Sliding Patio Doors vs. Garden Doors – Which is Better?

If you are thinking about adding new doors to the back of your home, it is highly possible that you are weighing up sliding patio doors vs. garden doors. Both doors are popular additions to Canadian homes. But which one is right for you?

Our team has reached out to Ecoline, Canadian patio doors replacement experts, and together we will talk you through each type of door, the pros and cons of each, and how you can pick the right style for your home. 

What are Sliding Patio Doors?

Sliding patio doors function by sliding open and closed on a track. They are the more modern door type and are structured more like a large window than a traditional door.

What are Garden Doors?

Garden doors are the more classic option. They are more standard doors, screwed in at one side and opening outwards. They tend to be larger than patio doors.

Sliding Patio vs Garden Doors – Pros & Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages of each door, depending on what your needs and preferences are. Let’s start with Sliding Patio Doors and then compare them with Garden Doors. 

Sliding Doors Pros: 

  • Modern, Chic Look: The style of Sliding Doors is ideal for modern and contemporary styled homes. They are light, open, and minimalist.
  • Open Views: The minimal structure of these doors allows for any views to be unobstructed by individual panes or dividers. 
  • Space Saving: Patio Doors are slightly smaller than garden doors, and they do not require space on the outside of the home to swing open. They are good, therefore, for smaller spaces.
  • Energy Saving: Can be fitted with double or triple glazing and can be coated with Low-E glass.
  • Natural Light: The structure of these doors allows lots of natural light to pour in without any blockages.
  • More Secure: More options are available to lock and secure the doors included deadbolts and security bars. Tempered glass is available to use, which prevents smashing from the outside. 
  • Less Maintenance: Sliding Doors are low maintenance and are easier to clean and repair.

Sliding Doors Cons: 

  • Less Ventilation: Compared to other popular door styles, sliding patio doors cannot open fully to allow ventilation to flow through the whole door space.
  • Smaller: While being smaller is a benefit for more compact spaces, it does make things more complicated when it comes to moving in and moving out of homes and when moving large household items.
  • Trip Hazard: The sliding track at the bottom of these doors can be a trip hazard, especially in a house with young children or a disabled/elderly family member. 

Now to look at the pros and cons of Garden Doors. 

Garden Doors Pros:

  • Larger Size: Garden Doors are bigger and provide a more extensive open area, and so there is no problem in moving things in or out of the home.
  • Classic Style: These doors have a classic, traditional style and will fit nicely in a house with the same fashion.
  • Ventilation and Fresh Air: The larger area and ability to open the doors completely allow for more ventilation to enter the home.
  • No Trip Hazard: These doors open on hinges rather than working on a sliding track and so there is no trip hazard on the floor.
  • Ideal for Pet Owners: It is easier to add pet flaps into garden doors, and easier to have a wider space open for larger pets to come in and out of the garden.

Garden Doors Cons:

  • More Expensive: Garden doors are typically more expensive to buy and install.
  • Slam Hazard: The structure of the doors means that when they are left open, there is a chance they could slam shut with wind, and there is the potential for children or pets to be injured.
  • More space Needed: The larger size of the doors requires a larger space both inside and outside of the home to open fully. 
  • Obstructed View: Compared to patio doors, garden doors do not offer the same level of clear views.
  • Less Secure: Usually only have one lock and can be opened from the outside more easily.
  • More Maintenance: The materials used in garden doors, metal, and wood, corrode more over time, and need more maintenance.

What do Canadian homeowners prefer and when?                  

There are lots of factors to consider when you are trying to buy the perfect door for your home. A large part of that in Canada will be due to the weather in your region, say experts from

The energy efficiency of your door will be a significant factor in how warm your house will stay during the Winter. An energy-efficient door is one that has good insulation, which is measured by the R-value in Energy Star Ratings

When it comes to Garden Doors and Patio Doors, the Patio Doors are the more energy-saving option. With the options for double and triple glazing and energy-efficient glass. 

Sliding Patio doors also have the option of being open only slightly and locked into this position. This means you can still have fresh air and ventilation in your home without too much disruption from the elements. 

If you are in a colder or windier region or are preparing for a bad winter, these are essential factors to consider. 


When picking between Garden Doors and Sliding Patio Doors, there are many things to consider. Sliding Patio Doors are the winner of this particular comparative blog, with their modern design, efficient use of space, blockage-free views, extra energy efficiency, and extra levels of security. For cold and windy areas of Canada, these doors come out on top.

But Garden Doors also have their advantages, and they are better suited to some types of homes. If you have a more classic style of home, a pet, and don’t want a track along the floor of the window opening, this type could be for you. 

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