Choosing a Bi Fold Door System

Bifold doors are a hugely popular choice for home and commercial renovations alike, allowing property owners to open up their interior spaces to the light. With their sophisticated, slim profile doors, they take up little space while open or closed while ensuring high thermal values and effective weatherproofing. But there’s a wide variety of different door types available, so let’s look at some of the choices that will go into your next installation.

Panel choices

With a bespoke bifold door installation service, you can choose to incorporate as many panels as you need in the creation of bifold doors as long or as short as you want them to be. The width of the panels is adjustable, with a max width of 1800mm and a minimum of two panels per door. As well as how many panels you use, a bespoke design lets you choose how they open as well. For a four-panel door, for instance, you can choose to have all four panels open from the left or from the right, or you can choose to have three panels open to the left, with one panel left closed over at all times. The DeWall door systems have every configuration available up to seven-panel doors that open from the left, right, or somewhere in between panels.

Common configurations

As mentioned, bespoke bifold door design allows for almost any configuration using as many or as few panels as you need. But there are a few more common configurations you can look to for reference. Concertina doors are the smallest bifold doors available, made of a single bifold, or two panels, often used for built-in wardrobes, room dividers, or en-suite bathrooms. Larger bifold doors are more versatile, suited for indoor or exterior use, with all doors running on a single track to help them neatly fold up without wobbling out of line. Many choose to create bifold doors with an access door, too. This access door is a single panel to the left or right of the folding doors, that allows you to easily move between rooms or to the outside without having to open up the whole multi-panel system.

Choosing materials

There are a variety of materials on the market that can make up the frame of the door, with the panes almost always made of double-glazed glass. There is a vast range of softwood and hardwood timbers, including engineered timbers, for instance. While these do provide a uniquely natural aesthetic, they do bring structural concerns such as wood warping due to over-exposure to heat and moisture. uPVC is much cheaper and lower maintenance, while aluminium doors have grown significantly more popular due to their slimmer sightlines and the lack of any need for re-finishing once they’re installed. They have a broad range of visual customisation available thanks to a variety of colours and special finishes, too. Moreover, aluminium is more structurally solid, meaning larger panels can be constructed and a wider door can be made using fewer panels.

Top-hung and bottom-rolling

This is the part of the door that dictates how it actually operates and where the weight of the hardware is supported. The two main options are self-explanatory, with top-hung doors supported by a strong lintel or beam from above and bottom-rolling doors running on flat tracks. Each variety has its own strengths and weaknesses. Installing the extra support for a top-hung door can require more work and investment, whereas bottom-rolling doors require a little more maintenance as dirt and leaves can get trapped in the track.

Other factors, such as different handles, locks, energy efficiency, cost, and weatherproofing features might play into your choices.