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Panda Folding Doors: A Comprehensive Review

Panda Folding Doors

Introduction

Panda Windows & Doors focuses on building elegant, high-efficiency, low-profile windows and doors customized to withstand any climate and weather conditions. They have tons of options for customization, so if you’re the kind of person who likes to design every aspect personally, this is a great company to go with for your folding door project.

Brand History

The brand launched almost 30 years ago in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the early 90s, design trends were starting to change from the traditional styles of the 70s and 80s. Panda built, marketed, and installed its first few all-aluminum doors in luxury homes and grew into an international brand. They now sell and install products throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands.

Product Options

With Panda, you almost have too many options for product customization. If you’re a picky designer, then you’ll definitely appreciate this. A lot of your choices will vary depending on the climate and geographical location of where you live.

Materials

First, let’s take a look at the door frame materials and makeup that you’ll be able to choose from.

Aluminum

If you live in a moderate climate where there aren’t extremely high or low temperatures, then this is probably going to be the easiest option. Aluminum is very low-maintenance, can be painted almost any color, and is both lightweight and durable. The one drawback is that it’s not the best material for thermal insulation, meaning that your energy bill could definitely increase if you live in an extreme temperature zone.

Thermally-Broken Aluminum

For those who do live in an extreme temperature zone, you can opt for one of Panda’s thermally-broken aluminum doors. These are almost identical in weight and appearance to regular aluminum doors, but have an added polymer layer inside of the door panel. Often referred to as a “polymer break” or a “thermal break”, this thin material adds very little to the weight of the door, but makes it far more resistant to temperature change.

Panda also offers an “impact” line of thermally-broken aluminum doors. These doors are built with sturdier hardware, thicker glass, and heavier aluminum in order to provide extra protection from storms, hurricane-force winds, and flying debris.

Aluminum/Wood-Clad

If you’re looking for the sturdiness and reliability of an aluminum door frame, but the beauty of a natural wood exterior, then a wood-clad aluminum folding door is usually a great fit. Panda offers two separate options depending on your location:

  • Standard aluminum/wood-clad door: This option is cheaper and will perform fine in a moderate temperature zone.
  • Thermally broken aluminum/wood-clad door: This option is a bit more expensive, but has added thermal breaking between the layers of aluminum. This makes it a more energy-efficient option and will help save you money on your heating or cooling bill if you live in a high or low-temperature area.

Solid Wood

If you’re a sucker for beautiful exotic hardwoods, then Panda will happily craft an artfully-made folding door system for you using sustainably-harvested wood sourced from all over the world. Wood is an excellent thermal insulator and actually performs 1,700x better than non-thermally-broken aluminum.

The main drawback of wood is that it requires a lot more maintenance to keep it conditioned and looking pretty. Failure to maintain your wood doors with the proper cleaning and sealing techniques can result in an early failure as wood is prone to absorb moisture and expand/contract. However, if you (or your contractor) has enough time to take care of the wood, it’s one of the most beautiful options on the market in terms of appearance.

Hardware Options

Selecting the door material is usually the most important step to your folding door setup, but the small details are often what you’ll pay attention to the most. Here are some of the most popular options for customizing your new Panda accordion-style doors.

Handles

For in-depth specifications on all of the handles available, check out Panda’s handle brochure here. The following lever-style options are the most commonly used for their folding doors, though. They’re all available in Satin Chrome, White, Brushed Chrome, Bronze, and Black colors.

  • Acacia: A sleek, squared-edge handle with a modern look.
  • Aria: Strong beveled edges and a diamond-shaped appearance for an elegant look.
  • Summit: Similar to the Aria, but features a slimmer design and has the lowest profile.
  • Verona: Almost identical to the Acacia handle, but slightly thicker handle.

Tracks

Panda offers several different variations of the following tracks, each with slightly different depths and heights. The main three types that are standard for Panda folding doors are:

  • Recessed Track: The track is mostly recessed underground, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over it. This has a low-profile look but doesn’t provide any protection against water leaking or cold air drafts. Good for an interior folding door, but not so great for outside.
  • Recessed Track With Drainage: If you like the low-profile design, but you want it to be able to stand up to moderate amounts of water, you can purchase this track. Although the track is recessed, it features a small drainage tube that ensures water doesn’t build up inside the track. You can opt for a shallow track if you don’t expect much water, or a deeper track if you expect more water than average.
  • Standard Surface Track: This is the standard weather-proof track that most people use for their exterior folding door system. It features a 2-inch raised lip that’s flush to the door and prevents water from getting inside of your home in the event of torrential rains or minor flooding.

