The most common framing materials used for windows and patio doors are wood, vinyl, and aluminum.  More recent introductions to the market include fiberglass and a number of composites.  Manufacturers also combine materials commonly, producing vinyl or aluminum clad wood products, wood-clad vinyl products, and other combinations to meet a variety of demands for performance and aesthetics.  Most consumers at some point or another will have the need to purchase replacement windows or doors, and choosing the right material for your folding door system can be a daunting task, with so many products on the market it pays to spend a little time researching the best type of material for your particular budget and project needs.  Let’s take a look at the two most commonly used materials; vinyl and aluminum.


Vinyl doors are generally not lauded for their aesthetic qualities, this is not to say they are not attractive, they simply lack the same architectural qualities of architectural grade aluminum clad or wood doors.  Vinyl doors have a lower cost than wooden or metal exterior doors, and can very closely mimic the look and feel of more expensive doors on the market.  At Panoramic Doors, we pride ourselves on providing options to suit a variety of budgets; our Absolute Vinyl Door  is our most affordable patio door and it sure doesn’t disappoint.  Available in white or beige our Absolute Vinyl range is made from only the highest quality materials.  It combines the magic of our patented Magnaline hardware, it’s low maintenance, and energy efficient at a price perfect for any household.

Exterior vinyl doors are easy to maintain. Vinyl can be wiped clean with mild soap and water and is not as susceptible to water damage or other decay as wood.  Like aluminum options, our Absolute Vinyl Series is noted for its durability, strength, and low maintenance.  For homeowners looking to maximize energy efficiency, vinyl doors may be the option for you!  Check out our fantastic, high quality, Absolute Vinyl Series HERE. The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping around for energy efficient doors is that they’re only as efficient as their installation; even the most energy efficient doors will provide little value if they’re poorly installed.

Always take time to do your research before hiring an Independent Installer or General Contractor, use resources like Angies List or to find highly rated technicians in your area.


Aluminum is stronger than wood or vinyl.  For this reason, it is still the dominant choice in architectural and demanding commercial applications.  Its strength also allows framing widths to be minimized, allowing for larger glass areas in aluminum windows and doors.  Aluminum doors have made huge strides over the years in terms of advancement and the material itself is a good thermal conductor, therefore most aluminum door manufacturers offer “thermal break” products.  In these designs, a structural insulating material is incorporated between the interior and exterior aluminum.

Created as an alternative to wood, aluminum doors are strong, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.  They do, like most modern folding door systems require periodical maintenance; keeping the track debris free and well lubricated will ensure your doors remain easy to operate.  For more info on door aftercare & maintenance click HERE.  Unlike many other metals, aluminum does not become weaker when the temperature drops, making it a great choice for exterior doors.  However, the material is known to weaken (like most) when faced with extreme temperatures. This is due to its high heat conductivity, which makes it vulnerable to heat.  Having said that they’re naturally resistant to corrosion, even before being treated.  Small scratches and marks can be easily touched up on an aluminum door. Prior to painting, a small abrasive pad is recommended to remove small marks. After painting, homeowners can easily apply touch-up coats if necessary.

Our Signature Aluminum door is our flagship door.  Built using a thermally broken aluminum frame, this door is perfect for a job that requires extra large door systems. By reducing the amount of hardware needed to operate the door, we are able to make a more affordable option that meets the structural and design needs of most homes and business. The Signature Aluminum door is a favorite with restaurants because it allows more control over the opening, traffic and air flow. The Signature Aluminum Door is available in sizes up to 10 feet in height and unlimited widths.

Regardless of the material you choose for your replacement door project, Panoramic Doors have it covered!  Visit for your instant quote today!