Bifold Doors – Everything You Need To Know

Bi-fold patio doors

Looking for a stylish type of patio door? Often considered a luxurious option, the bifold door enables you to fully open up an exterior wall creating a complete space between home and garden.

Bifold doors offer a most pleasing option with the panels folding neatly away – almost as though the doors have disappeared completely.

External bifold doors use a track system allowing the panels to fold and slide, which you’ll often see referred to as ‘folding sliding doors‘.

The glazed panels fold in a concertina-fashion by using a base track to guide them, either hung from the top or from the bottom.

They are ideal for a large opening as panels can be made in various sizes, allowing the buyer the perfect configuration for their home.

How much do bifold doors cost?

Compared to other exterior doors, bifold doors represent the top end of the budget due to their complex mechanism and size.

The homeowner who boasts a well-manicured and landscaped garden will doubtlessly consider the extra cost worthwhile as the doors open fully to maximise the use of outdoor space.

Depending upon the size of the opening, a small set of Bifold patio doors in UPVc can be purchased for around £1,300.

By comparison and, as a general rule of thumb, the cost of an aluminium bifold door – with its beneficial protective finish – would be somewhere in the region of £1,000 per fold.

Sitting between the two in terms of cost are wooden bifold doors which are a much-favoured option for their warmth and versatile appearance.

Weighing up the cost with the various possibilities will be unique to every homeowner.

Bifold door styles

Bifold patio doors can be made in UPVc, timber or aluminium frames.

The addition of these external doors will compliment and even transform the style of your home.

The choice of hanging options will be a personal one.

You can have as many folds as you wish but opt for an ‘access door‘ which sits on one side of the folding doors if you want to gain access in or out without having to fold back the entire door, letting in a large amount of cold air.

With the variety of choices of bifold doors, from contemporary to traditional, choosing the colour and design is well worth careful consideration to ensure your bifold door reflects the personality of your living space.

Bifold patio doors are hugely popular because of their ability to extend a room into the garden when open.

Given most climates do not afford all year round sunshine, the look of the doors when closed will also need to appeal.

Security and efficiency of bifold doors

Bifold patio doors feature a multi-point locking system and are double or triple-glazed with toughened safety glass.

Before entering the market, bifold door systems are stringently tested to ensure they meet the accredited high security standards.

As with all modern double glazed units, these types of doors are energy-efficient. Measuring the transfer of heat (by way of the U value) they meet building regulations and rate highly on thermal performance making them popular with the discerning homeowner.

Are bifold doors difficult to fit?

Because of their sophisticated mechanisms, bifold doors require professional fitting.

The mechanisms on bifold doors are carefully balanced and must be fitted straight and square within the aperture. The vast weight and size of these doors will see any poor alignment result in bowing and ultimately lead to inhibited operation.

Bifold doors are not recommended as a DIY project.

Weatherproofing bifold doors

All external bifold doors will come pre-finished to ensure they can cope with all natural elements.

Aluminium bifolding doors are especially good at withstanding extreme weather conditions as they are finished with a protective oxide.

Timber bi fold doors have improved a lot in recent years. Engineered wood can now equal the sturdiness of its metal counterparts. Basic structures using high-tech resins are covered with a solid wood veneer to corroborate both strength and beautiful design.

Should I choose top hung bifold doors or bottom hung bifold doors?

In essence, the top-hung bi folding door is the modern consumer’s choice.

Traditional systems favoured bottom hung doors so that gravity took the load. Where this style is still used, recommendations for maintenance will be key to ensuring the tracks on the ground are free from dirt and water.

The modern top hung system remain attached at all times without the need to be load bearing.

Structural factors will often dictate the best method of door hanging for your home.

Why should I choose Bifold doors?

Extending your home into the garden has become one of the most sought after concepts in recent years.

Whilst other options such as French or sliding patio doors offer an adequate opening, exterior bifold doors cannot be beaten when it comes to simply removing a whole wall of your home.

When space is at a premium, these folding door panels can slide away inwards or outwards with a versatility like no other.

Bi fold doors also offer flexibility whether you find yourself wanting a quick in-and-out access, or entertaining with friends and family.

If you crave the idea of your indoors and outdoors becoming one space, bifold doors may well be your new best friend!

Making the most of all seasons and climates, their pure size enables them to saturate a room with natural light, retain the warmth of your living space or fill your home with fresh air.

Never underestimate bifold patio doors (see also ‘How To Keep Patio Door Open In Wind‘)!

Looking for more ideas for your house? Check out our complete guide to patio doors here.

You can find all other double glazing-related content via the Glass Directors homepage.

Matt James

Matt James

Hi, Matt here! I started out almost 20 years ago as a teenager working in the family business fitting doors, windows and conservatories. I now run this website to share the best tips and advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on double glazing.

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