Bi-folding versus Sliding Doors

If you’re planning a home renovation project that requires large, glazed door solutions, you’ll most likely be making a decision between bi-folding and sliding doors. Both have grown phenomenally in popularity in recent years, and while they are similar in some respects, they have unique features that may affect their suitability for your home.

Bi-folding doors

Express-bifold-FoldingIt goes without saying that bi-folds create a wow factor – when open, they completely transform the space, bringing the outdoors in. We recommend bi-folding doors for a size up to four metres; within this measurement, bifolds look much more impressive than sliding doors. A greater clear opening can also be achieved, creating more sociability between your indoor space and garden.

Express Bi-folding Doors wholeheartedly encourages bi-fold customers to opt for integral blinds, which are both stylish and functional. Big benefits include no cleaning or maintenance, as well as the blinds fitting perfectly into your bi-folding doors. Less bulk means more light, and that’s exactly what we want to achieve! On the flipside, however, you must remember that with a bi-folding installation comes extra framework, which some may want to avoid. That’s where sliding doors come in…

Sliding doors

Express-bifold-SlidingA more traditional option, sliding doors may be the perfect choice for you. They tend to look better when they’re closed, as the large panels of glass welcome light into the home without being broken up by framework. For installations over the four metre mark, they are the ultimate choice; the wider the door, the wider the clear opening.

Express Bi-folding Doors offers sliding doors with 2, 3, 4 or 6 panels, so you can select the most appropriate one for your home. And of course, as with bi-folds, they come with the same colour options and guarantee, so you can sure they fit into your home seamlessly as well as having peace of mind.


Seamless Extension Reveals Wonderful view of Garden

bring the outside insideThe Pollins family wanted to add an extra living space to their home and create a room that would remove the boundaries between inside and outside. The main objective was to provide an uninterrupted view of the garden which they could enjoy all year round; in effect the creation of what is now commonly known as the ‘third living space’.

Martin and Sue Pollins moved into their house in Newick five years ago. Although a relatively new build, the grounds originally belonged to an old nursing home, which meant that they inherited a 100-year-old yew hedge and beautiful silver birches encircling their south east facing garden.

The Pollins family knew from the outset that they didn’t just want to add an extra room to the house, they wanted a view. Their first thought was to put in a traditional conservatory, but felt a brick base would detract from what they wanted to achieve, a seamless link between the room and garden.

“It took several years to decide what we actually wanted. Finally when speaking to Lifestyle Conservatories, who were part of the design process from the start, Origin Bi-folding doors were recommended. Once we realised that bi-folds would create the conservatory we had in mind, with large glass expanses and modern architecture, we knew this was the modern chic look we wanted,” says Sue Pollins.

The Pollinses were impressed with the floor to ceiling construction of bi-folding doors and for them the key points – unspoiled design between the room and garden, the security features and the ease of use – proved to be the perfect combination for their ideal conservatory.

They specified a five-door and a three-door set for their 16 sq m conservatory, with all doors in both sets folding and sliding in the same direction. Incorporating two sets of folding sliding doors into the room design meant that the entire opening and wonderful view of their garden would be revealed.

The five-door set was fitted in an aperture of 5123mm with each door leaf measuring 989mm wide by a standard height of approximately 2351mm. The three-door set was installed into a 3050mm aperture with each door measuring approximately 966mm x 2351mm. The aluminium doors were powder coated in hipca white to maintain a modern fresh look, but also to match the french doors already installed in the house.

The high grade powder coated finish of the doors removes the need for periodic painting and maintenance. The hard wearing finish protects against scratches and colour fading, minimising the upkeep of the doors. Martin and Sue Pollins chose their specific opening configurations to ensure they had use of an everyday traffic door or master door, which when opened connects to a magnetic keep to prevent the door slamming shut. The main traffic door houses an eight-point multi-point locking system and satisfied concerns about security.

