The design, material and placement of the conservatory doors can enhance or destroy the use, look and feel of your conservatory.
The following types of doors are available in the market:
- Bi-folding doors—These doors consist of 2-3 framed panels that are joined by hinges. When opened fully, they fold onto each other in a zigzag manner. They are very useful in large conservatories with big openings from the outside. They allow a lot of people to enter the garden room at the same time. It is possible to open the door only as much as required.
- Tilt and Slide Doors—These are the most innovative doors available today. It tilts horizontally like a see-saw——allowing in fresh air and sunlight and protecting from rain. Alternatively, it can also slide against a fixed side panel, allowing free passage to people and furniture.
- French doors – The classic double doors can be adapted to any home, style and size. They can be made to open either inwards or outwards. Width of the doors can be increased for larger openings to give a royal look. Unlike other doors, they give 100% access to passage. Very popular as conservatory main doors leading to the garden. Smaller versions also used as side doors and back doors.
- Inline Sliding doors — Commonly referred to as patio-doors. Consist of 2-3-4 sashes that slide on rails and collect to one side when fully open. Can open up to ¾th of the door aperture. There is no wastage of space. Widely used as doors joining the home and the garden.
- Single-swing doors — These doors may open to an angle of 180 degrees. Here again, there is no space wasted.
- Quad doors with screens (twice the opening for maximum access and ventilation)— it is like an extension of French doors in the form of two bi- folding doors.
Sunrooms are built with a motive of obtaining maximum natural light and air. Keeping this in mind, the doors are made of transparent material such as glass or uPVC. The type of glass used for doors and windows of conservatories is toughened glass with single, double or triple glazing.
Glazing is a process by which two sheets of glass (say of 4 mm thickness) are sealed with a gap of 16mm. This gap is filled with Argon Gas. The double glass makes it harder to break in. And the Argon gas prevents loss of heat from within the house. Even PVC doors and windows come with glazing options.
No matter how much of light is required, the glass used for the doors and windows need not be plane and jane. Decorative glass such as – Diamond /Rectangular leads, coloured glass, stained or beveled glass, sandblasted glass and transfers may be used.
The door frames and rails are made of wood, aluminum or PVC. Wood has been a traditional choice for conservatory doors and windows not only for its warmth and aesthetic looks, but also for its insulating properties. However, it is expensive and requires regular maintenance. Aluminum is used in garden rooms mainly used for keeping plants. Modern sliding doors, French doors and tilt and turn doors in aluminum give a contemporary look. Improved versions of unplasticised polyvinylchloride (uPVC) provide a combination of aesthetics, safety, insulation and least maintenance.
It is important to have answers to the following issues before deciding on the type of door to install in your garden room:
- Drainage issues must be discussed thoroughly with the door providing company. Modern doors are constructed in a manner that addresses the problem very well. It makes the doors last longer.
- Energy saving options must be explored. Special type of film coating reflects back UV rays of the sun. Double and triple glazing make the doors and windows better insulators. Blinds are used to save the sunroom from getting unnecessarily hot.
- Safety features of the doors and windows have to be enumerated. Each and every aspect of the doors, from the hinges to the mounting of glass, from beading to the putty line, from handles to multipoint locking system have to be built so that it may protect the house from break-ins.
Keeping in mind the above points, one can go a long way in selecting the right door for their conservatory.