How to check for signs of quality in folding or sliding door systems

Tips to help you choose a reputable supplier

High-quality sliding door systems

Buying folding doors, sliding door systems and windows is a considerable investment. If you’ve already done some research, you’ll know that prices vary greatly, much like styles.

So how do you make sure that your money is going to be spent wisely? Is there a way to check that your gorgeous new glazing is going to last and be fit for purpose well into the future?

Reports suggest that glazing can account for around 20% of a total build or refurbishment budget. Consequently, getting the choice right in terms of quality is as important as choosing the design you prefer.

Below are some questions to ask. This should direct you to a supplier offering glazing you can enjoy for years to come.

Can I visit the showroom and/or factory?

Physically touching and opening a folding or sliding door is a good indicator of how it will perform long term. Much like when you close a car door, you can tell by its feel whether it has high-quality components or is built to a lower price point. Even large and heavy doors should be easy to open and glide/move well once in motion.

What was the showroom experience like?

How well were you greeted and explained the products on display? Was the showroom clean, tidy and well presented? Did the sales staff listen to your requirements and ask questions? If not, extend your search further.

Ask whether all the component parts are from the same manufacturer

Fabricators in the UK will buy the elements of the door/window system from a manufacturer (also known as a system house) such as Solarlux or Reynaers, then make doors and windows to your exact size requirements.

However, many components are hidden and if non-system house parts are substituted it will almost certainly lead to an inferior finished product. The longevity of your sliding or folding door will ultimately be determined by the quality of these components.

Crucial parts often exchanged include those in the all-important running gear – nylon rollers in place of durable stainless steel, for example.

This practice of swapping parts also applies to visible elements such as locks and handles. A reputable system house will have designed and tested these to work with its doors and perform to a high standard with many years of regular use.

Examine the finish

You can visually see whether a sliding door system, window or bi-folding door has been poorly cut and put together. The mitres will be slightly out of true and the edge of the aluminium will be visible as a white line at the join. As well as being jarring to the eye, this exposed aluminium is liable to corrode as it is not protected by the powder coating.

Enquire about glass quality

Acceptable glass quality standards cover possible defects or distortions due to manufacturing, laminating or coatings.

Ask for recommendations

As with any large purchase, never part with any money before you’ve heard from others about their experience with the company. Research diligently before making a decision – a lovely website is great but it is by no means a sure sign of product quality.

Is there an in-house installation service?

Unfortunately, even a great product can be ruined with poor installation. Therefore, ODC does not offer a supply only service for this very reason preferring to employ teams of trained installers who specialise in this skilled job.

We are able to offer a 10-year guarantee because we are confident in the quality of our products and service from first enquiry to installation.

Compare like with like quotes

Quotes are often confusing – make sure that your quotes include all the items you require such as locks, handles, trickle vents, restrictors and cills. Some quotes will not include some of these items which will affect the end price. Our quotes itemise each part of the order with no unexpected extras.

If you would like to talk through your project and visit one of our showrooms in London or Poole, please contact us.