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Door or Window? Why not Both?

Often, when homeowners are considering replacements or additions to their home, they debate between doors and windows. Are more ways into the house for guests a good idea? Would more windows add more light to the remodel or addition?

But choosing between a door or window is often a false choice. There are several options that give the advantages of both a door and a window, and all are worth considering in your plans as you remodel or finally add that extension.

Before Choosing, Ask Yourself These Questions

An idea that can seem great in your imagination can look less desierable once it’s installed. Before you pick a door to install, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Can the rooms you’re remodeling benefit from more sun?
  • Are there parts of your house where sun is particularly intense?
  • Will you be installing new outdoor features, such as a pool or a patio, that you like easier access to compared to what you already have?
  • Do you need easy access in and out of the door you’ll be installing?
  • Will you need pet control measures, such as screens?
  • What security features, if any, will you want on this new entryway?
  • Will I need to cut a new entryway in a wall, or am I simply changing out the door in an entryway?

Sliding Doors

The classic, of course, is the sliding door, that familiar fixture in any home with a patio. Sliding doors offer several advantages over your standard back door, the most substantial by far being that they let in far more light than traditional windows and offer greater access than doors. Make sure to discuss with your contractor the fall of the light, however, as intense sunlight may not be best for certain rooms of the house.

Photo credits: GranitArchitects

French Doors

A slightly more secure version are the French doors. French doors are, of course, full sized doors with windowpanes where the door panels are normally placed. French doors are perfect for the homeowner that plans to throw parties that are both indoors and out, or is looking for a balance between security and openness. Be aware, however, that it’s difficult to install pest control measures, such as screens, on French doors.

Sliding Window Doors

These are a slightly different version of the sliding door. They can be opened on a track, either overlapping, or folding away. This type of door is best for places where you have both a lovely view to enjoy and need access to the backyard or similar outdoor space.

Dutch Doors

Then there’s the Dutch door. This door can be connected so that it opens like a normal door, or it can be disconnected and the top and bottom can be opened independently. This is especially useful for people who enjoy eating out by the pool or patio: You can simply pop open the top and leave dishes for guests to pick up, or hand things outside without having to worry about getting a conventional door open. Because Dutch doors are essentially two independently swinging doors that need to fit well with the other half of the door, it’s crucial that you hire a contractor for the installation. An incorrectly installed Dutch door can be an expensive mistake.

Whatever your choice, do something unique. Different doors reflect the style and personality of a house’s owner, and can make the difference between a dull, dark room and an exciting, bright addition to your home. End