Oversize doors are a great way to improve your home’s indoor-outdoor flow and enjoy the outside from the comfort of your own home. If you’re planning a home remodel and want a flexible, stylish feature to bridge the gap between home and yard, oversize doors might be the solution for you.
As a remodeling firm in Portland, Oregon, we know better than most what it’s like to have a love-hate relationship with the outdoors. It’s rainy and gray half the year and sunny and green the rest. No wonder Portland homeowners often want to embrace their backyard while still being able to close themselves off from it at a moment’s notice. As a result, a handful of our remodel projects have included oversize doors as the solution for creating flexible indoor-outdoor spaces.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about oversize door products. Once you’ve read through, you’ll have a better idea of how oversize doors can fit into your next home remodel. Specifically, we’ll discuss:
- What are oversize doors?
- Benefits of having oversize doors
- Common challenges of oversize doors
- How much do oversize doors cost?
What are oversize doors?
Let’s say you love your backyard — a lot. So much so that you want to make it an extension of the home, being able to go between the interior and exterior of the home almost as if they were part of the same space. A simple sliding glass or french door won’t do. What you need is an oversize door.
Oversize doors are large doors or door systems designed to operate in spaces wider than 6 feet. They are often installed across large spans of a wall to create a dramatic entryway and extend the living space of the home into the outdoors. Oversize doors are typically custom-made to fit the specific dimensions of the space they are intended for.
Here are a few important factors to consider when deciding whether oversized doors are the right feature for your home remodel:
The size door will have a huge impact on the indoor/outdoor flow of your home. Most oversize door designs take up all or most of a wall and most commonly span 7 to 30 feet or more.
Finding the right size of door for your home is mostly about determining how much of a connection you want your home’s interior space to have to the outside. The larger the door, the more the inside of your home will start to feel like a covered patio.
You’ll also want to think about where on the home you intend to put the oversize doors. Many people choose to install them on a kitchen or living room wall. Since these are the most shared areas of the home, it can often be beneficial to create more space for everyone to enjoy together. It’s also a great feature to have while entertaining guests to make the home feel more open.
You’ll also find oversize doors on home gyms and rec rooms because they can improve airflow and make for a more scenic exercise experience. If your home has a pool, you might choose to place oversize doors nearby to make it easier for people to move freely between the indoor living areas and the pool deck.
The three most common hinge types used in oversize doors are sliding, pivot, and folding hinges.
Sliding doors are exactly like their standard-sized counterparts in that they slide along a track. Each individual panel will slide over top of the one before it, making them very easy to open and close. The downside to this is there is often some space within the span of the door that is not able to open, similar to how half of a standard sliding glass door is fixed in place.
Pivot doors operate on a track and pivot hinge, so each individual panel can pivot and slide to the wall. These doors require more effort to open and close because each panel must be moved individually. However, they do offer a larger opening because the panels can pivot and lay flat against the wall.
Folding doors are similar to bifold doors commonly found in closets. The individual panels are connected by a hinge and fold on themselves like an accordion. They can be opened and closed with less effort and still completely open the space.
Flooring & Threshold
Oversize doors may require a wider floor threshold as well as slides or tracks for the opening mechanisms. This may cause a tripping hazard for people entering or exiting the space. As a result, it’s important to consider the threshold height and track width when designing oversize doors.
Many oversize door suppliers offer recessed, flush-mounted floor tracks for a seamless threshold. Though more expensive to install, these types of track systems are much less of a tripping hazard and create a more seamless flow from indoor to outdoor space.
Motorized vs. Non-Motorized
Some oversize door products offer optional motorized components to open and close at the flip of a switch. Although significantly more expensive, these can be a great option for those who want an easy, convenient way to operate the system or might struggle to open and close large doors like these. Motorized systems also reduce the risk of damage caused by user error and bring an air of luxury to the space.
Due to the complicated nature of motorizing a door system like this, it can be difficult to estimate the additional cost. Some oversize doors come equipped from the factory with motorization while others require custom aftermarket retrofitting. On average, motorized door systems cost $12,000-$14,000 more than non-motorized products.
What are the benefits of having oversize doors?
There are plenty of reasons you might choose to install oversize doors during a remodel. Here are some of the most common benefits homeowners cite when talking about their oversize doors.
Improved Indoor/Outdoor Connection
By far, the greatest benefit of adding oversize doors is to improve your home’s connection to the outdoors. Turning a wall into an open entryway creates a seamless transition to outdoor living space. Even when closed, The large glass panes can provide homeowners with expansive and unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape, which can further enhance the feeling of being connected to the outdoors.
More Natural Light
While modern lightbulbs might be able to imitate natural light, there’s no replacement for the real thing. There’s a long list of health benefits that come from natural light, including higher vitamin D levels and improved mood. Oversize doors can be a great way to increase natural light since they have a large surface area and are usually made of glass. Imagine how much more natural light your home would have with an entire wall of glass doors.
Curb Appeal & Home Value
Oversize doors can enhance the overall appearance of your home and increase its resale value. They often add a sense of grandeur and luxury to a property, making it seem more valuable in the eyes of potential buyers.
