Why Choose Bi-fold Doors.

Posted on 24th May 2021

Let the Light in with Bi-fold Doors.

Lady considering which patio doors to choose.

There is something magnificent about a fully open wall on a sunny day. When closed, bifolds let maximum natural light in, and when open, provide seamless integration with the patio area.
If you want a wow factor from your patio doors, then bi-fold doors may be the right choice for you.

Which Patio Doors Should You Choose?

When choosing your patio doors, you also have the choice of french or sliding doors. The benefit of bi-fold doors is that they can be as wide as 7 metres meaning that you can fully open up the wall. French doors are limited to open up the width of the two doors. Sliding doors can only open half the space as one slides over the other. There are options for three-pane sliders, but still, one pane will always be in place.

If you want to let the maximum natural light in, then bifold doors do that when they are open, but sliding doors allow more light in when closed as the light is only impeded by one centre frame.
Here are a few reasons why our bi-folding doors can be a great addition to your home.

Bi-folding doors create a stylish look combined with ease of operation and thermal efficiency. They connect indoors to the outdoors seamlessly and are suitable for any style of property.
Whether you want a contemporary colour to suit your decor or a bold contrasting colour, we have you covered. At South East Doors Online, we offer bi-folding doors in a wide range of colours and finishes.

We can offer a supply only to the trade or to consumers for their own builders to fit. If you would like us to install for you, please contact us for a quote.

Bi-folding Doors Make a Living Space Feel Bigger.


Bi-folding doors make a larger area look even grander providing a full view of the garden. They work equally well for smaller living areas too, because they make the room look bigger. No matter where these doors are installed they give a feeling of light airiness and sophistication.

When you are looking to optimise the available space, bi-folding doors are ideal. They don’t take up a lot of space because the door swing area is minimal, leaving you free to use all of your floor space.

Open In or Out.


You can specify your new bifold doors to open inwards or outwards to suit your specific requirements, and since every door is made to order, you can be sure of a perfect fit. Consider whether the space inside is more valuable than the outside and where the furniture will be placed.

Fully Customisable.


You will have a range of options, regardless of whether you choose uPVC or aluminium including where the master door is placed, which way the doors open, and, of course, how many leaves make up your set of doors.
Although we traditionally think of opening doors being in the centre as with french doors, when you opt for bi-fold doors, you have the choice. Consider your normal walking path when you walk through the area to the garden. Sometimes it may be more practical to have the opening door on one of the sides.

How to Configure Your Bifold Doors.


Start with the width of the opening and divide by 900. Each bifold door can measure between 700mm and 1200mm. If you start with 900, that gives you a base from which you can go up or down.
For example, if your opening is 5345mm. Divide by 900. The answer is 5.9. This means that you could choose five doors at 1060 mm or six doors at 890mm each.
You could even choose to have seven glazed panes, making each door approximately 763mm.

Bifold configuration options

Opening Options.


The next thing to decide is where you want your opening door. You can see the options in the images below. You can use our bifold door designer to play around with the different options. Of course, you are welcome to call us, and we will advise.
Remember, more glass means more light, and fewer panes mean lower cost.

Visit our bifold door designer to play around with the options. It will also show you the price as you click on various options. Go to Bifold Door Designer.

The image below is one of our installations. This is a three-door with the opening door on the left. The doors open outside and stack on the right side.

Bifold door installation in Gilligham Kent

Can Bi-fold Doors Improve the Value of Your House?


It cannot be claimed that bi-fold doors directly affect the value of a house, although if part of a kitchen extension, they could play their part in increasing the value.
As bi-fold doors are often on the wish list for a dream home, they can certainly make your house more appealing to a wider audience.

Bifold Doors for Garden Rooms.

We recently supplied two sets of bi-folding doors for this stunning garden room. It’s unusual to have bifolds for only two doors but in this case, being able to fold one to the left and the other to the right, means an almost interrupted view. This garden room will make a superb office, playroom or gym.

Aluminium bifold doors that go round corners are available but they wouldn’t have been appropriate for this installation. Corner bifolds require more reinforcement than would be justified for this building.

UPVC or Aluminium Bifold Doors?

Recent Garden room installation of bifold doors

When it comes to choosing bifold doors for your home, there’s a lot of decisions to be made. You’ll live with your decision for a long time, so it’s worth taking the time to consider the options fully. Now that you have decided that bi-fold doors are for you, what material do you want the door to be made of? If you’ve decided on bifold doors, there’s two major materials to choose from: uPVC and aluminium. Which one should you buy? It depends on your home, your budget and personal preferences, as each material has its own benefits.

