New Patio Door Suggestions?

One of the biggest thieves when it comes to swiping heat out of my house is my 30 year old Pella patio doors. Top of the line in their time, even the cheesy vinyl doors at the local Home Depot have better insulating qualities than these do. With natural gas goin' for $8.50+/MCF this winter, I'm looking for some replacements (Oh yeah, and add to that Pella's goofy door arrangement, where the sliding door is on the *outside*, and I'm REALLY looking to get rid of 'em).
Trouble is, I have no idea where to start or how to even compare features on these doors. Aside from superior insulating qualities, all I'm really interested in is having a wooden frame that'll allow me to stain as I choose (oh yeah, and I want the sliding door on the INSIDE this time...sorry Pella).
Anyway, I'm leaning toward Andersen, for no other reason than name recognition, good warranty and having the type of door (wooden) that I'm looking for. I'm getting installed prices in the $12-1400 range here in the Cleveland OH area for a standard 6 ft. width. Decent price for this type of door?
Seems most doors these days are dual-pane with some inert gas in between for insulation...most of the differences seem to be in the framing material. Are there any specific specs or features I should be looking for?
Any help, tips or personal experiences are appreciated.
Pete D
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is sound reasoning to have the door on the outside. Wind puts pressure on the door and helps it seal better, unlike the opposite that would make it seal less. I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me. My old door had the screen on the outside and it was damaged a few time where the Pella has been safe.

Prices seem to be OK, but it depends on hat type of door and brand. You can spent more than $1400 just for the door. Check out Peachtree and Marvin brands also. You already know to avoid the metal frames. You do want the outside to be clad with vinyl or aluminum. The larger the glass thickness, the better the nsulating quality.
My old door had the double pane glass. Good for a few years, but once the seal breaks, it will fog and get ugly. The unsealed double glass has been better. Insulates well and can be cleaned.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I despise sliding patio doors, regardless of who makes them. We had ours ripped out and interlocking French doors installed.
--
Wayne in Phoenix

unmunge as w-e-b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wayne wrote:

trying to squeeze furniture through a ~32" opening. Yes, I know that half of 6' is 36", but there is the overlap of the doors and the extra room needed for the handle so you don't crush your hand between the handle and the stationery door.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Put me on the French Door list as well. Add to the good points:
Ability to install a standard or decorative lockset and deadbolt. Or go with Anderson French patio doors and it will deadbolt top, bottom and center.
I installed 1 single all-glass French patio door flanked by 2 large double hung Anderson windows, and in the dead of winter I can stand right in front, on an oak floor, barefoot -and feel no draft.
I don't think there is any slider made that can seal the drafts like a standard glass door.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I dumped the patio doors for French doors. Steel and double insulated, with side lights, that opened. My doors were larger than 6 feet. The amount of light difference was not noticeable. The difference in glass area was about 2/3. Really made an difference in the room.
They also have French type doors with blinds inside the glass. If I was to change now, new home back to patio doors again. I would consider these.
--
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Most French and sliders top out at 3.4r . I have several Anderson wood sliders Low E Argon, they seal good , Im on a lake with high wind. My door cost 1200 instal was 750. There are air infiltration ratings from all companies . Call Anderson.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

top level (french wood) complete with screen and lockset and taxs is about 1100 just for the door. A standard install is about 300. There will probubly be additional work since the old Pellas used brick mold outside and the new doors use nail fins. I agree about the operable part being outside. You can't open it in the winter cause the track ices over and closing it in the summer is a joy cuase you need to open the screen full of nights bugs to close the outside door. If you "buy into" the wind thing, wind blows all directions so one day it may help seal the next it may be sucking the other way. I also agree that if you have the swing space a swinging patio door is much better. Anderson also make a great swinger. Check out the way the lock system works.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.