The exact impact on home value will depend on several factors, including the quality of the doors, the specific location of the home, and the overall housing market trends. However, exterior improvements tend to increase home value by 60-90% of the initial investment. This added value then grows as the home increases in value over time. You can use our Remodel Investment Calculator to see how a remodel can be a lucrative long-term investment.
What are some common challenges of installing oversize doors?
While oversize doors can be of great benefit to your home remodel, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with a few challenges. Most of these challenges deal primarily with design and installation rather than the actual door system itself. This is why it’s important to work with a professional team of remodelers who are equipped to provide you with the design and construction services you need.
One of the biggest challenges posed by an oversize door system is that it requires a long span of open wall. In home construction, the exterior walls support the weight of the upper stories and roof. A large opening like those required for oversize doors means that there will be no wall for a span of several feet to support the weight of the home above.
For this reason, oversize doors often require structural engineering to ensure that the open space in the wall does not compromise the stability of the home. The engineering design will implement a plan to distribute the overhead weight evenly to structural members around the door. Oftentimes, this is done by installing a glulam beam above the open span.
It’s also good to think about the structure’s shear strength, which deals with resistance against side-to-side motion. In high winds or earthquakes, the home may experience lateral movement. To address this, the easiest solution is to add shear wall panels to the walls surrounding the door opening. In more complicated cases, large door spans or structurally vulnerable areas of the home may require a steel support structure around the door to provide lateral support.
Visual Design Consistency
It’s also important to pay attention to the visual design of the home. The oversize doors should match its style and aesthetic. Large, sleek glass surfaces tend to be well-fit to modern home designs, but oversize doors may require a little more visual design work for homes that are historic or more traditional.
The texture, color, and finish of the door frame contribute to the overall visual style of the door, as well as how it complements or contrasts with other design elements in the home. You can choose from PVC, fiberglass, wood, or metal frame material options. Wood or wood-textured fiberglass tend to fit more traditional styles, whereas steel frames fit more contemporary designs.
Divided lites can also give a door a more traditional, classic look. This is particularly true when used in a symmetrical pattern. They add visual depth and texture to a door, and can be used to complement other design elements in traditional home architectural styles.
Utilities in Walls
One of the most challenging and expensive tasks in the remodeling industry is moving utility lines. This includes mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
If you’re planning to install oversize doors during a remodel, you’ll want to take note of what utility lines might run through the wall. Since you’ll be removing a big chunk of the wall to make room for the doors, any utilities running through it will need to be re-routed.
It’s rare for plumbing lines or HVAC ducts to run through exterior walls. However, you’ll still want to double-check and make sure you won’t run into any, just in case your home is an exception.
Electrical circuits are more common. Chances are, there will be at least a few electrical lines that run through the wall you intend to remove. It’s important to have a licensed electrician reroute any electrical wiring to ensure your home meets electrical code and keeps you and your family safe.
How Much do Oversize Doors Cost
Oversize door products have a wide cost range depending on the type of door and the amount of work required to engineer and install it.
For an entry-level oversize door, you might expect to pay between $4,000 – $6,000 for the product itself. This would be a vinyl-framed sliding double door with 2 moving panels and 2 fixed panels, meaning you’ll only be able to open half of the wall.
A better-constructed version of the same type of door with higher-quality materials would cost between $12,000-14,000. Keep in mind, this does nothing to improve the functionality of the door system, only the quality of construction. It’s still just a sliding double door with 2 stationary panels.
If you want to step it up to a system made up of all movable panels, the next option up would be a manual track-and-pivot panel door system. These doors can open the entire span of the wall and cost between $15,000-$20,000.
As you begin to add more customizability and function to the door system, the price can reach upwards of $35,000. One common complaint about oversize doors is that there is not usually a standard-size man door to enter and exit the home. You have to open and close the entire system to get in or out.
Oversize doors that do feature a standalone single-door offer a more convenient level of functionality, but generally cost at least $25,000 for products with that specific feature. LaCantina Doors are one example of an oversize door product with an operable single-door panel in addition to the moving wall system.
Design, Labor, & Installation
Beyond the cost of the product itself, you also have to consider the cost to design the system and install it. These costs will vary from project to project and the type of door you select will further influence the cost.
During the design process, you’ll need an engineer to make sure the plans are structurally sound and able to support the weight of the door system. It’s also important to have an interior designer who can fine-tune the visual and functional details of the design. In all, design and engineering can cost $3,000 – $5,000 for the entire project.
Oversize doors will also require several inspections to ensure that the project meets safety standards. The inspection and permitting process can cost another $5,000 or more.
The actual installation of the door system will cost another $5,000. However, that doesn’t account for the additional work required to prep and finish the space, which can take days to weeks. This includes demolition, framing, drywall/siding repair, and installation of casing and trim.
All in, the additional costs of installing oversize doors during a remodel can reach over $45,000.
Want to Learn More About Remodeling for Outdoor Living Space?
Now that you’re informed and educated about oversize doors, take the next step in your remodel research. To find out more about common outdoor living space trends in the Portland area, read our article, “How to Make the Most of Outdoor Living Space in Oregon.”
Ready to talk with a designer about your remodeling plans? If so, click the button below to connect with a member of our award-winning design team. We’ll help you navigate the challenges of remodeling your house so you don’t have to face them alone.