Choosing the Right Door for Your Patio: French Doors or Sliding Glass Doors

As homeowners continue to embrace the many benefits of livable outdoor spaces, many are looking for ways to achieve easier and more seamless flow between interior and exterior spaces.

One upgrade that can make a major difference? The right door for your patio.

Which begs the question: What’s the “right” door for your home?

As it turns out, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. Rather, it comes down to many factors, including everything from functional goals to aesthetic preferences.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at two popular types of doors: French doors and sliding glass doors.

About French Doors

Chances are you’ve seen (and admired) French doors—even if you didn’t know their proper name. The American Heritage Dictionary defines this popular architectural feature as “a door, usually one of a pair, of light construction with glass panes extending for most of its length.”

Invented during the French Renaissance out of the desire to welcome more fresh air and light into homes, French doors have remained a practical and stylish interior design element ever since. However, innovations in everything from glass manufacturing to shipping methods have led to new and exciting French door options over the years.


The Benefits of French Doors

French doors offer many benefits to homeowners, including the following:

  • Light. French doors allow ample light to flood into interior spaces. Well-lit rooms aren’t just more beautiful; they also feel larger and airier. Sunlight is also an excellent mood booster with impacts on everything from sleep to productivity. On beautiful days, you can leave one or both open to let in a beautiful breeze.
  • Security. Thanks to a tight seal and durable framing materials, French doors can be a deterrent to would-be intruders—especially if you opt for strong aluminum or vinyl.
  • Efficiency. Looking to conserve energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and lower your energy bills? French doors offer excellent thermal efficiency.
  • Durability. French doors don’t ever go out of style. Opting for high-quality French doors from a trusted manufacturer means yours will continue to bring you simple joy for years to come.
  • Simplicity. Simple in design and easy to use, French doors offer easy movement between the indoors and outdoors.
  • Value. While French doors offer undeniable value from a quality of life perspective, they also add value in terms of dollars and cents. According to, they’re a good investment because they add significant resale value.
  • Aesthetics. French doors are elegant and graceful—especially when customized to your personal preferences and style. Picture Juliet stepping through a grand pair of French doors out onto her balcony; French doors offer modern-day homeowners the same drama when incorporated into their patio designs.

About Sliding Glass Doors

While French doors function like “normal” doors, sliding doors feature a very different design. Consisting of multiple panels of glass sliding along a fixed lower track, they glide open from side to side.

While the sliding door concept dates back to ancient Japanese sliding panels, they didn’t make their way into Western architecture until the 20th century, according to Homedit. Today, they’re a popular choice among homeowners for a variety of reasons.

The Benefits of Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors offer many benefits to homeowners, including the following:

  • Efficiency. Sliding glass doors are designed for efficiency. In addition to letting you allow in the exact amount of air you want by adjusting the opening, they also offer exceptional insulation when shut to minimize heat gains and losses. This also supports more comfortable living spaces.
  • Flow. Not only do sliding doors effortlessly glide open and close, but most also have openings double the size of normal doors. The result? Optimal accessibility and easy traffic flow. Sliding doors are also uniquely accommodating for moving large objects in and out of your home.
  • Safety. While normal doors are subject to slamming shut during breezy weather, sliding doors stay put. They’re also a smart choice from a security perspective as they lock from the inside and feature interlocking rails and/or other locking mechanisms that make them nearly impenetrable from the outside.
  • Natural light. Because of their substantial glass planes, sliding glass doors let in abundant natural light. In addition to letting your home’s inhabitants bask in the warm glow of the sun on nice days, they also reduce the need for harsh artificial lighting.
  • Compactness. Because they slide horizontally along a track and don’t swing out or into interiors or exteriors, sliding glass doors have a compact footprint that makes them ideal for smaller spaces.
  • Expansive views. Whether you want a better vantage point for watching your kids play outside or you simply want better views of your landscaping and other natural surroundings, sliding doors offer uninterrupted views.
  • Convenience. Compared to many other doors, sliding doors have lower maintenance requirements. Hate the sound of slamming doors? Well-designed sliding glass doors are also quieter than other door types.
  • Curb appeal. While sliding glass doors are inherently utilitarian, they also beautify the spaces they inhabit—both in terms of the views they offer and as a chic, modern design element in and of themselves. For their consummate combination of form and function, sliding glass doors can also add value to your home.

Making the Most of Doors for Your Patio

As evidenced by the breakdown for each type of door, they both offer—and even share!—many benefits.

Whether you choose French doors or sliding glass doors, there’s one choice that can help you maximize (and expand) their benefits: high performance, impact resistant glass.

Regardless of the type of door you prefer, choosing impact resistant glass not only offers an invaluable level of protection during hurricanes and other extreme weather, but also amplifies their other benefits. For example, impact glass makes French doors and sliding doors even stronger and more efficient.

Improve Your Indoor-Outdoor Space with a CGI Door

All French doors and sliding glass doors aren’t created equal. Another way to maximize the advantages they offer? Invest in high-quality, impact resistant products from trusted manufacturers known for their commitment to quality.

Certain manufacturers, such as CGI, also excel in terms of design offerings. Whether you’re looking for your doors to harmoniously integrate with your home’s design style or color palette, you can customize your French doors or sliding glass doors across factors like configuration, frame material and colors, grid options, and glass tint to achieve the exact look, feel, and functionality you’re going for.

If you’ve been looking for ways to elevate your environment while also fortifying your home and enjoying more indoor-outdoor movement and flow, both French doors and sliding glass doors have powerful potential.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get news, updates, and solutions from CGI.


DetailsOn purchases made with your Home Design credit card April 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full 18 months.

A $29 account activation fee may apply.  Monthly payments are required equal to 2.5% of the highest balance of this promo purchase.

*No interest will be charged on the promo purchase if you pay it off, in full, within the promo period. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promo purchase from the purchase date. Monthly payments are required equal to 2.5% of the highest balance applicable to this promo purchase until paid in full. These payments will be rounded up to the next whole dollar and may be higher than the payments that would be required if this purchase was a non-promo purchase. Required monthly payments may or may not pay off the promo purchase by the end of the promo period. Regular account terms apply to non-promo purchases and, after promo period ends, to the remaining promo balance, except that the fixed monthly payment will continue to be required until the promotion is paid in full. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 26.99%. Minimum interest charge is $2. One-time account activation fee of $29 charged at time of first purchase. Existing cardholders: See your credit card agreement terms. Subject to credit approval.