Simon Claxton, Managing Director of Directbifolddoors.com, explains: “Purchasing bi-fold doors for any sort of building project, or even replacing existing patio doors, doesn’t have to be daunting. Bi-fold doors are relatively easy to install even for the amateur DIYer. Getting accurate measurements at the start and taking time to consider a few essential questions will make the project look great and be a practical, usable addition to the house”.
Simon continues: “At Directbifolddoors.com, we have produced a set of four simple questions for anyone considering bi-fold doors for their home.”
1. The aperture will let you decide on the number of panels you can have; panels range from 900 to 1200mm, so if you have an opening of 3.6m, you could opt for three or four doors.
2. Aim to make each panel no less than 750mm otherwise you end up with more frame and less glass which reduces the amount of light coming into your home. Work out where you want your bi-fold doors to be stored when folded; inside or outside of your home – most of our customers opt for the doors to fold outside as this means the folded doors do not take up any of their interior space.
3. As the doors can travel left, right or out from the middle, you need to make sure you have room for them to move, so check how close you might have your furniture to the opening.
4. You also need to decide where you want your traffic door – the door that is used as a main opener for daily use – so consider the most convenient location.
Open the door to bi-folds
Melanie McDonald, Head of PR and Internal Communications for Anglian Home Improvements, offers her advice on the specification of bi-folding doors.
As a nation of home lovers – and keen gardeners – it seems only right that the current trend for blending inside and outside spaces continues to be on the up. Not only do bi-fold doors look stunning, they bring natural light into the home and open up the property for easy access to the garden.
This season we will see more homeowners opting for the ultimate in luxury aluminium bi-fold doors. Aluminium frames are slim and sleek, allowing for a higher glass-to-frame ratio; so even when the doors are closed, the room still feels as though it has been opened up to the great outdoors, creating a wall of light and unrivalled feeling of spaciousness. Despite its lightweight appearance, aluminium is incredibly strong – presenting a highly secure option. Aluminium offers a durable, low-maintenance alternative that will remain resistant to tough weather and stand the test of time.
As well as adding a sophisticated, modern edge to both the inside and outside of any home, the Anglian range is available in a choice of colours, glass options and decorative effects so homeowners can create a personalised look which suits their own unique style.
The power is in your hands
Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin – a leading British manufacturer of made-to-measure blinds for bi-fold doors and windows – discusses the three types of blind operating systems available.
Mains-powered systems easily support the weight of larger blinds and can be designed with a smart functionality. What’s more, there’s no battery to replace.
Whereas, battery-powered blinds can also be operated via an app, which is perfect for extra security and thermal efficiency. No need for wiring makes them an ideal option for retrofits, plus the fact that batteries can last for three to five years means there’s little required maintenance.
Both electronic systems can be fitted with a near-silent motor. The most advanced on the market is the Lutron motor, which utilises a sophisticated electronic drive system. Origin is one of just six hand-picked manufacturers to offer blinds with the Lutron motor.
Alternatively, Origin’s own mechanical motor provides self-builders with power to control light in their home remotely.
Last, but by no means least, are traditional manual blinds. The most cost-effective option, these are often more suited to smaller windows. These are also designed with the same child-safe mechanisms as any automated system.
Whether it be on a bi-fold or any window type or slider, good blinds should not only complement them, but also offer a stylish and practical means of controlling the light levels in a home, whilst simultaneously providing additional privacy from the outside world.
Argon gas has a 34% lower thermal conductivity than air and, as a result, increases thermal efficiency in glazing by around 30%.
All reputable glazing companies should be offering this as standard and as demand for large expanses of glazing grows, inexpensive ways to improve thermal efficiency should become more prevalent.
Argon gas is also essential in double-glazed units that have integral blinds built in, as it prevents glass from bowing and flexing – an essential element to the blinds operating smoothly.