An alternative solution is to order patio doors with integral horizontal blinds, factory sealed inside the double-glazing cavity. Proven to be reliable, the blinds can be operated via a magnet system (there is an alternative electronic option) that enables the slats to be easily angled to control the amount of light filtering through and can also raise and lower the blinds for maximum light or shade. A major advantage of opting for internally sealed blinds rather than separate blinds is that they are totally maintenance-free - no arduous dusting or cleaning - and because the blinds are encapsulated inside the glazed panels, they are exceptionally difficult to break.
The latest patio doors innovation is slide-and-pivot doors. Developed and launched since 2007/8, slide-and-pivot doors incorporate the major benefits of bifolding doors and sliding patio doors. Comprising a number of individual glazed panels that fit snugly together when closed, there is a master door that can be opened with a standard (pivot) action, enabling the other doors to be moved, individually, along the top and bottom guides; as each door is moved to the end of the guides, it can also pivot open to increase the access width between the divided areas ( to a suggested maximum of approximately 8 metres).
Originally, patio doors were all of the French Door variety; that is, a pair of doors that are hinged at the sides and open from the middle, each door pivoting in- or out-wards. French doors are still popular, especially with builders of new homes, as they are comparatively cheap and easy to accommodate in place of windows and offer an alternative evacuation route for families, especially for elderly or disabled people, to meet improved fire safety requirements.
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