Color Options

If you opt for the wood-clad aluminum or an all-wood folding door, then you’ll have to do the staining and sealing yourself or hire a professional to do the job. This will prevent water, UV rays, and other air contaminants from damaging the wood and, in turn, the door system itself.

However, when it comes to aluminum, you’ll be able to choose from two different options for customizing the color:

Anodized Finish:

Anodizing is the process of electrically binding pigment to the surface of the aluminum and provides a semi-permanent pigmentation that’s resistant to weathering and scratching. The most common selections are:

  • Clear anodized
  • Bronze anodized

Kynar Paint:

Panda can factory paint or even color-match any color that you could dream up, meaning that you could make your doors as colorful as you want! The most common options are:

  • Black
  • Espresso
  • White
  • Bronze

Sizes Available

Whether you get an aluminum folding door system or an all-wood system, you’ll be able to customize your doors between 8 and 10-feet tall with panels that are 40-inches wide. Panda also offers an “Ultra” option for their aluminum doors which features a stronger track and allows for doors up to 13-feet tall. This is a great option for businesses or residential spaces that have high ceilings and want to maximize their open space.

Configuration Options

Panda designs its doors for maximum versatility which means that you can configure these doors pretty much any way that you want with a minimum of 3 panels and a maximum of 8 panels. If you want an even wider space, you can stack the configurations (For example- a double set of 3-panels that open opposite directions for a total of 6 panels). You can also position Panda folding doors to open on a 90-degree angle, effectively opening up two sides of the room.

Pricing Options

As is the case with most other folding door companies, Panda designs all of its doors custom-to-order. This means that they can’t give you an exact price quote until you give them all of the specifications. Your total price depends on the size of your job, the model of the folding door you choose, the type of paint or finish you want, and more. On average, though, expect to pay between $900 and $1,200 per linear foot (side to side).

Installation

Panda does not provide an installation team, but they do offer plenty of support for whoever is installing your new folding door system. Whether your contractor or architect needs technical specs, CAD drawings, 3D models, or installation instructions, Panda will make sure that they have all of the necessary tools and information at their disposal to make sure that your folding door project is nothing short of perfect.

Warranty Information

Panda offers a 10-year warranty designed to protect all aspects of your folding doors against any defect caused by the manufacturer. From condensation inside your glass to bad tracks, they guarantee replacement as long as it’s within the 10-year window and you still reside in or own the house where the folding door system was installed.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Tons of options for customization.
  • Panda uses recycled aluminum and sustainably-harvested wood for all of their products.
  • Panda doesn’t just sell in the U.S. They service Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands.
  • Panda offers storm-resistant designs as well as energy-efficient designs

Cons

  • Panda doesn’t offer any vinyl folding door options.
  • Not a lot of options when it comes to the style of glass.

What Other Customers Are Saying

Let’s see what some of their other customers are saying! Below are some of the best and worst reviews that we could find on the internet regarding Panda’s folding doors and their overall customer satisfaction. Most of the reviews came from Houzz- an industry leader in authentic verified consumer reviews. Read all of them for yourself here!

They seem to have excellent reviews across the board. A few of the reviews did mention poor follow-up when requesting a quote, but you can’t blame the entire company for a few bad sales representatives.

Good

  • “Panda doors were used in a new pool house construction seven years ago…The doors are great. By far best doors for any application.” – Theodore Mirvis
  • “I was first introduced to Panda in 2010. I have toured the factory and what an impressive operation. I have installed dozens of their doors and windows. Both Lift and slide and bi folding doors. Truth be told I have installed many of the competitors products as well. The ease of installation and overall product quality is second to none.” – Andy Sutack
  • “I am quite pleased with the folding and sliding doors I purchased. It opened up my dining and living rooms to my whole back yard, and allowed me to have a magnificent view of the surrounding hillside.” – Judy Zhu

Bad

  • “Super high-quality product….follow up service is nonexistent….after paying over $100,000 for doors…2 months later they won’t close….they swing open by themselves and the company has refused to come and correct them.” – John Costas
  • “Unfortunately, we are very unhappy with the service we are getting. Commitments are broken, no follow-ups, calls & emails are unanswered or answered with delay.” – Luba Cherbakov

Final Thoughts

In terms of the sheer amount of options that you have at your disposal, it’s hard to beat Panda. If it wasn’t for their commitment to excellence and designing a high-quality product, then they would never have been able to expand to multiple countries the way that they have. In addition to this, they’re also committed to building all of their folding doors in a sustainable, environmentally-responsible method.