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Exterior porch image featuring an Infinity Sliding Patio Door in Ebony finish with Matte Black Northfield hardware and a Bronze sill.

Patio Door Buying Guide

Whether you’re tired of looking at your aging sliding glass door or planning a major remodel with a new patio door in mind, it’s important to research what types of patio doors are available as well as the varying styles. Check out the different considerations to think about with patio doors, like the material, style, energy efficiency, and options that can make a difference.

Consider Space 

If you’re thinking about a patio door replacement project, get started by scheduling a free, no-pressure consultation with a Marvin Replacement design consultant. They’ll measure the space for your home’s exact specifications and talk you through all your options. When you move forward with Marvin Replacement for your project, a project manager will set a measure appointment to confirm the specifications before your order is sent to our manufacturing facility.  

Patio Door Material 

The material used to make a patio door can make a difference in the look, cost, and energy efficiency for your home. Common materials include: wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Marvin Replacement uses Ultrex® fiberglass. 


Wood patio doors look great but may require more maintenance than other patio doors.  


Vinyl patio doors remain a popular choice for homeowners because they don’t require much maintenance and come in a variety of colors, and offer an attractive price point for homeowners. But vinyl patio doors may expand and contract over time, potentially causing difficulties opening and closing over the lifetime of the door.  


Fiberglass patio doors combine strength, style, and durability—without the maintenance of wood. Marvin Replacement’s proprietary Ultrex fiberglass is 8x stronger than vinyl and has lower thermal conductivity than aluminum, so homes retain more heat in winter and stay cooler in the summer. 

1. Savings reflect installing ENERGY STAR certified products compared to non-certified when replacing single pane windows based on average savings among homes in modeled cities. Actual savings will vary by product type, location, method of installation, individual home characteristics, local climate and conditions, utility rates and other factors.

Patio Door Types 

Sliding Glass Door 

Sliding glass doors are among the most popular patio door types because they can let in more natural light than one-panel doors and won't interfere with furniture. Marvin Replacement’s Sliding Patio Door is customizable in 2, 3, or 4 panel configurations for up to a 16-foot wide view.  

Sliding French Door 

A sliding French door offers the same great functionality as a sliding patio door, but features the wider profile of a traditional French door. Marvin Replacement’s Sliding French Door comes in the same configuration options as the Sliding Patio Door.  

Inswing French Patio Door 

Inswing French doors add design appeal to a home and work well if outdoor space is tight. Marvin Replacement’s Inswing French patio doors come in 1, 2, or 3 panel configurations.  

Bi-Fold Patio Door 

Bi-fold or folding patio doors can provide expansive views and natural light while creating inviting indoor-outdoor living. Marvin Replacement Bi-fold doors are available with up to seven panels, spanning up to 22-feet wide. The panels stack to allow more airflow with a uni-directional configuration while a bi-fold door will open from the center for a symmetrical look when open.  

Energy Efficiency 

Ratings make a difference with patio doors. Look for the U-factor


U-Factor is a measure of how well a window retains heat in a home. A higher U-Factor allows more heat to escape a home and a lower number will allow less heat to transfer out of a home.

, Visible Transmittance

Visible Transmittance

Visible transmittance is the measure of visible light that will pass through a window. A higher VT number maximizes daylight.

, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how much heat from the sun enters a home. A lower SHGC number allows less heat.

and Air Leakage

Air Leakage

Unintended air that passes through a window.

Learn more about energy efficiency.

U-factor measures heat loss to the outside. The lower the number, the less heat that escapes. 

Visible Transmittance measures how much natural light, minus the heat, comes into a home. The higher the VT number, the more light that enters, which can reduce the need for artificial light and possibly reduce utility costs. 

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures heat gain from the sun entering your home. A lower SHGC can reduce cooling costs. A high SHGC can reduce heating costs.  

Air Leakage measures how much air will enter a room and is typically ≤0.3. 


Glass can have different coatings to adapt to different climates. Marvin Replacement has four glass coating options: Low E1, Low E2, Low E3, and Low E3/ERS.  

Check out all the Marvin Replacement patio door options to update your home. 

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