Overcoming Obstacles to Installing Oversized Sliding Glass Doors: Part 2
March 26, 2021
As large, expansive openings become more popular, home and business owners are weighing the pros and cons of installing oversized sliding glass doors and folding doors. Some questions they’re asking include, “Will my utility bill go up with all of that added glass? Will the added sunlight be too bright or lead to sun damaged furniture and flooring? Will I sacrifice privacy by adding expansive openings?”
Panda is known for creating some of the largest sliding and folding glass doors in the industry and we’ve been helping customers navigate this process for 30 years. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common questions we hear from clients that are new to the concept of expansive openings. As illustrated below, there are many ways to mitigate any perceived drawbacks to installing oversized sliding glass doors and folding doors.
If you haven’t already, you might want to start with Part 1 of this article, Overcoming Obstacles to Installing Oversized Sliding Glass Doors.
Q: Will the added sunlight be too bright or cause sun-damage to furnishings and finishes?
The bright, sun-drenched spaces that people are seeking when they install oversized sliding glass walls can require some thoughtful planning in order mitigate potential glare and sun damage to interiors.
Begin with the Exterior Architecture
For new custom construction, your architect will situate your new home or office on the site to make the best use of the sun and views while addressing concerns about direct glare. Additionally, direct glare can be mitigated by blocking the most intense rays of the sun with roof overhangs, light shelves, and even simple patio covers. These features can help protect the interior by preventing the harshest summer UV rays from entering the home, while welcoming those same rays in during the winter for warmth.
Use Window Films, Shades, and Draperies for Light Control
As mentioned in Part 1 of this article, film coated glass, smart glass, and window coverings can also be used separately or together to help control the amount of UV light entering a room. This can help protect the rooms interior from the sun’s harshest rays and is also useful for viewing television or in training rooms where too much light can interfere with monitors.
Select the Right Furnishings and Finishes for an Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle
Based on years of experience, many designers will steer their clients toward resilient products that will hold up to active lifestyles and indoor/outdoor living. They suggest their clients invest in durable fabrics and finishes to help keep items that are exposed to the elements looking great.
Fabrics Consider lighter colors that are less susceptible to fading, along with strong, natural fibers, like cotton and linen, with good fade resistance. Synthetic fabrics such as Sunbrella specifically made for outdoors environments have also come a long way in terms of design, color, and comfort. Delicate fabrics like silk can be disintegrated by UV rays and should be kept out of direct sunlight where possible.
Placement Sunlight will naturally be stronger and more direct from south or west-facing windows, so it’s best to limit exposure of delicate fabrics to those areas. For those items in direct sunlight, it can be helpful to move them regularly to avoid sun damage and uneven fading. Pulling draperies back, flipping cushions, and even moving rugs and furniture regularly can help prevent light spots from appearing.
Finishes Wood flooring and furniture are among the most susceptible items to sun damage. When possible, consider placing wood furniture items away from direct sunlight. UV inhibitors are also available for many products to add further protection. UV blocking acrylics are even an option to protect artwork and precious photos.
Some Panda clients have opted for tile or durable stone flooring that runs throughout their interior and exterior spaces. Not only are these surfaces durable, when combined with a recessed track that is bare feet friendly the end result is a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Q: Will oversized sliding glass doors work with the unique architecture of my home?
Architects and custom home builders return to Panda solutions again and again because we pride ourselves on our ability to make any design possible. We offer nearly limitless finish and hardware options, and unique one-off designs are our specialty. With our highly-trained team of in-house engineers and designers we can face nearly any engineering hurdle to bring a project vision to reality.
Curved Radius Sliding (or Folding) Glass Doors
Fluid curves can add a softness and elegance to architecture. With our in-house engineering team and wide range of configurations, Panda can offer curved radius glass doors in either folding or sliding systems that integrate harmoniously into any architectural design.
90° Zero Post Corner Sliding (or Folding) Glass Doors
A zero-post corner system can be made with folding doors, sliding doors, or even windows. The entire configuration is set up to slide (or fold) away from a corner connection leaving no corner post or framing. While 90 degree setups are the most common, this design can work in nearly any angle. Without the fixed pillar that we’ve all grown so accustomed to, zero post corner glass doors are an instant showstopper and provide wide open access to the outside world.
Aluminum, Faux Wood, Solid Wood, and Wood-Clad Options
Panda door profiles come in a variety of different materials and finishes to fit the décor of any home. Panda custom doors and windows can even be customized to use one material, such as aluminum, on the outside and another material, such as wood-cladding, on the inside. Panda wood doors are crafted using the finest, sustainably harvested woods available. For applications where real wood is not feasible, we also offer realistic faux wood profiles.
Q: Does having oversized sliding glass doors compromise building safety and security?
Safety and Security Features
Panda windows and doors are durably and reliably built to help ensure the safety and security of building occupants. Multi-point locking mechanisms combined with Panda’s expert engineering and reliably durable craftsmanship ensure maximum property security against burglary and forced entry. Laminated safety glass options that can withstand the force of a rock or bullet without shattering are also available.
Child-Safe Pinch-Proof Doors
Panda folding doors offer child-safe features like multiple pinch-proof EPDM bubble gaskets that are layered in between each panel, making them a great option for families with young children at home.
Q: We’d love to install a large expansive opening, but how would we deal with insects?
Bug Screens for Even the Highest-End Projects
For an uninterrupted view without intrusion from the great outdoors, Panda’s folding screens are a great option. Our integrated, retractable, pleated screen systems simplify access with slide-away technology. We work very closely with some of the top vendors to deliver high-quality screens that are engineered to exact specifications.
Q: Are oversized sliding doors worth the extra effort and planning?
This is the big question and the one that ultimately each customer must answer for themselves before embarking on any sort of remodel. Based on testimonials from our customers Panda Windows & Doors are not only “attractive and energy efficient”, but the ability to allow in “abundant natural light and fresh air” has literally changed the way they live in and experience their homes.
Well-designed, oversized sliding glass door systems that open and stack (or pocket) can create the ultimate backyard retreat for entertaining or vacationing at home, or add flexibility to any commercial space. There is also the benefit of increased property values as expansive openings can make a space feel larger – making them one of today’s most desirable amenities. Unique, custom designs are Panda Windows & Door’s specialty, and our glass door systems come in a variety of finishes and options to complement the décor of any home. Most of our customers agree that any obstacles to installing oversized glass doors are in fact easy to overcome, and that the extra effort is far outweighed by the benefits gained.
To help answer more commonly asked questions, Panda offers both a Residential Door Guide and a Commercial Door Guide which are available for download. Or we invite you to reach out directly to speak to a knowledgeable Panda representative who can help answer all of your questions and help find the Panda Dealer Showroom nearest you.
As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering design and construction resources, we offer several educational opportunities and architectural resources for architects, contractors, and other construction professionals.
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