Pocket /Folding Lanai Doors or Set of 4 Sliding Patio Doors

mydreamhomeFebruary 13, 2011

Help! In uncharted water here. Originally planned on using 6' set of French doors to access the back porch from the family room flanked by casements to create a "wall of windows to the outside". The French doors were supposed to line up with the front door for a direct line of sight to our gorgeous view. Due to changes in the floor plan & trying to maximize space, it looks like we may need to go with something different like folding/sliding lanai doors (similar to a nana wall) or a set of 4 sliding patio doors with the 2 center doors opening in opposite directions. I've attached a photos of the patio doors below. So my questions are these--

-Any idea on cost? (Marvin sliding patio doors 4-3' panels as shown quoted ~$3000)

-Any information on quality/durability of different brands? (Nana for the folding system & Marvin, Jeld-Wen, Lift & Slide all offer both styles)

-Style Preference - Pros & Cons experienced with each

-Any other manufacturers I should look at?

-Reviews from anyone that has these types of doors-ease of use, appearance, worth the $$, etc

Thanks for your help!

Folding Door Style:


Jeld-Wen/Marvin Center Opening Sliding Patio Door:



Totally Different Option--We would not do the arches, just standard 14" transoms above the windows & doors as in the photos above (Don't know if this one will work yet as it's just a single door):


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Sorry-the photos didn't appear as I wanted them to...If at first you don't succeed...:

Folding Door Style:

Jeld-Wen/Marvin Center-Opening Sliding Doors:

Totally Different Option--We would not do the arches, just standard 14" transoms above the windows & doors as in the photos above (Don't know if this one will work yet as it's just a single door):

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 10:33AM
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I looked into the nana wall and several other options as well --- They are really cool, but in the end, we determined that our house location and set up didn't warrant the expense of these. Now, if we had an awesome view, we might have done this.

My recollection of this in terms of pricing for Nana Wall and some of the other brands: I believe it was about $800 a foot for this --- so for a 12' opening, it worked out to about $9600 --- I looked at several manufacturers and the pricing was all in that ballpark.

Will your doors open to a patio, a screened porch? This was a concern for us in this decision. We ended up putting a screened porch, so the Nana concept would have been great, because opening the doors wide would still be within the screen.... thus no bugs, etc invading the house. If not, you might want to consider with lights on in the house and the doors wide open, you might get every moth in town visiting!

Another consideration is how to stack the panels. In our plan it was working out to be awkward --- and the "stack" would have been in the way. Just make sure that if you go with these, you have that planned carefully... some of them can stack inside a wall, which is pretty neat.

Another consideration to think about..... look back at your pictures linked.... the transition from inside to outside.... if you are trying to make a very open space, be careful of that little half step transition.... it looks like a tripping hazard to me. I would want either a full step down, or preferably a level transition there to open up the space. The top picture has a small step, which can be an ankle breaker!

Finally, if you are trying to maximize your view through the house straight out the back, maybe consider an odd number of doors so the exact center is glass, not the door frames meeting in the middle (your bottom picture does this glass in the middle way). If you think about your set of 4 doors concept, the dead center part will be about 8" of door frame, vs. glass. If you use 3 or 5 panels, the center view would be glass. This is why in the first few pictures they show the doors open, because it looks way better open than closed. But in the last picture, the view is great regardless.

And.... while I think the standard is to have the center 2 panels open on french doors, it makes furniture placement more difficult, so just make sure you've thought about it!

Good luck would love to see pics of the view, etc! Rachel

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Exactly what mythreesons said!
Our La Cantina doors were the cheapest out of Nana, Lanai, and L Cantina. When you actually get down to the bids, things start to add up...hardware, divided lites, etc.
So we have 4 panels (12'), brushed nickel hardware, clad wood (so exterior is alum. clad, interior is wood) 9' tall doors, 3 lites over 1 - Craftsman style, and it was $9500 (total, including shipping and CA tax). I think that TOTAL, everything was at least $1000 more with the other two companies. My sense is that Nana is most expensive, since they were first, then Lanai, then La Cantina. (The funny thing is, we still call it 'the Nana door', cause it's so much easier to say than La Cantina, and we all know which door we're talking about!) Our builder had put in a Nana in a prior house, and was comparing to this La Cantina, and he felt that the door was at least equal, and the sliding mechanism was much smoother than the Nana. We had see the prior house, and the sliding mech. on that Nana was definitely not smooth (it was only 2 years old, and the door wasn't used much!). In fact, it made my husband hesitant! We were soooo happy when the La Cantina turned out fine! We don't have drywall yet, but when we go up there and open the La Cantina, we feel like it's really becoming a home! Everyone who's been up there loves the door. I figure, hey, it's still cheaper than a Sub Zero, and it adds so much to the house in terms of WOW factor. We won't have italian marble, triple stacked crown, or fancy kitchen cabs, but we will definitely be enjoying that La Cantina going out onto the big front deck!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 12:06PM
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oops....I meant 8' tall doors!
They do have a zero step sill option, but our builder didn't want to take the risk with rain, and water intrusion even on our covered patio, so it will be step down. I think he said it was only a few inches...nothing like a full 7-8 inch step.

Also, because of cost, during the design phase, we went with the 4 panels for 12' instead of 5 panels for 16'. Now I regret it, because it would have been truly a 'wall of windows', as you said, since the room is about 22' across. For us, though, since we have another floor above it, it would have meant returning to engineering, and resubmitting that part to the building dept! So my advice is to engineer for a true wall of windows, and if you change your mind, there's no problems with framing smaller during building - it's the bigger openings that cause problems.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 12:24PM
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My husband and I are considering the folding doors and have found all the comments helpful. We are interested in knowing what states/areas you are building/living in. We will be in the low country/coastal area of South Carolina. I am also concerned about how easy these doors are to open and push back.Please share any comments/experiences about this. Or living area will open to a very large screened area. Finally, currently the design calls for this to be the only access to the screened area. Do you think we should add a single door leading from another area to the screened area?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Some time ago folding doors by Oceanside where considered. Can someone please comment on how happy they are with their choice?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 2:19PM
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