We have all seen the TV makeover shows with the amazing indoor outdoor spaces. They throw open the folding doors to reveal the expanse of decking and on to the garden. Well, bif-old or folding doors really are a brilliant way of making the outside of your home feel like the inside. They can even be used to separate living areas, making the space more flexible.
The fact is that they are not cheap, but the added value has to be worthwhile. Much better than simple French doors, the flexibility is second to none and apart from that they look great.
Bi-fold doors will usually come in panels of two or more. They are hinged so that they fold back onto themselves, pushing along a track which is flush with the floor. It is possible to have the whole width of your home open to the elements once the panels are pushed against one wall.
Exterior bi-fold doors need to have the same ratings as any other exterior door. As they are usually double or even triple glazed, they actually can make the home warmer than might be expected. Once closed the doors almost vacuum seal themselves locking in all the warm air and if you want to go outside you usually will not have to open them all the way. Some come with a side opening door which works independently to the sliding action of the rest of the doors.
The configurations on these doors are almost endless. It is possible to push some doors to one side and the rest to the other, all doors to one end or any combination. Once pushed up against the wall, they take up very little space and will hardly be noticed.
Bi fold doors can be made out of aluminium or timber with any number of paint finishes. The glass panels can be in any style of glass. With all the exposure to sunlight which will be inevitable, it may be worthwhile considering tinted glass. In addition laminated glass is essential in family applications, as a huge expanse of glass can lead to accidents. The panels can be square or shaped into arches to give a little extra style depending on the architectural style of your home.
The price of the doors can run into thousands and this is not the only financial consideration. If the doors will be running across the full width of your home you need to consider structure. It is very likely that a steel beam will need to be installed where your wall used to be. This will need to be overseen by a building inspector.
Once installed you will never regret the installation of bi-fold doors. They are secure, strong, attractive and versatile. A better way of opening your home to the outside simply does not exist. Many companies now offer these doors, but do your homework and look for good after sales service. They are unlikely to break down, but piece of mind is always a good thing.