High-Quality Bifold Doors Company UK
Bifold doors now form part of almost all newUK 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.
What Are Bi-Fold 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.
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.
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