A must-have addition to any new build

Matt Higgs, sales director for Kloeber, tells us how the concept of bifolding door systems is being increasingly embraced as more housebuilders are recognising the added value and saleability they can bring to all styles of development.

Bifolding (or folding sliding) doors have become a must-have addition to any new build property; they’re both functional and beautiful. The popularity can be put down to the way people live in the modern world, as many families desire open plan living/entertaining areas opened up to the outside.

More and more developers and specifiers are choosing the option of bifolding doors as a standard because they create light and space in abundance, both highly sought after commodities. The average UK house size is relatively small at 76m2, therefore making the most of this floor space has become paramount. Opening up a set of bifolding doors at the rear of a property can instantly transform the space to integrate the garden with the house, creating the sort of space that many house buyers aspire to. This product is often perceived as extra special by the buyer and instantly creates a much more saleable property.

Some housebuilders can be put off bifolding doors because they may not be fully familiar with them. Getting to know the product and understanding it’s benefits should be made a priority as many developers have already embraced the concept.

It is becoming clear that bifolding doors are not going away as they suit the way people live, the way houses are laid out and genuinely have no negatives over any other type of door.

Security is a concern in any new build and is something that specifiers have to consider. Many bifolding door systems now achieve Secured by Design (SBD) status so this is another box ticked. SBD is not just a security initiative; it’s also a sign of quality and is awarded through not only extensive break-in testing but quality auditing and operational testing. A bifolding door system with SBD accreditation can be procured with confidence.

So what are the options for bifolding doors? The main materials used are timber and aluminium. Both have their pros and cons and a reputable company will explain the differences between them.

Timber is a very good natural insulator and it’s also strong and secure. Most timber bifolding doors are hung from top hung, which means the hinges are attached to carrier rollers, which slot into the top of the frame and take the weight of the doors. This type of system needs to be fixed in to a load-bearing lintel. A top hung system is more suitable for a heavier door and ensures a smooth and trouble free operation.

Aluminium bifolding doors usually have thinner frame sections, which creates a more contemporary feel. Aluminium also requires very little maintenance. Most aluminium systems are bottom rolling, which means the weight is on steel or nylon rollers on a track at the bottom of the frame. Aluminium profiles are hollow and therefore light which makes the bottom rolling mechanism more suitable. Aluminium isn’t as good an insulator as timber, but to combat this glass can be specified that will give the overall product U value required by building regulations (currently 2 W/m2K) for doors on a new build.

Obviously budget is very important with every project, but more often than not you really do get what you pay for. You should expect to pay at least £1,000 per linear metre of overall frame width for a good quality, well-engineered system from an experienced and reputable company.

For added confidence, buying through larger builder’s merchants is often a safe route as they have already done their homework on the best products and companies on the market.

Saleability of a property is increased so much by investing in quality bifolding doors that the commercial viability is clear. Buying in a cheaper system that isn’t very well engineered or fully adjustable can lead to problems later on with operation and frame movement; this can therefore be a false economy.

In summary, bifolding doors are a truly amazing and versatile product that should be a con-sideration on any build regardless of the style or budget. They allow families to make the very most of their home and can genuinely help sell an aspirational lifestyle.