Bifolding Doors: advice from the experts – Part 2: Bifold doors FAQs
The ODC team answers bifold FAQs
- Can bifold doors have more than two sections?
- Are aluminium bifold doors my best option?
- How many panels can I have in my folding doors?
- Does the whole door have to open when i want to go into the garden?
- Can my bifold doors be fitted on the same level as my patio?
- Can bifold doors be made to any size?
- Can the doors open outwards into the garden or do they have to open into the room?
- How heavy are bifold doors to open and close?
- How much space do bifold doors take up when opened?
- How energy efficient are bifold doors?
- Are bifold doors suitable for exposed locations?
- Do bifold doors last well?
CAN BIFOLD DOORS HAVE MORE THAN TWO SECTIONS?
Yes, our technical team will be able to tell you the optimum number of panels for your space, according the to the door style you prefer.
ARE ALUMINIUM BIFOLD DOORS MY BEST OPTION?
ODC manufactures robust bifold or folding doors from aluminium which can be finished in any RAL colour and with frame styles to suit many house types. Aluminium provides a contemporary low maintenance solution with generally narrower sight lines than timber. Our slimline ODC99A system is very popular narrow sightline design.
However if you want a beautiful interior timber finish, we have a dual frame option which offers a high quality timber interior with aluminium on the external side of each panel. Timber bifold doors are also an option. All the timbers we use are from renewable sources or certified woods from sustainable forests. Using an eco-friendly water-based lacquer, they come in a wide range of classic and contemporary shades.
HOW MANY PANELS CAN I HAVE IN MY FOLDING DOORS?
In practice, any more than six or seven panels opening in any one direction becomes difficult to operate, although more are possible. Each system has different maximum widths and weights per panel and we can advise on your best option. If your opening is more than four to five metres wide, a sliding system may be a better alternative.
DOES THE WHOLE DOOR HAVE TO OPEN WHEN I WANT TO GO INTO THE GARDEN?
You can select a system with a single traffic door such as our ODC121 folding doors. This allows you to slip quickly and easily out into the garden while leaving the other doors locked in place.
CAN MY BIFOLD DOORS BE FITTED ON THE SAME LEVEL AS MY PATIO?
This will depend to some extent on floor and ground levels, but in theory it should be possible. We offer up to four threshold solutions for each folding door system and will advise on which is best for your situation. See below for more about weatherproof thresholds.
CAN BIFOLD DOORS BE MADE TO ANY SIZE?
Bespoke folding and bifold doors and windows are made to measure to fit your space precisely. However there are maximum heights, widths and weights with any system. Check out our Bifold Door Comparison Chart for different system specifications.
CAN THE DOORS OPEN OUTWARDS INTO THE GARDEN OR DO THEY HAVE TO OPEN INTO THE ROOM?
That’s down to your personal preference or the space you have available inside and outside. We can specify either and will discuss the best option with you.
HOW HEAVY ARE BIFOLD DOORS TO OPEN AND CLOSE?
Patio doors should be easy to operate and not feel heavy or stiff to open. ODC systems are designed so that they can be opened with just one hand. You can see a demonstration of both sliding and folding doors on our video page.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO BIFOLD DOORS TAKE UP WHEN OPENED?
This will depend on the size and number of the panels. For example, a five-panel opening across a span of five metres will open to a folded width of around 350mm.
HOW ENERGY EFFICIENT ARE BIFOLD DOORS?
Thermal efficiency is determined by the heat loss through the frame and the glass. Opt for folding frames and glass with low U values such as those from ODC to keep the heat in, but remember that you may also want to reduce the effect of the sun heating up a south-facing room in the summer. Our advisors will be able to inform you of the best glass type for your home’s aspect.
ARE BIFOLD DOORS SUITABLE FOR EXPOSED LOCATIONS?
Each threshold option is a trade-off between weather performance and ease of passage. The high-performance option offers the best air, wind and water performance but has the highest threshold step. Our Double Weather Seal combines good weather resistance with a lower threshold. Further choices include: low threshold which can be set into the floor to meet building regulations; flat bottom which allows easy passage with no step at all (at the expense of weather-proofing).
DO BIFOLD DOORS LAST WELL?
All our doors have 10-year warranties – however their typical life is much longer. Aluminium frames require minimum maintenance – just a wipe over with a damp cloth. Depending on the type of wood used for timber doors, their location and the direction they face, the finish may weather and need maintenance to keep the frames in optimum condition.