Bifolds or Sliders, that is the question
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Whilst busy making social outdoor areas, bringing the outdoors in and spending all our saved pennies on renovation, it’s a question many people have asked themselves.
The idea of opening up a whole side of your home is very appealing but is a big decision to make. The majority instantly choose bifold doors then realise it’s not the only option.
Here are some factors to consider when making your decision;
Structural and Building work
This can be a large part of the cost. You will most likely need a structural engineer to assess whats needed with the opening you already have or the opening to be made.
Following this, building work and possible electrical and plumbing work, if you are moving an existing room. And lastly, plastering and decorating.
Why you are doing it
For an Expansive Outdoor View
Bifolds and sliders are both perfect for this. But if the view is priority, sliders are available in a larger width than bifolds, therefore the view is less interrupted by the frames. So, sliders are the winning option here.
To Bring the Outdoors In
If this is your priority and you want the whole wall to open up, the answer is bifolds. Your garden or patio area can then be integrated into the interior.
If you are lucky enough to have a really large wall to open up, you should also consider sliders as you would benefit from the uninterrupted view and being able slide enough door aside to still leave you with a big opening.
Bifold doors have an easy access traffic door, which acts as a standard door and opens independently of the others. You can configure them as you wish, with odd or even numbers depending on how large you want each door to be. A slider can open as much or as little as you’d like.
Sliders do not need space when opened as they remain on the track. When you open bifolds all the way, they fold into a concertina stack which imposes on your interior or exterior space.
With both sliders and bifolds you have a track but bifolds give you the option of a flush track. This is ideal for a seamless transition, for wheel chair access and for not tripping over!
It is not ideal for British weather. A complete weather seal is not guaranteed, therefore I wouldn’t recommend it in this country.
Another option to consider, depending on the wall size and if your budget is tighter is to have two sets of french doors. French doors are a maximum of nearly 2m wide, therefore two sets would give you two good sized framed outdoor views.
The cost evens itself out for bifolds and sliders. Large glass panels are expensive so this is a consideration with sliders if you have opted for maximum width.
An aluminium profile is very popular in it's modern style, comes in different finishes and slim line frames. It is also very durable. Wood is your other option, which looks beautiful, is a more traditional style but would need treating and maintaining. Wood also distorts in different weather conditions and isn’t as hard wearing as aluminium. It would be the more expensive option.
A consideration with all options is which direction your garden faces and the amount of sunlight it gets.
• A double or triple glazed unit is essential.
• You may opt for solar control glass to limit the amount of sunlight and heat, this has a tinted coating on the outside.
• Smart glass is an option if your budget allows, this is controlled electronically and enables privacy and transparency as and when you need it.
Dressing the Doors
• How much you are overlooked and how much privacy you would like
• The amount of light, heat and insulation required. Heavy curtains will insulate but don’t give a minimalistic, light feel, where as sheers would do just that.
Integrated blinds give a modern style to your doors and are offered by some independent companies at a more reasonable price. You may want to pair the blinds with curtains for extra insulation.
If you decide not to go for integrated blinds, you can get roller or venetian blinds fitted.
As you can see there are a few options and considerations when it comes to this part of your renovation. Think it through and get advice before rushing into it.
I hope this helps : )