What to look for when buying bifold doors

When it comes to buying bifold doors, most of the folding sliding door products on the market promise the essentials – security, good weather performance and fully opening up on warmer days to your patio or garden. In this guide to buying bifold doors, we explain some of the essentials but also help you with other aspects around folding sliding doors, helping you make a better buying decision, and getting a more superior product for your new extension or property renovation project.

advice buying bifold doors for a new extension

The advantages of higher quality bifolding doors explained

Any bifolding door provides a visually appealing patio door in your new extension or as a replacement for your dated patio doors. You’ll get a brighter room with excellent views out to your garden.

Open up your doors in the spring or summer and you’ll enjoy a seamless link from inside to out – an extension of your kitchen or living area. Even better with a bifold is their flexible configuration with your panels sliding in one or two directions.

A well-designed bifold can also come with a lower or flush threshold connecting your inner floors to your outside decking or slabs, but with full weather and water protection.

Configure your new bifolding doors correctly and you can also enjoy similar functionality to regular doors making quick garden access or ventilation easy, without having to fold the panels back every time.

The only disadvantage to bifolding doors is understanding the sheer choice when all materials and many brands seem to offer the same benefits. So let’s start giving you the tools you need to buy better doors without breaking the bank.

Why aluminium is best when buying bifold doors

Aluminium is by far the best material when buying bifolding doors. You’ll get similar security, weather protection and function with aluminium, PVCu or timber. However, compared with PVCu and timber doors, aluminium is always slimmer and provides larger glass sizes. The larger glass sizes matter a lot in your choice of bifolding door.

The larger glass sizes from slimmer bifolding doors give you more light, better views and a more pleasing outlook, especially when the doors are closed. And remember, our bifolding doors are closed most of the year.

Another reason why aluminium is best when buying bifolding doors is larger bifold panel sizes. Most PVCu doors typically go up to around 900mm per panel. Aluminium bifolds go up to 1200mm wide with most brands and even up to 1500mm wide with a Schuco-branded folding sliding door. The same applies to bifolding door heights with aluminium exceeding other materials in how high your doors go up to.

Why does this matter? Aluminium bifolding doors give you fewer panels than other materials across the same size opening. Fewer panels again mean larger glass sizes, fewer visible mullions and altogether better bifolding doors in situ.

Colour is yet another reason why aluminium is better when buying bifold doors. There’s no other material offering not just a choice of shades but also different textures. Aluminium bifolds give you over 200 different colours. Better than PVCu or timber bifolds are colours with texture. Or you can choose an authentic woodgrain finish if your property needs it without the maintenance of wood doors. When you want ultra-modern, metallic colours deliver an altogether different look and feel to your new folding sliding doors.

buying bifold doors with a picture of slimmest bifolds

Why sightlines matter on bifolding doors

The less visual bulk in your doors, the better they look. So look for bifolding doors with slimmer sightlines when all the panels are closed. Many bifolding doors on the market offer mullion sightlines of around 135mm to 154mm or more. The good news is there are slimmer models on the market.

What’s the benefit of slimmer bifolds? Apart from more pleasing lines, it’s another reason for getting larger glass panels and a more spacious feel in your room.

The Origin slimline bifold has sightlines of only 110mm, making it one of the thinnest premium quality bifolds on the market. Even better with this door is getting matching single or double doors with the same neat proportions. Our Solarlux product is the slimmest, with 99mm mullions and you’ll be hard pushed to find a thinner product on the market. Or for something in the middle, Schuco has the most popular and desirable aesthetic at 120mm.

So our advice for getting the best looking bifolding door is to look for those with thinner sightlines.

Solarlux ecoline bifolds in black

How better hardware matters when buying bifold doors

One of the best ways of understanding what makes a better bifolding door over and above what you get with any bifold is the quality of the hardware.

The lighter, quieter, smoother and effortless a bifold is to fully fold is your best clue to the quality of the hardware and the product. For the best operation, nothing beats the German-designed or made bifolding doors like Solarlux or Schuco. Don’t just take our word for it. We’ve got three brands in our showroom and you can come and see this for yourself.

