Depending on the application and exposure, there are several “flavors” of doors available. Due to their durability and performance, aluminum clad wood and fiberglass are the most popular types of patio doors we install, though some buildings still call for custom wood French doors.

Marvin French Patio Doors
Ultimate Paneled French Doors by Marvin – in Wineberry finish

Clad Wood

More and more customers opt for Marvin’s aluminum clad doors patio these days. These rugged units provide the warmth of wood interiors with the durability of pre-finished aluminum cladding on the exterior. While some manufacturers use a process known as roll forming to produce the cladding for their products, Marvin chooses to use aluminum extrusions. The difference is quite apparent. Roll formed products usually have soft, eased edges that may give the product a “pillowed” appearance. By contrast extruded aluminum has very crisp edges, just as you’d find on well machined wood. This is but one of many reasons Marvin products are greatly preferred for historic applications as well as installations in fine buildings. These extrusions are coated with Fluropon  – a proprietary finish that we’ve found to be extremely tough and having very good fade resistance.


Marvin’s Elevate & Essential collections which are fabricated from Ultrex, a patented pultruded fiberglass product, is another excellent choice. Fiberglass is an inert material, so it’s unaffected by moisture. It’s also very strong, rigid, and stable – all desirable properties for door components. Ultrex outperforms and outlasts vinyl, roll-form aluminum and other fiberglass composites. This material is eight times stronger than vinyl and three times stronger than vinyl/wood composites. It’s also fade, chalk, peel and crack resistant. It can be left unfinished, or if a wood interior is desired, the fiberglass can have an authentic wood veneer applied to it.


After seeing numerous vinyl window and door failures, it’s our professional opinion that most vinyl windows and doors should be avoided. Vinyl can be a very problematic material, especially in climates with extreme temperature swings. And since servicing vinyl doors and windows is often impossible, we believe it would be irresponsible for us to advocate installing such a product. Read our full blog on The Myths about Vinyl Windows.