bi fold doors shop Manfacturers in Oxford
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 Oxford 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 Oxford 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 Oxford 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.
Bi Fold Doors - Give More Creative Living Space
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.
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.
Aluminium 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