Imagine letting more light into your home, taking your kitchen or conservatory and opening it up… Natural daylight has the power to transform a room, making it feel brighter and more spacious, not to mention the views that you will now be able to access from inside. If you’re wanting more light and an easy, stylish way to enjoy your outside area; your two main options are patio doors and bifold doors.
If you’ve decided that you want to open up your home to the outside, but you’re struggling to decide whether to invest in sliding patio doors or bifold doors, there are four main things that you need to consider. Let’s have a quick look at the main factors that will influence your decision.
Which option looks better to you?
Often the choice comes down to personal preference. There tends to be a split between those that love the aesthetic of big, uninterrupted sliding patio doors, while others appreciate that their bifold doors can be opened offering an expansive uninterrupted space to enjoy. So, in many cases, it will come down to which you prefer and the effect that you want to achieve.
Bifold doors are often a good choice for homes where you want to combine your inside and outside space. This works well if you entertain regularly and want to make the most effective use of your indoor and outdoor areas.
Patio doors work well for large spaces and create a beautiful ‘picture window’, because the panels are much larger, offering unimpeded access to your views.
Do they work differently?
Yes, they’re completely different. Patio doors are usually used for large glass installations where one panel slides behind the other when opened. In bigger spaces, this works well, but if you have a small opening, the size of the opening will be quite restricted.
Bifold doors are work differently. Made up of a number of panels, they concertina to the side, allowing you to completely open up the room, thereby creating a much bigger space. When closed, you still have access to your outside views, although the panels do impact the view slightly more than sliding patio doors.
Is security different for patio and bifold doors?
Both sliding doors and bifold doors offer excellent security. A focus on strength, reinforced glass and strong locking mechanisms mean that both offer a fully secure solution with multiple locking points. Both patio doors and bifold doors have benefitted from huge advances in security technology in the last ten years and are often more secure than other doors and windows in your home.
How much maintenance do they need?
Aluminium patio and bifold doors need very little maintenance as the paint won’t fade or peel, and even over time, the doors won’t corrode. The best way to look after the doors is with a simple wipe every now and then so, in essence, both offer the same low maintenance proposition. Both also offer thermal break technology that means there won’t be a build-up of condensation that needs to be managed either. uPVC while being a cheaper alternative do suffer repeated service calls due to expansion and contraction. uPVC has a much larger expansion rate than aluminium which make the aluminium more reliable.
Patio doors and bifold doors are similar in terms of security and maintenance. Where they differ is the way in which they work, and the amount of space that they open up. If you have a room where you want to have a large picture window and have enough space for a wide door opening, patio doors may be the better choice. But if you’re looking to join your inside and outside areas with a big opening, especially if you often entertain, bifold doors may be the better solution.