Choosing bifolding doors for large openings

A new extension for your home provides an excellent opportunity for large bifolding doors.  When choosing bifolding doors for large openings opportunities exist to create a visually appealing set of doors enhancing the overall look of your home. We explain some of the considerations to help you choose your new bifolding doors.

Armed with the correct information you can choose your new bifolds and benefit from a secure, energy efficient and light-filled space in winter.  The summer opens up your home with nearly 90% clear opening, connecting your home to your garden.

bifolding doors for large openings

Helping you choose the right bifolding doors for large openings and new extensions.

Our entire range of premium bifolding doors allows you to create multiple panelled bifolds for your home improvement project.  Where they differ is in sight lines, overall appearance and their design. Subject to design, up to 8 panels are available.

One thing to consider regardless of the bifold system is manufacturing constraints when you desire multiple-panel bifolding doors for large openings. Any door over five or six metres requires joints at the head of the door frame, on the door track and on the door cill.  The reason for this is the length of the raw material from aluminium mill.  Most door and window profiles come at no more than 6.4 metres long.

These necessary joints are hard to spot but unavoidable.  Furthermore, your door frame and cill will arrive at your home in ‘kit-form’ due to handling and transportation considerations. As a result, these parts of your new bifold doors require assembly at your home instead of the factory.

How to configure your bifolding doors.

Our Origin and Schuco doors come in maximum widths of 1.2metres wide.  We re-engineered our Alufold bifold door to go even bigger at 1.25metres wide with more benefits. 

Therefore, dividing the size of your door opening by the width of each panel gives you a good idea of how many panels is best for your bifold doors.  You must also think about whether an even or odd set of doors works better for you.

  • An even number of door panels can only slide in one direction or split evenly for four or six panel doors, half to the right, half to the left.
  • An odd number of door panels provides greater flexibility, splitting the doors 5-1, 4-2, 4-1.
  • A traffic door is very useful when your bifold door is the only door out to your garden.

Take a look at all the different bifolding door opening options to understand bifold door configuration better, or contact us with any questions.

Regardless of the bifold door configurations, all our doors come with the option of opening in or out.  The opening direction of your doors is important.  Opening in doors take up space inside your home. Opening out doors are more popular but might not work for small patios.  Consider the space the folded door panels take up, helping you decide between open in or open out.

The minimum door panel size with most of our doors is approximately 700mm.  Therefore you do not have to go for the biggest widths.  Remember the wider the door the more the folded door panels will project into their resting space.

Why traffic doors are important with bifolding doors for large openings.

An odd number of door panels is recommended as you get the choice of having a traffic door.  Also known as a lead door, traffic door allows you to use your doors better in the winter. Other benefits to having a traffic door include:

  • Quick entry and exit to let out a pet or take out the washing.
  • A traffic door is essential when bifold doors are the only external back doors in your home.
  • The traffic door is hinged either on the frame side or the adjacent door panel side.
  • You can also have a double set of traffic doors in the middle of your door set, working like traditional French Doors.

Above all, having a traffic door lets you use your doors day-to-day without having to move and unlock the remaining panels.

Why a professional survey is vital for oversize bifolding doors.

In our experience a professional bifolding door survey is essential.  The bigger the opening, the greater the risk of size variations especially across the width.  Therefore, a professional survey ensures your big bifolding doors fit within even the most unforgiving of apertures.

So while it is tempting to get your builder to fit your doors, bifolding doors for large openings require a more precise installation with fine adjustments.  A professional survey ensures the manufacturing sizes of your new doors work with the aperture.

Comfort considerations with bifolding doors for large sizes.

With so many door panels comes a lot of glass and comfort considerations.  South facing elevations especially mean your new extension has to be ccomfortable  Many new extensions and gardens are overlooked. Therefore consider how you will have privacy at night and how you will provide shade in hot weather with closed doors.

Integral blinds are an excellent solution for bifold doors large and small. By far the best thing about integral blinds is they remain permanently sealed in the glass. As a result, they do not gather dust, get dirty, blow in the wind or risk damage by pets or children.  Contact us to visit our showroom and see integral blinds in action.

Building Regulations for bifolding doors.

Despite a relaxation in planning laws for new extensions you remain bound by current Building Regulations.  An important one is background ventilation. Bifolding doors in a new extension invariably require a trickle vent.  Whether you need a trickle vent or not depends on the overall project.  As a general rule, most new bifold doors need a trickle vent in the head, providing several benefits to your interior space. 

Other Building Regulations cover glass.  As standard, our glass comes with a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill. Every piece of glass is toughened safety glass for your peace of mind.  Laminated glass upgrades provide enhanced security and ensures your doors meet Secured by Design specifications.

Contact us today or visit our Nottingham showroom to view our range of bifolding doors and for a free demonstration.