Preston bifold door

Preston 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 Preston  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

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 Preston 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.

What Are Bi-Fold Doors?

There are many benefits of using bi-folding doors when finishing, renovating or remodeling an interior space. They can come in any design to fit a particular design style. A bi-fold door is a set of panels that has two or more hinged sections, usually folding in pairs. The doors can be opened from either side for one pair, or fold both sides for several pairs.

Larger bi-fold door systems are used as room dividers, barn doors, and even airplane hangar doors. They are usually hung from overhead tracks and suspended by rollers or casters. The innermost door panel has a knob or a door-pull which allows the user to fold the door panels together.

Bi-fold doors eliminate the problem of supporting a large overhead door in a commercial garage or airplane hangar with a low threshold options that offer unrestricted floor space. These doors can be hung in a series, making them ideal as room dividers. The same tracking used for sliding door systems can also be incorporated into bi-fold doors. The design of a bi-fold door allows the panels to fold on themselves without changing the orientation of the suspended casters or rollers. Because the tracks and casters receive some unusual stresses from the opening and closing action, bigger and heavier bi-fold doors are usually equipped with pivot floor tracks to prevent the panels from swinging and to add structural stability.

There are many different types of bi-folding doors currently on the market. Wood used to be the most widely used material, but now doors are also made of metal or glass. Some of them are available with a raised panel, flat panel, v-groove panel or as glass French doors.

Arguably, quite a few years ago, the most popular was the louvered door. A louvered door has stationary or movable wooden slats, or louvers, which permit open ventilation while allowing privacy and preventing passage of light to the interior. They can create dramatic sliding sashes to open up a room or building without reducing thermal or weather resistance.

Louvered bi-fold doors are usually used for closets and laundry rooms where ventilation is required. Smaller louvered bi-fold doors are also commonly used to form window shutters in many businesses and homes. Although bi-fold doors are not intended to secure things as a sturdy front door does, bi-folds can be used all around a home as interior shutters in place of curtains. This is not only an ideal solution for people with dust allergies but they can also provide maximum privacy when closed and floods space with light when open.

Other popular bi-fold doors are the mirror-paneled bi-folds. These are usually found in bedrooms and bathrooms of the home. Mirrored bi-folds may act as full-body mirrors and that is one of the traits that make them a favorite in the wardrobe area. Also specially effective in small spaces, mirrored bi-fold doors provide the illusion of having a bigger space when closed, yet allow maximum use of space in homes, restaurants, hotels, bars, or other interior spaces when opened.

With the advancement of technology doors are produced to be more energy efficient and attractive. Thermally broken aluminium Bi-folding doors are now designed to allow for maximal airflow through an opening. This Bi-folding mechanism is constructed using a chassis in which the movable parts strategically positioned so that the elements can be folded both left and right.

It is no wonder that new designs like the Visofold Panorama, which offers a slim line design; weather proof and virtually maintenance free, are used in homes, hotels, restaurants and stores for its space saving features.

Generally, having bi-fold doors installed is relatively inexpensive. However, the cost of having bi-fold doors can vary depending on the size, materials, and labour. Aside from all the benefits of using bi-folding doors, some can actually be installed by the homeowner themselves.

schuco bi fold doors

A bifold door is a door that has multiple sections, folding in pairs. The doors can be opened from either side for one pair, or fold off both sides for two pairs. Wood is the most widely used material, and doors may also be made of metal or glass. Bifolds are usually designed for closets, but may also be used as passageways between rooms. They are a great asset to any home or apartment and drastically enhance the light in the room.

There are many different kinds of bifold doors currently on the market. Arguably the most popular is the louvered door. A louvered door has stationary or movable wooden panels (often called slats or louvers) which permit open ventilation while allowing privacy and blocking the passage of light inside. Being moderately weak structures, they are generally used for laundry rooms and closets, where effective is required. Smaller louvered bifold doors are also commonly used to form window shutters in most homes and businesses.

Other popular ones are mirrored. These are most common in bedrooms and bathrooms of the home. Mirrored bifolds may act as full-bodied mirrors, and that is one of the traits that makes them common in the wardrobe. Another popular one is the raised-panel bifold. These doors are the work of fine craftsmanship and have a very elegant look. The raised panel is achieved on these doors by sawing or etching designs into the wood of the doors that give them a "raised" look. These are commonly installed in bedrooms, kitchens and pantires.

Bi Folding Glass Doors

As with most reasonably large property expenditure, a bifold door normally a one-off purchase. The technical detail is likely to leave the average consumer confused, so what is involved in choosing a bifold door that will allow you to enjoy your home more, will be versatile, and will look and function beautifully for many, many years?

Below are some tips on what to consider, but we suggest you look for a bi folding door specialist to supply and fit your door who will perform a survey before building your door and give you any advice you need. Should you decide to use your builder or a professional fitter, they should take responsibility for the precise measurements and ancillary requirements for the door. In unskilled hands, these doors are likely to produce problems so an experienced installer should be used. However, you may well prefer to perform your own research and we hope that these tips prove useful.

Essential Considerations

• Which material - aluminium, PVCu or timber products
• Configuration options - how should it fold and open
• Size and number of panels
• Glazing - for thermal, privacy and appearance
• Threshold Options - for accessibility and weatherproofing
• Trickle Vents - for ventilation and to meet building standards
• Gearing - for smooth operation and high performance
• Cill and Drainage - are they necessary for your project

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 iin 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.

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.

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.

Trickle Vents

Trickle vents, or night vents, are built into the frame to provide exchange of air and to prevent condensation. These are compulsory for new builds and may be appropriate for your installation for other reasons. Any bifold door specialist can advise, but you should check with your builder or installer.

Cill and Drainage

You may or may not need a cill and/or drainage which will be specified at the survey. Drainage is via a narrow channel which draws moisture away from the door and whether drainage is required will be depend upon internal and external levels and other factors.

schuco bifold doors

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


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