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All about pocket, French, pivot and open-corner patio doors

Image of pivot patio doors by @nuprojects.co

All about pocket, French, pivot and open-corner patio doors

In this short series on patio doors, we’ve already covered bi-fold and sliding doors (if you missed it, check back here). Now it’s the turn of pocket, French, pivot and open-corner patio doors. Read on to find out more.

What is a pocket patio door?

Pocket doors slide back and slot into a space built into the wall. This type of patio door takes forward planning and a healthy budget, but if you want the full indoor-outdoor living experience, this is the way to achieve it!

Do I need to plan pocket patio doors in advance?

In a word, yes! You’ll need to build a wall with a void to allow for the door leaf to slide into and to accommodate the pocket door mechanism. Design note: the wall won’t necessarily need to be built any deeper than standard, but it needs to be planned for.

Image of French patio doors in the home of @tea_and_nest
Image: French doors in the home of @tea_and_nest.
Are French patio doors only suitable for more traditional homes?

If your budget won’t run to bi-fold or sliding doors, French doors (above) are a great alternative, generally comprising two outward- or inward-opening doors. They’re often a preferred look for more traditional properties, but there are plenty of designs made of materials with a more contemporary feel (such as aluminium).

Is it true that French doors allow less light in than bi-fold or sliding doors?

Yes. French doors tend to have wider frames, which will block some of the light. Design note: if light is an issue, you can always combine French windows with sidelight windows. These are narrow vertical windows located on one or both sides of the door.

What do I need to consider if I want step-free access between my home and garden using French patio doors?

A rebated threshold is best for hinged patio doors such as French doors. This comprises a small lip on the edge of the base track (usually 12mm to 15mm) that creates a weather-tight seal against the bottom of the door. So, you keep the rain out and still have step-free access.

Image of pivot patio doors by @minimalwindowsuk
Image: Pivot doors by Minimal Windows.
What is a pivot patio door?

Unlike conventional doors that open using a side hinge, pivot doors (above) rotate around pivots at the top and bottom of the door. As such, they can open both inwards and outwards.

What’s the advantage of a pivot door over bi-fold or sliding patio doors?

A large pivot door will maximise natural light and views of the garden without a frame blocking your line of sight. It’ll also make a modern statement.

I want my pivot door to be larger than a standard-sized hinged door. Is this possible?

Absolutely! Pivot doors are available custom made, meaning they can be built larger than standard-sized doors (see the featured image, a design by Nu Projects).

What do I have to be aware of when specifying pivot doors?

Similar to other patio doors, pivot doors allow for fantastic connectivity between the indoors and outdoors, particularly when the threshold is flush. Make sure you consider drainage: when your floor continues from outside to inside it’s imperative that rainwater can’t do the same. Avoid any problems by ensuring you have a correctly installed, weather-tested threshold from a reputable supplier.

Image of corner patio doors by @minimalwindowsuk
Image: Open-corner sliding patio doors by Minimal Windows.
What’s an open-corner bi-folding or sliding patio door?

These let you open up a corner – not just an aperture – to the outside world, creating the ultimate indoor-outdoor living space. Depending on the structural design of your home, they can be designed with either fixed or moving corner posts. Design note: moving posts are generally preferable because they don’t obstruct the view but can only be used when the weight above the doors can be fully supported by steels.

Featured image: These incredible pivot doors are the stunning focal point of this Nu Projects design.

Want more? This blog is just one in a whole series on home renovation. So, if you found it useful head over to the home renovation page to read more.