Expert Advice - Bifold Doors
Bifold doors are a popular choice in any extension or renovation and are fast replacing French doors. When bifold doors are fully open, they really bring the outside into your home and integrate both living spaces, which is perfect for Al-fresco dining in the summertime!
We catch up with Express Bi-Folding Doors to get some expert advice to help when choosing your bifold doors.
Love Renovate (LR): How much should I expect to pay for bifold doors?
Express Bi-Folding Doors (EBD): It really depends on the style, width and other design factors. A general gauge would be anywhere from £900 – £1,800 per metre installed.
LR: What is the lead time for bifold doors?
EBD: Express’ lead times fluctuate throughout the year. Our company ethos is to manufacture and install/deliver all our products as quickly as possible. Because all manufacturing takes place in house we control all aspects of a project so even in our busiest times we will always have works complete within weeks and not months. Installation is usually completed within a day but we advise on a case-by-case basis depending on the products being fitted.
LR: Can my builder install the doors and how long will it take to install them?
EBD: We recommend getting your bifolds installed by experts, but Express do offer products on a supply only basis if you’re happy for your builder to spec the products and install them for you.
LR: What is the standard area preparation required to fit the doors? Is there anything else I should consider that will add to the cost?
EBD: If the space you have is less than four metres wide, then bifolds are probably the best option. With spaces of this size, bifolds look much more impressive than sliding doors when open, creating a real wow-factor and transforming the space completely.
The type of frame you opt for will affect the cost – for example, slimmer frames which offer reduced sightlines – some as little as 120mm – will up the cost.
Accessories like uniblinds are another option to think about. This unique integral blind system protects from the glare and heat of the sun and is installed and permanently sealed within the double glaze cavity of the doors.
LR: What is the minimum width of opening for bifold doors?
EBD: The minimum size for a bifolding door is 1.5 metres.
LR: What are the width of panels and how wide can a panel be?
EBD: We offer our bifolding doors up to an industry-leading 1.2 metres wide and up to 3 metres high.
LR: What are the benefits of bifold doors vs. regular sliding doors?
EBD: A folding door allows you to create a 90% clear opening which will completely transform a space that was previously lacking in natural light, giving you a connected indoor/outdoor area in the summer, and year-round garden views.
LR: What are the benefits of aluminium bifolds compared to other materials?
EBD: Aluminium frames are far more durable, offering a more secure solution than uPVC. uPVC folding doors are more prone to jamming, especially on larger doors, whereas aluminium folding doors operate much more smoothly. Choose from over 200 RAL colours to powder coat your aluminium folding doors, ensuring you get the perfect match and finish.
LR: How can I achieve a flush threshold between the inside and outside?
EBD: Our low threshold option is most commonly used to partition rooms between conservatories and houses, making it a practical option for disabled access. The low threshold can be sunk into the floor so it is totally flush, making it ideal for doors linking the indoors with the patio or outdoor area.
LR: What are the solutions for blinds?
EBD: The uniblinds mentioned previously fold away with the doors themselves, making them the easiest option to screen your bifolding doors. Available in Venetian and pleated styles in a wide choice of colours, they can be operated manually by pull cord, solar powered or electric. Manual operation is the most cost-effective integral blind, operated by two rotational magnets.
LR: What should I look out for in terms of energy efficiency and security?
EBD: As well as boasting impressive views, the thermal properties of Express’ doors comfortably surpass all current and future building regulations. Glazing products which carry low U-values are more energy efficient. SGG Planitherm Total+ glass has an invisible metallic coating on one side, reflecting heat back into the room rather than letting it escape through the glass. Its centre pane U-value is just 1.2. Planitherm One acts similarly, with a U-value of 1.0, allowing it the same thermal benefits of triple-glazed sealed units but in a much lighter form, bearing less strain on the hinges.
The traffic doors operate with a multi-point lock and all remaining panels benefit from a triple point shoot bolt system which secures both the top and the bottom of the door. All gearing on the doors are completely concealed and aluminium is extremely strong by nature meaning it cannot be forced open and offers fantastic security.
LR: Any other advice when considering bifold doors?
EBD: If you’re modernising a traditional property, you might be better off choosing a contrasting finish to the original features. This is where expert advice will come in handy. Throughout the browsing and buying process don’t forget to question the little things. What’s your room used for? Do you want your doors to open inwards or outwards, and how do you want them to fold? Taking a trip to a showroom will give you the best idea as you can see the products in situ and get a feel for how they look and work.
Published: August 15, 2018