As with most reasonably large property expenditure, a bifold door normally a one-off purchase. The technical detail is likely to leave the average consumer confused, so what is involved in choosing a bifold door that will allow you to enjoy your home more, be versatile, and will look and function beautifully over the years?
Below are some tips on what to consider, but we suggest you look for a bifolding door specialist to supply and fit your door who will perform a survey before building your door and give you any advice you need. Should you decide to use your builder or a professional fitter, they should take responsibility for the precise measurements and ancillary requirements for the door. In unskilled hands, these doors are likely to produce problems so an experienced installer should be used. However, you may well prefer to perform your own research and we hope that these tips prove useful. like my website visit here: https://www.wdma.com.cn/
- Which material – aluminium, PVCu or timber products
- Configuration options – how should it fold and open
- Size and number of panels
- Glazing – for thermal, privacy and appearance
- Threshold Options – for accessibility and weatherproofing
- Trickle Vents – for ventilation and to meet building standards
- Gearing – for smooth operation and high performance
- Cill and Drainage – are they necessary for your project
Aluminum is a fabulous, highly durable, low maintenance material. It is available in a vast range of colours, wood effect and metallic finishes. It needs only to be washed occasionally to keep it clean and looking new.
Aluminum is less expensive than timber options, but some properties – especially period and listed properties where existing fenestration is traditional – may not be entirely suited to aluminium or even meet planning guidelines.
PVCu is the least expensive option. It is available in a range of colours and finishes, but responsible bifold door manufacturers would not recommend anything other than a standard white PVCu finish. This is because colour and finishes can cause instability to this material when in conjunction with the movement of the bifolding door.
PVCu is easy to maintain, does not last as long as aluminium, but will still look beautiful after several years. Good quality, modern PVCu can complement white timber windows and doors very well.
Timber bifolding doors can be built in hardwood or in laminated (engineered) timber. Engineered timber is designed to outlast other timber products as it is formed from layer upon layer of hardwood, preventing water from becoming trapped within the wood where it can causing twisting and shrinking and eventual damage. The fold and slide nature of bifolding doors means that they are highly sensitive to any alteration of shape and weight distribution and this will result iin stress on the gearing, poor performance and eventual breakdown.
In South facing, exposed or coastal areas laminated timber is recommended over hardwood for this reason. All timber bifold doors can be factory painted in an infinite range of colours and this should assure a guarantee of long durability of the finish and low maintenance.
A flexible supplier of bespoke doors will be able to offer all possible configuration options to suit your aperture, but there will be technical limitations. Each panel has to be attached to the track, which affects which doors can be free one side to open. Options can include a single opening door at either end or anywhere it makes physical sense along the track. It is possible to use two of the doors as french doors in a conventional way whilst the remainder of the panels are closed as long as there are enough panels.
Size and Number of Bifolding Panels
Panel size is dictated by material and is essentially weight related. Once glazed, these doors are very heavy and too much weight can affect their performance. If narrow, the panels will become too bulky to fold and slide and will be cumbersome when stacked away.
The standard maximum width of an aluminum bifold door is 1000mm and there are height restrictions which, if exceeded, may cause issues and customers will be expected to sign a disclaimer. PVCu may be lighter than aluminum, but because it is not as strong, a good bifolding door company will ensure that all of its PVCu bifolds are reinforced with steel, thus making it heavier.
The number of panels a door comprises should be flexible if custom built. Generally, however, fewer panels in a door makes for better visibility. In addition, the price per square metre increases in line with the number of panels owing to the additional material, engineering, hinges, security and thermal requirements.
Gearing quality is critical to door durability and performance. Unfortunately, it is also the feature you may not be able to qualify yourself. For this reason, if you do not know of a bifold door specialist, it is recommended that you use either a reputable company experienced in supplying bifold doors or a reliable builder or architect to specify the door. Choosing a product on price frequently leads to disappointment.
All bifold doors are most weatherproof when incorporating a normal threshold – no matter what manufacturers say to the contrary. By its very nature, a low threshold bi-folding door is subject to some water and draught ingres in severe conditions. Low thresholds are fabulous for disabled access and level access to, for example, a garden, but consider your property’s aspect, your geographical location and local weather patterns before making a decision. And as an extra precaution, lay water-resistant flooring immediately inside a low threshold.
Glazing should be 28mm K glass or equivalent and is always double glazed. It can be obscured if required, self cleaning and have heat resistant film applied if in direct sunlight. Increasingly popular are internal blinds which are very attractive, but which are new on the market and have no history on which to stake their durability.
Trickle vents, or night vents, are built into the frame to provide exchange of air and to prevent condensation. These are compulsory for new builds and may be appropriate for your installation for other reasons. Any bifold door specialist can advise, but you should check with your builder or installer.
Cill and Drainage
You may or may not need a cill and/or drainage which will be specified at the survey. Drainage is via a narrow channel that draws moisture away from the door and whether drainage is required will depend upon internal and external levels and other factors.