Here in the Valley of the Sun, we experience beautiful weather that brings mild winters and 300 days of sunshine a year, which means outdoor living space is important for most lifestyles. While a great outdoor living space is great, installing a multi-panel door system will completely enhance your space. It will combine the interior and exterior for an even larger entertaining space. A multi-panel door system creates a wall of natural light, allows for an abundance of fresh air, and expands your view.
If you like to entertain, a multi-panel door system will expand your entertaining space by allowing guests to move freely between the indoors and outdoors. A number of different multi-panel door systems are available in the marketplace with the desired function, design, size, and budget determining which system will be the best fit.
Multi-Panel Door Systems
The folding door multi-panel door system is a system generally made up of at least three panels that fold in an accordion style to stack on each other. Due to this folding action, the panels are flush with each other versus a stepped appearance. Depending on the number of panels and design, the doors can fold to one side or to both sides. A folding system will have the option of having one of the end panels be on a hinge that allows the use of only one door for easy entry/exit. A folding door system has a couple of advantages when comparing it to other multi-panel door systems. One advantage is that a folding door system uses a single track, which means that track on the floor that the doors slide on is much narrower. Another advantage is that a folding door system does not require a pocket to maximize the amount of opening.
Multi-Slide/Lift and Slide
Like the folding door system, a multi-slide or lift and slide panel system generally consists of at least three panels. Instead of folding, each panel slides to stack one behind the other and can slide to one side or to both sides. While not necessary, a pocket can be utilized to have the panels slide completely into the wall. Not only does this hide the panels when open creating a clean look, it also provides the maximum opening. The main difference between multi-slide and lift and the slide is how each system slides. In a traditional multi-slide system, the panels utilize traditional weather stripping and stainless steel rollers to slide across the track.
With a lift and slide system, the panels are lifted off the sill using levers and rollers allowing panels weighing hundreds of pounds to easily slide to one side or the other. When closed, the lift and slide panels create a maximum weather seal.
One potential disadvantage of the multi-slide or lift and slide system is they can require a multi-track. Depending on the number of panels, the track can be as wide as 18 inches or more. With a multi-track, the doors will also have a stepped appearance when closed instead of the panels being flush with each other. However, there have been advancements with multi-slide and lift and slide where a single-track is used until the point to where they stack on the side at which time they move onto a multi-track. If utilizing a pocket, the multi-track will be located within the pocket and out of sight. When this system is utilized, the panels in a multi-slide or lift and slide can have a flush appearance when closed rather than stepped.
Whichever multi-panel door system you choose, it will create an indoor/outdoor living and entertaining space that maximizes Arizona living.