Bifold Doors for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know
November 30, 2017

Any time of the year is the right time to be thinking about home improvements. After all, what better way is there to spawn a sense of pride and achievement than by coming up with a new grand design?

The question is what feature will you choose?

An extension perhaps, or a ceiling lantern above the kitchen? How about a whole new kitchen? Oh, now this is getting exciting. But too soon the penny drops. There aren’t enough pennies. And your enthusiasm for a new project wanes, as do your ideas.

But don’t be disheartened. There is a happy solution. Namely, Bifold doors.

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What are bifold doors? For those of you who aren’t sure, they are a simple option of redesign that costs a lot less than you may imagine.

Imagine a glass gateway connecting both the outside and the in, one that lets warm summer air sweep through the house and lends an ideal space to garden parties and Al Fresco living…

That’s what is known as a bifold door.

In fact:

Bifold door design is buoying a whole new craze for home improvement. They are now more popular than ever… the short-sleeved trendy alternative to the run-of-the-mill French and sliding patio doors.

Bifolds are essentially a series of wide doors made up of panels that slide open in a concertina way. When they are opened fully you are met with an uncluttered view of whatever lies beyond.

Why are they so popular?

Because they are reasonably inexpensive to buy, space-saving, flexible and chic.

And depending on both the materials used and quality of their manufacture bifold doors are crime-secure and completely weatherproof. There are even bifold doors built for the indoors, allowing for an elegant divide of larger rooms.

Bi-fold Doors UK have put together an essential guide that aims to teach you a little more about bifolds. It may just help you when you launch your next exciting home improvement adventure.

1. What are bifold doors?

A bifold door is exactly what its name suggests: a door which folds in half. But by joining each of these doors together in a long “run” they can cover a recess of up to 15 metres wide.

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That’s not even the fun part:

The method of the door’s running allows it to be slid open and closed easily. And as it slides, the door panels (each fitted with a glass of your choice) pack together so that when the bifold door is fully open, the panels are compacted at either side of the recess.

That leaves an uninterrupted way to the outside (or from one room to another) and saves in excess of 85% of the space needed for a conventional door.

In fact, there arise many other benefits of bifold doors:

  • Security
    Bifold Doors UK fit multi-point locking systems and Euro barrels as standard
  • Thermal Efficiency
    Once shut, well-made bifold doors are insulated; they keep warmth in and cold out where it belongs
  • Weatherproofing
    Most good bifold doors are fitted with tough weatherproof seals and ingenious designs to keep weather at bay
  • Chic Ironwork:
    Fittings are added to match perfectly the décor of your home or a pre-existing bifold door

With their unique “stacking” way when open and attractive glass panelling when closed, bifold doors are a popular way to monopolise on the space, light and heat of the home.

When it comes to a means to divide rooms in vogue or lead visitors to the outdoors:

They are a must.

In terms of what materials are commonly used for bifolds, why not check out our materials guide. Bifold Doors UK manufactures door frames in two different materials:

  • Aluminium: age-proof, low-maintenance, thinner than hardwood and painted to choice
  • Hardwood: the most durable, with some maintenance and occasional repainting needed

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Some bifold door manufacturers also make their product in uPVC. uPVC is a highly durable invention and can be made in various colours and effects, but it has a tendency to warp in extremely hot weather and many people baulk at their less-than-traditional outward aspect.

1. How to choose a specific bifold for your house

Bifold doors are a great addition to both the exterior and interior of the home. When looking for an exterior make though it is worth thinking about how the style of the door will match the age of the house.

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Which bifold doors are best?

A period house may better suit a door with a hardwood frame, whereas a more modern build may benefit from a slick design perhaps made in aluminium.

For most of us, when it comes to the question of exterior doors, the answer is often simple. Let’s have something fashioned that is secure, looks great and matches the house.

But:

One or two other considerations should be taken into account:

Opening direction

Do you want the doors to open inwards or outwards? Obviously outwards is the most logical way even with the space-saving qualities of the bifold. It won’t snag on floor fittings nor will it drip rainwater inside.

An inward-opening door won’t prevent the drips when it is open and requires additional handles on the inside to help it close.

Weathering

The effect of the weather on our houses varies according to where we live. Bifold Doors UK supplies all parts of the UK and depending on how open your house is to the elements we may advise you on a preferred material.

As mentioned before, tough weather seals are incorporated into all our bifold products.

Colouring

Most manufacturers offer a wide selection of colours. But are these as extensive as ours?!

Take a look at our colour swatches to see what best suits. And take into account as you do, the following: we can paint a bifold frame with different tones of colour for the outside and the in.

1. Are bifold doors expensive?

Some manufacturers are more expensive than others, but a higher cost is no guarantee of better workmanship, especially when it comes to their fitting.

