Bi-fold doors are an attractive, contemporary and affordable way of opening up to 90% of an elevation, allowing inside and outside spaces to be incorporated effortlessly.
Bi-fold doors are growing in popularity as a seamless link between home and nature. Large panes of glass create an expansive illusion as well as inviting light to flood into living spaces. The option of either double or triple glazed windows allows a bi-fold system to meet the requirements of even the most ecological homes. These glass panels can be personalised further to create an effect that you desire. Options include solar control glass, acoustic and coloured interlayers, and many others.
Also known as Concertina doors, both interior and exterior bi-folding doors use a track system to function. The doors work by folding together, accordion style, gliding along the track on a set of carriages. There are numerous options to create the perfect bi-fold door for your project. Almost limitless in the size, bifold doors can be inward or outward folding, bi-parting and more typically liner sliding generally containing two to seven panels. These panels, all of which are attached by hinges, allow the doors to smoothly fold together to reveal a large open space while also offering the option of a traffic door.
A traffic door acts as a conventional door built into the bifold system. It can be opened separately to the rest of the system allowing for simple and non-fuss access from inside to out.
Quick to install, bifold doors are a comparatively cheap alternative to more affluent sliding doors. Generally, the doors can be installed in minimal time, cutting labour costs, and increasing home value without breaking the bank. On top of this, most aluminium systems can be finished to suit almost every taste and style, meaning that bifold doors can create the feel and look of almost any texture or material with little cost. Modern aluminium profiles can be powder coated, enabling almost limitless colour choice, strength and weather protection, meaning that bifold doors are suitable everywhere from city centres to beachside locations. Furthermore, for a more traditional design, bespoke glazing bars can be integrated into the system to create the illusion of sliding timber or steel frames, adding to the possibilities.
When it comes to choosing bi-fold doors, aluminium frames are often preferred over traditional PVCu designs. Thinner sight lines add up to a lighter, more movable frame. The ‘frameless’ effect of an aluminium system opens up a larger glass surface area and therefore a more spectacular view.
Aluminium is arguably the most robust, light and weatherproof material for constructing doors and windows. Generally, it is a very undemanding textile, needing little maintenance. However, aluminium is also a very good heat conductor which provides poor insulation, failing to keep a home cold in the summer and warm in the winter. For this reason, many manufacturers elect to use ‘thermally broken’ aluminium in their bifold systems. The aluminium is broken up by a piece of thermally non-conductive material which acts as an insulating layer inside the aluminium shell. In the case of aluminium bi-fold systems, thermally broken aluminium frames insulate a home from even the most extremes of weather up to 1,000 times better (http://www.luxal.co.uk/what-are-thermally-broken-aluminium-windows/) than traditional systems with the useful side effect of partially soundproofing window frames.