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Homeowners are always curious about the hottest upgrades to attract a buyer, and there’s none more in-demand than retractable glass walls. Providing a seamless transition that opens up your home to the outside world, there’s an instant ‘wow’ factor when a glass wall can simply disappear to fill a room with fresh air and natural light. Furthermore, it provides a modern feel that can energize your living quarters.

Before you go tearing out those old French doors, here’s what you need to know about retractable glass walls.

Functionality

The biggest decision you’ll likely have to make is determining which type of system best suits your living area: pocketing, folding or stacking. When space allows for it, pocketing systems provide a totally unobstructed vista, as the glass panel slides into a cavity in the wall and disappears. Folding systems provide a more traditional look, essentially giving your wall the appearance of a series of glass panels that fold up like an accordion. Stacking is similar to a sliding door system with multiple panels that are slid (or “stacked”) behind a fixed glass pane that remains in view.

Use of Space

Will you be opening up the entire wall regularly? Or do you want the ability to only open a single panel at a time? Are you maximizing a view, or uniting two separate living areas? You’ll have to consider the flow of traffic, as each system interacts with the space around it in a different way. For example, a folding wall requires a fairly open area so as not to bang into furniture when the system is being opened or closed.

Climate Considerations

Depending on where you live, the most suitable materials may change, like double- or triple-glazed glass. Wood finishes provide a great look and can lock in heat, but are more high maintenance than aluminum when exposed to the elements. A top manufacturer, La Cantina Doors, solves this problem with their “Contemporary Clad” option that uses wood on the inside and aluminum on the outside.

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