Then it’s the quality of the hardware itself. Most lower-priced bifolding doors come with the same style of handle you get on cheaper doors where you see one handle combined with the key cylinder.

A higher-end bifold comes with more luxurious handles that simply look and feel better at first glance. Another feature of a quality bifold is those with a separate handle to the cylinder. Not only does it look better but the handles are significantly more premium with marine-grade metals that are thicker. Locking and opening the doors feels simply better. Of course, these types of handles last longer and are less prone to the dropping and sagging you get with cheaper handles.

The quality of the hardware also extends to critical components like the door seals. Origin bifolds are unique in giving you gaskets colour matched to seven different colour combinations. There’s nothing better than a white bifold with white gaskets or a grey modern finish with the seals in a similar colour. It’s another quality indicator when buying bifold doors.

One of the characteristics of any bifold is how much of the hardware is visible. So what better way to make these visible door rollers and guides look better than choosing what colour they come in? It’s another great quality clue when buying bifold doors and our range gives you these options.

low or flush threshold on bifolding or sliding doors showing German bifold doors

Why low thresholds are not all the same when buying bifold doors

Want the low and flush threshold on your folding doors? Here’s another area where the upper-tier bifold surpasses a standard door on the market. Most regular bifolds only give you two threshold options – the standard and a low version. The problem with the low version on many brands is it’s only intended for internal use. So many brands work on setting the standard threshold lower giving you the flush look. And in most cases, this is just fine. We also offer this option.

Better bifolding doors give you more than two options and some of our doors come with up to five different threshold solutions. If you want a low threshold for its styling any bifold will meet your needs. If you need a low threshold for better accessibility and weather performance, perhaps you have a relative with a wheelchair or mobility issues. Better bifolding doors give you more options at the threshold and again, our product range meets most requirements. It’s another consideration when buying bifold doors.

Understanding what are the best bifolding doors sizes

The size of your existing or new door opening determines most bifolding doors sizes and indeed whether your opening suits bifolds or whether French doors may be more suitable in a smaller doorway.

Generally, openings of more than 2.2m wide are suitable for a three panel bifold right up to larger folding glass walls with multiple door panels spanning up to 8 or more metres.

Another consideration is the number of panels. Going for wider door panels could also mean fewer of them. We have bifolds providing solutions with three panel designs where many other brands need four panels across the same size of opening. Contact us and we can help you design the best bifolding door at the most suitable sizes for your use and your property type.

Overall, when buying bifold doors, consider larger panels combined with slimmer bifolding door profiles that give the best look overall, for maximum light, reduced aluminium lines and better bifolding doors.

The UK’s best bifolding door brands by aluhome

At aluhome, we’ve got the UK’s most desirable bifolding door brands, made by the finest manufacturers. Every one of our brands promises more features, design benefits, functionality and customisation than most on the market.

Our Origin range gives you a choice of models with two sightlines and one of the UK’s best known brands. Schuco bifolds deliver the finest in design and engineering with contemporary styling and spectacular slide and fold action.

Solarlux bifolding doors are our top of the range Made in Germany high-end solution when you want a bifolding door like no other.

Contact us today or visit our Aluminium Studio in Stamford where you can view these in full-size models alongside matching aluminium windows, front doors, residential doors, sliding doors and more.

Some of the images on our website illustrate how products may look and are indicative. Please contact us for current product details and specifications.

