Bifold doors have the ability to transform your home. Whether they’re leading off a kitchen-diner, living room or even a bedroom, they bring the outside in and make spaces feel larger. Many of our clients choose to have bifold doors fitted on their extensions, so we spoke to Dean Jalaf, Sales Manager at The Bi-Fold Door Factory to find out why they’re so popular and what makes their doors special.
What are the benefits of choosing bifold doors over more traditional doors or sliding doors?
A sliding door will only ever open partially – even with the newer sliding doors where you have two panels, so you can open in either direction, you will only be able to open the space up so far. With bifold doors you can open them all to one side or the other for a completely open space. Yes, there are more panels, and some people aren’t keen on that, as it affects the sight-line, but when it’s open there’s an unimpeded view.
What kind of properties are bifold doors suited to?
Any house is suitable for bifold doors. We use Schuco doors which are German-engineered and manufactured in our Heathrow factory, where customers can come and view the range. They’re some of the best on the market, and we fit them on all kinds of properties, from small terraces to large mansions. The doors are all custom built to the size of your space.
How do the doors work with the outside space?
A lot of people want the inside and outside floor level to be the same – a level threshold, which isn’t necessary but means you can have a seamless feel from your home to your garden. Sometimes clients will match their garden tiles with their kitchen tiles so when the bifold doors are open it feels like one continuous space. Even without matching tiles, having your garden on the same level makes you feel like you’re walking from one room to another.
What are they made from and why does it matter?
The doors we use are all made from aluminium. It’s really not worth paying for uPVC or wooden bifold doors because they distort and move. The advantages of aluminium doors are their strength and their longevity. They don’t expand too much in the heat or contract too much in the cold, whereas with plastic and wood they can. There’s very little maintenance on aluminium doors too and they’re powder-coated with a 30-year paint warranty against the paint peeling or flaking. The doors themselves have a 25-year life expectancy.
Are there any options to stop the heat getting in in the summer and escaping in the winter?
There are additional options, such as solar glass, which reduces the glare of the sun. It reduces the heat getting in by about 10% or 15%. You can also get internal blinds, either corded or on magnets, which also make a difference. In terms of keeping the heat in, these doors are some of the best on the market in terms of their insulating properties.
And what about keeping noise from outside at bay?
Thermal insulation and noise insulation go hand in hand. The standard doors are already very highly insulated, but there are additional options customers sometimes go for. There’s acoustic glass, which is a laminate that goes inside the glass and bounces the sound off in different directions. You can also use triple glazing, or two different thicknesses of glass.
What do your clients like about Schuco doors in particular?
Generally people love the doors and the functionality of them. One of the main things people love is the height (3 metres) and width (1.2 metres) capabilities of the panels. People love that with the Schuco door you can get more glass and less aluminium, they’re bespoke and they can have any colour, and of course the guarantees so they have peace of mind.