from ezine articles / Bee Primrose
Continuing the informative guide to patio doors.
part 3: Glass - Kite mark, thermal performance, tempered, unbreakable, toughened, tinted, Georgian, leaded-light, stained glass, integral blinds.
All patio doors are required to have double glazing, although glass room dividers and glass doors to non residential properties can be single glazed tempered "unbreakable" glass.
A visible "kitemark" on the glass is the consumers' assurance that the double-glazed unit has been manufactured to British standards. The BSI has numerous standards, including: U-value verification, Window Energy Rating and Window Installation. The lower the U-value, the better the thermal performance and most local authorities will require this to be 1.8 or better to meet building regulations.
Some manufactures offer optional extras, such as tinted glass, anti-sun, laminated, obscured glass and Argon-filled double-glazing. It is also possible to match existing period features by specifying Georgian bar or leaded-light in rectangular or diamond style. An innovative option is switchable privacy glass which enables molecules inside the double-glazing to become transparent or opaque at the press of a button; this is expensive, though, typically doubling the original price of good quality patio doors.
An alternative solution is to order patio doors with integral horizontal blinds, factory sealed inside the double-glazing cavity. Proven to be reliable, the blinds can be operated via a magnet system (there is an alternative electronic option) that enables the slats to be easily angled to control the amount of light filtering through and can also raise and lower the blinds for maximum light or shade. A major advantage of opting for internally sealed blinds rather than separate blinds is that they are totally maintenance-free - no arduous dusting or cleaning - and because the blinds are encapsulated inside the glazed panels, they are exceptionally difficult to break.
SunSeeker Doors is the only UK company to manufacture and install a choice of slide and pivot doors (including frameless glass doors), bi folding doors and French doors.
Article Source: Guide to Patio Door Types
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