Garage Conversions: Sliding vs Bi-folding Doors


A garage conversion can be a great way to turn dead storage space into a usable room, and it has the potential to add value to your home too. It’ll transform the way that you use the whole house, but one of the important questions to consider is how your new room extends to the outside.

Both sliding and bi-folding doors are beautiful ways to bring the outside in, but they are suited for different needs and types of property.

Whether your space is intended to be a kitchen-diner, a living room or a gym room, if you’re struggling to figure out which one might be the best type of door for you, then you’re in the right place. Read on for tips on how to decide.

Sliding Doors

When viewed as a closed run of glazing, sliding doors have the upper hand. They have wider panels of glass than bi-folds, giving you a beautiful unobstructed view whilst also filling the room with light. Our aluminium sliding doors have very thin profiles and can hold panels of glass that are more than five square metres.

However, conventional sliding doors will usually block part of the aperture, so you’re not able to open the entire run. You could opt for a triple track system however, which gives you a 66% clear opening.

Bi-folding Doors

Bi-folding doors hold the advantage when fully open as they stack perpendicular to the wall, opening up to 90% of the aperture they’re in. This maximises the sense of bringing the outside in, and is perfect during pleasant weather spells!

Bi-folds are contemporary in design and their aluminium material make them lightweight, but strong and very easy to maintain.

When bi-folds are open, you need to make sure that there is space to the sides of the opening as this is where the doors will stack. They can open inward or outward, but they can be intrusive. When the bi-folds are closed, some of your view will be obstructed by the frames.


Which Type of Door is Right for Your Garage Conversion?

When considering the type of door for your specific project, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

What kind of access do I need?

If you want to open up the whole room to the garden and you have room for doors to stack on either side, then bi-folds would be perfect for you. On the other hand, sliding doors work well for those who want more control over how big the opening is, for instance if you want to leave the door slightly open for a pet to wander in and out.

What kind of garden views do I want?

Bi-folds have more leaves than sliding doors, which means that your view will be broken up by thin frames. For a wall of windows, especially when including a corner, then sliding designs will suit best. Sliding doors can be placed at a right angle without needing a corner post, so the ceiling will look like it is floating, making it perfect for a garage with more than one wall facing the garden or outdoor space.

What style am I after?

Both our sliding and bi-fold doors are contemporary in design, but sliding doors tend to look more traditional. All of our aluminium doors can be customised in colour, with over 200 RAL options to choose from. If you’d like more information on Express’s doors, then head to our bi-folding and sliding door pages where you can view the product specifics.

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