Know your hardware. Look for durability and security.
One way to spot a quality window or patio door is by its hardware. It shouldn’t be flimsy. It shouldn’t feel cheap. And whether it’s a door handle or an operating handle for a window crank or lock, it should work smoothly and securely. In the case of the lock, it should close with a definite click and movement that lets you know both by feel and appearance that the window is locked and secure.
Some of the best window and door hardware is made from stainless steel. Why stainless?
- It’s strong
- It can withstand years of use
- It won’t corrode or pit
- It accepts a variety of finishes, such as paint, polished brass or brushed chrome.
Window and Door Locks
One way to validate quality is to ask a dealer or contractor if window or door lock mechanism meets or exceeds your area’s forced entry codes. You want hardware that will provide safety and security for your family year-round. French patio doors should have reinforced lock/latch regions for additional strength and security.
Ease-of-use features are extremely important for all of us. Whether we have kids, hard to reach windows or arthritis and other joint ailments that affect the hands and fingers, operating locks or latches can be difficult. Simple operation should be a consideration in choosing hardware like door knobs and locks.
Tips for Sliding Window and Door Hardware
When selecting horizontal sliding windows and sliding patio doors, it’s important to test how smoothly their rollers move in their tracks and how much effort it takes. The window or door should feel snug in its tracks, but move easily. It should feel more like it’s floating than sliding. Heavy-duty nylon rollers will allow even large windows to glide effortlessly. Sliding door panels will move most easily when mounted on a raised monorail track. Independent-action, stainless-steel rollers will ensure smooth, effortless opening and closing. In selecting in-swing or out-swing patio doors, look for hinges that are heavy-duty and preferably adjustable to allow for vertical and horizontal panel adjustments. Barn door hardware is becoming increasingly popular for sliding doors.
The Aesthetics of Hardware
Finally, and equally important, there is the aesthetics of window and door hardware. It should be attractive in form and design, and be available in colors that complement the window or door itself, as well as home interior colors. For casement and awning windows, features like crank handles that fold down provide a more streamlined look and help avoid interference with blinds.