Harlesden bi fold doors

Harlesden Bi Folding Glass Doors are the perfect choice for opening up any living space to achieve aesthetically pleasing unobstructed views into the outside surroundings. Commonly used on conservatory products, bi-fold doors in Harlesden  are fast becoming the first choice for homeowners wishing to achieve the above.

Utilising fully glazed sashes, bi fold doors can provide a large proportion of their unobstructed views even when closed. Large glazed panes on bi folds help to enhance the lighting aspect of a range of rooms in your home, use them to bring light to your living room, dining room or conservatory.

schuco bi fold doors

Bi-fold doors are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly versatile. With the ability to effortlessly sweep aside whole walls in a matter of seconds, bi fold doors Harlesden can open up any room to embrace the great outdoors.

This style of door can be manufactured in either an inward or outward opening style combining various numbers of panes which neatly fold either internally or externally. The folded panes take up very little room when fully open making them the ideal choice for restaurants, cafes and bars.

Bi Fold Doors - Give More Creative Living Space

Overview - Clearly bifolding doors are not a cheap alternative to the traditional sliding door, but what are the real gains in making the extra investment. The most apparent is the fact that folding sliding doors are fully retractable. The commonly known French door is just a permutation of a bifolding door and most bifolding door manufacturers will be able to make their system into a french door. A French door is a double pane system which opens in the middle so the both leafs are fully open and set at right angles to the track. They have been very popular over the years and can allow for an elegant opening mechanism with great clear glass views. Please find the strengths and weaknesses of the bifolding door below.

Bifolding Door - Strengths

Fully retractable door panels

Choice of Aluminium and UPVC frames

Up to 10 metres wide

Add value to any home

Choice of over 400 RAL colours (Aluminium frames)

Up to 40 opening options

Well tested and regulated products


Bifolding Door - Weaknesses

More expensive than traditional alternative

UPVC frames can contract due to weather conditions

Must be installed with precision

UPVC frames are weak and are not capable of reaching widths more than 6 metres

bi fold doors companies

Material

Aluminium is a fabulous, highly durable, low maintenance material. It is available in a vast range of colours, wood effect and metallic finishes. It needs only to be washed occasionally to keep it clean and looking new.

Aluminium is less expensive than timber options, but some properties - especially period and listed properties where existing fenestration is traditional - may not be entirely suited to aluminium or even meet planning guidelines.

PVCu is the least expensive option. It is available in a range of colours and finishes, but responsible bifold door manufacturers would not recommend anything other than a standard white PVCu finish. This is because colour and finishes can cause instability to this material when in conjunction with the movement of the bifolding door.

PVCu is easy to maintain, does not last as long as aluminium, but will still look beautiful after several years. Good quality, modern PVCu can complement white timber windows and doors very well.

Timber bifolding doors can be built in hardwood or in laminated (engineered) timber. Engineered timber is designed to outlast other timber products as it is formed from layer upon layer of hardwood, preventing water from becoming trapped within the wood where it can causing twisting and shrinking and eventual damage. The fold and slide nature of bifolding doors means that they are highly sensitive to any alteration of shape and weight distribution and this will result in stress on the gearing, poor performance and eventual breakdown.

In South facing, exposed or coastal areas laminated timber is recommended over hardwood for this reason. All timber bifold doors can be factory painted in an infinite range of colours and this should assure a guarantee of long durability of the finish and low maintenance.

Opening Configurations

A flexible supplier of bespoke doors will be able to offer all possible configuration options to suit your aperture, but there will be technical limitations. Each panel has to be attached to the track, which affects which doors can be free one side to open. Options can include a single opening door at either end or anywhere it makes physical sense along the track. It is possible to use two of the doors as french doors in the conventional way whilst the remainder of the panels are closed as long as there are enough panels.

Size and Number of Bifolding Panels

Panel size is dictated by material and is essentially weight related. Once glazed, these doors are very heavy and too much weight can affect their performance. If narrow, the panels will become too bulky to fold and slide and will be cumbersome when stacked away.

The standard maximum width of an aluminium bifold door is 1000mm and there are height restrictions which, if exceeded, may cause issues and customers will be expected to sign a disclaimer. PVCu may be lighter than aluminium, but because it is not as strong, a good bifolding door company will ensure that all of its PVCu bifolds are reinforced with steel, thus making it heavier.

The number of panels a door comprises should be flexible if custom built. Generally, however, fewer panels in a door makes for better visibility. In addition, the price per square metre increases in line with the number of panels owing to the additional material, engineering, hinges, security and thermal requirements.

Bifold Gearing

Gearing quality is critical to door durability and performance. Unfortunately, it is also the feature you may not be able to qualify yourself. For this reason, if you do not know of a bifold door specialist, it is recommended that you use either a reputable company experienced in supplying bifold doors or a reliable builder or architect to specify the door. Choosing a product on price frequently leads to disappointment.

