Patio doors are often the unsung heroes of a home or cottage.
Front doors tend to get all the attention, with eye-catching designs that make a big statement. Patio doors, on the other hand, are easy to treat as a utilitarian second thought.
But that’s a mistake, say door experts. A well-designed patio door allows plenty of light to enter, keeps heat from passing through, and looks good, although maybe in an understated way. And at most cottages the patio door gets used ten times as much as the front door as people and pets go in and out all day long.
“In Muskoka, the patio door is used more than any other entrance,” explains Paul Travis, owner of George Kent Home Improvements. “Even if you’re not going in and out, you want it to allow incredible views while also helping to control the building’s climate.”
Good doors can change the look and feel of a home or cottage and can add value to your property. The Appraisal Institute of Canada says door replacement has a 50 to 75 percent ROI.
And because a patio door is so large, it has an outsized impact on heating and cooling bills. “Glass doors and windows are so much more efficient than they used to be,” says Paul. “Replacing an older patio door makes an enormous impact.”
George Kent offers their clients a variety of door options, be it sliding, garden, French doors, and more. They can be customized to fit your home or cottage in size, style, colour, and function. Their team will learn about your needs – whether it’s an easy way to let the dog out, or increased views of the property – and then help you make the right choices.
Front doors too
When it comes to the front door, the team at George Kent recommends either an insulated steel or a fibreglass door. Either will have a big impact on the curb appeal and value of your home.
Insulated steel doors are a budget-friendly way to enjoy excellent security and durability.
However, Paul says the best choice for both style and function is fibreglass. Fibreglass doors have a long lifespan and are easy to maintain, plus you can always paint them a different colour if you feel like a change.
“Fibreglass doors are more energy efficient and provide a near limitless variety of styles, colours and grains,” he says. “I often recommend fibreglass to homeowners and cottagers wanting a real wood look but with added durability and low maintenance. Fibreglass doors can match almost any look you want.”
George Kent has their own brand of doors and windows called Enerview. Having an in-house brand means they can be easily customized – an important consideration when retrofitting windows to older cottages or installing in custom new builds, both of which often have odd sizes.
Enerview windows are made with shatter-resistant glass to discourage break-ins and resist severe weather damage. And they are extremely energy efficient.
One option that has been getting a lot of attention is a new, self-cleaning glass. It features a special coating to loosen organic materials on its surface, such as dust, dirt, and other airborne particles, allowing them to be washed away when it rains.
“The special coating is applied during production,” Paul explains. “The coating is activated by the sun’s UV rays, and it makes windows that are easy to clean, as well as staying clean for much longer.”
When it comes to siding, George Kent offers a full spectrum of materials including vinyl, aluminum, and steel.
Paul says vinyl siding is a low maintenance, durable option that is resistant to dents. It’s an affordable choice, and it fits well over existing exteriors, such as wood.
“It also has a lot of colour options to choose from,” he says. “The colour of the siding permeates the material, which means it won’t chip, scratch, or fade over time.”
The George Kent team consists of a wide array of tradespeople – including Window Wise-certified installers. Some team members have been with the company for over 35 years. They bring an expert attention to detail to every project they work on, and are one of the reasons the company has been in business since 1949.
They are also fully licensed and insured, carrying all the proper WSIB and general liability coverage.
Proper installations will ensure your home is operating at peak efficiency, while having the style and function that best suits your needs, Paul says.
“Updating your windows, doors and siding will have tremendous benefits for years to come.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN