Replacing a window with a door?

We are thinking about installing a door in our master bedroom where we currently have a window. This would allow us to walk out onto a private patio.
Our window is 4 feet wide x 5 feet high. Because of the interior and exterior wall finishes, I want the width of the door to be the same 4' width as the window. This way I can simply cut away the wall beneath the window, set the door, and install new trim (there are no electrical cables beneath the window). I DO NOT want to widen the door frame as this would require a new header, rerouting electrical cables, etc. I also do not want to narrow the frame as we want the light, and don't want to try matching the interior/exterior finishes. However, the 4' width is a kind of an odd size for a door.
As I see it I have a few options...
1. A single 4' wide door. Obviously a custom door, and extremely large. I'm not sure that we have the space in the room to swing a 4' door inside.
2. A 3' wide door with a 1' sidelight. This would reduce the swing into the room, but a narrow sidelight wouldn't really fit the look of the house (inside or outside).
3. A 4' wide french door. Basically a 2' wide door with fixed 2' sidelight. This would look more "balanced" and would probably fit the house style better, but I'm concerned the door itself would end up even narrower due to the door jambs and whatnot. I'm worried the door opening could end up being 20" or less by the time I was finished. All of the other doors in our house are 36" wide, so that would be kind of narrow.
4. A 4' wide sliding door. This would have the advantage of not needing to swing into the room, but like #3 above, the sliding portion of the door may end up rather narrow.
This will only be an accessory door going to a private patio, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a full size door. But, I don't want it to have to "Squeeze" through the doorway either.
Anyway, I would be interested in hearing the pro's and con's of each approach.
Thanks,
Anthony
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3' door with 6" of wood panel of some type on each side. it would have to be custom made, but you could get carving or some such to make it decorative.
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(text snipped down to)

did you consider narrowing the frame down for a 36" wide door, use a door with a window for light, even if a small window in the top of the door, fill in gap on each side of door with solid materials (maybe even pillars, split vertically and put 1/2 inside and/or 1/2 outside) or 4" glass block on each side?
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I do not want to use any type of "filler" materials around the door. Our home has a "rustic" decor with knotty pine walls on the inside, and a rough sawn lumber on the exterior.
Whatever door option I go with will have glass panes in the door to let in the light as the window currently does.
Thanks,
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

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Is there some reason a door requires a bigger header than a window of the same width? Or are you suggesting that if the house is older, it may not have been built to modern standards, so that the header size should be checked as part of a project like this?
Cheers, Wayne
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On 1/28/2005 3:40 PM US(ET), Wayne Whitney took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

installed below is a window, door, archway, or any other opening which would require that some supporting studs be removed, as long as the header spans the width of the rough opening and is properly supported at the ends.
--
Bill

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willshak wrote:

That's the if...I've seen a lot where a window header isn't what it <ought> to be, more so than doors for some reason...
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On 1/28/2005 4:19 PM US(ET), Duane Bozarth took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

It depends upon whether the wall where the opening is located is a load-bearing supporting wall or a non-load-bearing partition wall. Since windows and exterior doors are almost always located in load-bearing supporting walls (all exterior walls are load-bearing), they require a suitable header. A partition wall does not usually require a supporting header above an interior opening, since the partition wall is not a supporting structure. Of course, larger openings in a partition wall require a suitable header to prevent sagging.
--
Bill

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But if it's already a window, the header should already be there and adequate ( assuming it was constructed correctly) for the wall no matter if it's load bearing or not.
--

Mikey S.
http://www.mike721.com
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On 1/28/2005 5:38 PM US(ET), Mikey S. took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

That's what I said in my original response. What you quoted was my response to another message.
--
Bill

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Wayne,

We just finished building the house a few months ago. The 4' window is in a load bearing wall and is supported by a header built of two 2x10's. Plenty strong enough.
I'm just looking at different options for putting a door where that window is.
Anthony
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wrote:

You left out the option of putting in french doors BOTH of which move, and the option of just switching to casement windows and either putting stairs up to the windowsill, or not. As long as the window opens up wide enough so that you can get through it comfortably, why does it have to be a floor-level opening? Is one of you in a wheelchair?
--Goedjn
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Or just go through the window opening to get to the patio...
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Another option you have completely left out is instead of putting in a french door, put in a dutch one. This way, you can play "store" whenever you want to. Have your wife put some canned goods out on the patio; and then you stand in the bedroom. She brings the canned goods up to the door, and one by one, you pick them up and go "ka-ching!" (a pretend store clerk with a pretend cash register) and put them in a paper bag. Or she can stand behind the door, and you bring the canned goods up to her. Alternatively, instead of canned goods, you can use fresh, or not so fresh produce. If you use fresh, then whoever is playing the customer can comment on how wonderful the produce is today. If you use not so fresh, then the customer can complain, and ask for their money back. Then, after you give them back the money, and they turn their back, you make a face at them. When you stop and think about it, the possibilities of what you can do are nearly limitless. What was that TV show where they had a dutch door? Hmmmmm I don't remember now, but it was very funny, because it was in a court or something, and the wrong people were always going through it!
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Why not a 4 foot French door where both open, you can open just one door or both if you want the wide opening?
--

Mikey S.
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HerHusband wrote:

You can have your 4 ft door (minus jambs of course) or any width up to that without a problem. Make the door swing out. I really don't understand why people don't do that. It frees up an amazing amount of space inside and obviates taffic patter problems.
As for 2 french doors - nope. You would have to open both halves every time you went in or out as 1/2 will be to narrow for use.
Slider probably not an option. The opening part has to slide to or into something. Can't do it in the same opening again as 1/2 the opening is too narrow for use.
Harry K
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I believe it is mainly convention, that residential exterior doors swing in, while commercial exterior doors swing out. Also, the UBC requires that with an outswing door, the exterior landing is at most 1" below the door threshold, I think.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

It is more than convention, it is code. By having the residential door swing in, it is not blocked by people who don't like you, or snow outside, thus blocking your escape.
Very important in an emergency. Commercial places have the door swing out for a similar reason they will be pushed out in a panic. People would otherwise be crushed in a fire. This has happened in panic situations.
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Code?? It may be but I would like a cite for that to believe it. Harry K
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