The decision may be clear if you are limited by budget. UPVC is cheaper. uPVC material costs less, so it stands to reason that uPVC doors would be cheaper than aluminium doors. Overall, the cost of material means that uPVC doors are cheaper to manufacture than aluminium doors. If the rest of your house has UPVC windows, and you want your bifold doors to match, UPVC is a clear choice.

Most of our customers in Kent want the windows to match the doors, but it’s unlikely that most people would spot that there was a difference if you chose aluminium bi-folding doors and uPVC for the windows, especially if they were both the same colour.

Timber Bifold Doors.


Timber bifold doors are still available. We no longer supply them as they require more maintenance, so we will consider the difference between UPVC and aluminium.

Evolution of uPVC Doors.


In the early days when bi-fold doors became popular, it was clear that Upvc doors were not good enough. However, modern technology has disposed of the early problems, and Upvc doors are now reliable. The runners glide smoothly and frames have become smaller.

If uPVC bifold doors are within your budget, you no longer need to feel that these are a poor compromise.



Aluminium is more expensive than uPVC but will last longer, so it can be a better investment. Because of this, guarantees are often longer on aluminium doors.
Aluminium is very strong and, when powder coated, will last decades.



Both UPVC and aluminium need very little maintenance, just the occasional clean.
Aluminium won’t warp due to weather conditions. UPVC is more vulnerable to this depending on the quality of the aluminium inside the frame.

Frame Size.


Because aluminium is so strong, the frames can be slimmer, allowing for more view.

Colour Choice.


Aluminium and UPVC are available in lots of different colours and realistic wood-grain if you like the look of timber. Anthracite Grey has increased in popularity in recent years. You can still have white inside to keep your living space looking light and bright.

Are Bifold Doors Expensive?


Bifold doors can be perceived as expensive, but they are not when considered in a like for like way. Yes, they are more expensive than French doors because they are often 4-6 doors compared to the two in french doors. When you consider the square footage, the bifold doors fill the whole space while french doors use the walls at the side and the smaller opening. While bifold doors may use the same area as sliding doors, technically, the sliding door is much more straightforward to manufacture as there are just two doors and less aluminium. The cost of hinges, corners and frame fixings that go into 4-6 small frames rather than two large ones also need to be accounted for.

Factors That Affect Cost.


The cost of your bi-fold doors will depend on several factors. The first and most obvious consideration for cost is the material. UPVC, timber or aluminium?

Size Matters.


It stands to reason that the bigger your opening is, the more the cost. This may also affect how many leaves you have. It’s not unreasonable to use six panes of glass in a four-metre wide opening, but if five works, you may be able to save a little money.

Not all bi-fold doors are equal. Quality also plays a part in cost. There are a lot of bifold doors on the market. The difficulty for you as the customer is knowing the difference. Doors look the same when they are fitted. It’s only in time that you start to see doors dropping because the hinges aren’t sturdy enough or frames bowing because the aluminium or steel inside is not strong enough.
Sometimes the perception of cost is related to house value. A set of doors costs the same whether you have a 2-bed bungalow in the Kent countryside as it does for a 6-bedroom house in the middle of Ashford.

Which Blinds for Bi-fold Doors?


Integral blinds for bifolds are becoming increasingly popular. These are Venetian blinds fitted inside the double glazed units. They do not interfere with the use and remain clean. Once they’re in, you cannot change them. If you want a clean, modern look, they are a good choice. They are handy if your doors open on the outside and you’re inclined to leave the doors open when it rains.

Other Blinds that You Can Install.


There are several types of blinds that can be used on glazed doors.
All of the pleated blinds, usually thought to be for conservatories, are suitable for this and offer super choices of fabric, including blackout and thermal protection.
These blinds can be either screwed into the frame or fitted with clips. Some manufacturers stipulate that the guarantee will be invalidated if you drill into the frames, so check this before ordering. If you cannot drill into the frames, there are no-screw alternatives.

No Screw Blinds.


The two popular clip-in systems are Intu and Perfect Fit. These are both clever systems, but you need to check that they will not sit proud, or they may stop your doors from folding flat.
Perfect Fit has a plastic frame all the way around, and the Intu has a heading at the top. Both of these options sit on top of the door frame.
The screw-in conservatory blinds normally fit within the recess of the door. Some of the aluminium bifolds have a shallower profile so check this before ordering.

Curtains with Bifold Doors.

If you plan to have curtains, it looks better if you leave a bit of wall space on either side so that the curtains have somewhere to sit without being across the glass. If your curtains do cover the glazed area, it is not a good idea to have one of those doors as the opening door. Consider putting the first opening door in the centre.

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