Over recent years, bifold doors have become a popular feature of home extensions, replacing the French doors which dominated in the nineties. Large kitchens with dining areas which open on to the garden are a sought after feature for modern living and entertaining. Bifold doors seamlessly join the inside with the outside and create a stunning focal point for any home.
The difficulty often comes with deciding which doors to go with. With bifold doors being a considerable investment for any home improvement project and so many materials and systems available, how do you decide which bifold doors are right for your home? Here’s our guide:
As a natural material, wooden bifolds look attractive on any property, but period properties in particular. As with any timber doors or windows, bear in mind they will need either painting or treating regularly. Possible warping is another drawback, although this is less likely to occur with engineered timbers. Due to the different timbers available, wooden bifolds can be created in a range of prices to suit your budget.
Aluminium is strong and lightweight, making it an ideal material for bifolds. Due to its strength, relatively little aluminium is needed to frame the glass, so it’s easy to create a slim profile if you’re after a minimalist look. Aluminium frames are usually supplied powder coated, so you can also choose from pretty much any colour you fancy (take a look at the RAL colour chart). The only drawback with aluminium bifolds is that they do tend to be more expensive.
Whilst being the cheapest option and a low-maintenance option, PVC bifold doors do give a cheaper finish which may compromise your aesthetic. PVC also isn’t incredibly strong, so you’ll need to consider whether PVC bifolds will be structurally strong enough for your design.
Bifold door leaves
As well as the material, it’s important to consider the number of leaves on your bifold door. Bifold doors slide in pairs, so if you have an odd number of panels, it will allow you to open one section as an access door without having to slide all the panels back.
The greater the number of leaves, the more frames you will have obstructing your view. If having a clear view is one of your priorities, then opt for bigger leaves and fewer of them. You also need to consider which way the doors will open. Check where the frames will stack and ensure they won’t be in the way.
If maximising the view of your garden is a priority then you may want to consider sliding doors instead of bifolds. With sliding doors, there are usually just two or three panes, so there aren’t as many frames to contend with obstructing your view. You also don’t have the issue of stacked leaves taking up room.
Corner glazing involves glass doors that meet in a corner. You may require a column in the corner to support the structure but open corners are possible with the right structural support and will completely open up your home to the outdoors.
When choosing your bifold doors, consider the room’s aspect and how hot it is likely to get in the height of summer. Temperature-regulating glass can help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Integral blinds can also be incorporated to provide privacy and shade.
If you’re planning a home extension, contact the Apollo team for a no-obligation quote.