6 Keys to Doors Height: Limit Early Rot & Aging Your Patio

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Nice hardwood patio with a dark metal patio door which is raised about 1" from the patio level, nice hanging chair and flowers


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Patio & Yard


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When you are designing your patio, there are a lot of things to consider. It’s common to focus on the size, shape, and material you are using.

But this can risk overlooking one of the most important functional elements, the height of the door. 

Finding the right door height can be challenging and often depend on your circumstances. Keep reading to learn more about how far below the door the patio should be. 

Nice hardwood patio with a dark metal patio door which is raised about 1" from the patio level, nice hanging chair and flowers

Standard Door Heights

There are a few standard door sizes that you can use on your patio. Most will be six feet eight inches wide by six feet.

However, you can also find some that are five feet by eight feet. Sometimes, they can be eight feet by eight feet. Or you can get a custom size. 

However, what interest us is how high the door is above the deck. This gap is important for a few reasons:

  • Likelihood of rot. For your deck to last long, you must understand how it will perform in wet conditions. Too low, the water risks splashing onto the door frame, which causes rotting. 
  • Chances of flooding inside the house. The pooling of water doesn’t just affect the chances of rot on the patio. If you get the door height wrong, it can allow water to enter the house, potentially causing property damage. 

Builders are well aware of the potential damage that rot can do to your home. This is why there should be a gap between the base of the door and the patio. 

So, how far below the door should your patio be? Usually, this will a minimum distance of two inches. However, you can go up to four inches if you prefer. 

Accessibility For Wheelchairs

When designing your deck, it’s important to consider the functionality. Usually, a small step down onto your deck isn’t a big issue.

However, if someone in your family relies on a wheelchair, it can be a major problem. 

Even in this case, you can’t have a leveled door with the deck. Instead, it’s best to install a small ramp, allowing them to roll into the house.

By building a sloping ramp, the water will drain off it onto the patio. However, you will need to watch when it rains, ensuring that there isn’t a puddle forming at the base of the ramp. 

Consider The Shape Of The Patio

Most of the time, your patio will be a standard square shape. With a slight slope, you will be easily able to control the way the water is flowing.

However, this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, you might want to get a more experimental shape, like adding curves for an oblong shape.

If you are doing this, it can make it a little harder to predict where the water will be flowing. The last thing you want is for it to be pooling beneath the door.

The splashes generated as you come in and out of the house can increase the risk of rotting. Because of this, you might want a slightly higher door, just to be on the safe side. 

Patio with a near 4 inch gap from the patio to the door but this can cause wheelchair issues

Check Local Building Laws

Of course, you will need to seek building permissions before starting construction. These approvals will pay close attention to small details, like how high the door is.

This ensures that the construction will be around for many years to come. 

There are a few organizations that you will need to check with; these include: 

  • State and federal laws
  • Local council rules
  • Home owners’ association

In most cases, as long as you plan to stick to a distance of two to four inches, you shouldn’t have any issues. 

Choose The Right Door Materials

The door height is important. But it isn’t the only thing protecting your door from water rot.

You’ll also need to consider the material from which you are making the door.

Some of the most popular options include: 

  • Wood. Wooden frames around the door are a popular measure due to their aesthetic beauty. If you are taking this approach, you need to ensure that you waterproof them properly. 
  • Stainless Steel. Sometimes, you can have a steel frame. While this won’t rot, it will rust if it gets too wet. 
  • PVC. This might be an effective option for some parts of the door, particularly the kickboard. It will be resilient and will be resilient. 

If you are building a new patio, it can be a good idea to talk to your builder.

They will be able to help you find the right material for your needs. 

Protecting Patio Doors For The Long Term

Constructing the patio properly is one of the best ways to protect it from rot so it will stay beautiful for many years.

But there are a few other things you can do to make sure that it ages well; these tips include: 

  • Check the gutters. If you have a tree near the house, it can be common for its branches and leaves to clog the gutter. When this happens, the water can overflow and will become more likely to pool in front of the door. If this happens, it can lead to water rot. 
  • Check the porch overhang. At other times, the patio overhang might be responsible for water dripping onto the door frame and causing rot. 
  • Check the waterproofing. It’s common for the top of the wood to be waterproofed. But some people might forget to waterproof the bottom and sides, which are most vulnerable to rotting. 
  • Inspect for rot regularly. The key to managing rot is catching it early before it has a chance to spread. The repairs will be much easier and cheaper if you can do this. 

– Can Using Chainsaw Chaps Help Prevent Early Rot and Aging of Patio Doors?

Using chainsaw chaps protection necessity can help prevent early rot and aging of patio doors. These chaps are designed to provide an extra layer of security against possible damage, ensuring the longevity of your patio doors. Investing in chainsaw chaps is a smart preventive measure for preserving the integrity of your doors.

Final Thoughts on How Far Below a Patio Door Should Your Patio Sit

If you are building a patio, you want it to last for years. Because of this, it’s critical to get the placement of the doors right.

Most experts recommend between two to four inches. This will prevent splashes and control rotting.