Fitting bi-folding doors in your home can achieve stunning results. They’re not only practical and allow for more light and space, but can add value to your property. Considering the amount of planning and research involved when renovating your home, or when building an extension, adding another factor, such as bi-folds, can be a bit daunting. There are a few things to consider, from the type of material and sizes, to arranging for the doors to be fitted. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide – to help you make a more informed decision and to make the process easier.
Would bi-folding doors be right for my home?
It’s no secret that bi-folding doors have become a popular choice among homeowners thanks to their versatility and design. But, before you commit to any decisions, you need to think about how, and if, bi-folding doors will benefit you and your home. They can be a relatively big investment, and it makes sense to take some time to explore your options. Ask yourself:
- Do I want to allow extra light in the room?
- Do I want to make garden access easier?
- Do I want to expand a small space?
- Would their style fit the house?
If the answer to most of these questions is ‘yes’, then you’re headed in the right direction. Bi-folding doors generally work best when installed externally as your garden, pool area or patio seating area, become a natural extension to your home.
Choosing the right material
Generally speaking, there are three different materials to choose from, each has it’s pros and cons. Here’s how they all compare:
- It’s cheaper than timber or aluminium.
- Require very little maintenance during their lifetime.
- Type of glass and configuration will determine energy efficiency, but in general they are good insulators.
- It’s the weakest material of the three – that’s why PVCu windows and doors need thicker frames to support the glass which gives the opposite effect of the slim aluminium frames.
- Unique and beautiful design aesthetics – more suitable for period properties.
- Wood is naturally a good insulator.
- Easier to renovate during their lifetime, as timber can be re-varnished or repainted.
- Require higher maintenance than PVCu and aluminium.
- The strongest of all three materials, which means bi-folding doors can be manufacturer with a slimmer frame without compromising strength.
- Has long-lasting colour, and unlike PVCu and timber, it doesn’t discolour, rust or peel.
- It’s highly eco-friendly as aluminium is highly recyclable.
- It doesn’t suffer the same expansion problems that can affect PVCu and timber doors.
- Older aluminium products had poor insulation, but that’s no longer the case as nowadays they have to pass stringent performance tests and meet British Standard.
Choosing a threshold
The thought of having a smooth transition between your home to the outdoor area is very tempting, but although it is possible, it depends on the external flooring and plan. Generally speaking there are two different types of threshold:
- Non-weathered threshold – this one offers a completely flat transition between the inside and out. The track isn’t raised which makes it perfect for wheelchair users, prams and children. Since it doesn’t have a solid lip to isolate the frame from the floor, it’s more suitable for internal use or with a sheltered outside area.
- Weathered threshold – this one is designed to withstand rain and draughts a lot better. Although not completely flat, the lip can be installed very low. All this delivers greater weather performance, which makes weathered thresholds ideal for external bi-folding doors, leading to a garden, for example.
So, when should I order my bi-folding doors?
Ideally, you should order them while the opening is still being built. We can work off plan and install the bi-folding doors at the day when it’s ready, so there’s a minimum waiting time and disruption. Alternatively, you can order after everything is ready, but that way you’ll end up having an uncovered opening, which will just cause you stress.
- Check planning permission – it’s worth checking if a planning permission is required. And if the installation is for a building in a National Park some restrictions may apply.
- Choosing the handles – we work with multiple suppliers you’re sure to get the widest variety of handles, to fit different frames, styles and interior design
- Hassle-free installation day – create as much space as possible for the installation team and free up a parking space outside your house. It’s also a good idea to cover your furniture with dust sheets in case of any debris.
If you need further advice feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to help, so email us or give us a call on 01656 507 323.