Bifolding Doors: advice from the experts – Part 3: Bifold door design
Bifold design – how to get the bifold door design details right for your project
If you’ve decided that bifolds are best for your project (see our previous blog Bifolding Doors: advice from the experts – Part 1 When are bi-fold doors best?), then your next steps are to decide some key design details: material, colour, number and size of panels and how they open (its configuration). It’s also important you consider the need for solar control, privacy and any additional security – it’s cost-effective to get the design absolutely spot on at this stage.
With five different products available, ODC Glass offers you and your architect exceptional choice. Discussing your project’s plans and images with an architectural glazing technician will really help with this process. With years of experience of similar projects and in-depth product knowledge, they’ll advise on a bespoke design that suits your home, and that works perfectly for the specific room and the way you intend to use it.
A follow-up site survey will determine the exact specifications and establishes parameters for contractors preparing glazing openings.
Choosing a material for your bifolding doors
Aluminium, timber or composite – bifold construction means you have choices for looks, performance and budget. Location and prevailing weather can make a difference to your choice of materials for your bifold system. Aluminium systems have the most rigorous weather resistance and the core strength to support large panes and openings.
Timber/aluminium composite doors are a very attractive design option to achieve a warmer, more organic finish for an interior. This is important – bifolds show more frame and the choice of colour and material is important.
Colours for bifold doors
You can specify any colour for your bespoke bifold doors, including a dual colour finish for a different look inside and out.
Anthracite is the most popular colour finish – it’s neutral and contemporary, complementing interior decor and the most common exterior finishes – everything from timber cladding, London brick to white masonry.
Bifold doors finished in white maintain the seamless cool white open plan interior of this city ground floor flat:
Panel sizes for bifold doors
The latest technology for bifold doors is impressive – large format doors with individual panels in sizes up to 3.5metres high create spectacular glazing. They can be full height, floor to ceiling, spanning the width of your home.
Bifolds as part of a complete glazing plan
Bifold doors can be a stand-alone installation, but it’s often the case that homeowners decide upon a complete glazing look for their renovation. Bifold systems that harmonise with glass roof sections, glazed doors, balustrading and fixed windows deliver symmetry and aesthetic to your home. It’s important to choose a system that has this design capacity.
Bifold DOOR configuration
How many panels, how will they fold away and in which direction? You need to talk it through with a technician to get it absolutely right. Take a closer look at this bifold project – it’s a glass structure incorporating a glass roof, a five-panel set of bifold doors and rooflights to form a bright and inviting open plan space. While many systems are configured to fold away in one direction, you can specify for a split opening like this five panel example, which opens from the middle and folds outwards to each side. It’s a bespoke design which avoids a wide stack of folded doors projecting out onto to this small courtyard garden – it’s a great solution.
Threshold choices for bifolding doors
Threshold selection is an important aspect of bifold design to discuss with your site surveyor. ODC121 aluminium bifolding doors are available with two different threshold designs: the Double Weather Seal Rebated and Low Threshold. Each threshold option gives a trade-off between weather performance and ease of passage.
The Rebated threshold is colour-matched to the rest of the system and offers the best air, wind and water performance, but it has a higher threshold step. The Low Threshold option can be set into the floor to meet the requirements of Building Regulations, but this is at the expense of weather-proofing. Low/flush bottom or threshold rails are available to suit your site conditions. These can either be ramped internally or set flush with your finished floor levels. Rails are supplied as standard in a robust silver anodised finish to avoid scratching and chipping.
Bifold doors and blinds
Large glazed openings, especially for urban homes, may require visual privacy – blinds are a practical solution, and avoid the logistics of attempting to combine bulky floor length curtains with a folding system. You can order bifolds with integral Venetian blinds – they’re sealed within the double glazing cavity, and let you manage your privacy and light levels very effectively. Pleated blinds for bifolds offer a less formal, softer look and vertical blinds sitting outside the system are another alternative. It’s always a good idea to check these options out when in the showroom – just to get a feel for their visual impact and ease of use.
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.