HELP - Sliding Patio Door with blinds inside glass

hopefloatsJune 16, 2011

My kitchen is being remodeled and I need to replace the slider patio door and a casement window. I've been researching and looking at sliders with interior blinds.Ideally, I would like to have the mini blinds between the panes of glass to block out strong sun from morning to early afternoon...appreciated during CT winters, but not in the summer. Right now, I'm going through sticker shock and baffled by salesman (Home Depot)telling me that their Jenweld was junk, but the miniblinds in them are good. If he wouldn't buy it then why would I?

I heard from several contractors that they find slider patio doors to be of poor quality with high price tags. A Pella salesman quoted me a $4,000 price on their pine interior and aluminum exterior slider with retractable screen and blinds. The blinds did not even operate easily.

The instockPella standard slider with the white blinds and sliding screen was $2,900. With my carpenter installing...that's an expensive project.

I could use some guidance here in CT. Do I really have to pay that much money for a poor quality slider door that isn't recommended by salesmen and that has poor customer reviews. HELP please! Would someone guide me to towards quality sliders?

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hopefloats - we installed a Pella, triple insulated, sliding patio door several years ago. It's one of the best home improvements we've made. They're pricey, but worth it. As far as insulating - they stay warm in winter and cool in summer (NJ) - build quality is excellent.
The mini blinds work well, but the only problem, we have, is bending down to turn the little knob, at the bottom for adjustments. If you have mobility problems it may be a issue. They're very difficult to take apart, for cleaning, but the only time you'll see film on the inside of the glass is when sun light comes directly in. We have triple insulated, tilt out windows, from Home Depot, throughout the rest of our house - they seem to work equally well from an insulting stand point. Home Depot uses outside contractors, who may or may not be very good, the window install went very well, but, our vinyl siding from them was a nightmare!! Five different crews and two different languages.
We went with Pella for the patio door because of the heavy use it gets. All in all we have not had any problems with either Pella, or Home Depot's, door or windows - as I said the siding was a whole other issue. I'd favor Pella - budget permitting.
Good luck

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:41AM
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I second the motion on the Pella sliding glass door with the blinds in between the panes. We have two, one was installed in 2004 and the other in 2006. They are much better at insulating against our brutal South Dakota winters than the previous Weathershield (junk) doors that we had. They have held up very well. It also really cuts down on the hot sun in the summer. We went with all Pella replacement windows on our house. Pricey but so much more energy efficient than the original windows and doors. The style may have change but I don't have to reach down to tilt the shades. It's all controlled by the slider that also raises and lowers the blinds. Ours were the Designer Series.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella door

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:41PM
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We have Pella windows and french doors with shades between the glass; built in 2001. No complaints except that it is a big deal to remove the glass and clean all four sides of glass throughout the house every year. Our window cleaner is excellent; he tells me HE prefers Marvin products.

I chose the Pella's partly because they did come with shades, not just blinds, and because their grilles looked more like the true simulated divided lights we have on the front of the house. (Our town's BRB insisted on those.)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:25AM
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You can find french doors with interior blinds at a cheaper price than sliders. They'll start at around $300 at a big box and up from there in both quality and price. You ought to be able to find good quality ones from about $1500-2000. Similar quality in sliders with blinds will be 3-4K. It's supply and demand. Most renovators are getting rid of their sliders in favor of french doors, so barely any are made except as a custom order.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Thanks for the feedback I've received on my question about sliding patio doors with blinds. I appreciate your time and insight. The manufacturer choices seem limited if I go with the interior blinds. I found the Armstrong blinds easier to operate than the Pella which seemed to drag even when the salesman operated them.

I also started looking into silder doors without blinds, but with better thermal performance. Glass with dual or triple glaze 2X Low-E/Argon or Krypton that block the sun and cold better, and keep the heat in and cold out. I've looked at Anderson Silverline, and Harvey Windows and Doors. I plan to get quotes from my contractor to see where they land in price.

Remodeling my kitchen has been an expensive project so I'm paying more attention to spending money where I get the most benefit. Any additional comments are welcome as I'm still in the researching phase for the door. I also decided to replace the casement with a slider window as the casement took up too much space on the outside deck and made for a hazard. So many decisions.

Again, many thanks!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 1:08AM
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I'm eager to see what you ended up selecting. I'm considering the same option and am just beginning to research it. I would love to change sliders to French doors, but due to condo rules, the must remain sliders.

I was unaware that the doors could and needed to be taken apart. I thought the blinds were permanently in there. If you need to pop them open to clean, doesn't that make them less energy efficient? I'm new to this!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Hello Chipmonk. My final decision was to forgo the blind option altogether. We didn't need them for privacy, just for sun and heat protection. I thought I'd end up selecting a window treatment covering to minimize the sun and heat after the installation, but I haven't needed one.

With my builders assistance, we chose Harvey Building Products door and window for our kitchen and decided upon the Tribute line...double pane sliding patio door (they don't put interior blinds in their doors), and double pane sliding window over the sink (so effortless to slide).

We noticed a difference immediately with the double glazed, low E argon, easy sun clean glass. The amount of sun and heat that gets through is mimimal compared to our original glass. We have been through the heat of the summer and surprisingly we never missed having blinds. This glass has been wonderful for blocking out a considerable amount of noise, the suns rays, and heat...far exceding my expectations. Upon closing the slider the heat is sealed off and you can visibly see the reduction of the suns rays. We coundn't be more pleased with our selection. I enjoy having the wide open windows for unobstructed light and view.
Wishing you well with your project and good luck with your final selections.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:38AM
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