Asked on Sep 06, 2013

Deer, Birds, and Patio Doors - To Grid or Not to Grid

by Judy
So here's the problem: We live in the country and have an abundance of deer in our area. Well, not exactly a problem, because I love to see them bedding down on our front yard at night, like seeing the deer trails here and there, and don't mind them eating the apples we intentionally set out for them.
We're putting on addition that will have 12' of patio door across the south end of the living room - two doors that open and one on either side that is fixed. See photos below of samples.
Do you think we need to get patio doors with the built-in grid to keep the deer and birds from thinking it's a wide open space and crashing through (or into) them?
OR is there a way we can keep the view (no grid) and yet protect the deer and birds? I would much prefer to have no grid, but need some good ideas - please?
Walking in the alfalfa field, near our house.
At night, in our backyard.
Snacking on our baby McIntosh apple tree. :-(
photo via
photo via
  22 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 06, 2013
    That's a lot of glass. You are likely to have birds hit it. There are decals you can put on that would be much less obtrusive than muntins and will help protect the birds. But I can't speak to the deer.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 06, 2013
    Many issue with glass windows for birds is the "reflection" as it mimics the sky / clouds etc. Having a "non'glare coating on the exterior should render these much safer. Having deer jump through windows is pretty rare but some planing with plantings and deck "decor" you should be able to keep them from getting too close. In the above video the deer was already pretty freaked out from crashing through one window and having all of the people around.
  • Judy Judy on Sep 06, 2013
    I like the idea of the non-glare coating! And as far as deck decor, I also just thought of that really expensive (long and heavy) wind chime I saw in a shop yesterday. I bet that would help too. I do not want deer hurt or wandering through the house. Thanks for the idea of the non-glare. I bet in the long run it would be well worth the money.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 06, 2013
    In the video I posted that window was just "plate" glass. Code requires doors and door side windows to be made of tempered glass. In the unlikely event of Bambi jumping in, the safety glass will shatter into small crumbs...which are far safer than shards. Also these windows will most likely be double panned, so they are much stronger.
  • Larose LoganOakes Larose LoganOakes on Sep 06, 2013
    Hi Judy! I know that the large wind chime would be a big help as that is what I use. Also you might want to consider doors and windows with built in shades. I believe that they work via a remote control or manually if you prefer. They might be more costly but then you are saving on having to buy window treatments and they will never get dusty.A friend of mine did this and I just love them!I am not sure if this helps to answer your question about keeping the deer from running through your doors and windows.Let us know what you decide.:) Also you could plant some of these plants that deer do not like to eat on your patio terrace and maybe they will stay away from the house not the yard.'s%20List%20of%20Plants%20that%20Deer%20Do%20Not%20Like%20to%20Eat%20-%20Cornell%20...&u=
  • Judy Judy on Sep 06, 2013
    Thanks, Larose. I'm hoping to avoid the built-in shades because of the view - same reason I'm hoping to avoid having to get the grids in the doors. I will most definitely try to plant things the deer do not like. This would not be apple trees, I've found! I appreciate your input.
  • First mistake is your feeding them. While I understand they are pretty and all that, they bring in lots of ticks and can cause all sorts of other damage with the least jumping in a door or window. Not healthy for you or any other family members. If your concern is keeping them from coming in and making themselves at home, sort of. you need to create a barrier that will prevent them from even getting close enough to the patio or door area in the first place. Hanging things to deter them if it worked at all, and if those methods work they will only do so for a short period of time. Perhaps a auto device that senses movement and sounds a small horn if they get to close? Deer are stupid. You can put all sorts of gadgets up and if they worked, you would be seeing them in every farmers garden. They get used to what ever it is that you try and they test what ever it is until they realize its not going to hurt them. Lastly, when deer are spooked, they do not always run away. I have proof of this with the several dents on the side of my truck from them running into it over the past years. You slow down and once you think you have passed them, BANG, they run right into the side. Ideally you need to keep them far away from the house. If you insist on feeding them, do so far away so they are not attracted to close to the home. Better seen far away then having them share your popcorn while watching TV on the couch.
  • Energy Wise Mfg. Energy Wise Mfg. on Sep 07, 2013
