bi fold doors company Suppliers in Southampton
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 Southampton 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 in Southampton 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.
BIOFOLD Opening Configurations
A flexible supplier of bespoke doors in Southampton 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.
What Are Bi-Fold Doors?
Bi-fold doors are already popular as an interior feature, and they can also be very practical, useful and aesthetically pleasing when used as exterior doors. There are a number of benefits that these doors can bring to your home, and these can really enhance its value as a pleasant and practical place to live.
Bi-folding doors are a very space-efficient entrance/exit solution. Traditional doors swing directly inwards or outwards. Not only does the full width of the door stick out into the room or the space just outside of your home, but it also requires a clear route throughout its swing. If any object is in the way, such as a pair of shoes or a plant pot, this will prevent it from opening fully and this can be a pain. Because they fold, and because they slide within the door frame rather than swinging outwards, bi-fold doors do not require as much clearance in order to open and close fully. This is convenient for just about every kind of home, but especially for those with a lack of space or where you want to make use of the area immediately surrounding the door.
A good-quality folding door will last for a long time and provide you with a lengthy service life before eventually needing to be replaced. However, cheap bi-fold doors can be problematic, as they have more moving parts and more intricate and complex mechanisms than standard doors. Nonetheless, good, well-made uPVC bi-fold doors will use high-quality materials and manufacturing techniques to provide a door that will last a long time.
UPVC bi-fold doors are extremely versatile, as they come in a range of sizes and types. You can choose from various configurations with different numbers of panels and various folding points in a very wide range of sizes. You might replace an existing set of double doors with a two-panel bi-folding door, for instance, or else have anything up to seven panes of glass for a vast panoramic view of the world outside your home. In fact, larger bi-folding doors are particularly useful for allowing to you admire the outdoors. With full-length panes of glass, wider multi-panelled doors give you a complete view of the outside even when you are inside with all the doors and windows closed. This is perfect for enjoying the outdoors and admiring your garden in warmth and comfort during the winter. In summer, all of the many panels can be pushed aside providing not just a complete view of the outside, but plenty of fresh air and room for even large numbers of people at a gathering to move freely between the inside and outside of your home.
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
Aluminium Bifold Doors
Although bifold doors come in different designs, the method of installation is the same. It's a good idea to read the instructions that came with the bifold doors before you begin. Generally the doors are 80 inches tall but can be cut down to fit. The height of the door opening should be two inches higher the length of the doors to allow enough clearance for the track and the rest of the hardware.
Start by marking the top of the opening with a pencil and line up the track. Mark and pre drill screw holes. (Use a drill bit that is smaller then the screw itself ).
Position the pivot brackets (inside the header track ) 3/8 inch away from the end of the opening.
Line up the pivot bracket with the header track. (You can use a plumb bob or lay a carpenters level against the side frame and make a mark at the floor and align the bottom track. I always take the measurements of where the top track will line up and transfer that measurement to the bottom where the pivot bracket will be installed).
If the floor is covered with carpet, you will need to use a wooden pad underneath the bottom pivot bracket. Cut away the carpet just enough to fit the wooden pad and fasten it down to the floor.
If it's a cement floor, use adhesive especially made for gluing to cement. Let the adhesive set for 24 hours, line up the pivot bracket with the top track and fasten it to the wooden pad.
Once all the brackets are lined up with each other and in place, you can hang the bifold doors by simply folding the doors in half and fitting the guide pin in the upper track. Next, lift up the door and fit the adjustable pivot into the pivot bracket at the bottom of the door opening.
Repeat the last steps for closets with four panels.
Install the doorknobs at a height where it is most comfortable to reach. Don't install the doorknobs too close to the edges.
If the opening requires four section bifold doors, you will need to install alignment brackets on the back side of the two middle doors. (Approximately 16 inches from the bottom of the doors). These brackets will interlock and keep the doors aligned with each other.
I hope this rough guide will help you understand how to hang bifold doors.