grey glass slide stacking exterior door by Procraft in Seattle WA

Enjoy the Ultimate Indoor/Outdoor Living Setup with Moving Glass Wall Systems  

If you want to bring the best parts of the outdoors into the comfort of your home, indoor/outdoor living design is a great way to do it. The ultimate goal is to bring the outdoors inside and vice versa by blending the lines between where one ends and the other begins.

Some of the most important design tools in this regard – if not the most important – are doors and windows. Let’s face it – you can’t leave a whole wall of your home open to the elements all the time, otherwise you’d have birds and racoons as roommates and you’d have a lot of trouble maintaining a comfortable temperature when things get too cold or hot outside.

But there are a lot of modern building materials and techniques that allow for nothing to stand between the inside of your home and your patio or backyard other than panes of insulated, energy-efficient glass.

Moving Glass Wall Systems

Moving glass wall systems are some of the most effective indoor/outdoor living solutions because they get about as close as possible to creating the illusion of openness, even when closed, while giving the option to actually open up a whole wall to the outdoors.

There are several operating styles to fit homeowners’ preferred method of function.

Stacking glass walls are almost like sliding glass patio doors except they can be three or four large windowpanes rather than just the two panes. A thicker track allows the panes to slide past each other, as you’d see in a traditional patio sliding door.

Bi-fold glass walls function on the same principle as bi-fold closet doors. One side of the wall pane has a pin that slides along the top and bottom tracks and the other side of the pane has a hinge connecting to the neighboring pane. This allows the doors to accordion as they are slid down the track.

Pocket glass walls are similar to the stacking glass walls or traditional sliding glass doors except a recess, or pocket, is built into the wall at the end of the sliding track so the panes can slide flush into the wall. This allows the most seamless indoor/outdoor experience because when fully opened and hidden away it will appear as if there’s no wall at all.

Some Things to Consider When Choosing a Glass Wall System

Expected Use

You may not want to open the entire glass wall each time you want to go outside, especially during the winter. Many people choose to have an additional door installed that’s intended more for daily use, even during seasons when you don’t want to open the glass wall to the outside. In this regard, the pocket glass walls and stacking glass walls also may be more convenient, as a single pane can be opened like a sliding glass patio door.

Furniture Layout

Bi-fold glass doors can swing indoors or outdoors depending the configuration you choose, so keep in mind where you plan to arrange furniture on your patio and in your home to accommodate the panels. You’ll also want to avoid placing heavy furniture in the immediate vicinity of glass walls, not just because they could block your view or be knocked into the glass, but also because it could make easily accessing the wall system more cumbersome or difficult.

Threshold

There are completely flush track options for glass walls, which can help enhance the seamless continuity of your indoor/outdoor environment. However, a sill or threshold can help keep water and debris out of your home if that’s an issue. Whether or not a flush track option is right for your glass wall will depend on where it opens on to. If the glass wall opens to a covered patio, having rain blown inside will be less of a concern than a glass wall that opens up to a patio with little or no overhang.

Materials

From fiberglass and aluminum to vinyl and wood, along with several glass and color variations, there are a lot of different material options you have to choose from when you’re shopping for a glass wall system. Procraft Windows sells and installs a diverse array of options and would be happy to provide suggestions and design advice to help you make your choice.

Get the Most From Your Indoor and Outdoor Environments

If you want to learn about glass wall systems for your home, contact Procraft Windows at (206) 361-5121. Our design experts are passionate about helping Seattle area homeowners realize their home improvement dreams. We will take all the time necessary to walk you through the various glass wall system variations and provide design ideas as well as help explain all your material options. Give us a call to learn about all the potential enhancements you can make to your home to begin living a truly seamless indoor/outdoor lifestyle.