Northolt 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 Northolt 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.
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 Northolt 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.
Aluminium Bifold Doors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bifolding Doors & French Doors - Best Door For Home Improvement
What is the bifolding door?
The bifolding door has become a very popular choice over the past 10 years. The traditional patio door or conservatory door has always been a single pane system, or alternatively a French door. A french door has 2 openers which open to either side in order to create a fully open aperture. The bifolding door takes this one step further by offering a fully retractable system which can be manufactured up to 10 metres wide. This has in turn, has led to the number of companies who sell them rise exponentially. Although this can be seen as a good thing this also has its bad points. With so much competition in the bifolding door market how is someone supposed to know which is the best company? Often this question can be answered by your preference to the specific question. Do you prefer a standard handle or thumb turn, do you want the thinnest frames possible or the longest manufacturers warranty? There are no correct answers to these questions, it is normally best to phone around several companies and get good feel for the service they offer.
Strengths of bifolding patio door systems
Allow fully retractable door panels
Range of RAL colours
Add value to your home
Virtually maintenance free
Give your home more space
It is important to understand the differences between different types of bifold door systems. There are 4 different types of system available on the market. The aluminium based folding sliding door, the UPVC bifold, wood bifold and the all new frameless glass patio door system. The most well known is the UPVC due to its high volume of sales around 10 years ago. Since then however the aluminium bifolding door has improved so much that there is no real choice. The UPVc product is made from such low strength material that there are so many more problems with the systems. They often contract so much during seasonal weather that they do not operate properly, they look cheap, come in a limited amount of colours and have very stringent limits on the heights and widths of the system. The only real strength of this system is the price. But if you are looking to add value to your home this will most likely do the opposite. With regards to the wooden based bifold system they are a similar price to the aluminium bifold but also have major issues with contraction during colder months. For this reason the most popular choice and preference for most architects, building contractors and interior designers is the aluminium bifolding door. If you can afford to pay the extra money then you cannot afford to go for the cheaper alternative of UPVc based concertina patio doors.
When buying bifolding doors you might be faced with various different options to choose from. If you not sure about the components and properties of doors then finding the right type of door could prove to be a challenging task. Few of the important features of the doors are mentioned below.
Bifolding Door Frames
When selecting a frame always take into consideration three important aspects, for instance, appearance, location and budget. The cheapest frames are the uPVC door frames while the moat costly frames are those made of woods. While considering appearance you need to remember few things, for example, uPVC door frames are not available in a wide range of finishes while aluminium and wooden bifolding door frames on the other hand are obtainable in an extensive range of colors. Moreover if you prefer contemporary look then aluminium and uPVC are the best choice for you while wooden doors tend to have a more natural and traditional look.
Finally, when thinking of location you require determining where you will be fixing the door frame. For instance, wooden frames are ideal for doors which are sheltered from extreme weather conditions as wood is not a highly durable material.
Bifolding Door Glass
Doors are made of different types of glasses, such as, double glazing, which tend to be the regular glass for these types of doors, tempered glass doors are known for their strong and additional safety properties, low-e glass comes with a heat reflective coating and lastly the laminated glass, which is made up of double sheets with a plastic layer in between and tend to be highly secured and safe.