Sliding back to patio doors

This summer has seen an unprecedented amount of change, including the lack of holidays spent abroad. Paul Garforth, technical director at Liniar, explains how families are upgrading their homes instead, and how the humble sliding patio door has experienced unprecedented levels of sales.

For decades, the patio slider was one of the most popular ways for customers to enhance their homes, by adding sunlight and enabling large openings onto their gardens.

With the rise in popularity of the bifolding door in the last decade, patio door demand had been reducing. However, that’s all changed during this summer’s lockdown.

Bifolding doors took the fenestration sector by storm ever since their launch, and many customers have been sold the bifold dream. But the sliding patio is now making a strong comeback. In fact, our sales have seen an increase of 50% against last year’s patio sales in June, compared to a 20% uplift on bifolds. There could be a number of reasons for this.

As most of us know, bifolding doors aren’t without their challenges; they can be more difficult to install than a patio, and are less forgiving if the aperture is not perfectly square and true. In addition, opening up a whole wall of a room can cause ‘furniture dilemmas’, whereas a patio has a fixed pane to line up a sofa against. It could simply be a case of which product the installer is most comfortable with selling and fitting, especially if they’ve been burned with inferior bifolds in the past.

While bifolds, such as Liniar’s ModLok, have changed perceptions of PVCU systems, they aren’t necessarily a solution for all households. For homes lacking the extra space required for bifolding doors to open into (or out of) the home, sliding patio doors can be an excellent alternative to open out onto the garden. For homeowners who want to blur the lines between inside and out, patio doors offer a stunning finish that take up no space on either side, and can have fewer sightlines to spoil the expanse of glass.

More glass means patio doors can offer excellent thermal efficiency ratings, ideal for keeping temperatures comfortable within the home no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Liniar patio doors offer U-values as low as 1.2W/m2K with double glazed units, or 1.0W/m2K triple glazed.

At Liniar, the sliding patio door has always been a popular choice, and even more so following lockdown this year. We’ve continued to re-evaluate and enhance the range and are proud to announce several new upgraded features of the Liniar ModLok patio door, including a PAS24-accredited, Secured By Design version coming soon.

A new, super strong eight-wheeled acetal rolling mechanism means customers have peace of mind that their door will be robust and whisper quiet, with the smoothest rolling action ever, while installers can rest assured that installation will be a breeze.

We’re also delighted to offer a PAS24-accredited version of the two-pane patio system in the near future. The upgraded multi-point locking mechanism offers added strength and security, and with a rigid aluminium box section it’s easy to manufacture and provides tolerance-friendly locking clusters and a backlash eliminator.

After several months of testing, and delays caused by the pandemic, we’re excited about the impending launch of our fully accredited patio system. It was important for us that the door was 100% correct before launching the PAS24 model; we expect to announce that larger versions with more panes featuring the same accreditation will also be available soon after.