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Bi-fold doors vs. patio sliding doors – What’s best for you?

Bi-fold doors vs. patio sliding doors – What’s best for you?

Bifolds vs sliding doors

Choosing which style of door you want for your home is a big decision. Bi-folding doors and patio sliding doors are both the perfect addition. Unless you have a strong opinion on which you prefer, it may be a tricky choice out of the two.

The benefits of both styles will be felt from summer through to winter- such as the increased light, space and are thermally efficient – so either will be an investment.

So, here’s how to make the right decision:

Which will be most practical?

How much space do you have to spare in your home?

The space you have available may mean that the decision comes down to overall practicality. The doors need to logistically work in the room of choice.

If you don’t have a lot of space to manoeuvre the folding nature of bi-folds, then sliding doors are a great solution. They will offer more control, as they open more easily.

The seamless design and thin glass makes them look sleek and effortless. One door could slide behind the other door, or you could have two doors that open in the centre, sliding out over other fixed – they provide so many possibilities!

Bi-folds can maximise a small space once installed, as can completely open inwards or outwards, giving a connection to the exterior space. They can create an aperture space of 90% when opened. You could also have the added bonus of a traffic door if you go for an odd number of door leaves.

Your existing garden space

Is your home a suburban property, semi-detached or terraced?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all three, you may not have a lot of garden space behind your home. If you have a small garden and want to make the most of it, then bi-folds may be the one for you. They create the illusion of bringing the indoors, outdoors so you can make the most of your limited garden space.

Your home may have a large outdoor space and impressive views (lucky), then sliding doors may be the more desirable option. When the doors are closed, you will receive a complete and clear view of the outside.

Something to consider, if you want both sliding doors and the ability to open them to extent of bi-folds is to plan for a wall cavity to slide panels away into. This will create a wide opening and no space will be lost!

Your preferred style

Which style will mean you can make the most of your outdoor space?

You may make your choice purely on which you think looks best.

Patio sliding doors will provide you with large glazed areas, creating impressive sliding walls of glass. The slim aluminium frames are contemporary and minimalist, giving your home a modern feel.

Bi-fold doors give you a choice of materials which you could use for the frame. You may choose a more traditional material such as timber, depending on your house.

How do you picture your home looking?

The difference in cost

Cost may not even need to be factored in to your decision. But if it is, it’s worth knowing roughly which one you would need to budget more for.

The difference in price between the two bi-folding and sliding doors isn’t very significant. However, sliding doors are generally more expensive than bi-folds. Prices may depend on the frame you want for your bi-folds, or the quantity of glass panels needed for your sliding doors.

Download our price list to have a look for yourself! Whether you choose the effortless sliding doors or the stylish bi-folds, you are going to add value to your home.


Get in touch with us to find out how we could help you with the installation of your glass doors (whichever side you’re on).

How to plan your extension with bi-fold doors

How to plan your extension with bi-fold doors

Garden extension with bifold doors

Most people would love to have the opportunity to create more room in their home. An extension creates a space between the garden and the house which both adds value to your house and your life.

Whilst the idea of an extension may be appealing, the prospect of how it will actually be implemented may be daunting.

So, we’ve made this ultimate guide to help you through the process of planning and designing your extension with bi-folds, from costing through to choosing the materials.

Starting your plan

Before any action is taken, there are a few important points that you need to consider:

Your budget

You should not only think about the cost of materials, size and labour, but also factor in any finishing touches.

Generally speaking once you have established how much you can spend, you can try to get the biggest extension your budget and house allows – this will add most value to your home.

Amount of outside space

The next step is to assess how big your garden is. If the extension is too large, and looks out if place, it may not look too good and actually devalue your home. You want to get the balance just right.

Amount of internal space

Would you be willing to rework your kitchen or living room? If you are, you could create an even larger amount of open space.


Consider how many bi-fold doors you need. If you’re extension is larger you are going to need to invest in more to maximise the amount of light that enters your home. More doors means increased light, which will benefit your home considerably. Check out our guide on how to measure the opening for your bi-fold doors.

How much will it cost?

Don’t forget that there are more costs than just the extensions itself. You’ll need to account for the contractors, architects, flooring, doors and windows, so remember to work these in to the budget.

For a rough guide, the average cost for an extension which is built on the rear of a building is between £150 – £250 per square foot (for the materials and builders only).

Your extension can add 12% value to your home, so it’s definitely worth getting if you do have the budget.

Top tip: Allow a 10% contingency fund for any unforeseen circumstances. In an ideal world you won’t need this, but it’s always best to be prepared.

Hiring an architect

Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the professionals.