In terms of a conservatory extension ‘bringing the outside in’, the bi-folds give the home a super sleek structural integrity and the concertina effect of the doors creates an affinity between the house and garden.

home extensionConstructed to the highest standards, Origin Bi-fold doors combine not only elegance, but also the very latest in door security, with an eight-point multi-point locking system and magnum security cylinder which protects against all forms of physical attack. Manufactured and assembled at its High Wycombe factory, Origin’s eight point locking system conforms to police preferred ‘Secured by Design’ standards. Chamfered 20mm linear bolts give a smooth lock-engaging mechanism, as well as maximum compression for increased weather resistance. Add to this the deep throw 25mm security hooks – the deepest engagement – and the result is a lock which provides the best in security and weather proofing.

Internally the lantern roof creates a naturally bright, airy space giving a warm and therapeutic feel, so consequently the room has become a key feature of the house completely incorporating the garden.

When the doors were fitted in May 2012, marking an end to the project, Martin and Sue Pollins noticed a huge change in their day-to-day living. “We find ourselves sitting out here come rain or shine. When the doors are folded back it feels as if you are out in the garden, but we experience the comfort of being indoors. The whole process from beginning to end has been effortless – we have brought the garden into the house without having to move the earth,” concludes Martin Pollins.

TESTIMONIAL: “The doors are made to an exceptionally high standard; they fit perfectly, keep all the elements out, are incredibly secure and open with ease. Origin is to bi-fold what Apple is to computers” – Martin Pollins

Article by Neil Ginger: Origin Easifold Doors

Making the most out of your Bifolds

Bi-folding doors can bring a modern look to any home, providing a spacious living area and transforming the look and feel of a room by letting extra light in. Natural light and the integration of garden and home, effectively known as the ‘third-space’, has become very important not only to homeowners, but also for house hunters as bifolds add the a real ‘wow factor’ to any home.

rear extension to houseAluminium is the recommended material of choice due to precision design and engineering required for bifolds, making timber and UPVC unsuitable materials for maintaining alignment over the lifetime of the product. Origin has been recommending aluminium bifolds for over 10 years due to its strength and durability, which allows for narrow, more aesthetically pleasing frames.

More than just black, white or grey! Bifolds now come in a range of colours from bright primary shades to candy pastels and deeper earthy tones – designed to give people the opportunity to express their creativity and individuality through their choice of door colour. In addition, the interior and exterior door frames can be in opposing colours, enabling the outside of the doors to match the external fixtures and fittings of the house, with the interior frame in a different colour to match the room.

Origin doors are available in a huge range of configurations, ranging from two-door options right through to large eight-door configurations that can open up the side of a house. Corner and bay window style configurations also allow the whole corner of a home to be opened up offering unrestricted vision and maximising access in and out of the property.

Bespoke electric blinds will add the perfect finishing touch, available in a wide selection of colours; they provide shade from the sun and privacy at night, as well as that sought-after designer look. The possibilities are endless.

Article by Neil Ginger, CEO Origin Easifold Doors.

What is the best Material for Bifolding Doors?

bifolding doorsBifolding doors continue to be an increasingly popular choice for new build and renovation projects. There are many factors to consider, but the choice of material is probably one of the most important considerations.

In the high end, bespoke bi folding doors market, there are really just 3 choices for consideration.

Firstly there are thermally broken aluminium systems which are by far the most commonly used and indeed the most popular choice for many reasons. Panels are constructed from extruded aluminium profiles which are split by a poly-amide thermal break which helps prevent heat transfer between the inside and outside of the door. This is the minimum requirement for any aluminium door to ensure it conforms to building regulations.

Choosing an aluminium system means your doors are virtually maintenance free. Aluminium is far harder wearing and much longer lasting than uPVC. It can be finished in any RAL colour and you can choose from a number of finish options.With the benefit of large panel sizes and slim slightlines, aluminium is aesthetically pleasing. Marine treatment is also available when needed for coastal areas to prevent saline corrosion. Bearing all this in mind, along with the fact that two thirds of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today, making is an ecologically sound choice. You can see why aluminium systems are the most popular.