Thresholds

All bifold doors are most weatherproof when incorporating a normal threshold - no matter what manufacturers say to the contrary. By its very nature, a low threshold bi-folding door is subject to some water and draught ingres in severe conditions. Low thresholds are fabulous for disabled access and level access to, for example, a garden, but consider your property's aspect, your geographical location and local weather patterns before making a decision. And as an extra precaution, lay water resistant flooring immediately inside a low threshold.

Bifold Doors Glazing

Glazing should be 28mm K glass or equivalent and is always double glazed. It can be obscured if required, self-cleaning and have heat resistant film applied if in direct sunlight. Increasingly popular are internal blinds which are very attractive, but which are new on the market and have no history on which to stake their durability.

How to Buy a Bifold Door

Bifold doors now form part of almost all new build home extensions due to their ability to open up large unobstructed openings allowing the new living space to seamlessly merge with the garden.

The enormous growth in demand for these folding sliding doors in the UK in recent years has led to a substantial increase in the number and type of different door systems now available to the consumer. They are now widely available in a choice of materials and finishes with the three most popular being thermally broken aluminium, upvc and hardwood.

Choosing the right bifold door for your project is an important decision and one that should not be taken purely based on cost alone. Your budget will naturally have an influence on your buying decision but there are other important factors that need serious consideration to ensure you are not disappointed with your purchase. Here are the top five points that are regarded by many as the most essential research when considering a bifold door purchase:

1. THERMAL PERFORMANCE

Since most bifold door installations will be subject to compliance with building regulations it is important to check that the folding door you are about to buy will meet your local authority's interpretation of current building regulations in terms of overall U-value performance. This calculation is based on the specification of the double glazing together with the profile design and dimensions to determine the insulation benefits of the door measured in U-values with the lower the value the better the insulation achieved. The minimum acceptable under current building regulations for replacement doors is a 1.8 U-value but some local authorities will insist on lower values particularly for new build extensions.

2. GLASS SIGHT LINES

Another important consideration should be the sight line or width of door profiles between each panel of the folding sliding door as this will affect the visible glass area available when the door is in the closed position. Most bifold doors are designed with dedicated profiles to minimise these sightlines as much as possible but some timber and many upvc folding doors use wide, chunky profiles that produce very broad sight lines in excess of 200mm wide that will ultimately spoil your view.

3. SECURITY

Most folding doors will feature a high security locking system but many still use face fixed or flag hinges that can pose a possible security issue and allow the hinges to be removed from the outside when the door is closed. Some upvc bifold doors may also use an exposed gearing system that is accessible from the outside of the door when the door is closed which can also pose a possible security threat. You can eliminate these potential security problems by ensuring you choose a folding door that has fully concealed gearing and hinge fixings.

4. THRESHOLDS

Although a flush threshold is the most popular option especially for internal bifold doors this may not always be practical in some cases and a conventional raised threshold will need to be used. It is important to note that the height of these can vary considerably with some upvc bifold door thresholds exceeding 125mm. Such a high 'step-over' threshold may create an accessibility issue for children and the older generation. The latest bifold door designs offer raised thresholds designed to minimise the trip hazard with some offering thresholds as low as 50mm high.

5. TOP HUNG OR BOTTOM ROLLING

Some bifold doors are hung from the top to allow for a minimal threshold at floor level but with all the weight of the door being supported from the top a substantial upgrade of the lintel is normally required for strength and stability. Bottom rolling folding doors are a cost effective and popular alternative since the weight of the door is carried at ground level rather than suspended from the lintel.

Whether you decide on an aluminium, upvc or hardwood bifold door it is a major purchase for your project and one that should be carefully considered to ensure the very best value for your money. Buying a cheap bifold door may prove a disappointment unless you check carefully that the door you are buying will meet your needs and expectations before you order.

schuco bifold doors

Bifold doors have much greater flexibility than sliding patio doors or French doors. They can be fully opened, completely closed, or partially opened depending on the amount of space required. Their ability to connect the inside to the outside is unsurpassed. For example they allow the whole of the back wall of a house to open out onto the garden.

Doors are available in a range of materials including PVCU, aluminum, timber and aluminum-clad timber. The latter, although expensive, allows hardwearing aluminum on the outside and an attractive wooden finish on the inside. PVCU doors are usually the cheapest option but are limited in colours (white). Aluminum doors can be powder coated so are available in almost any colour or finish. Timber doors are usually made of hardwood or laminated timber. The latter is essential if the door were in a South facing, exposed or coastal position. In that location environmental extremes would cause hardwood doors to warp and malfunction. Any reputable bi fold door manufacturer will advise you of the best choice for your situation.

When choosing bifolding patio doors it is essential that you select ones that are constructed to the latest regulations. They must be completely weather proof in even the harshest conditions. The glazing must also be optimised to give the best thermal insulation. Other considerations are the size and number of panels, how these panels can be configured, the type of door threshold and the location of trickle vents. Quality gearing is also essential if you want smooth and durable door performance.

These kinds of doors are becoming more and more widely shown in the media. They are often seen in home renovation or remodelling TV shows to provide that elusive wow factor. Their versatility in configuration and availability in various materials make Bifold doors a tempting option for anyone considering installing or upgrading a traditional patio door.


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