Just Doors & Conservatories

A Beginners Guide to Bifold Doors

Bifold doors have become a staple of fashionable interior design in recent years. These wide expanses of glass can flood homes with beautiful natural light, making them feel brighter and more spacious.

They can also seamlessly open the transition between inside and outside spaces, making a perfect environment for entertaining or for simply enjoying the warmer months.

There is a huge range of options available, from the number of panels in your doors to the material they’re made of, with lightweight aluminium bifold doors being a customer favourite.

It’s no wonder then that this feature has rocketed in popularity, but as a first-time buyer, it can be very difficult to know where to begin. This is where this beginners guide to bifold doors should be able to help.

A beginners guide to bifold doors

Why Choose Bifold Doors?

Bifold doors can have a wide range of advantages for your home. They can rapidly modernise a space by introducing light and space.

The wide, bright view afforded by large glass doors of this type can make your garden truly feel like an extension of the indoor living areas, rather than somewhere separate and unused.

Compared to French and sliding doors, bifolds have the potential to open much further. This makes them perfect for homeowners who enjoy hosting friends and family, as the entertainment space can extend, unimpeded, into the garden.

Ultimately, all of these advantages can combine to help increase the value of your property by making it appear bright, spacious, and full of possibilities. There are, however, some alternative considerations to be made.

When bifold doors are installed across quite a wide opening, the ‘stack’ of glass where the doors fold against one another can become large and unsightly. This is an example of a situation where sliding doors might be more suited to your space.

Although they are more expensive and have a smaller available opening, large sliding doors would not create an impediment to your view when open, like the ‘stack’ of bifold doors, and generally feature much thinner frames.

Choosing the Right Bifold Doors

Once you have decided that bifold doors are the right choice for you, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the range of choice still available to you. The material that you choose can hugely effect the appearance and weight of your doors.

Wooden bifold doors can weigh significantly more than aluminium bifold doors. While you might prefer the look of a wooden door, there are many attractive wood effect finishes that can be applied to aluminium doors to give a similar effect.

Powder-coated aluminium frames are some of the most popular, with grey colouring often chosen to give the modern effect that most customers are looking for.

In addition to your choice of materials, bifold doors can be hung in two ways. They can be suspended from above, or move along rollers below. If the threshold where you intend to install your bifold doors has a sufficiently strong lintel, it is worth considering the suspended variety, as the rollers of doors supported from below can sometimes become impeded by garden debris. 

Additionally, the number of panes that make up your doors can significantly impact your usage. Folding doors operate in pairs, so when a set of bifold doors consists of an odd number of panes, one of these can move independently from the others.

This is sometimes called a ‘traffic door’ and would allow you to use your bifolds like a conventional door in the winter months, or when quickly entering or exiting the house.

However, the installation of, for example, 5 bifold door panes across a space that could be serviced by 4, can lead to an excess of door frame encroaching on the view through the opening. Here, you can decide whether the practicality of the doors or your enjoyment of the view is more important for your vision for your property and choose accordingly.

A Beginners Guide to Bifold Doors Summary

No matter what choice you make, bifold doors are an excellent way to add value to a property. With careful planning, this feature can bring new life and light into your space for years to come.