Now that we’ve met with Daylight Savings Time, the evenings don’t feel quite as dreary. The sun peeks in later into the day and brings the much-needed reminder that spring is finally at our doorstep. Spring is such a great time to begin new home improvement projects, and this week we’re exploring another project that you might consider to freshen up your living space (and take advantage of those brighter evening hours): adding patio doors.

Why Add a Patio Door?

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, I don’t even have a deck! This project isn’t right for me. But even without a deck, patio doors can look beautiful, bring benefits to your living space, and boost your market value if you’re preparing to sell.

Patio doors are basically windows you can walk through, so one of the most obvious benefits they bring is a boatload of sunshine into your home. If you have a kitchen that is perpetually dim, or a den that, without three lamps, is actually fit for a hibernating bear, think about how much more light you could enjoy with the addition of a patio door now that the sun is actually around once you’re home from work and cooking dinner.

In addition to the aesthetic and psychological advantages that come with increased exposure to natural light, a patio door also introduces more views of the natural world into your home. This is a plus for entertaining, for sure–wouldn’t you rather enjoy a view of your host’s back yard instead of a big-screen TV? But it’s also a great way for the people living in your home to appreciate and take better advantage of the outdoor spaces on your property. If you have young children, a patio door provides endless opportunities for gazing at nature as the seasons cycle through. And it makes supervising children playing outdoors much easier!

While the benefits above are relevant to homeowners who are staying put, it’s important to note that patio doors also make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Patio doors introduce additional livable space into your property, especially when paired with an attractive and well-maintained patio area outside. These spaces do not have to be large or particularly ornate; they simply provide potential buyers with the ability to consider ways to enjoy your home’s outdoor space.

Patio Doors and Energy Efficiency

If you’re concerned about patio doors’ energy efficiency, don’t be! Patio doors can actually introduce an energy savings into your home, reducing your use of indoor lighting by letting that sunshine in. (And if you don’t think that savings will be significant, just google the price of those recessed lighting bulbs!)

The glass that you find in patio doors lets the light in, but that doesn’t mean it will let the cold in, too. Special features bring a degree of protection from the elements. As Lowes.com explains, “Triple pane glass can be filled with gas that makes it hard for heat and humidity to pass through, which helps you cut your energy costs. Low-E glass has an invisible metallic coating that keeps heat inside during winter and outside during summer… Vinyl patio doors are always UV-coated to protect against fading. You can also get UV-coated glass that acts like sunscreen for furniture inside your home.” So, as you can see, there are many options that allow homeowners to enjoy the benefits of patio doors without having to sacrifice energy efficiency.

Next week, we’ll explore different types of patio doors to beautify your home, and what measures you should take to ensure that your patio doors add a sense of security and safety to your home.