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One of the most sought-after features in a modern home is a contemporary glazed door. These large elevations of glass are used to connect the inside to the out and to create rooms bathed in light.

Choosing the right glazed door is very important for both style and practicality. It can have a deleterious impact on the design of your home if chosen incorrectly and choosing the right door can easily become a 'wow' factor.

How do I know which door is right for my home? It helps to find out what your options are and what they do.

Bi-fold doors, what are they?

Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are made from multiple panes that are opened by concertinaing them neatly together and sliding to one slide of the opening. They typically can have between two to seven panels altogether. Bifold panels can be opened either inward or outward, with an outward opening providing the most popular option (keeping floors inside dry with maximum space when the door is opened up).

Sliding doors, what are they?

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding doors are opened by sliding glass panels linearly behind another pane. They do not protrude into another area or room but you will not be able to filly open the room. They are available from two-panel configurations up to far more.

Whether you opt for a sliding or bi folding door will be a matter of personal preference. Both aluminium framed sliding and bifolding doors have high levels of thermal insulation and lots of engineering behind them so they work well.

Here are some things to consider to help you decide:

Frame Size

Bifolding Doors

A sliding door will be able to give you a slimmer sightline than a bifold door. With a bifold door the panes sit in the line, next to each other when closed. That means the frames you get are doubled. You wouldn't be able to get a high-quality bifold door with a vertical sightline of much less than 120mm. Sliding doors can give you a frame size from just 20mm.

Ease of Access

A traffic door can be featured at the end of a bifold run which functions like a normal hinged door for easy access internally and externally. A traffic door does not require the whole bi-fold to be pushed back to get access.

This is not possible within a sliding door elevation. However, with a sliding door you can slide open the leading pane just enough to move in and out without having to open the entire door.

How much of the Opening can you Open?

Bifolding Doors

The amount of opening you get in a sliding door will depend on how many sliding panes you have. A sliding patio door system can create an opening that is from 50% clear. For instance a two-pane sliding door will give you a 50% opening, whereas a three-pane sliding door will give you an opening that is 2/3 clear.

Bifold doors can create an opening of about 90% of the aperture when the panels are fully opened. This creates a seamless transition from internal living area to the external. Not to mention the unspoilt sight of the garden creating a visually impressive view. If the thought of opening up the entire elevation has you sold but remember we live in the UK- its not always easy to fully open the bifold door during the rainy weather.

What space do you have?

Sliding Glass Doors

Let's now consider the space; Sliding Patio doors operate on a linear track and the panes move and sit behind each other without requiring any additional opening space. Bifold doors do not operate in the same way as a sliding door. Like a concertina, bifolds are folded and require space to fold inwards or outwards and they will need space to be stacked somewhere.

You need to think about the available space you have inside or outside for the bifolding panes to stack when open.

Flush Floor Levels

Both bi-folding and sliding patio doors offer level flush thresholds across the frame from inside and out, creating a completely seamless transition. A rebated threshold with bi fold doors is an option for a better weather seal. If you have a flush finish make sure you have an integrated drain... This drains rainwater effectively proving particularly useful during the unpredictable British weather.

Cost

Prices are one of many concerns when purchasing a new glazed door. Bi-folding doors can be more expensive than sliding patio doors but prices always vary depending on the design, dimensions and materials.

You should always view the product and do thorough research as you would not purchase a car without viewing it, would you?

So why not visit our showroom in Amersham and see both of the doors in person. This will offer you confidence and self-assurance in your chosen door. To visit please contact our wonderful team on 01494 722882  or email hello@hedgehogaluminium.com