With the solstice gone, we have already passed ‘peak light’ in terms of daylight hours this summer, and so begins the slow wind down to shorter days and longer nights.
However, given the pattern of recent years, the best of the summer weather may yet be to come. Even as the evenings start to draw in by mid-September, it is quite possible to get spells of glorious weather.
And don’t we all want to make the best of what sunshine there is available, and push autumn back as far as possible?
If you really want to enjoy the late summer to its full potential, think about ways to maximise how much natural light you let into your home. Especially for communal areas like sitting rooms, dining rooms and kitchens which are adjacent to a garden or yard, you have the option to transform them into bright, attractive, breezy spaces which bring a touch of the outdoors inside.
How can you achieve this? Simply by installing glass panelled doors.
Why a sliding door?
Glass doors have the power to transform an indoor living space. Compared to all but the very largest bay windows, glass panelled doors will greatly increase the transparent surface area through which light can pass into your room, turning dingy corners into bright and airy spots.
Glass doors also make it feel as if there is less of a barrier between indoors and out. On warm, sunny days, you can have the doors open, letting the light, the breeze and the sounds of summer filter inside. And, of course, it is much easier to actually get outside.
But glass door systems come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so what is the case for choosing sliding glass doors?
Sliding doors have become the standard design for patio entrance ways for a number of reasons. One is security. With top and bottom rails, sliding glass doors are very secure and durable. When locked, the double rail system means they are fixed very firmly in place with little give, so they are difficult to force. With a thick double layer of laminated security glass, they are also heavy and far from easy to smash through.
The other reason is space. Hinged doors always need a free arc to swing into, whether outside or in. If you are short of space, sliding doors save you having to clear furniture or bushes out of the way so they are not hit.
Choosing the right doors
Aside from space and security, there are a number of other factors to consider when trying to pick out the perfect glass sliding door for your needs. Here are some to consider:
- Go as big as possible. If you want glass sliding doors to brighten up a room, then more door means more light. Single sliding doors are great, but if you have the space, double is even better.
- Privacy versus light. The downside to large glass doors is the fact they let people see into your home, as well as allowing you to see out. For most people, installing curtains or blinds is enough to offset this. But if you do have particular privacy concerns, consider frosted or tempered glass, which lets the light in but not prying eyes.
- Choose the right glass. Having large glass panels on the side of your home can cause two other unwanted consequences. Allowing so much sunlight into your home can quickly lead to textile furnishings like sofas and curtains fading, while in the winter it can mean a lot of heat escaping from your home. There is, however, an easy solution – Low-E glass panels, which controls the amount of UV radiation getting in and out of your home.