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corner bifold door extension for London home

Bifolding Doors Advice Part 1: When Bifolds are best

10 January 2023
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Bifold doors have always been popular with our customers – space, budget and lifestyle mean bifolds are often the best solution for many projects.

  1. Why choose bifold doors
  2. Bifold doors: to fold outwards or inwards?
  3. Corner bifold doors
  4. Which bifold door is best for my project?

Why choose bifold doors

When opting for either bifolds or sliding doors for your extension or remodelling, the width of the opening to the outside space will be a deciding factor. In many cases bifolds are a more practical choice.

Bifold doors work very well for smaller openings, as the design allows the whole set of panes doors to be fully opened in a concertina motion.

Kitchens with openings on to a patio typically suit bifold systems. Your glass doors can be completely folded back, creating an indoor-outdoor space for summer living.

Bifolding doors for kitchen extension
When you want a complete uninterrupted opening to the outside – bifolds deliver!

Thanks to their high-performance specifications, aluminium folding door systems have excellent stability, security, and superb thermal insulation. They are fitted with robust hinges and can be fully locked in whatever partly-opened position you require.

It’s worth noting a bifold system runs on a single track whereas sliding doors will always have at least two tracks and some homeowners prefer this less visual threshold detail.

Inside out view of external bifold doors installed in Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire
Bifolds run on a single discreet track for seamless indoor/outdoor space

However, bifold door designs have narrower glass panels than those of sliding doors, so you’ll need to be aware you’ll see more frame when the system is closed.

Managing Director of ODC Door & Glass Systems Tim Hedges explains:

“As a rule, we find that where the opening to the outside space is not particularly large, our customers tend to choose bifold, or folding doors, as this means that they benefit from being able to have the whole space open to the garden.

Where the opening is larger, our customers opt for sliding doors as, for them, it matters less than one-third, or perhaps even half the space, will still be a glass panel.

In terms of visuals, both options look great but sliding doors do have a much less visible profile when closed, which does give more of a ‘wow factor’.”

bifold doors for London extension
Bifolds work well in compact spaces and terraced homes

Bifold doors: to fold outwards or inwards?

bifold doors open onto patio
Bifold doors open outwards onto patio space and neatly fold away against an external boundary wall

Bifold doors concertina open – and you can choose whether they fold outwards into your garden or inwards into the room. It’s the sort of practical detail our technical team and surveyors can help you decide as they will be able to calculate the width of a folded system and its impact on your living space. Find out more about the process of how to get your ideal bifold doors with ODC

Corner bifold doors

Bifolding Aluminium doors with rooflights and bespoke windows for bungalow extension
Bifolds maximise your available opening and can be combined with a traffic door and sliding doors for a great corner solution

Which bifold door is best for my project?

ODC bifolding doors are available in five options. There are three unique slimline aluminium systems: the ODC121 is the largest system for extra-wide openings, the ODC99A has the slimmest frames and the ODC99AH has the tallest panels.  In addition we offer both a timber and a composite system (bifolds which are aluminium outside and timber inside).

Find out more about our extensive range of bifolding doors here.

Bifold kitchen doors
Read more about this award-winning kitchen extension featuring ODC bifold doors

Aluminium bifold doors

Aluminium has exceptional strength, durability and performance values and creates highly efficient bifold door systems with the ability to take heavier loads.

Its versatility as a material makes it ideal for ODC’s bespoke designs with variable opening options, non-standard panel sizes which include easy access traffic doors.

We also offer ‘off the shelf’ aluminium bifold doors with a shorter lead time and no compromise on quality.

Read our 2 minute blog on why choose aluminium as a material for your home’s doors and windows.

Composite bifold doors

Composite bifold doors have a warm timber interior finish and an exterior clad in weather-beating aluminium. They are a popular choice for anyone wishing to enjoy the look of timber bifolds with slim natural wood profiles to complement interior decor but also want powder-coated low maintenance aluminium finish to the outside. Composite bifolds have exceptional thermal performance, come with stainless steel tracking and can be designed with flush thresholds.

Timber bifold doors

Timber bifold doors are very beautiful – they have all the distinctive character and beauty of wood and blend harmoniously with a home’s natural surroundings. Timber bifolds are elegant, and classic in looks, but have a high performance thermal core and a robust aluminium sub-frame. They open effortlessly and their slimline frames ensure optimum views when closed.


To find out more about ODC Bifold doors please get in touch – our technical sales team will be really happy to have an informal chat about your project in more detail, or better still, find out all about our products at our showrooms in Poole or London.