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Take a look at our price guide based on door panels and sizes. This should give you some idea of what to expect.

Like most products a bifold door’s cost varies with how wide a space it must fit across, the height of the ceilings, the type of fixtures, the material of the frame and the design.

Bifold Doors UK provides free quotations.

Call us: 0843 886 8378

When it comes to thinking about internal bifold doors, your concerns will be less about how weatherproof or secure they are and more about their style and quality.

After all:

You want to create a feature that is eye-catching.

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to your choice of internal bifold doors:

  • The Style: match the style to the house, or even the inner bifolds to the outer
  • The Material: again, in consideration of the age of the property, but also weathering
  • The Space: Bifold doors are space savers but find the best position for them
  • The Ironmongery: Match the handles and fittings of the new door to your decor

1. Are bifold doors secure?

A reputable supplier will want to meet you on several occasions before installing an external bifold. By doing so, they will be able to gauge the sort of security you need. They should take time to explain how to lock bifold doors.

The answer to whether bifold doors are secure is yes, they are.

And here’s why…

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Let’s take a look at the measures in place of doors manufactured by Bifold Doors UK:

All our doors are fitted with what’s called an espagnolette lock. An espagnolette consists of a locking rod attached to the vertical frame of the door. The metal rod’s rotation to a lock position is controlled by a handle at normal height.

For an added measure, most fitters will choose something like a Euro cylinder lock barrel: the same type of lock you find on French or normal patio doors.

In addition to the espagnolette and Euro lock, every odd numbered door will have a manually operated “shoot bolt” inside at the top and bottom of the frame, the latter also being lockable with a key.

1. Are bifold doors worth it?

In a word: YES! That’s because…

  • They’re energy efficient: new style bifolds don’t let in draughts, can be insulated, have weathertight seals and are double or triple glazed.
  • They provide flexible opening options: by their nature they can maximise the recesses of your home, allowing the best parts of the outdoors (sunlight, fresh air, summer breeze) in. They don’t have to be opened fully, and depending on our British weather, can be adjusted to suit.
  • They allow you to enjoy the outdoors more.

2. What size do bifold doors come in?

Broadly speaking, Bifold Doors UK makes sets of bifolds anywhere up to 3 metres high and 15 metres wide, with a maximum door leaf size 1 metre wide x 3 metres high.

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Bifold Doors UK manufacturers all widths and heights within this range,

according to your requirements.

The maximum number of doors either side of the slide is eight in both directions and they can be fitted in any configuration you wish. That includes tall bifold doors.

Please see the document showing door configuration types or contact us to find out more.

1. Where to buy bifold doors?

There are many bifold suppliers in the UK. Some good, some bad.

We say it is worth checking the website of each and, most importantly, the testimonials referencing work a company has already carried out. Not everyone will use high quality materials or employ great workmanship in their fitting and such laxities can lead to problems further down the line.

What kind of business provides them?

Companies like Bifold Doors UK, of course!

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We offer a supply only service, BUT we can recommend fitters and we deliver to anywhere in the UK.

Bifold Doors UK is a UK-based manufacturer and supplier, producing a wide range of custom-sized hardwood and aluminium doors, including French, patio and internal models.

An important point:

We don’t mass produce! Each item is created to order and made from responsibly sourced materials. It is also checked for defects and damage before leaving our premises.

We believe that rigorous inspection and attention to detail keeps us ahead of the game.

1. Are they manufacturer or trading companies?

Many bifold door traders and fitters do not make their own products, meaning they are less able to scrutinise quality control and produce an item that matches perfectly the specifications of the customer.

Bifold Doors UK only works with the best fitters: “individuals, home builders, property renovators, commercial businesses and architects”.

Why do we work so closely with these people?

To ensure that what we make ends up in the place it was intended and in perfect working order.

We’ll supply everything needed for your chosen fitter to get the job done, but sometimes the type of space into which the doors are being fitted will require some extras from your chosen fitting specialist.

2. How to choose a legit provider

Be savvy in your choice of manufacturer and fitter.

If you’re thinking of buying bifold doors shop around, visit suppliers and fitters, call and email them with a barrage of questions. Knowing your bifold fitter and manufacturer is the only way you can be certain of getting great results and ending up with an installation to last an age.

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And on a point of installation:

Obviously, the size of the doors and intricacy of the project will dictate the length of time an installation takes. But if you are using an approved manufacturer and fitter the installation should be the swiftest step in the process…

…because everything else will be in place.

On average, a panel of 6 doors will be completed within a day with the track going down first followed by the doors and then a trial of the running mechanism. You will then be shown how to use the doors, what safety measures you should look out for and what maintenance will need to be carried out on occasion…

Then you can sit back and enjoy.

For any other advice or information not covered here, contact us and let us help you. Or get an instant Bifold Door quote online.

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