4 Lite Exterior Door – The huge increase in demand for folding sliding doors within the last two or three years has caused a rapid gain in the option of door systems available for your consumer. Also referred to as bi fold doors, bi folding doors, multi fold doors and concertina doors they are best called folding sliding doors due to the opening activity itself. This type of door can provide unobstructed openings of around 6 metres and sometime more as the panels only fold, slide and stack neatly to one side or both sides of the aperture.
Folding sliding doors are an perfect replacement for existing French or sliding patio doors in which they can literally transform the existing opening and open the room to the exterior. This type of bi folding door is now becoming the most wanted door style for new construct and home extensions whilst also proving a popular upgrade option for homeowners adding a conservatory for their property on account of their capacity to combine the brand new conservatory with all the backyard effectively bringing the outside inside.
Although the original idea of a folding sliding door dates back over 100 years in which they were often employed for shutting off small storage areas now’s folding sliding doors are designed to be high performance energy efficient patio doors utilizing the latest advanced insulation attributes in the door and glazing building.
Folding sliding doors not just allow wider unobstructed apertures but also the increased glass area permits enormous flows of natural light to enter the home from the exterior which throughout the colder months will provide efficient use of solar gain to minimise heating expenses. Doors are available in a choice of materials such as wood, aluminium and PVC-u along with a choice of colours and finishes which will enhance any home.
You can choose from many of engineered wood folding sliding doors such as softwood or hardwoods such as Meranti and European Oak. Timber is normally engineered or laminated to make sure it’s structurally resistant to warping or twisting and doors are normally available with either a factory applied translucent blot or RAL color paint finish.
As wood is a natural insulator wood folding sliding doors offer you the most energy efficient solution when combined with high performance double glazing supplying U worth as low as 1.4.
Timber folding doors typically provide slim sight lines as the individual door panels are normally hinged off each other with no use of further mullions between each panel and therefore maximising visible glass areas.
Timber is a natural sustainable material that is extremely energy efficient but will need routine maintenance within the life period of the door to maintain their stain or paint finish.
Aluminium folding sliding doors are normally made from durable, strong thermally broken aluminum profiles which have specifically been designed for the purpose.
Most systems use bottom rolling equipment so all the weight is carried at the base with manual rollers at the very top and panels are usually connected to slipping and floating mullions which help to ensure the door operates smoothly and easily.
Aluminum is a popular option for this kind of folding door as it’s virtually maintenance free, hard wearing and great looking. Aluminum folding sliding doors are available in over 200 distinct RAL paint finishes which can normally be given in your choice of matt, gloss or silk finish. It is also possible to define double colours with another colour internally and externally.
Also referred to as vinyl or PVC-u folding sliding doors this kind of door is relatively fresh in the market place when compared to aluminum or wood. Owing to its relative low cost uPVC door producers have rapidly adapted their existing entrance door profiles to make bi folding doors in reaction to an increasingly expanding market that demanded a cheaper folding door system. UPVC folding sliding doors can be substantially less costly than their aluminum or wood counterparts but there is often a trade-off in design elements that can sometimes undermine the quality of the product.
Adapting bulky broad uPVC steel reinforced profiles which were initially designed for traditional hinged exterior doors meant glass sight lines were substantially reduced and the doors used ugly face repaired hinges and exposed gearing which also sometimes posed a security hazard.
However, some manufacturers have begun to introduce the next generation of uPVC folding doors with thinner profiles and hidden gearing which compare favourably with those of wood and aluminum. Heavy steel profile reinforcement is beginning to be replaced with lighter yet stronger recycled composite material that is also more energy efficient.