    Judy, it's comendable of you to consider the well-being of the birds, I've read more song birds are killed by glass than any other means including cats, pesticides and wind turbines, over one billion a year. Decals or hanging cords spaced at 4 inches should eliminate the bird vs. glass issue. The deer is a whole different ballgame, a good friend of mine living in the north woods tried a multitude of ideas over the years and finally found a simple electric fence worked better than everything else they had ever tried. Good luck, Eugene
  • Julia Ferry Julia Ferry on Sep 07, 2013
    sound and movement help. wind chimes ... make a sculpture like this
  • Judy Judy on Sep 07, 2013
    Okay, we don't actually feed them on purpose. They wander in and eat the apples that have fallen from the tree. Unless we cut down the apple tree or pick up the apples every evening, I guess that won't stop. Plus, we have a spring nearby so they like to hang around. We have ticks galore out here, and can't walk anywhere without encountering them. (One summer I was treated three times for deer tick bites.) So the deer walking in our yard or not walking in our yard won't keep us from being exposed to the ticks that are on 67 acres, part of which is wooded and home to our friendly deer. But your comment does help me realize that there's basically nothing I can do to keep them away unless I put a 12' fence around our yard. Since the patio doors are going to cost a fortune anyway, the fence isn't likely to happen. SO... the deer are always going to be among us. I need something that will keep them from crashing through the patio doors. Got any good ideas? Oh. And if I did get the doors with the grid, is that any guarantee that they wouldn't run through them?? Cuz I'll be really ticked (no pun intended) if we get the grid doors and still have deer 'sharing our popcorn while watching TV' Thanks so much for responding! :-)
  • Judy Judy on Sep 07, 2013
    I like the electric fence idea! We too live in the northwoods, so it's impossible to be deer-free, but the fence should be a great deterrent and not obstruct our view. Thanks for the suggestion!
  • Judy Judy on Sep 07, 2013
    The deer up here are smarter than that. They get used to anything after a while. But thanks for the suggestion. I did see a beautiful wind chime with gorgeous low tones that I'd love to own - but it cost a small fortune and wouldn't be effective after Day 2. Thanks for 'chiming' in.
  • We lived in the wooded country until recently and had reflective exterior windows so birds were constantly flying into them or fighting themselves thinking they had a rival on the other side of the 'mirror'. Heard a few big booms too that sounded like deer running into the house, although no stunned deer or marks on the house when investigated. Human urine is supposed to be a deterrent so as crude as it seems hubby would relieve himself outside around the property of our inner yard. (One advantage of living remotely in the country!) Avoid reflective windows even though they help with sun reflection or put static stickers outside on them. Hopefully your big chime with work well. Know what it's like to enjoy both viewing and wild life photography. Good luck!
  • Judy Judy on Sep 08, 2013
    Thank you so much for your input regarding this dilemma.
  • Penny Penny on Sep 25, 2014
    Free range chickens or guinea hens, though having their own mess, would help with the ticks. Don't think they'd do much for the deer, though, except to give them company out in your yard.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Sep 28, 2014
    If you do decide window panes,I have heard if you paint the interior panes black they are less noticeable and almost disappear from the view
  • Lori Lori on Dec 02, 2014
    Judy, you are too funny. I just had a thought though. Our city busses are used as advertizing and at any time are completely covered in paint. Completely. When you are inside the bus you see NOTHING on the window when you look out. It's a miracle. :) you could think about that. As the door is at the back of your house you could have almost anything put on it. Any body shop or paint shop would be able to tell you about this "miracle" I bet. Sounds like you are a deer couple, good for you.
  • Lori Lori on Dec 02, 2014
  • Judy Judy on Dec 02, 2014
    Haha. Yeah, probably not apple trees!! :-)) Thanks, Lori. That's a fun idea.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 03, 2014
    Disagree that deer are stupid. Daughter lived in semi-rural area. One summer, the mosquitoes were horrendous. She placed a mosquito zapper on one of the fence poles. A deer used to hang right there to get some relief and catch a few Zeds. Think the enjoyment you get from the wildlife is worth a sacrifice in design. Personally, I prefer the look of 12-paned French doors. They look classier than plain.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jul 12, 2015
    reflecting stickers might help. At least they know there is an obstacle and not an opening. I am in the middle of the woods and had 2 young bucks on my deck this spring. They looked around and then went down the steps. I think I was lucky they did not try to fight their reflections so am adding strips of mylar.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 02, 2021


    Maybe tinted glass of some kind or a film?