How to Choose the Right Moving Glass Wall System For Your Home

Summer is in full swing and we are practically living in our backyard. I work out there in the mornings, the boys play all afternoon, then it's time for dinner on the patio, and we've even been reading the boys library books under the glow of our patio string lights before bed. I absolutely love the outdoor room we've created, but the one thing that would make it better transition between indoors and out. My dream is a wide open moving glass wall system that looks something like this...

Instead we just have a single door that leads from our kitchen to the backyard, and when we entertain, we end up with quite a traffic jam in that narrow doorway. I really enjoy our outdoor fireplace, but sadly it prevents us from installing the moving glass walls of wide-open, indoor-outdoor living dreams. 

I'm really not sure if we'll ever move, because we love our neighborhood so much, but I'm constantly collecting photos and ideas that I'd want to incorporate if ever build a custom home. High on the priority list would definitely be creating the ultimate open concept floor plan with seamless transition between the inside and out. 

For those of you who are a bit closer to building your dream home, or renovating your current house for better indoor-outdoor living, I wanted to share some tips for choosing the right moving glass wall system for your home, with the help of my friends over at Milgard Windows and Doors, who are sponsoring this post.


Moving glass walls are a perfect choice for expanding your indoor/outdoor space and allowing your family and friends to enjoy the space without feeling separated. They are ideal for opening an indoor room onto an outdoor living space, or opening a kitchen up to an outdoor dining room.

Sliding or folding glass walls allow lots of flexibility for you to decide how to use the space depending on the weather and the occasion. Even when closed, glass walls will flood the room with natural light and help you feel connected to the outdoors.

If you're lucky enough to have a home with a view - whether it's the mountains, golf course, lake, ocean, city skyline, or just a beautiful backyard, a moving glass wall system is a great way to ensure you fully enjoy the view from inside, as well as out. Even when the glass walls are closed, you'll have a mural of the outdoors right there to enjoy!


It used to be that moving glass walls were only available as a custom option when building a new, high-end home. But Milgard now makes all three styles of moving glass walls - bi-fold, stacking, and pocket - available in standard and custom sizes and configurations, making them more accessible to all home owners. It's important to understand the differences between each as you consider which would work best for your space and your needs.

Design Trend Alert: Moving Glass Wall Systems. Learn how to choose the right type of moving glass walls for your home from bi-fold, stacking, and pocket options.


With bi-fold glass wall systems, the glass panels open like an accordion, with each panel of the door folding on top of the next. This type of door is a good choice for replacement door projects because the weight of the door is bottom loaded, meaning that you don't need a structural support beam above the doors to support the weight.

Each bi-fold glass panel is surrounded by an aluminium frame,  which can be a desired aesthetic, but also leads to a more obstructed view when the panels are closed, as compared to sliding glass wall options. Keep this in mind if the view is top priority or if a more "invisible" look is what you're after.

Also don't forget to take into account the floor space that bi-fold doors will take up on the patio. Bi-fold doors stack perpendicular to the opening, so in the open position the width of each panel will sit out onto the patio. However, unlike bi-fold glass doors from some other brands that take up floor space both inside and outside, Milgard's bi-fold glass walls only encroach on the outside space, making interior furniture placement easier. 


With stacking glass walls, each panel slides along a track and stacks one in front of the other. Depending on the size of your opening, and the number of panels, you'll have between 3 and 6 tracks. When fully open, stacking glass walls provide a streamlined look that lets in tons of natural light and fresh air.

I've heard a few friends complain that their glass walls can be heavy and hard to maneuver when all stacked up, or that they can easily get off track. But Milgard Moving Glass Walls open and close easily because they are designed with tandem stainless steel ball bearing rollers that are strong enough to carry door panels nearly double the size, allowing them to operate smoothly and effortlessly with the push of a finger, despite their large size. This is especially important in a house with kids!


If what you really want are glass panels that completely disappear from view when the door is open, pocket glass walls are the choice for you! As the panels slide open, they tuck into a wall pocket out of sight. This style of moving glass wall system is a great way to seamlessly connect two spaces, while still having the option to close them off when needed. 

Milgard now offers pocket glass walls in custom sizes for retrofit and replacement patio door projects. But because pocket glass walls slide into the wall, these will require a bit more effort to add to an existing home, both to create the pocket in the wall that is wide enough to accommodate all of the glass panels, and to add any needed additional structural support.


Once you select the type of glass wall system you want, you'll need to make some color and style decisions. Milgard's moving glass wall systems have there are two frame styles to choose from. The bi-fold glass walls come in 4 aluminum color options, and the stacking and pocket glass walls come in a choice of all-aluminum or aluminum clad wood. The all-aluminum option is very sleek and modern, and you can choose from a variety of colors to match your style and decor.The aluminum clad wood features a wood interior that you can paint or stain to match your interior decor, and a durable aluminum exterior available in a choice of designer colors. The aluminum clad wood doors can also be accessorized with grids if that fits the style of your home.

Design Trend Alert: Moving Glass Wall Systems. Learn how to choose the right type of moving glass walls for your home from bi-fold, stacking, and pocket options.


Once you have your dream moving wall system, make sure that you create a comfortable and inviting outdoor living space. Add a mixture of dining and living room style seating, including sofas and chairs. Add layers and textures to your outdoor space through rugs, pillows and accessories to give it the feeling of a room. Use a consistent or complimentary color palette to tie together your indoor and outdoor living spaces for a seamless transition. Get more outdoor living room decor tips in this post.

How to create an outdoor living room with moving glass wall sysems

1 comment :

  1. I Love Me Some Milgards! We are planning to use one of these in our new home now :)