Bifold, French or Sliding Doors: Which Should I Choose?
If you’re looking to renovate your home, choosing which doors to install is an important decision. Not only will it affect your own day-to-day life, it can also influence the value of your home if you decide to sell and move on in the future.
The advantages of a having clear view on to your garden cannot be underestimated – with this in mind, you should consider the available options very carefully. Compared with windows, bifold, French or sliding doors provide magnificent vistas, giving the feeling of wide open spaces and inviting the Great Outdoors in.
Bifolding doors are manufactured with multiple panels that fold back “concertina” style, making the best of the space and view. Sliding doors are usually made of at least two large panes of glass that slide behind each other to create the opening, while French doors take on a more traditional design comprising two doors that open outwards.
Although these alternatives offer a better view than windows, you would be wise to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each door before making a final decision.
View of the Garden
The best views are provided by bifolding and sliding doors, both of which can replace a complete wall with glass. Bifold doors are the more modern option, giving a contemporary feel to the property and opening up a whole wall of your home – when folded back, they provide the best view possible!
Even with narrow aluminium frames, due to their design, bifold doors can sometimes break up the view when not completely folded back. On the other hand, even when open to capacity, sliding doors don’t provide the same panoramic views due to the way in which they fold back one behind the other.
French patio doors offer a greater diversity of frames and glass, so they can seamlessly blend with traditional features, reflecting the style of Victorian, Georgian or Edwardian properties. If you live in an apartment with a balcony, patio doors may be the best option if space is restricted.
More commonly associated with modern properties, bifold doors are becoming increasingly popular in traditional homes or to modernise older houses or incorporate as part of an extension.
Although they can be found in both traditional and modern establishments, there’s one aesthetic disadvantage to sliding doors: they can’t be opened up completely – always partially restricting the view of the outside of your home.
Bifold doors are a flexible option, with the number of door panels being subject to individual choice and/or property restrictions – they can open either in the middle or in a number of other configurations to suit your requirements. They don’t create any trip hazards, providing a seamless transition into the garden.
French doors can be opened inwards or outwards, providing a small degree of flexibility. Sliding doors can be installed with one sliding behind the other or with two doors opening in the centre to slide out over fixed panes.
Materials and Cost
Bifold doors are the costliest to install, due to them having more panels than sliding or French doors. The construction material will impact price and longevity – the most popular options being timber and aluminium.
French doors are the most affordable option, being considerably smaller and often available “off the shelf” – uPVC French door installation is cheaper than wooden types. Aluminium or timber sliding doors are normally only available as bespoke orders, so they tend to be more expensive than French doors.
The design and style of your home is something to consider before making a decision. If your property is suited to all three options, it’s all down to personal choice and the look you hope to achieve.