Timber systems are also a popular choice. The highest quality timber systems are produced in engineered timber that has been triple laminated to increase the strength and reduce chances of the timber warping over time. The types of timber available vary, but oak and pine are used the most regularly.

As timber is naturally insulating compared to aluminium, there is no requirement for a thermal break between the interior and exterior faces.

And finally, there are composite bifolding doors. This is a combination of aluminium and timber. Choosing a composite system allows for all the warm and natural appearance of timber internally, whist providing all the maintenance free benefits of aluminium to the exterior. Due to weathering, any system using timber externally would require re-painting or staining within two to three years, then annually thereafter. This requirement is therefore avoided through the use of a composite system.

Author Carly Grigglestone: Sunfold Systems

Bringing a Spanish Holiday Home to Hertfordshire

Interior home extensionThe Normans wanted to create a home that would remind them of being on holiday. Their 1960s chalet in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, has been transformed over the years into a modern family home, and their latest project has been to build a garden room with a Spanish feel.

At the Grand Designs Show in London, the Normans met Origin, a UK specialist manufacturer of bespoke aluminium folding sliding doors and were impressed with the versatility of bi-folding doors. For them the key points – bespoke design, fast lead times, security and variety – proved to be the ideal solution for their extension.

“In terms of quality, we wanted the best; the fact that Origin doors are entirely UK manufactured is great. We visited the factory and showroom in High Wycombe and were convinced that they could supply the doors we wanted for our extension,” says Julia Norman.

Inspired by the modern architecture of their home in Spain, they wanted a room that reminded them of being on holiday so they commissioned Origin to design their bi-fold doors for their 7.5m by 3.6m extension.

Design aspects such as crema marfil marble tiles, cream stone walls and inward opening windows, were dictated by the Normans in the extension design. They specified a five door set-up all folding and sliding in the same direction and a separate three door set-up, to create as much open space as possible.

The bi-folding doors are energy-saving, with superior thermal efficiency as well as tinted and self-cleaning smart glass. The material used for the bi-folds is high grade aluminium allowing for a narrow, more aesthetically pleasing frame. The realistic wood grain effect of the doors fits with the design of the house and the existing window frames which were important factors for the Normans. The doors pictured are in Origin’s newest wood grain effect colour, Walnut.

The 264sq ft extension has transformed the house, creating the garden room they always wanted. Julia elaborates: “The whole structure of the garden room is perfect, the living area has an open plan feel so we can enjoy the garden, it also serves as an ideal entertaining space. We love the infinity of light that seems to pour in throughout the day – it reminds us of our holiday home in Spain.

Exterior bi-folding doors“The whole process has been very simple. We basically handed everything over to the Origin team who recommended the different builders and installers to complete the extension we wanted.  The extension has changed the way we view and use the house. It was the change we needed to fall in love with our home all over again – we certainly won’t be moving any time soon.”

Family entertaining is very important to the Normans. They often have big family holidays in Spain and wanted to bring that feeling of warmth and light back to their Rickmansworth home. This wonderful bi-fold extension has created the ultimate indoor/outdoor living area for the whole family to enjoy. “One of the super things about Origin bi-folding doors is that they are ‘finger safe’, my daughter has recently had a baby, and important features like ‘finger safe’ gaskets are so important,” adds Julia. The gaskets Origin uses between each door leaf are specially made to protect inquisitive little fingers.

After two years in the planning, the Normans’ house certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. As soon as you walk into their home, the light steaming through the 4185 x 2070mm five set and 2525 x 2080mm three bi-fold set immediately draws you towards their open-plan garden room.

The final word goes to Julia Norman: “Without hesitation I would recommend Origin. Their confidence in their product translates – they are the best of the best. Their customer service is second to none.”

Post by Neil Ginger, CEO, Origin Easifold Doors