A bifold door is a type of door made from either uPVC or aluminium panels which are securely hinged together. When you open the door, the panels slide along a rail towards the wall and the panels fold up against each other. When the bifold door is fully open, all the panels are neatly bunched together.
Think of the way the body of an accordion or concertina works when it’s been squeezed to see in your mind’s eye the visual effect created by a bifold door when you open and close it.
Generally, bifold doors use two to seven panels in their construction. The great news is that they are not one size fits all – your bifold doors will be made to compliment their location in your home and the space they open up to.
Why have bifold doors become so popular?
There are three big reasons, in our opinion, that bifold doors are growing in popularity. The first is the unashamed stylishness of the way the doors look.
Homeowners who have had bifold doors installed in their property love the grandness they add to a room and there’s something very satisfying about the sleekness in how they move when you open and shut them.
If you’ve ever seen any of the episodes of “DIY SOS” or “Grand Designs” when the surprised homeowners see their newly renovated properties for the first time, they always seem to make a beeline for the bifold doors.
Second, the views. If you enjoy your garden or if you enjoy the wider views from a higher floor in your property, no other installation quite allows you to drink those views in like bifold doors. When they’re closed, bifold doors afford you a magnificent panorama of the outside. When they’re open and it’s a glorious day, the world outside becomes part of your living space not only by what you can see before you but by the sounds and smells of nature coming into your home.
Third, the integration between the indoors and the outdoors. Think of when you’ve been on holiday in the Mediterranean. Our European friends have the right idea about how to meld your private indoor space with the world around it. In the summer and on warmer days, bifold doors permit a continuity between your inner space and the need to enjoy the sun coupled with a gentle cooling breeze. In the winter, you don’t have to open your bifold doors fully to get outside – simply use the panel at the end which acts as a normal door when needed.
Let’s not leave out the other benefits:
- You have options on the colours you can select for your bifold door panels.
- If the environment is important to you, bifold doors provide your home with really energy efficiency.
- You can save space too – speak with an installer about whether you want outward- or inward-closing doors.
- Incredibly easy to clean and maintain. If you get marks on the windows (typical in any household with toddlers!), simply wipe it clean as you would another pane of glass. Every now and again, give the rail a light clean to make sure nothing gets stuck in there which might impede the opening and closing of the doors
- And, last but not least, they can add serious value to your home – look at this couple who added £845,000 to the value of their London property by spending £150,000, some of that spending going on amazing bifold doors.
Fitting bifold doors
When it’s time to install your bifold doors, there’s a couple of things you need to consider:
- the current relationship between the inside and the outside space, and
- the time it’ll take to install your bifold doors themselves.
Bifold doors work particularly well when the level of the floor in your outside space is at the same level as your indoor floor. It looks great and the join between outside and inside feels seamless. It’s not essential to have this done before you start, by any means, and there’s nothing to stop you doing the work after the installation, don’t forget.
Depending on the layout of the room connecting with the outside with your bifold doors, you may need to do some internal work, particularly if there are radiators or electrical switches on that wall. In most cases though, inner preparation is minimal.