Here at Express, we want you to know exactly what goes into our bi-folds, as well as showing you a little taster of what we have on offer. If you’re planning on taking a trip down to one of our showrooms, take a look at our buying guide below to help familiarise yourself with all there is to know about bi-folding doors.
Why pick a Bi-folding door?
Having a bi-folding door installed in your property can add a real wow factor to your home, not to mention it’s a huge source for natural light, even when closed. They’re also great for entertaining in summer, letting you move seamlessly from inside to outdoors. But there’s a few more reasons why many people are opting for bi-folds every year, including:
• Air circulation
• Ease of Maintenance
• Eco-friendly properties
• Family friendly
• Luxurious aesthetic
With plenty of reasons for choosing bi-folds as a wonderful investment to your home, we’re sure that no matter what your personal reasons might be, it’s a decision that you won’t regret.
Materials for bi-folding doors
Before choosing your bi-folds, understanding the choice of materials available is a great starting point. Usually, bi-folds are made from one of the following:
Aluminium is the best material for bi-folding doors due to its versatility and strength. Aluminium bi-folding doors can have beautiful, slender frames and are durable enough to support large panes of glass to provide truly panoramic views.
Old aluminium doors didn’t offer very good insulation, but our aluminium bi-folds are thermally broken, keeping everybody cosy inside and keeping energy bills down.
With its classic, rustic feel, it’s clear why timber is another favourite for those interested in getting bi-folds. If the wood is used alongside aluminium, this can reinforce strength in the bi-folds, meaning that it will last longer. Timber tends to require more maintenance than other materials – if properly made by a specialist company, timber bi-folds can provide a stylish alternative to aluminium. However, if they aren’t cared for, they can begin to rot or warp in wet weather.
Even though it’s the cheapest option, it’s perhaps the least practical material available. We don’t use uPVC at Express – uPVC can expand and contract as a result of temperature change. This makes opening and closing doors more difficult and can make security an issue if they are improperly closed.
uPVC is also much weaker than other materials and is less able to hold large panes of glass as a result. For breath-taking, stylish bi-folds, uPVC’s bulky frames just don’t offer the right balance of size and performance.
For something that is a seamless combination of a traditional finish but with the practicality and performance of aluminium, composite bi-folds are sometimes a popular choice. Offering a traditional timber-clad finish with all the benefits of an aluminium door, composite is a strong candidate for period properties where the homeowners don’t want a modern aluminium finish.
While there are several choices of materials for bi-folding doors, at Express we believe whole-heartedly that aluminium is the only material to consider. With its durability, lightweight operation and energy efficiency, aluminium continues to look great and operate effortlessly for years to come.
One of the biggest parts of a bifold is the glass that’s used. Making your home look that much lighter, warmer and inviting, it’s no wonder why so many people take the glazing options so seriously. There are a large range of options available to homeowners and it depends entirely on the purpose of the bifold to pick the best one for you. To give you an idea however, here’s a few of the glazing options you can choose from:
• SGG Planitherm Total
• Solar Control Glass
• Self-Cleaning Glass
Our advisors will happily talk you through which glass is ideal for your home, and can help you keep the heat in and noise out.
Like with every aspect of your home, you’ll want it to complement your personal taste. When it comes to the aesthetical extras for bi-folds, there are many options to choose from. If you’re planning on opting for an aluminium bifold (we approve!), then you can have a powder coating which is heated onto the aluminium for a finish that doesn’t peel off. As well as this, you can select from over 200 RAL colours, go for a metallic finish or even go for a woodgrain look. The possibilities are endless and we’re confident that you’ll find a look that suits the style of your home.
As with any home improvement, it’s important that you check the regulations before building starts so that everything runs smoothly. Luckily, all our products comply with the latest regulations of Document L for energy performance, but as every bi-folds project is bespoke, it means that installation is no small task; so, checking beforehand is crucial.
Safety & security
To make the most of your bi-folds, you’ll want to ensure that they are safe and secure. Bi-folds by nature have a selection of safety options available, including installing flush with floor level to eliminate any hazards such as falling. Finger-safe gaskets stop children from trapping their fingers and security-wise, bi-folds feature an anti-snap and half lock cylinders so they are often secure by their own design. All this combined with a sturdy glazing option will mean your bifold will be safe and secure even when you’re out and about.
It’s a lot to take into consideration but our buying guide should help clear up the basics when looking at buying a set of bi-folding doors.