Personalising Bi-fold Design Options
It’s clear that a Bi-fold Door for the home is a favourite choice in the UK, and without doubt, fitting bifold patio doors to your property makes a remarkable difference to both the way your home looks and how you use it.
The latest designs offer a huge range of choice for homeowners.
In terms of sizes you can find typical configurations from 2 panel sets up to 6 panel sets. If you have a very wide opening that needs more than 6 panels you would probably be able to combine 2 smaller sets or there are some suppliers that go up to 8 panels.
You can select how the doors open. Some examples can be:
- 2 door – both to the left or right
- 3 door – 2 folding right or left with 1 “lead” door
- 4 door – 2 folding right or left. 1 “lead” door with 3 to left or right
- 5 door – 2 or 3 folding right or left. 1 “lead” door with 4 to left or right. All 5 folding.
- 6 door – 3 folding right or left. 5 folding with 1 “lead” door. All 6 folding
This variation in in way the panels open gives great flexibility.
Depending on which material you choose to have the doors manufactured from will have a bearing on the choices you have.
uPVC Bifold Doors can usually be found with about a dozen popular colours and will either be spray coloured or what is known as foiled. Both methods of colouring the frames are stated to have molecular bonding and therefore don’t peel crack or fade.
Wood offers many different natural shades. For example light pine to dark mahogany. But veneer finishes are also in the market which allow for a many different finishes to be applied during manufacture. Obviously you can also paint a wooden bi-fold door in any colour you like.
Aluminium bi-fold door designs are typically coloured using “powder coating” and some suppliers have a range of over 150 colours from which you can choose.
Colour does come at at a cost, you can expect to find a price difference between a standard white uPVC door & one that has a foiled colour coating – you can find a price guide here.
Finishing & Door Furniture
Matching or contrasting things like handles & hinges can highlight parts or hide them – putting chrome handles on a dark door will ensure they are seen easily.
You should pay some attention to the locking system also. Having easy to use shoot bolts at the top & bottoms of the doors will come in handy. Hinges & main door lock should be of good quality, going down-market here could prove costly if a burglar gains entry.
The type of threshold on your installation can make a big difference, going for a flush fitting floor level threshold is the best option. It makes a “seamless” transition between the inside & outside and, of course, there is nothing to trip over.
Bifold doors either operate top or bottom hung and run in tracks. The higher quality the rollers and carriages for the door you fit, the easier the doors will be to open & close.
It probably goes without saying that with the large amount of glass used in bifold patio doors you should pay particular attention to what is being used.
Double glazing is the base standard because nobody in their right mind is going to fit single glazed windows these days. You could opt for triple glazed units for the doors, but it may be that the additional cost of triple glazing is not balanced by the cost savings from reduced heat loss in your home. So you may need to do some sums to see if it’s worthwhile for you to go triple glazed or not.
Double glazed panels are very thermally efficient themselves but you could have gas filled ones installed giving that bit more energy efficiency. Many Bifold doors are offered with “A” ratings from the BFRC. http://www.bfrc.org/
Glass Safety should be managed by using toughened tempered glazing or even laminated glass. Because the glass reaches floor level it is a UK building regulation requirement to have some type of safety glazing fitted.
Tinted glass is an option or you could opt for “aftermarket” filming – similar to that done on tinted windows on custom cars.
For those who want to go for something special, there is intelligent glass on the market. This is a film that can be applied to the glazing which can change the window from clear to opaque at a flick of a switch – completely obscuring the view to the inside of your room. See it here: http://intelligentglass.net/categories/switchable-smart-film/
- For some more insight, go to our Frequently Asked Questions