Tips for buying bi-fold doors for your home
Whether for style, practicality or both; bi-fold doors are a great addition to any home – but how can you make sure that the ones you choose are right for your home?
Follow these buying tips to be sure.
Get to know track systems
Track systems on bi-fold doors can be either flush to the ground or weathered; the traditional weathered kind will have an upstand that helps protect against water ingress while still appearing flush when used on systems that open outwards.
Alternatively, recessed or flush tracks do not protrude from the ground leaving a seamless transition between the interior and exterior floorings. This type requires extra drainage to allow rain to fall away from the threshold and a concealed drain is usually found underneath the external door finish.
Making use of the space
It’s advisable to get as much bi-fold door space as you can. New regulations have doubled what you can build without the need for planning permission, making this easier than ever.
The incorporation of bi-fold doors is extremely effective in creating space, so the more you dedicate to them the better the result. They can completely open up and transform a room or the back of your home leading into the garden and with custom bi fold door design you can create a set to fit nearly any space – be it a corner, bay window or floor to ceiling doors that replace an entire wall.
You must also bear in mind that this style of door stacks sit at a 90° angle to the track when open. Therefore it’s essential to make sure there’s a big enough area at one side of the opening, either inside or out, for them to sit.
Choose bi-fold doors that suit your style or match your property
You wouldn’t want to invest in some great bi-fold doors only to find that they don’t quite sit well with the rest of your home; whether that’s the view from the outside (with exterior doors) or inside.
A period property is perhaps the most challenging type of home when it comes to this issue. It could be that keeping it more traditional with a warm natural wood finish allows you to retain much of your property’s antique charm whilst updating it with what is essentially a very modern feature.
Having said this, installing bi-fold doors offers you an opportunity to go all-out with upgrading and modernising a home – your may be attempting to merge the old with the new, in which case a sleek minimalist design could be just what you’re after.
Contemporary homes can only benefit from bi-fold doors and the options are extensive. Keep in mind matching existing materials with your new doors to ensure the property looks coherent.
Choose the right material for you
Both timber and aluminium have their advantages, so take some time deciding which is best for your project.
One of the biggest draws of wood is simply its beauty. It gives a sense of quality and toughness, and is a traditional construction material with an established place in the history of British architecture. It can also be finished in a variety of stains and colours to allow you to achieve the look you want.
Timber is also a functional material due to its thermal capabilities and strength while engineered timber is more resistant to problems like swelling and warping. Be aware that wooden bi-fold doors require some maintenance to keep them looking their best; a small price if you want top style.
The alternative to wood is aluminium. This is noted for its superior strength, a trait that lends itself ideally to bi-fold doors. It means smaller, narrower frames can be used that are still strong enough to support large structures.
Many homeowners now prefer the very minimal sight lines which aluminium offers, giving a sleek finish with maximum glass surface area. When used inside, this minimises the feeling of separation between rooms and as a back door allows huge amounts of natural light to flood inside as well as allowing great views into your garden.
Pay attention to the smaller details that will contribute to the finished look of your bi-fold doors – embellishments like handles, which can vary from traditional styles to low key contemporary chrome options, can really enhance the overall visual effect.
Aside from design, there are some other necessary finishing touches to ensure a safe and easily operated system.
Magnetic door holders are a simple solution that allow you to hold the swing/pass door to the adjacent panel and a trusted lock should be put in place for peace of mind. You can also consider adding bespoke blinds for extra privacy and security.
With these tips in mind, buying the perfect bi-fold doors for your home will never be easier.