Pros And Cons Of Bifold Doors

Bi Fold Doors pros and cons

Bifold Doors are folding doors that are made of glass. This fairly modern type of door is designed to allow natural light into your home and seamlessly merge the indoors with the outdoors, as well as ensure space is saved by allowing them to fold into one panel.

Their popularity peaked in the mid-2010s due to their pros, but some began to point out concerns as their usage increased. To ensure buyers are fully informed about their purchase decision, we have put together this blog to highlight the upsides and possible downsides of Bifold Doors.

Pros Of Bifold Doors

Maximise Natural Light

The main objective of a bifold door is to ensure that natural light enters the home. Their main body is made up of glass, and they essentially open up a space in the wall. Natural light has a variety of health benefits. For example, it triggers the release of serotonin within the brain, a natural chemical within the brain that increases feelings of happiness and well-being.

Regardless of the health benefits, sunlight is generally looked highly upon by people, and considered beautiful. There’s a reason why people tend to do activities out in the sun. That being said, this counts most when speaking of external bifold doors, as they, by definition, are connected to the outside.

Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Living

Whilst the great outdoors are great, there are definite downsides to being out in the open. Exposure to things such as insects, constant noise from surroundings etc. However, indoors, you can quite literally condition the environment with complete control. This can essentially mean that you’re taking the good qualities of the outdoors and killing the good sides of your environment.

The result is the ability to have social gatherings and other such activities uninterrupted. It’s versatile for every season, and its folding doors offer differing degrees of openness to match.

Increased Space And Versatility

The traditional door hinge-bolts system requires a wide arc of clearance to open. This means that you have much less space than you might otherwise believe with said doors. Bifold doors are folding doors, meaning that there’s no need for that same level of clearance, and you can use the space in front for other things.

This is the main mechanism that changes the game – it’s what makes it far more preferable than traditional doors even with wider windows. Bifold door systems allow you to use the space within your home without needing to clear approximately 30-36 inches in front, which opens up the possibilities of what you can use the room for, or, at the very least, gives breathing room.

Cons Of Bifold Doors

Premium Pricing

Whether you’re talking about external or internal bifold doors, they are a premium choice for your home. As a result, they also get premium pricing that can balloon and increase depending on several factors, such as materials, size, and the complexity of the installation.

uPVC bifold doors are the cheapest option, and for many, it’s all they need. With high durability and resistance to weathering effects, uPVC requires little in the way of maintenance. Aluminium is stronger and offers a more modern aesthetic, whereas wood offers traditional warmth and beauty, as well as high insulation.

Furthermore, bifold doors require precision with the alignment of multiple panels, track hinges and locking mechanisms. There is a lot of potential to go wrong, meaning that it’s not a DIY job, requiring highly skilled professionals to do the job competently.

Security Concerns

The large glass panels of bifold doors can raise concerns about security for homeowners, almost entirely because it’s made of glass. The glass is fitted with toughened or laminated glass, much more resistant to breakage than standard glass, however. Its internal beading means it’s impossible to take out without dismantling the door frame. They don’t shatter and scatter like normal but maintain their overall structure quite well. That, alongside the fact that the impact against the glass will cause loud amounts of damage and take much longer to get through, mostly eliminates it as a security concern.

That being said, many still cannot help but see it as a vulnerability that will constantly play in the back of their mind. Whilst it would add to the price, many modern bifold doors come with the option of alarm systems, one of the most effective security features in history.

Energy Efficiency

The premium price of bifold doors tends to influence people to not buy extra features, such as double-glazing glass. This results in the energy efficiency being much lower, losing heat for the home, provided we’re speaking of exterior bifold doors. In an age where the energy crisis is going strong, the idea of your external doors leaking heat is too much to bear when dealing with British weather.

This is why we’d recommend only buying standard glass for internal bifold doors, and consider having glazing for your external bi fold doors.

Sudden Failure

Bi-fold doors must be installed correctly, by specialists with good credentials and history, as well as a warranty for any issues. A common bifold door problem that is often raised is how they seem to stop working after a certain period of time, and poor installation is why.

Misaligned track or door frames can cause a panel or more to stick, jam or outright break, prompting a costly repair. Many who have experienced this tend to swear against bi-folding doors, and whilst it’s understandable, it’s worthwhile pointing out that a warranty would protect them against additional costs.

Are Bifold Doors Worth it?

Bifold doors, like any product, come with pros and cons. That being said, we understand that consumers need a little more to go on. This is why we’re going to pit them against other door types in an honest fashion, so you can make your own informed decision.

Bifold Doors vs Sliding Doors

  • Opening – Bifold doors offer a wide, almost entirely open space when opened. Sliding doors always have at least one panel obstructing.
  • Space Efficiency – Bifold doors, despite saving tonnes of space, need to stack when folded. This means that there will always be a spacial requirement for bifold doors  to fold in on themselves whereas sliding doors require none.
  • View – A bifold door offers an expansive view both shut and open. A Sliding door has bigger panes of glass, typically, but their door frames are typically thick. This, combined with their mullion, means that they will never offer the same view as bifold doors.
  • Ventilation – Bifold doors’ folding ability offers a more varied range of airflow and ventilation options, including higher levels.
  • Cost – Sliding Doors are typically much cheaper than bifold doors due to the aforementioned complexity of the process.

 

Bifold Door vs French Doors

  • Opening – Bifold doors, again, offer a wider opening, whilst french doors operation relies on opening with hinges in a wide arc. Bi folding doors are also not held back by the limitations of having a single door panel.
  • Style – French doors are typically associated with tradition and class, whereas bi-fold doors are considered to be more modern.
  • Weather Resistance – Drafts and leaks are more common in bifold doors than french doors, which have lower points of ingress.

 

Bifold Door vs Patio Doors

  • Opening style – A bifold door folds open, whereas patio doors have the option of sliding or opening using hinges.
  • Light and view – Bifold doors maximise light and views due to the larger glass panels and the capability of a full opening.
  • Ventilation – Both doors have good ventilation capabilities, but bifold doors offer a larger degree.

 

Conclusion

Overall, bifold doors have a multitude of pros and cons. It is imperative, however, that you ensure that its installation is done by a trusted specialist with a good warranty. Ensure they test it, ensuring its closing properly with no broken parts. This will save hundreds in the long run. 

If you need the support of a professional window and door installation company then look no further than Ultra-Seal. Get in touch today for a free quote and see how easily your home could be transformed by bi-fold doors!

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