Glass Sliding Patio Doors

What are the Best Types of Patio Doors?

Bifold Doors, Buyers Guides, Glazing Advice, Products

So what is the best type of Patio door for your home?

This is a question that many homeowners find themselves asking at some stage would bifold patio doors be best or would I be better off getting sliders.

We all love the sun and natural light and we would like to be able to enjoy it not only when we are out and about, but ideally: all the time.

Our houses are restricted by walls and ceilings. So the easiest way to ‘borrow’ some light from the outside world is to get rid of one of those solid walls and replace it with some type of glass.

Bi-folding doors and sliding doors seem to be the most popular solutions for that. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, which quite often confuses homeowners making the choice very difficult.

You are going to find some ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ for both of those systems listed below to help you make up your own mind…

Bi-fold doors

The greatest benefit of bi-folding doors is that you can fold them all onto one side and create the seamless connection between your indoor and outdoor space. This is something that looks really good especially if you have got a flush threshold with an integrated drainage system. That brings in not only natural light but also a fresh breeze. This is something that people desire most.

Depending on the shape of your house you might even be allowed to create an ‘open corner’ when you will install bi-folding doors on two walls meeting in the 90˚ corner.

This great feature is very useful in warm countries, like southern European ones. Not so much in Northern countries, where summer hardly ever happens and does not last for too long.

Most of the suppliers allow you to choose where would you like to keep your stack up leaves. They can be kept either inside the house or in a garden.

Keeping them in the garden does not restrict your internal space, but doors will get wet in case of rain.

Having bi-folding doors you will be able to have a traffic door (when only one leaf opens, while others remain locked).

Single leaf’s of bi-folding doors are always individually framed and joined together by hinges. When they are closed all the framework and hinges are fully exposed, what interrupts your view onto the garden.

As bigger panels, you choose as less framework you will see. Some systems can go even up to 1200mm width wise and 3000mm height wise per panel. Bi-folds in a size like that can look truly spectacular.


Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are great for big openings. This type of glazing systems are usually bespoke, but as bigger the panel is, as better, it looks like.

The idea behind sliding doors is to make them look invisible, creating ‘the hole in the wall’ effect. This way round you will bring our garden closer to the home.

They look particularly good when they are installed from the floor to the ceiling with a flush threshold. That will also maximize the amount of natural light getting in. For those reasons, the most desirable sliding doors are the ones with the most minimalistic frame.

Sliding Glass Patio Doors

From the other side, big panels are obviously great when your doors are closed, but they do not allow for a full-width opening. However, there is a solution to that. Some manufacturers offer pocket doors. That allows you to get rid of your doors completely- sliding them all into the cavity pocket.

The other way of achieving larger open space is to go for an open corner (allowed only by some manufacturers). Opening two walls under a 90˚ corner and having a floating roof always creates a breath-taking effect.

However, even the thickest frame of sliding doors always will create a slimmer sightline than what you could achieve with bi-folding doors.

Both of the described systems are available in all the finishes: UPVC, aluminium and timber with a wide spectrum of colours to choose from, what does not always make the choice easy.

They are also usually similar price wise, so your decision will depend purely on your aesthetic preferences.

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