TECHNICAL ADVICE

Which bi folding doors are best?

It’s well known among the construction and glazing industry that aluminium doors are one of the best options. Timber is another popular base material for bifolds and some manufacturers even offer the possibility of a hybrid of materials which consists of aluminium on the outside and timber for the internal face.

There are many things to consider when looking at bifolding doors such as size, base material, glazing options and configurations. In this technical article we will explain the different specifications of bifolding doors, why aluminium should be your first choice and how to choose the best aluminium bifolding door option.

three pane bifold

Which bifolding doors are best for my project?

Sieger aluminium bifolding door systems can be designed to fit any project as they come in a variety of sizes, colours and configurations.

If the project requires the slimmest sightlines, then the Sieger Lux Bifold Door is going to trump other bifolds on the market, as this product is the slimmest bifold in the world. This door can contain up to 14 sashes with each sash measuring a maximum size of 1.2m wide x 3m high and has extremely slim sightlines of only 30mm.

Some bifolding doors such as the Sieger 120 Bifold and Sieger Legacy Bifold come with the option for triple glazing. When deciding which glazing option is best for your project consider what level of thermal and acoustic performance you want to achieve and the difference in lead times between double and triple glazed bifold door.

Corner bifolds are also an option to be considered. All Sieger bifolding door systems can be designed in a corner configuration, however not every property is able to have them. If it is possible, corner bifolds allow for a seamless indoor/outdoor living area with huge amounts of natural light being able to enter the property.

A traditional steel look bifold door may be the best choice if the rest of the property has a traditional aesthetic. It also would be best for replacing existing steel framed doors or to match with steel or steel look windows. All Sieger Bifolding Door systems are available with the option of horizontal glazing bars to achieve a steel look aesthetic. Sieger’s Legacy Bifold would be the best suited for projects that require an industrial style, steel-look bifold due to thicker sightlines.

 

Sieger bifolds corner opening
Modern kitchen extension with bifold doors

Where should I buy my bifolding doors?

One of the most important aspects of choosing the best bi folding door is the reliability of the product, which comes down to the quality of the manufacture and the precision of the installation. Therefore, who manufactures and installs the bifolding door is one of the most important things to consider.

It’s important to choose a quality installer as well as a quality product so finding the right installation team and product are a combination that will serve you well. Choosing the best bifolding door but a bad installer will cause delays which could cause a rise in costs.

With any quality glazing company or fabricator, you will see several ‘peace of mind’ features, such as an extensive range of colours, PAS24 certified security or Secured By Design certification, multi-point locking and durable handles.

Choosing a company that fabricate their own systems is something to look out for when trying to find the best bifold door. Some quality companies will even allow you to see the manufacture process, and even let you see your projects being manufactured after you’ve placed your order with them. At the Sieger Aluminium Factory, the team provide factory visits where your team can see the glazing products being manufactured.

 

Other factors to consider when choosing a bifolding door

The features and benefits of different bifolding doors is another factor that determines the best bi fold door. Among construction professionals, there are many differing reasons about what makes the best bifolding door.

Location of the door is another factor which some may want to consider. Bifolding doors tend to be used as kitchen and patio doors however with a rise in popularity some projects include them internally. The best bifolding door will vary between projects as each project will have different requirements and desired aesthetics.

After product considerations comes the supplier and installer of the product. Importantly for the end user, the best bifolding door is also measured by the price, guarantees, aesthetics and of course confidence in the company they’re building the product from.

The supply chain for the product is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. The product is only as good as its installation and manufacture. So, it’s best to conduct in depth research to find the best rated supplier and installation team for bifolding doors.

Another key factor to look out for is a supplier that also provides installation. A supplier that also has an installation team is recommended because the supplier will be familiar with the manufacture of the product and will know exactly know it is meant to be installed, which will mean the product will be installed to achieve the highest performance ratings.

white PPC bifold doors
bifold doors

What are the maximum and minimum sizes of bifolding doors?

Bifold doors vary in their minimum and maximum sizes. Generally, there isn’t a maximum size overall but there is usually a maximum leaf size, and the leaves can typically be installed in a series without a limit.

Bifold door leafs usually have a maximum size of 1.2 metres wide x 3 metres tall. 3 metres is typically the tallest height for bifolds, however the Sieger Super Lux Bifold can reach a ground breaking height of 5 metres, making it the tallest bifolding door on the market. This outstanding height is achieved by the inclusion of a stabilising wind post.

There aren’t usually any restrictions on the maximum width of the bifolding door as the panes can be installed as a continuous series to run the full width of a property or large aperture.

Tall and wide bifolding doors are available throughout the market but some manufactures are unable to achieve 3m+ bifolds that also have wide panes, so it’s recommended to visit suppliers to see the product and to discuss your project at an early stage to see what is possible.

Aesthetics, Hardware and Ironmongery

The aesthetics, hardware and ironmongery are some of the main aspects on a bifolding door. Although the functionality and performance are high on the requirements, the appearance and operation are equally as important.

The aesthetics of a bifold vary from system to system. There are many styles of aluminium bifold door profiles and ironmongery so it’s good to have an idea of the style that will best suit your architectural design. It’s advisable to consider whether you want profiled or rounded edges to the frame and door leaves, or a more contemporary appearance.

Aluminium bi folding doors also come with a wide choice of colours and finishes. A grey PPC (Polyester Powder Coating) is the most common choice for aluminium bifolding doors, but a wood effect is also possible to achieve a more traditional look for heritage properties.

The ironmongery and hardware are one of the most essential components in the manufacture and operation of a bi folding door. The best bi fold doors come with reliable, quality ironmongery and hardware.

Door handles and hinges are an essential part of the bi fold door. There are often many choices in the appearance of the handles. As the handles will always remain visible it is important the handles suit the architectural design and that the end users like the look and feel of them.

sieger bifold doors
Corner open bifold doors

What to do if you’re still unsure

One of the first things that people want to do when they are looking for the best bifolding door is to view several examples of aluminium bifolding doors. This can usually be a difficult task as there aren’t many glazing showrooms large enough to be able to showcase full size examples of various bifolding doors.

Bifolding doors need to display the base track, the opening mechanism, the sightline and much more. Having a full sized installation of a bi fold provides the right customer experience and overview of the product, allowing the doors to be manoeuvred just like they would once installed in a property.

The Sieger bifolds are exclusively on display at the Sky House Design Centre in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Sky House operates on an appointment only basis which allows to team to allocate a technical glazing advisor to each showroom visit.

 

To arrange a showroom visit, ask us a question, or request a quote, click here.

Bifold doors with low thresholds

Most people want to achieve as flush threshold as possible to achieve a seamless transition between the internal and external living spaces. The threshold will vary slightly from system to system, therefore it’s best to speak to the supplier at an early stage of the project so that the end user and builder/ construction team/ architect working on the project knows what you are looking to achieve.

This article was designed to offer guidance for the various features bi folding doors have to offer. We have provided some background into the supply chain and what areas to focus on when choosing the company (or companies) to work on your architectural project.

A reputable aluminium windows and doors fabricator like Sieger® will be able to offer advice, quality manufacture and installation. They also have an impressive glazing showroom near London that allows you and your client to view the products in person, on a large scale.

aluminium bifold doors to rear extension

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The Sky House Design Centre

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