An architect will help you with the crucial design stage. They will know if certain materials will work, the perfect size for the extension, and will help with the planning process so that it’s more likely to be accepted. An architect will also already have relationships with builders, plasterers and electricians, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle yourself.

So, take a browse through your local directories to see if you can find a local one which would suit you. You can search for qualified architects on the Royal Institute of Architects website. Ask for a quote from a few and assess who you would most like to work with.

Planning permission

You need to make sure your extension matches the permitted development rights. All extensions need to be checked for planning permission, but not all of them are going to need it. You can apply for a certificate of lawful development from your authority.

They are a few limits and conditions to your extension, including regulations like ‘no extension should be higher than the highest part of the roof of your home’. To see the government’s full list of criteria, visit Government’s Planning Portal Website.

It only costs £150 to apply for planning permission, which isn’t too much in the great scheme of things. However, this can be a lengthy and long process. It’s best to apply as soon as possible if you want to get your development going.

If you are building near, or on, your neighbour’s boundary then you will also need to comply with the Party Wall Act (England and Wales) 1996. So it’s worth also talking through your plans with your neighbours first – maybe take them some goodies around when you do!

Your chosen material(s)

You need to decide what vibe you are going with for your extension. You may choose different materials depending on whether you want it to look modern or more classic.

If you want the extension to match your house, then it’s worth getting the same type of material. But if you’re looking to style up your house a little more, then feel free to explore other ideas!

You could choose brick, steel, timber, stone, or even bamboo for the main structure. This is where the help and opinion of an architect may be useful.

One of the most popular materials used for extensions is glass. This material is implemented through the use of bi fold doors.

Bi-folds for your extension

An extension using bi-fold doors will maximise the value of your home to another level.

  • They make your extension a link between the indoors and outdoors
  • Can be opened to make the space even larger
  • They bring more light into your home
  • Save money on utility bills – even in Winter
  • Thermally efficient so keep your house warm/cool

If you’re planning an extension with bi-folds then feel free to get in contact with us – we’re more than happy to help.

10 shocking before-and-after garden transformations

10 shocking before-and-after garden transformations

These shocking garden transformations will leave you questioning everything (especially your own garden).

1. When you’re mid-way through building your house and the budget runs out.

Garden 1 before(photo credit: HGTV)

Garden 1 after(Photo credit: HGTV)

2. The plants, and hopefully that man, will be happier now.

Garden 2 before(Photo credit: Yorkshire Garden Designer)

Garden 1 after

(Photo credit: Yorkshire Garden Designer)

3. Spot the dog.

Garden 3 before(Photo credit: Creative Landscapes)


Garden 3 after(Photo credit: Creative Landscapes)

4. The landscapers definitely deserve a drink from that bar for this woody make-over.

Garden 4 before(Photo credit: HGTV)

Garden 4 after(Photo credit: HGTV)

5. Because who wouldn’t want a jungle on their doorstep? Look through your doors and you may just see a monkey.

Garden 5 before(Photo credit: Daily Mail)


Garden 5 after(photo credit: Daily Mail)

6. We would want to host a party every weekend if this was our garden…

Garden 6 after(Photo credit: HGTV)

Garden 6 before(Photo credit: HGTV)

7. This dreamy patio will make anyone want to chill outside, regardless of the weather.

Garden 7 before
Garden 7 after

8. The grass is definitely greener on the other side.

Garden 8 before

Garden 8 after

9. It’s amazing what a few fancy stones can do…

garden 9 - before
garden 9 - after

10. We’re not only jealous of this transformation, but also the fact they have a river in their back garden.

garden-10 - before(Photo credit: Real Homes Magazine)


garden 10 - after(Photo credit: Real Homes Magazine)

Make a shocking(ly good) transformation to your own garden with bi folds.

Download our price list to have your own epic garden before-and-after.

5 benefits of having bi-fold doors in the winter

5 benefits of having bi-fold doors in the winter

With autumn in full swing and winter fast approaching, you may have thought that the benefits of bi-folds had been left far behind in the warmer months.

Well, we’re happy to tell you this is certainly not the case. You will feel the benefits to your home all year round.

Read on to find out why installing bi-fold doors will improve your home even in the colder months.

1. A warm winter

House with bifold doors in the winter

Winter brings chilly temperatures, so the prospect of having a warmer home will be music to your ears. No one wants to have a fridge as a home.

Ensuring that your bi-folds are double, or even triple, glazed will mean your home is kept as toasty as possible. The compelling technology of the glass doors means that no draught can creep through. The blinds or curtains that you choose for your doors will also have a positive effect on the inside temperature.

This in turn also means that damp will be kept at bay. It’s a win – win situation.

