Purchasing Bifolding Doors

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By Bude Windows & Conservatories Ltd | Monday, January 27, 2014, 12:04

Purchasing Bifolding Doors need not be a complicated process.  There are several factors to consider in making a choice such as selecting a reputable manufacturer and finding a reliable installer.

We have compiled a simple list of things to consider below, all of which should make purchasing bifolding doors a smooth process. Choose carefully and your bifolding doors will provide you with a quality product that will give you many years of reliable good service.

Why are bifolding doors so popular and what are their benefits?

As more and more people choose to improve their homes rather than sell, so the home extension has gained popularity in recent years.  Bifolding doors are today an integral part of home extensions and renovations.  When open they provide a significantly greater opening compared to large patio doors and depending on the configuration they can be provided with a single access to enable exit and entry without having to slide all the doors back.

More importantly than this, they can give you that sense of space, connect the inside to the outside of your home and in the summer months simply come into their own.

What are the planning and design considerations?

In simple cases where you are only replacing older patio doors or french doors with new aluminium bifolding doors, there is no need to involve an architect.  In the vast majority of cases will you require to make any kind of application for planning permission.  You will already be aware if there are any restrictions in place regarding making changes to your own particular property and it is wise to check if you are unsure.  The installation of bifolding doors comes under the rules and regulations of Permitted Developments and you can find out more about permitted developments here.

If you are already building an extension or carrying out a major home renovation you will most likely be using an architect and they will have the skills and knowledge to design your bifolding doors as part of your build taking into consideration structural and other factors.  The architect will already be well experienced in these matters and will also be on hand for any design or planning considerations.  Depending on the design of your build, you may also need to have structural calculations carried out, for example if you are constructing a large glazed roof, open extension or other such build.

What is best? PVCu? Aluminium or Timber?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each material and every product has its place in the marketplace.  There is no good worst product but aluminium, pvcu, and timber bifolds all differ in their design, capabilities, performance and specification. Your decision will be governed largely by budget and design, together with additional information. Our article here, gives further information on the merits of aluminium, timber and pvcu bifolding doors.  Read more about the features of aluminium, timber and PVCu doors here. 

What about Colour?

Whilst it is widely accepted that replacement windows and doors will often be white, colour has made a dramatic impact on the British home improvement sector in recent years.  It is not uncommon for customers to choose white windows and bifolding doors in a contrasting colour.  Grey remains one of the most popular with over 27 different grey shades available from reputable polyester powder coaters.  However, with over 200 colours available, customers are getting bolder with colour choices, choosing yellows, reds, blues, greens and other vivid shades.

Are Bifolding Doors secure? 

The rear of the property is usually the targeted area for burglars looking to gain entry into a property as this is the hidden area in many homes.  Door and window security all over the property is important, but more so with bifolding doors as they effectively create large glazed areas.  Bifolding doors are extremely secure with some systems offering above standard locking systems such as 8 point locks including bolts locking into the top and bottom of the frame. Additionally the well engineered and secure doors will meet BS7950, PAS 23/24 Secured by Design Accreditation.  Ask to see the official test reports for the doors in question.  Five point locking should be a minimum requirement.

It makes sense to try out the product. 

A bifolding door is one of the more expensive products when it comes to windows and doors generally and it makes absolute sense to visit many showrooms and see the range of doors on offer.  Do not be put off if window showrooms only show one make of door, shop around ask what System that door is and do your research as to the merits of each particular door.  Not all bifolding doors are the same.  

Look at the hardware options on offer, the threshold options, the sight lines when the doors are closed and how the doors glide in operation and how they lock. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Fitting and Maintenance. 

It should take no more than one day to fit and glaze your bifolding doors which will be carried out by your builder or a reputable window company.  The accurate installation of the doors is absolutely crucial in ensuring they operate and lock correctly and will give years of trouble free operation.  Bifolding doors are generally very reliable and many problems can be overcome with correct adjustment and installation.

Longer term, bifolding doors need little in the way of maintenance other than ensuring the tracks are free of debris and the paint finish is kept routinely clean.

 

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