Whether you’re replacing an old set of patio doors or need new doors for your new extension, our guide to choosing new bifold doors helps you understand some of the features, explains security, energy efficiency and how they work.
New folding sliding doors remain one of the best additions to your home. Easy to live with, configurable to work with your particular property and needs and giving you lots of natural daylight closed and a connecting you to your patio or garden when open. Here’s everything you need to know
The advantages of choosing new bifold doors
By far the most appealing aspect of bifold doors is how they open up your room on warmer days and create a fluid link to your outside space. As a result, they’re perfect for larger homes creating a wonderful transition from inside to out and making your home feel bigger. But even smaller properties benefit from a bifold and especially if these are the only rear doors out to your garden. For small or typical suburban homes, open bifolding doors can create a better illusion of space and light than sliding doors.
Even better is the practical nature of bifolds. Configure these right and they’re as easy to use as a regular hinged door. For instance, you’ll want regular access to your garden even on colder days. We can help you design any odd or even number of panels with a traffic door. These work just like a single door leaf, opening out for ventilation, taking out the washing or letting out a pet.
Substantial colour options mean there’s a shade to match your house style or interior decor. Grey is very popular today and this too comes in light, medium and dark tones, but there’s generally around 150 different colours to choose from. When choosing new bifold doors, go with our Origin product, and these come in woodgrain colours for those that prefer the more classic look.
Aluminium vs timber vs PVCu folding sliding doors
With today’s modern materials, technology and advancements in glazing, all materials provide safe, secure and energy-efficient products.
PVCu bifold doors have come a long way since early generations were clunky, bulky and unreliable. These still aren’t recommended on sunny elevations owing to the greater thermal expansion of this material. However, PVCu bifolds are good for investment properties or where the lowest price matters.
Timber doors today come with long guarantees, sustainable woods, excellent colour choices and look great in certain types of properties. However, the sightlines of these are still thicker than aluminium and the sizes don’t go as wide or as tall for the bifold door panels.
But aluminium has certain advantages over other materials, and for bifolding doors it provides slimmer, more reliable and more personalisation options.
What sizes are best when choosing new bifold doors
The flexible sizes you get with aluminium gives you a choice or standard or wide door panels.
Most quality bifolding door brands like ours comforably go up to 1m or 1.2 metres per panel. Our Schuco doors come with panel sizes up to 1.5m wide. The advantage of this is fewer door panels, bigger glass sizes, more light coming into your room. For the height, you can choose a standard 2.2m height or go larger up to 3m high as part of your new extension design.
Of course, every bifold needs space inside or out for the panels to stack, but we’ll discuss this with you as part of our process and ensure you get the right size bifolds for you.
How folding sliding doors work
When it comes to choosing new bifold doors, it helps to understand how these work. First of all is the type of bifold folding action – top or bottom hung.
Top hung bifolds are mostly non-insulated products used inside the home or for partitions. These generally aren’t used my most brands for exterior-grade products.
Bottom hung bifold doors work on the panel having a solid track at the bottom, housing a durable stainless steel roller. It’s the bottom hung version that’s more reliable as the weight is evenly distributed along the bottom of the doors. At the top you’ll find a guide, holding the top panels in place. The entire arrangement is safe, secure and allows for easy operation.
Opening the doors depends on how they are configured. In most cases, the end panel acts as a master leaf, housing the main lock. Then each intermediate panel has it’s own separate locking facility by a smaller handle. Opening the doors means firstly unlocking the first leaf, the the additional leaves and pushing them outwards. The door set is then ready for folding and stacking as you push the doors from the one end.
How your doors work also depends on their location and their design. You’ve options for doors folding on the one side or both. Or for new extensions, what about a fixed or open corner design for added impact?
The low threshold design when choosing new bifold doors
One of the desirable features of any new folding sliding door is the track. You’ve got the choice of having a standard track or designing your doors in such a way that you get a lower track, with a minimal step, even flush in some cases.
A standard threshold works well with most installations giving around 30mm step over and ensures your doors have full weather protection at the bottom.
When you choose a low threshold design, in most cases you get the same standard threshold, but it’s set lower as part of the building or installation work. Working with your builder, we’ll help you ensure suitable drainage to the outside, but the end result is effective, giving you weathertight doors, with the seamless link to the outside.
Security, energy-efficiency and weather protection on new bifolding doors
When choosing new bifold doors, expect to find the best security, energy-efficency and weather protection.
Every one of our products comes with premium locking systems, engaging across multiple points on the door set and using strong locks and key cylinders. You’ll also find all our products tested to the latest security requirements for existing dwellings and new build homes. Other features include toughened or laminated safety glass. All our doors also come as standard with the glass secured from inside the doors, meaning it can’t be removed from the outside.
Keeping your room comfortable and helping lower your heating bills is a combination of the insulated aluminium profiles and the high-specification glass. Your doors come with toughened safety glass, having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill.
Built into each bifolding door is a series of machined drainage holes, reliable seals and gaskets. Again each product comes tested to the latest air, wind and water tests and our Origin products sold in the USA even meet hurricane force winds. Made and fitted right, you’re assured or sealed and weather-resistant doors, keeping you warm and dry in winter.
Personalisation options when choosing new bifold doors
The colour, glass options and handle choices as well as the overall design is possibly one of the best things about choosing new bifold doors.
Our entire Origin range of bifold doors, sliding doors or windows, provides possibly the biggest choice of colours and additional options. Both the OB-72 and OB-49 products come with colour options for the handles, even the rollers and the gaskets. There’s over 150 colours available when choosing new bifold doors and even modern coatings giving the look and feel of real wood.
The glass is another consideration for your bifold doors. The location of your new doors may require more shading options, enhanced security or even acoustic glass. We’ve got all these options covered giving you more comfort and functionality from your investment in a latest set of folding sliding doors.
The right choice of door hardware can also complete the look of your doors. Here, you’ve a choice of contrasting colours, stainless steel, polished or satin as well as options for contemporary or more classically styled hardware.
Let us help you find the best aluminium bifold doors
We know budget is important when choosing new bifold doors. However, it’s also worth thinking about long-term living with your new doors. Investing in a better quality brand and product ensures you get the best quality hardware, aluminium profiles, design and specifications and better guarantee.
FGC Bespoke Aluminium specialises in the latest-generation folding sliding doors for new extensions and property renovations. Contact us today to discuss your project or arrange to view our spectacular showroom.
Every one of our products comes from the UK’s best manufacturers and expertly fitted by our professional and trained installers. We look forward to helping you transform your home.