2. Have a light Christmas

Christmas tree

With dark mornings and evenings, the amount of daylight hours we get during the winter is considerably less than summer.

So, why wouldn’t you want to make the most of the sunlight that we do have? Bi-fold doors seriously increase the amount of natural light which will enter your home.

Make the most of the little light that we get, as it brings many benefits.

3. Spend less money on bills

Christmas gift box

Bi-folds are thermally efficient. Wood and UPVC frames are generally more efficient than aluminium. However, recent research shows this difference is minimal so they all will help save the environment and lower your monthly expenses.

The efficiency of the doors means less heat escaping your home, whilst also keeping the cold air out – you won’t have to run the heating as much. An added bonus is that because they’re energy efficient you’ll also save a bit of cash as you won’t need so much artificial light.

You can spend more money on Christmas presents and less on your utility bills.

4. Admire the winter scenery

Frozen window with ice and snow

Unfortunately, you can’t sit out star gazing unless you are completely wrapped up now the temperatures have dropped.

Colder nights offer clearer skies. With bi-folds you can admire the crisp scenery from the warmth, and have the best view of the starry sky. Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply relaxing by yourself, it’s much more enjoyable with a good view – especially if you’re lucky enough to have rolling hills or snowy mountains on your doorstep.

You’ll also be able to admire any firework displays from the comfort of your own home. To make the most of your view, read our guide on how to clean and maintain bi-fold doors.

5. Flexible and practical

Bifolds with a traffic door

The seamless design of your doors makes it easy to either open up a small or a large gap with ease. Or opt for a traffic door which can be installed within the bi-folds. It can be opened on its own without releasing all other doors.

The choice is yours. You may want to let some air into the house without fully opening the door, which is a good choice to have as it gets chillier.

The practicality of the doors also mean it will be much easier to manoeuvre the Christmas tree into the house!

Install bi-folds to feel these benefits, you definitely won’t regret it. Get in touch or our download our latest price list to find out more.

The benefits of natural light in the home that everyone should know about

The benefits of natural light in the home that everyone should know about

natural light through window

There are physical, psychological and economic benefits to increasing the amount of natural light that enters your home.

It’s a big deal. Especially as more and more owners and buyers look for more ways to get more sun into their homes.

What are the benefits of natural sunlight?

Increased physical health

An undeniable fact is that natural sunlight positively affects the body.

The daylight maintains your body’s natural sleep cycle, controls your hormones that govern your bodily functions, lowers high blood pressure, improves brain function, and provides vitamin D which is important for your immune system.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Check out the netdoctor’s article on the dangers of too much artificial light on our health.

Basically, you need to get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin.

Natural sunlight is economical

Increasing the amount of natural sunlight into your home means you can save your hard earned pennies.

With more sunlight pouring in to your home you’ll see a clear reduction of expenses as you need less artificial energy. You may previously have thought that installing bi-folds or sliding doors will mean more costs on energy bills to keep your house warm.

This is not the case! Aluminium bi-folding doors are actually proven to be highly energy efficient.

The psychological benefits

Everything feels better on a sunny day. The benefits the sunlight has on your productivity and attitude can be even more than the physical benefits. People are proven to be most productive when there is good level of sunlight.

Particularly when the winter months roll and the evenings become darker; it’s so important to utilise every second of daylight.

It’s been proven that the natural light also does wonders for our energy levels. It’s meant to keep your energy levels more stable throughout the day – so you can avoid the dreaded ‘crash’ later on.

Increase the amount of natural light in your home to maintain a positive attitude and make the most of your days.

How can I increase natural light in my home?

There is a way to increase the natural light which enters yours home – hooray!

You can experience the benefits of the sunshine throughout the months of the year by installing bi-fold doors or patio sliding doors. Whether your home is North, East, South or West facing, the light in your home can be increased.

By only having regular doors and windows you may be blocking the opportunity for more natural light. Bi-fold doors solve this issue with their carefully thought out design. The slim frame profile of the doors mean that the window surface area is a lot larger. The Aluminium frames also let in the most amount of sunlight.

Bi-folding doors can be perfect for rooms that don’t get much light, rooms which you’d like to enjoy more time in.

Does the direction my house faces matter?

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west in the UK. So, depending which way your house faces, there will be a difference in the amount of natural light which enters.

North-facing homes are lucky and tend to receive the most natural light during the day. On the other hand, owners of southern-facing homes will need to do everything they can to try and increase the amount of sunlight they receive.

Therefore, it’s important to consider where you will install bi-folding doors to maximise the amount of sunlight your house gets.

Find out how much natural light you could potentially get into your house with our guide to measuring the opening for your bi-folding door.

Increase the amount of natural light in your home for a happier and healthier household.