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.


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

How safe is your fire door?

Ahmarra Limetree Fire Door When is a fire door not a fire door? When it is incorrectly installed – then it can pose a significant risk.

The role of the fire doorset is to prevent fire from spreading from its source to other parts of the building by effectively closing off the room in which the fire started. So far, so good and all very responsible. But to be successful, the doorset has to be manufactured and installed absolutely correctly.

Alarmingly, a high percentage of fire door installations are being made by contractors buying all the components separately and constructing the assembly on the building site. This is where danger can lurk. If fire doors are not installed properly, their fire-resistance can be seriously compromised.

Ahmarra Fire Door at GatwickSo how can customers be sure their fire door is fulfilling the role it is supposed to do? It’s worth knowing about the BM TRADA Q-Mark Fire Door Manufacturer Scheme. This has been designed to allow fire-door manufacturers to demonstrate that their doors meet the standards required, and to provide ongoing reassurance that their product is fit for purpose.

Ahmarra is a member of the BM TRADA Q-Mark Fire Door Manufacturer Scheme and the BM TRADA Fire Door Registered Installer Scheme. We are one of the few specialist fire doorset manufacturers who can also offer an installation service with the ability to certify every aspect of the performance of a doorset.

Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra
Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra

Safety is the most important plus factor of factory-hung fire rated doorsets, there are many other benefits, including major savings in time and money. That’s a big tick in anyone’s book and it’s no wonder more and more contractors are advocating the use of pre-hung doorsets.

With a Q-Mark certification, as well as excellent environmental credentials in terms of FSC/PEFC certification, Ahmarra is able to meet the supply chain criteria for many of the top UK construction companies.

Post written by Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra.