How To Choose The Right External Bifold Doors
External bifold doors are definitely more difficult to install than their interior counterparts, but they will also have a significantly greater transformative effect on your home. Used correctly, a set of exterior bi folding doors will not only make the most of your outdoor and indoor spaces, but will create an attractive gateway between the interior and exterior of your home, bring more natural light into your home, and provide a greater level of security.
Here, we will help you figure out which are the best exterior bi fold doors for your situation, and why you should be using them over more conventional options.
Bi fold doors to the Garden
More often than not, at least in modern homes, the garden will be accessed either through the kitchen at the back of the house, or a conservatory. If your kitchen leads right out into your garden or backyard installing a set of bifold doors leading to your garden or patio can really increase your home's desirability.
Most importantly, in fact, it could actually add a significant amount of value to your home, and is a surprisingly affordable installation, whether you decide to do it yourself or hire extra help. That being said, if you are looking to install your own external bifold doors, you should at least possess a good level of DIY expertise.
Installing bi-fold fold doors to your garden will open up the room, provide a better view and easier access to your garden, bring more light into your kitchen, and in turn, the rest of your home, and will open up a multitude of possibilities for how your kitchen and garden spaces could be used.
The lighter, more welcoming environment they create, and the seamless progression they create from the inside to the outside is what hooks in most people, especially if you decide to continue using features from your interior (for example a wood or tiled floor) on your exterior.
This will extend the useable living area immensely, creating a glorious, expansive space that will be perfect for everything from BBQs to cocktail parties! If you're worried about bifold door security, most external bi fold doors are built with multiple point locks, meaning they are actually more secure than french or other patio doors, which tend to only lock in one place.
Another concern could be that bi fold glass doors could leave your kitchen area feeling a little exposed to outside elements (and peeping toms). This worry could be alleviated, however, by installing your bifold doors with built in blinds. Remember also, that there are many configurations available from most manufacturers, so you could, for example, choose some bi fold doors with frosted glass panels, or different patterns. The options are all there!
Bifold doors for the garage
Whilst the garage was always traditionally a space to keep the cars and possibly a few tools, these days, more of us than ever before are using our garages as extra living spaces. As such, the idea of the traditional garage door has become kind of irrelevant. They are bulky, loud, ugly and prone to malfunctioning.
Plus, when they are fully open, they take up half the space of the garage itself! So, whether your garage is a hobby room, a 'man cave' or a glorified storage space, installing a bifold door will make your garage feel less like a garage, and more like a second residential entrance into your home.
Please note, however, that not all buildings will be able to properly support an external bifold garage door, as, by their very nature, they will put added support on your structure. So be sure to check your building plans before you pull the trigger!
There are two very different types of bifold doors generally found on a garage. The first folds to the sides of the opening, and operate very much in the same way as interior bifold doors. The second type, however, folds upwards, usually on the outside, and are popular in wider openings. This second type is generally far more expensive to install, but looks pretty damn unique!
Both types have the same primary benefit, in that they don't reduce the useable height inside your garage, which is certainly not the case with traditional garage doors, which take up LOTS of internal space.
If you opt for the second type, meanwhile, they will provide more shelter and shade when they are up, and, if they are tall enough, you could even install a little door in the bottom so you could enter without having to open the whole thing. As with traditional garage doors, both types of external garage bifold doors can also be fitted with automatic opening mechanisms, so you can open them with the click of a button!
Bifold doors to the conservatory
If your kitchen doesn't lead straight out into your garden, then chances are you have a conservatory installed as a sort of buffer between the indoors and the outdoors. Whilst it could be argued that a conservatory is already part of a considered effort to “bring the outdoors in,” having bifold doors leading into your conservatory, or from your conservatory into your garden, could even further increase that feeling.
This is especially true with conservatories with frosted windows, as they can feel a little 'closed off' sometimes. In this case, by adding bifold doors between your conservatory, your kitchen and your garden or patio, you'll be effectively bridging the gap between the interior and exterior of your home!
Bifold conservatory doors are more practical compared to French doors, as they offer a more practical solution where space is an issue, which is often the case with smaller conservatories. Due to their wide openings, people can also come and go without interference. The large glass surface area of the doors also means you are not compromising on light and there is no disadvantage whatsoever to your security or thermal insulation!
They are also incredibly light, and very safe, which is perfect if you have small children, and like to use the conservatory as a makeshift creche from time-to-time. Finally, there's that 'wow factor' to consider, because bifold doors and conservatories are really on trend right now, so combining them together is surely something you'd be mad to not at least consider?
Other external bifold doors
There are, of course, other examples of external bifold doors to consider. You might have a summer house or a pool house, for example, in which case you'l probably want to use a bifold door setup similar to a conservatory, depending on the size of said external properties of course.
You might also have a home extension that you wish to help make feel more like a cohesive part of the home, or possibly even a shed that you want to jazz up a little?
Finally, you could consider the possibility of accessorising your bifold doors with cat flaps for the family pet, or fly screens and blinds to keep out those pesky insects in the summer, or the sun itself on days where you really don't feel in a sunny mood (we all have them).