Gooches Court,
Opening Hours
Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Based on 30 reviews
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Malcolm Smith
Malcolm Smith
10:20 27 Oct 21
Nice showroom and good selection of quality products. Tim was able to offer good advice and assisted us with our... choice. Installation team were brilliant and we are very happy with the end result.read more
Charles Twort
Charles Twort
17:28 15 Oct 21
What a fantastic company! I had been searching for a specific configuration of interior and exterior doors and windows... and was struggling to find them. Then, by accident I came across Tim's company. From the moment we started to communicated I knew who I wanted to work with. Tim's techncial advice from choosing the right solutions, through to how to manage the site build requirements was second to none. The professionalism of his surveying and installers teams, didn't let me down in any department. Always professional, courteous, and tidy, while at the same time a pleasure to work with.read more
Carl Amess
Carl Amess
14:05 07 Oct 21
Exceptional company to purchase from, small enough to care but large enough to supply the sliding doors in a... configuration we couldn't find anywhere else. Frame rebate was one of the smallest we could find with 3 extremely large doors that did not need to be fixed in any specific position when open. We can know look out on our back garden and barely notice the doors. Tim and Anita are both Amazing and so are the guys that fit the Doors. Very happy to recommend!!read more
09:03 06 Oct 21
A completely: professional, knowledgeable, courteous team at Aluhome that we would wholeheartedly recommend.Customer... service from start to finish has been exemplary.We would strongly recommend anyone who is in the market for new bi-folds to visit the showroom. As with other reviewers, it would have saved us an enormous amount of time.We would emphasis the whole team, as from start to finish we have had a seamless experience.Our install was not without it’s technical challenges. Solutions offered up by other suppliers did not match our desires. Tim listened and took the time to understand what we ultimately were looking for. Combined with Aaron, they have provided a superb solution that matches our brief perfectly.Manufacturing timescales were explained and the forecasted install date was achieved as smooth as could be wished for.The install was also seamless. Aaron and the install team were again: professional, polite and took great pride in their work.We are now the proud owners of two sets of high-end, beautiful bi-folds, provided at a competitive price. We have worked with a truly professional company and are thankful we placed our trust in Aluhome as it has been completely repaid.Mike and Debbieread more
Anthony Holmes
Anthony Holmes
22:18 19 Aug 21
Thanks to ‘Aluhome’ for first class (well Informed) advice with regard to the suitability of replacing our existing ... French doors with a Less obtrusive Aluminium framed Sliding Door system.What a difference! - the views into our garden now they are clear of window frame obstructions is delightful. This coupled with more natural light to the interior, is another bonus.The installation was carried out by fitters who clearly knew their trade and with the minimum of inconvenience to us.We are happy to report that the finished job from appearance, practicality and quality, exceeded our expectations.read more
Beth Loder
Beth Loder
08:39 28 Jul 21
Tim and his amazing team have been a godsend during our extension project. His advice and friendly chats together with... his highly experienced team of surveyors and fitters made the whole experience simple and hassle free. What he doesn’t know about his products isn’t worth knowing and we came away from the showroom feeling knowledgeable and that we’d made a great informed product choice. A big thank you to the whole team, and I promise once the garden's done and the kitchen's in we will update our photos which currently I’m almost embarrassed to upload as they don’t do the bifolds justice at all! We love them, the light is amazing, thanks again Tim & Team!read more
rick davies
rick davies
13:07 24 Jul 21
Based on our recent experiences, we are happy to recommend aluhome. During a visit to their office and display room Tim... was able to give a comprehensive description and assessment of all aspects of the door and windows we were thinking of installing (replacing 25 year old wood framed patio doors and windows). The timing of delivery and installation was as predicted. The cost was more competitive than similar offers. The installation team were on time, friendly, competent and efficient. And they left the patio area as clean as it was beforehand. And we are now very pleased with our new patio door&window. Best wishes, Rick and Moread more
Lorna Kavanagh
Lorna Kavanagh
18:25 23 Jul 21
A quick and professional job, from an experienced team who care. Tim took the time to understand the project and... budget, you just can't beat face to face customer service. Aaron and Terry were reassuring and informative at every step and the install went very smooth. I always felt like I was in good hands and nothing would be a problem. Thank you guys, I'll raise a glass as I enjoy my new view!read more
