05 Mar 2014

Bi-fold & sliding doors: The importance of a view

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Origin, the specialist manufacturer of bespoke aluminium folding sliding doors, has witnessed an 86% increase in bi-folding door sales over the last two years. Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, gives his perspective on the trend, as well as advice to homeowners considering folding sliding doors.

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Folding sliding doors, or bi-folds, have graced stylish homes for years and are fast becoming the most popular self-build and renovation choice, giving an abundance of light and uninterrupted views. As the first flourishes of spring start to bring gardens and landscapes to life, creating beautiful and colourful views from our homes, self-builders may want to consider the importance of a view when designing the decor and layout of their new property.

A recent survey from Origin revealed that over half of homeowners feel their favourite room in the home is the one with the best view. In addition, 80% said a good view of the outdoors had a significant influence on their mood, while over a third of house buyers would purchase a new home based purely on the view. It’s therefore no wonder that the popularity of bi-folding doors has soared.

Many people are still unaware of the variety of bi-fold door options available. At one end is a three door alternative to patio doors and at the other end of the spectrum, there are eight leaf door sets, bay window configurations and even 90 degree corner sets with moving corner posts. Whether you’re after a modern, chic, heritage or quirky look, you can be sure that bi-fold doors will complement the room. The look of doors can also be completely tailored to your needs, with a wide choice of colour options, various wood finishes and door handles for a totally unique look.

Performance and efficiency

Aluminium bi-fold doors are virtually maintenance free. Aluminium doesn’t expand or contract so the alignment of the doors will be maintained over the lifetime of the product, with no warping or need for adjustments. The durability and quality of aluminium means that doors made with this material are very long-lasting.

Measured in U Values, the regulations state that the maximum U Value for new builds or extensions is 2.0W/(m2K). Depending on the kind of glass, you can achieve U Values as low as 1.3W/(m2K) with triple glazed units. The main contributor to low U Values of aluminium folding sliding doors is the thermal break between the door frame, which helps to prevent the transfer of cold air from the outside face of the doors through to the living area inside.

Security

Glass is the primary element in bi-fold doors and security can be a major concern. Double and triple glazed glass is hard to break, but laminated glass is even tougher for that extra peace of mind.

The weakest point of the doors can be the lock system. Bi-fold doors with an eight point multipoint locking system and Kite marked Magnum security cylinders are proven to resist snapping, picking, drilling and bumping - just some of the techniques used by thieves. This will provide a high level of security without compromising the style.

Ease of use

Bi-folding doors can be as low maintenance as you want them to be. With anti-glare and self-cleaning glass options, all you have to do is enjoy the views.

Aluminium is a strong material with lightweight properties resulting in light, easy to use bi-fold doors. Always ensure your door arrangement has free-glide roller systems for effortless opening and closing, along with special safety features such as ‘finger safe’ gaskets, which provide safe cushioning to avoid little fingers being trapped.

Bi-fold doors, with high quality finishes and materials are a great addition to any project. Ticking the boxes for energy efficiency, easy to use, safe, secure and beautiful, they will enhance any style of property by removing the barriers between the home and the outside views.

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