits of my contractor and went with an 18-foot system, meaning it has a nine foot opening. Because it is a partition style the screen doors were included. Collapsing pocket sliders do not typically include screens and you have to purchase a separate product that mounts on the outside and works vertically.
Below are the before and after photos to illustrate how dramatic this change can be.
When buying a home, considering what you can do to connect your outdoor and indoor spaces is a good idea. In my case I needed to replace the windows anyway, so opting for a large slider in place of two vertical windows and a glass sliding door was an excellent decision.
For more information on this, or other projects, I would love to help. Call or email me anytime!