25 Nov How to choose the best bifolding doors.
If you are thinking of improving your home or carrying out a home renovation project such as a new extension, you might be thinking about having bifolding doors. How to choose the best bifolding doors does not have to be complicated, but there are several things you should know and be aware of.
Our guide on how to choose the best bifolding doors.
Bifolding doors also have other names with which they are known by. These include folding doors, concertina doors, sliding-stacking doors and bi-fold doors. All of these definitions relate to a door that slides open with all its door panels connected, folding and stacking up against the wall in a concertina fashion.
Where can you use bifolding doors?
Thanks to the great design of a modern bifold, you can use them inside the house as a room divider or the more common use as an exterior door. We have also fitted bifolding doors to annexes, summer houses, portable buildings, shops and offices. Anywhere that needs a big glazed door that also offers the flexibility to open up and connect two spaces will accept a concertina or stacking door.
So when it comes to choosing the best bifolding door for your home, pick one that is designed for inside as well as outside. Many companies will offer you their external quality bifolding door and just fit it inside. However, you will often keep the same high threshold you need on the outside. Our Alufold Warmcore doors come with a ramp type threshold that is low, much more levelled and perfect for using inside the home without an inconvenient step over.
How big can you have a bifolding door?
A bifolding door can have two panels up to 7 or more. All the door panels are connected with door hinges and have rollers at the bottom and a guide at the top. Door panels range from about 400mm as a minimum up to 1100mm with most brands. Ours are different being amongst a select range of better-engineered bifolds with panels up to 1250mm. The bigger the door, the bigger the glass panels are.
Choosing a bifolding door that allows bigger door panels can often work out cheaper as the more panels you have, the higher the price.
How do bifolding doors open?
How your bifolding doors open will be one of the essential considerations. The sliding-stacking nature of bifold doors allows them to slide to the one side, opening up your home to the outside.
However, it is worth considering how you will use your new folding doors day-to-day. Perhaps they are the only doors leading to your garden, to take out the washing or let out a pet. In these situations, a traffic door or an access leaf is a good option. A traffic door on a bifolding door is one panel that opens just like a regular hinged door. You will find traffic doors let you use your bifold all year round without having to fold all the panels back every time.
What are the benefits of having a bifold door?
The views that bifolding door offer to your garden is the most significant improvement you will make in your home. Bifolding doors allow bigger doors than conventional French doors not to mentioned how they open up in the summer months. Simply put, the view through a bifold is better. Other benefits include.
- High security and extreme weather resistance.
- The biggest choice of colours.
- Flexible opening.
- Total reliability.
- Adds value to your property.
- Highly desirable.
How much work is required in having a bifolding door?
How much work is needed to fit a bifolding door will depend on the property and where they are being installed. There are three options for installing a new bifolding door.
Bifolding doors to replace old doors.
If you have an old set of French doors, doors with side panels, large fixed window or an existing patio door, you can replace these with a new bifold.
The replacement of an old door with a bifold is the simplest regarding installation. A professional installer will measure your existing aperture, make your doors and fit them quickly and easily. The only things to watch out for is whether you will need support above the doors or the possible removal or a course of brickwork at the bottom to bring the new doors lower and connect better with your garden.
Bifolding doors to new extensions.
This is where you are building a new extension and are creating the door opening. Usually, you will be working with a builder, structural engineer and even an architect. New apertures are formed where there are no existing door openings.
Remember to check if planning approval is required and whether a lintel is required at the head. The great thing about new apertures is you have a blank canvas to create your ideal doors in any size and exactly how you want them.
Bifolding Doors to New apertures.
When fitting a bifolding door into a new aperture, you will usually be taking out an old window or door and making the opening wider or taller to accommodate a new bifold. This is again a reasonably straightforward installation that a builder or a competent bifolding door installer can do.
The only consideration is whether a new lintel is required and its also worth checking if any planning constraints need to be considered.
How do I choose the best bifolding door?
Budget, aesthetics, colour choices, size and specification, are all different on bifolding doors. There is no substandard product on the market, but where they do vary is in quality, engineering, reliability and performance. We suggest you look at several different brands but also think about why others are different or better. Here’s what to look out for.
Bifold Door Security.
Are your bifolding doors fitted with a simple lock or a more enhanced version?
Look for doors with high security cylinders, Secured by Design certification, multi-point locking and quality locking to the middle door panels – not just the main doors. The intermediate handles should feature quality locking as well with secure shoot bolts locking your doors at the top and bottom.
Bifolding Door Weather Performance.
Your bifolding door will be exposed to the elements so choosing a door with a high level of weather performance is wise. It is worth knowing that while many doors may come with the option of a low threshold, often these have no weather rating. Our Alufold Warmcore doors are one of only a handful on the market that gives you the option of a low threshold that also has a weather rating. Do your research on door threshold – they are not all the same.
The quality of Bifolding Door hardware.
The reality of a bifolding door is that the majority will feature thermally broken and powder coated aluminium extrusions. This is where the similarity ends.
A bifolding door is a large door set that is expected to slide and fold with safety, reliability and precision. It is the quality of the door hardware that gives you a great experience in using your doors when you want to enjoy them. The door hardware is also what makes a door secure and reliable.
One of the quality differences amongst folding doors is the quality of the hardware. Many have cheaper handles and hinges, basic locking systems and are not ‘engineered’, but merely assembled. Here are our top tips on how to spot a quality bifold.
- It is made from aluminium.
- The bifold is light, smooth and precise to open.
- The door handles have a quality feel, and the locking is precise.
- The handles, hinges and components are of quality metals.
- The open doors do not wobble when all folded back, feeling safe, solid and firmly in place.
- The gaskets are of good quality to seal the doors shut.
- The quality of the paint finish is consistent throughout.
Alufold doors are one of the best on the market.
At Aluhaus, we have taken the best design, security, thermal performance and style to create what we think is one of the best bifolding doors you can buy. We have re-engineered our doors to give you the best user experience, with exceptional quality and at a great price.
Take a look at how our doors compare to others on the market and the difference is noticeable. Contact us today to discuss your requirements, to get a free quotation and no obligation consultation.