Emma Price
Emma Price
11:27 19 Jul 21
We used AluHome to design and fit steel-look replacement french doors and windows at the back of our house in central... Stamford. Tim and the team at AluHome have been outstanding all the way through the process. They took time to understand our requirements and communication has been exceptional throughout. There were no delays, the doors look wonderful and the installation team were prompt, knowledgeable and paid a high level of attention of detail. There is no need to look elsewhere, we strongly recommend Tim and the team.read more
Claire Gaunt
Claire Gaunt
21:27 12 Jun 21
Highly recommend.After searching the internet high and low for information about sliding doors, Aluhome were able to... provide all the information I needed. From my first phone call I felt confident that they were the company I wanted to use.From start to finish the service has been second to none.read more
Mike Farrah
Mike Farrah
17:10 29 May 21
Great experience from start to finish. Tim was extremely helpful in assisting us with the initial enquiry for French... doors and windows that needed a specific “U” grade for building regs. He invited us to the the showroom and gave us a thorough walk through of the products. The quality of the product is second to none. Aaron - in charge of fitting- worked closely with our builder in terms of planning and measuring as well as giving some on site advice and recommendations.The provision and installation was on time with no issues and very professional.The French Doors now form the focal point of our kitchen extension and have really made the project.We highly recommend Tim and Aluhome!read more
michael dunford
michael dunford
09:13 22 May 21
We are delighted with our new front door from Aluhome. Tim and his team were a pleasure to deal with throughout.
Kevin Riley
Kevin Riley
19:56 10 May 21
A big thank you to Aluhome and all their team. Fantastic service from the moment we contacted on a Sunday. From the... solving of an issue we had (large opening and our wish to have 3 leaf), with doors new to the market and the overall quality of service and product. The 2 x bifolds and back door are excellent and we are delighted. The attention to detail throughout is amazing. Thank you!read more
Jill Dent
Jill Dent
08:51 04 May 21
We visited Auhome to help choose doors for our new extension. We met Tim who was very helpful and extremely... knowledgeable and offered useful information to help me decide between sliders or bi folds. The showroom has a good choice of doors which again helped with our decision. I am delighted with the Sunflex sliders we chose, they completely make our room, great quality and fitted expertly by the team. Thank you Tim and all at Aluhome in Stamford. I would thoroughly recommend you.read more
Carrie Armitage
Carrie Armitage
09:54 21 Apr 21
Extraordinarily good looking aluminium windows; excellent service; fantastic fitters who were punctual, tidy and did a... great job. Highly recommended and a great personal service from Tim.read more
Stuart Bailey
Stuart Bailey
10:49 10 Apr 21
We had decided to replace our old UPVC french doors with aluminium doors and had already researched different brands.... Having decided that Origin was the right product for our house, we approached Aluhome for a quotation. From that point onwards the whole process was quick and efficient. We met Tim at the showroom in Stamford who gave us excellent advice on options for glazing bars, handles etc.etc.We were happy with the price and delivery was much quicker than we had expected with good communication throughout.Fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with where nothing was too much trouble. They were careful and tidy at each stage and had all of the right tools and equipment to do a good job.Any issues during the installation were dealt with professionally and quickly to our satisfaction.Overall a really good experience and well pleased with the product.read more
Simone Lynch
Simone Lynch
13:56 25 Mar 21
A warm welcome at the showroom in Stamford which has a range of products on show. We were shown the options available... to us as we were looking to buy bifold doors. We were advised on what would suit us best and the various options available as regards colour, handle options etc. They were fitted very quickly and although we had a couple of issues they were dealt with quickly and efficiently by Tim. Very pleased with our doors and the service from Tim and his fitters. Would recommend.read more
Joy Bates
Joy Bates
10:08 23 Mar 21
AluHome fitted all new windows, including two sliding doors to our unusual 1960's house.Response to our initial... contact was very prompt and we decided to visit their fabulous showroom in Stamford where we were made very welcome and received excellent technical advice, helping us to make our final decision.Communication has been brilliant throughout with Tim the owner. The fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with - nothing was too much trouble. We had some issues due to the quirky nature of our house but these were dealt with efficiently and without fuss.We are very happy with our windows - the transformation is amazing.Thank you team AluHome!read more
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Published on August 13, 2021