5 things to consider when buying new sliding or bi-folding doors

Some home improvement trends and fashions are flashes are short-lived, others stand the test of time. A popular home improvement trend that shows no sign of disappearing is the creation of lighter, brighter spaces that better integrate our gardens into our home interiors. Wider expanses of glass are used to achieve this, for example through the installation of sliding doors and bi-fold doors. And the good news is, this home improvement is a worthwhile investment. In an article by popular lifestyle magazine Ideal Home, it is suggested that adding sliding doors to your house can add between 5-10% onto the value of your property. But what do you need to consider before committing to any new doors?

Consider this when choosing your new sliding or bi-fold doors

With any home improvement project you undertake, you want to make sure it is going to be worth the investment in time, effort, and money. You want to be sure that you’re going to love the result for many years to come. To that end, here are some of our top considerations when choosing a new sliding or bi-fold door.

1. Which material should I choose?

Sliding and bi-fold doors are available in aluminium, timber, and PVC-U. Each material has its merits, and, in the end, the choice probably comes down to personal preference and budget. Aluminium is a good choice for strength and durability and offers slim frames which means more space for more glass in your doors and better views of your outside space. PVC-U doors are also popular because they offer a cheaper alternative, but PVC-U frames tend to be thicker than aluminium, so again personal preference on design will come into play. And finally, timber doors may be the preferred option for more traditional or classic properties, or for example if the building already has timber windows but be sure to understand the maintenance requirements before you make your purchase.

2. What style of door is best for my property?

When it comes to choosing a style of door, it’s useful to think about the type of property you have and how you would like to use the space. Is your house very modern or very traditional, or somewhere between the two? Are you looking for something to frame the view outside, or would you like doors that, when opened, give you a more connected space between home and garden? Or perhaps functionality and ease of use are most important.

Depending on what matters to you, you can choose doors based on their symmetry or threshold. With sliding doors, you can choose which panes slide and which remain fixed and with bi-fold doors you can choose whether all the leaves stack to one side or the other, or to both sides.  

To give a real example of the array of options available, Reynaers Aluminium alone offers a range of 6 different styles of sliding door as follows.

The CP 130 aluminium sliding doors have slim frames in the middle section of the doors to maximise the glass area, and are available with standard sliding, or lift and slide options. With great aesthetics, weatherability, enhanced security, a sought-after open corner option, and the choice of a low threshold, it’s a good option for most residential projects. MasterPatio meanwhile is a sliding patio door with high insulation and a high-performance lift-slide system. This door also comes with the option of an open corner and a fly screen. A great choice for homeowners looking for sustainable home improvements, these doors are made from recycled materials. You can read about the Reynaers Act outlining our commitment to sustainability here.

The HiFinity sliding door delivers the ultimate in contemporary aesthetics with an ultra slim frame that allows for completely unobstructed views. These doors offer the opportunity to achieve wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass. The SlimPatio 68 offers another slim profile option, but its concealed frames help to achieve a more seamless integration into the surrounding walls and floor. These doors are a good option to provide a symmetrical, contemporary look in a modern home.

reynaers at home hifinity pas 24 door

ConceptPatio 68 can accommodate large openings with huge panes of glass offering uninterrupted views and is a great solution for home renovation projects. ConceptPatio 155 meanwhile can accommodate very large sizes while achieving premium insulation and comes with a low threshold option for perfect continuity between outdoor and indoor spaces. This is a great solution for low energy buildings and properties exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Most suppliers will offer more than one style of sliding door, to suit different thresholds, energy efficiency needs, weathertightness, frame width, and door size, so it’s useful to consider your needs before you contact a local installation company.   

3. What colour should I choose?

The darker grey palette remains the most popular for sliding and bi-folding doors because it is timeless, but also because darker colours stand out against the glass more and make more of a feature of the doors inside and out. However, you should also consider the colour of the bricks or stone on your property, the colour of existing windows and doors, and what the surrounding environment is like. If you live in the countryside for example, you may want more muted colours to blend in. It’s also worth mentioning that you can choose one colour for inside the home and another for outside if you have different requirements for both

4. What are the size options available for sliding and bi-fold doors?

Sliding and bi-folding doors can cater to a complete range of openings. Standard openings are generally 6 ft wide and 6.8ft tall but larger openings can also be catered for. Sliding and bi-folding doors almost have no limits in terms of their width, but of course the larger the door, the heavier it will be, which will impact on the wheels and sliding mechanisms that are responsible for moving the doors. The best thing to do when it comes to sizing is to ask your local installer to come out and measure up and then they will be able to explain what options are available for the space you have.

CF 77
CF 77

5. Which door is best for weather tightness?

All modern sliding and bi-fold doors are made to be weather tight, but it might be worth considering different threshold options if you know there is a risk of water gathering by your new doors. A flush threshold offers the smoothest appearance between inside and outside the home, but they are not the best at keeping out the wind and the rain in particularly exposed areas. A raised threshold provides the best weather ratings for these circumstances. 

So…are aluminium sliding and bi-fold doors a good investment?

In short, yes. Sliding and bi-folding doors offer a good investment because they are proving to be a timeless trend from an interior design and functionality perspective. The demand for lighter, brighter spaces is showing no signs of slowing down and sleek materials like aluminium offer thermal performance, security, style, and all the colour options you could ever wish for. Reynaers Aluminium for example, offers over 450 colour options and finish types that include matt or gloss, metallic or anodised, wood look, or even low maintenance and scratch resistant, to meet all possible interior and exterior requirements. So, sliding and bi-folding doors remain great home improvements that when chosen and installed with careful consideration, are also likely to add value to your property.

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