What are the benefits of bi-fold doors?
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
With the arrival of warmer spring weather, many people have been able to start opening their bi-fold doors. And those who don’t already have bi-fold doors may be wondering if it’s time they did. For social events, sunny family weekends, and even working from home, bringing the outside in has a huge range of benefits. So if you fall into the camp of people wondering if these doors are for you, then let’s look at the benefits of bi-fold doors.
What are bi-fold doors?
Bi-fold doors are often situated between an internal living space and an outside patio. They differ from conventional patio doors as they are made from a series of panels that slide to open like a concertina. As it is the hinged section that slides on runners and not the whole width of the panel, these doors are easy and quick to open. The concertina principle means that, once open, the whole doorway space is unrestricted. Many designs also now incorporate a ‘traffic door’. This is a standard opening door within one of the panels, enabling convenient practical access without utilising the whole concertina.
How do bi-fold doors benefit your home?
There are several practical benefits to bi-fold doors that impact a home. Choosing to install this feature can support maintenance, home value and the general performance of your home.
Since bi-fold doors are an appealing feature for a home buyer, they increase the value of your home should you put it on the market. Whether they are part of an overall refit, extension, or a stand alone installation, they should be considered as an investment in the sale potential of a property.
Similar to other window and door materials, frames tend to be made with uPVC, timber replacement composite, or aluminium. Subsequently, bi-fold door frames themselves need very little maintenance. As the whole width of the door does not slide on runners, the occasional application of WD40 is sufficient to keep the mechanism fluid and protected against friction.
Bi-fold doors are not just for large lofty spaces. They are a fantastic space saving solution for smaller homes where floor and wall space is limited. As the panels fold to the side, the wall space behind the door is not compromised. This makes a bi-fold design the ideal internal solution both for tight spaces and to divide space whilst keeping flexibility of use.
As energy bills rise and ecological awareness becomes more acute, the thermal performance of your home is increasingly important. Having so many glass panels between the inside and outside is no longer a weak spot when it comes to energy efficiency. This is because double glazing technology and thermal break frame designs have significantly advanced. In fact, bi-fold doors often outperform traditional patio door designs in energy efficiency ratings.
How do bi-fold doors benefit your lifestyle?
Perhaps even more important than building benefits are the advantages that bi-fold doors bring to lifestyle. You’ll feel these factors in daily living; increasing comfort, convenience and contentment.
External bi-fold doors are often fitted across an expansive wall space. By increasing the amount of glass, they consequently increase the amount of natural light that enters your living space. This has a positive impact both on mental wellbeing and energy bills, since you’ll need to reach for the light switch less often!
The outside is good for us. So any way to increase the presence of the outside in our day to day living is a good thing. On warmer days, open bifold doors create a living space that combines the outside and inside to make a naturally calming and pleasant environment. On colder days, the doors may be closed but the outside feels close by, framed by your bi-fold doors.
Over the last couple of years, we have increasingly been using our homes in different ways. We demand much more flexibility of use as we combine living, working, and leisure within our homes. Bi-fold doors are a great feature to support this outlook, since they can change a space when used differently. Internal bi-fold doors can act as a divide, or open up smaller spaces to be used more inclusively. Simultaneously, external bi-fold doors can be used just for access, or to make a grander social environment.
Visually, bi-fold doors look great. You can select frames that tie in with the rest of your window scheme, or make a statement. With so much more natural light being allowed into your home, these doors bring a warmer aesthetic to a space. In addition, bi-fold frames actually focus attention the outdoors, offering a view of the garden and greenery beyond.
Do bi-fold doors have any challenges?
Benefits are useless without exploring what challenges may sit alongside them. So we look at some common queries that people have about bi-fold doors.
It’s often assumed that with sliding runners comes a decrease in insulation performance. This may have been the case in years gone by, but contemporary products perform incredibly well when it comes to insulation. Of course, a lot of this comes down to the quality of the product that you choose and the installation supplied.
With so much glass, could security be compromised? Not with the toughened engineered glass that is used in modern products. Good quality double glazing is incredibly hard to break. In addition, the panels themselves are almost impossible to remove from their sliding tracks from the outside.
How about if the mechanism breaks down, this would leave the doors functionality redundant. If this worries you, choose a product and trusted supplier who offers comprehensive warranties. However, well made and installed bi-fold doors are not susceptible to mechanical breakdown.
The price tag for bi-fold doors is a variable thing, like many other glazing features for your home. There is a huge range of products and added components out there which can either increase or decrease a final bill. To have a conversation about what may be right for your home, just get in touch.