21 Sep

Connecting your home and garden seamlessly with bi-fold doors

Sometimes it is the simple, effortless updates that can completely transform the look and feel of your home. We explain how a beautifully crafted timber bi-fold doors can do just that, no matter what style of property you own.

If you’re interested in bringing the outside in and maximising on space in your home, then take note. Smart and sleek, bi-folding doors are cleverly designed to combine form and function in the house. They can often be referred to as folding sliding doors or folding and stacking doors. Essentially a bi-folding door is designed to make your home feel more connected to the outside while maximising on space and letting natural light pour into the house. 

Depending on the size of your room, the typical configuration consists of between two and eight door leaves, connected with hinges and supported at the head. When you want to open the doors, you use the ‘master’ or ‘access door’, and the remaining panels fold out in pairs while gliding along with a tracking system which is fitted along the panels.  

Unlike sliding doors, bi-folding doors open outwards, with the panels folding together and stacking up against the wall. This opens the entire aperture and creates one large doorway, and although sliding doors have a similar gliding movement, they do not fold, and only one of the two leaves can be moved.

When it comes to bi-fold doors, is it better to settle for a standard version or invest a little more in a premium product? In this week’s article, we extol the virtues of the latter.

Why you should invest in quality products

When it comes to buying doors and windows, it makes a real difference when you invest in a high-quality product. While it can often be tempting to order something that does the job for now, standard products will not bring lasting satisfaction; sooner or later, they will look tired and need replacing again. A well-designed bi-folding door set should be easy to operate and won’t let you down on form or function. Heavy, clunky, loud doors that are prone to stick will become unused and neglected, making them a poor investment.

If manufactured to precise measurements, they will flawlessly fold and slide with smooth movements. One discrepancy in the door sizes, even by a single millimetre on either side, can affect the functionality of the whole unit and prevent it from opening.

The benefits of choosing bespoke bi-folding doors

By selecting a manufacturer who can provide you with customised, made to measure doors, you can opt for the exact style and finish that meets your exacting requirements. With so many systems and components all flawlessly working together, bi-folding doors bring the very best of modern design into your home, adding a contemporary feel to your interiors. While bi-folding doors often sit perfectly in modern, new-build properties, there is a simplicity to them which complements properties with charismatic features, too. A well-made piece that fits perfectly is ideal to use in parts of the house that architecturally need to carry off more extensive entrance ways for balance. Imagine the impact of open-plan extensions or pool houses with enormous bi-folding doors spanning the whole length of a room. If designed with the correct scale and proportions in mind, they will catch the eye as soon as a guest or visitor walks into the room. Joinery products which are tailored to your home will feel fresh and new when first installed, and still look good in the future; good design should sustain you over many years and in any environment.

With such a high proportion of glazing, bi-fold doors allow you to take in the uninterrupted views of your garden at any time of year, and in the summer they come into their own, helping your indoor and outdoor areas to merge into one large, open-plan space. Bi-folding doors are very secure, as they have multiple locks spread across the leaves. But if you’re worried about preventing a break-in, a bespoke product allows you to opt for incredibly tough and secure glazing which can provide you with more reassurance. (mention PAS24 testing?) 

Stylish and sustainable bi-folding doors

The decision to buy quality doors is not just a question of aesthetics. By investing in products which have been made using the very best materials, you are choosing longevity over economical price, prioritising sustainability and therefore helping to protect our environment. While you could opt for man-made materials such as uPVC or aluminium, there is an alternative option which has a minimal impact on the planet, can boast an exceptionally long lifespan and allows for the minimal lines and character of traditional timber joinery.  

We often talk about the benefits of Accoya®, but essentially this engineered timber is a revolutionary material. Made only from sustainable, fast-growing tree species, the wood goes through an environmentally-safe chemical process which makes it exceptionally stable and robust. Accoya® is just about as durable as wood can be, and is virtually rot-proof. The wood will not shrink or swell with the changing of the seasons,  which means that our precisely crafted joinery  won’t move or alter over time. By combining Accoya® with micro-porous Teknos paint, the paint will stay smooth and crack-free for up to 12 years before  repainting is needed and your bi-fold door frames will last for decades to come. 

At Westbury Windows and Joinery, we pre-hang our bespoke bi-fold doors with all the hardware at our factory, but then dis-assemble for ease of transportation and site installation. We ensure that all folding sliding door systems meet the highest standards and are manufactured to precise measurements, enabling them to fold and slide perfectly. For more information about our bi-fold doors or to arrange a visit to our showrooms, contact the team or download a brochure here.