Bifolds or large-pane sliding doors?
We first fitted bi-folding doors in sunrooms well over ten years ago. Back then our preferred system was made in Germany and on a twelve-week lead time, which clearly had a big impact on build schedules. Nevertheless, clients were prepared to wait and they were rewarded with an extension that had a real “wow-factor” and at the time was cutting edge.
Nowadays there are numerous fabricators around the UK who can turn good quality doors around in about a week. In many situations bifolds are still the best solution, but in recent years we have seen a trend towards large pane sliding doors, with minimal frames and recessed tracks. Sliding glass panels around two metres wide and two and a half metres high are not uncommon, and much larger units are possible. These products require specialist lifting equipment, training and expertise to install, all of which we have.
Bi-folding doors provide a wider aperture when all the doors are open and with certain configurations, they feature a single door that can be used for regular traffic. Being divided in a more sections, the additional framing can enhance the aesthetics when viewed from the outside.
Large-pane sliding doors allow between 50% and 75% of the space to be fully open depending on the configuration, but they provide a clearer and more dramatic outlook. In the UK it’s relatively rare for the weather conditions to warrant having bifolds fully open, but clients can enjoy the view afforded by of having large-pane sliding doors 365 days a year.
The above photo shows threw-part sliding doors where two panels can slide in front of the third
The orangery in the photo below benefits from an amazing view, it would have been a shame to obstruct this with extra framework.