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Will you need planning permission before installing bi-folding or sliding doors?

Will you need planning permission before installing bi-folding or sliding doors?

If you’re thinking about installing the stylish doors, you need to consider whether you’re going to need planning permission.

The application process for planning permission can be a hassle, but you may not actually need it. Adding or replacing doors is one of the less complicated home improvements, so they usually don’t require any planning permission. However, they still need to meet the UK’s building regulations in order to be compliant.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you work it out.

What is planning permission?

Since 1948, it’s been necessary for new developments to meet certain criteria and have proper permissions in place in order to be deemed lawful. Subject to certain conditions, it can either be granted or refused.

In general terms, you may need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to a building (such as an extension)
  • change the use of your building

Will I need planning permission for my bi-folds and sliding doors?

Changing or adding doors (such as bi-folds or sliding) doesn’t normally require planning permission as it is usually considered a permitted development—particularly if there is no extension built for your doors.

However, these rights can be taken away by the local authority under certain circumstances, for example if your property is listed or in a designated conservation area.

What if I’m building a whole new extension?

If your doors are part of a new extension, then the whole project may also need planning permission, and here are three factors you’ll need to think about:

  • The location of your extension
  • Its size
  • The potential impact it will have on surrounding houses.

If your extension falls within the limits below, then no application for planning permission would need to be made:

  • for detached properties—a single-story rear extension of up to 8 metres
  • for non-detached properties—a single-story rear extension of up to 6 metres.

Consideration for your neighbours will have to be given when building a whole new extension, and this may affect whether or not you are granted planning permission. Let’s face it, your neighbour isn’t going to be best pleased if you’ve blocked out all of their sunlight…

How long does it take to be granted planning permission?

It varies depending on how many planning applications are in the pipeline, but it usually takes about 8 weeks to apply and acquire planning permission if it’s needed. Planning applications for householders cost £172, which is a set national fee.

Of course, if there are any objections then there may be delays in this process. If you are unsure about whether your new doors will need planning permission, and don’t want to waste any time, then we recommend going to your local authority.

Please note that these are just pointers. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to find out whether planning permission is required for your property. We recommend contacting your local planning authority.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about installing bi-folding or sliding doors.

10 inspirational kitchen extension ideas

10 inspirational kitchen extension ideas

Home extensions with bi-folding and sliding doors are an innovative and effective way to increase space in your home. With hundreds of different styles and designs, there is one perfectly suited to your own taste.

We’ve found 10 of the most stylish kitchen extensions to give you a little inspiration…

1. The dark frame of the bi-folds perfectly pairs with the brick exterior of this house for a classic and stunning look.


2. This extension is sleek, modern and bright.


3. Don’t like following trends? Install bi-folds on the corner of your extension. Edgy.


4. Blurring the boundary between the kitchen and garden is this open extension and chill-out patio.


5. Install L-shaped doors like these and let the light flood into your home.


6. This extension proves that sliding glass doors look great in traditional homes too.


7. Who said old buildings don’t suit contemporary sliding doors?


8. This Victorian London home’s back extension is enough to make all the neighbours envious.


9. Boardroom or dining room? Either way, this extension with bi-folds will bring everyone together.


10. Attract the natural light from above with roof lanterns – the perfect addition to any extension.



Feeling inspired by these stunning extensions?

If you want to plan an extension with bi-folding or sliding doors then get in touch with our friendly team.

5 innovative ways to modernise your home

5 innovative ways to modernise your home

Do you want to give your home a bit of life again?

While there is nothing wrong with styling one’s house in the traditional way, some of us like to feel like we’re on trend with the latest interiors and exteriors.

Here’s some of the best tips and tricks to transforming your house into a contemporary and stylish home.

1. Design an outdoor comfort area

Home garden pad

Be more creative than putting a few chairs, a table and a BBQ outside. It’s becoming fashionable to take the lounge al fresco. Create a space to chill which you can invite all your friends around to enjoy. Invest in some quality furniture with comfortable cushions, a garden fire pit and some lanterns. With the unpredictable weather in the UK, consider getting a cover for the rainier days.

Take it to the next level and you could even invest in a hot tub to make your garden the ultimate place to be.

Warning: you may not be able to get rid of your friends!

2. Seamless patio sliding doors

Modern home and garden

Glass sliding doors have a slim, effortless and cutting-edge design which can turn your house into a stylish home.

Modern houses generally integrate spaces to ultimately make rooms appear larger and more open. By investing in sliding doors you can create the illusion that the outside is combined with the inside of your home – with only a slim glass door in-between. They allow your home to feel more spacious and provide a contemporary open-plan feel.

The large panels of glass and slim aluminium frame mean that more natural light can enter. This increases the value of both your home and your life. Most contemporary houses boast an abundance of natural light. The rooms will instantly feel livelier.

If you like the modern feel of glass in your home then you could also consider putting in sky windows and allow even more natural light to pour in.

3. Home automation

Smart home automation

Smart lighting is one of the smoothest modern technologies that you could implement into your home. With this home automation, indoor and outdoor lights can be set to work under certain conditions. For example, they could identify whether someone’s in a room and the level of light that they need. Architects and designers are implementing these types of lights regularly into homes. The control of lights by automation is on trend and popular at the minute.

A Nest thermostat is another way to save energy. It can learn the times of the day that you turn the heat up and down, remember them and then automatically do it for you. It even knows when you’re away. If it can tell your phone’s left the house, if at work for example, Nest will set itself to eco temperature to save energy.

It’s possible to control automation from your smart device. There are many benefits to having the system in your home, including saving money on energy bills, making your life a little simpler and finally – making your home more modern.

4. Get a wireless multi-room sound system

Wireless home sound system

Imagine if it was possible to have your favourite songs blasting in every room of the house. Well, this is possible by installing a wireless multi-room sound system like [insert brand name, good to have a specific example] in your home.

The system provides both style and a modern simplicity. It’s not enough to just have a single sound system in one room in your house anymore. Anyone can connect their device to the speakers (which is both a good and bad thing), channeling their music taste.

Whether you’re relaxing in the bath or entertaining guests, it’s something to invest in to keep up with the times.

5. Give the room a make-over

Modern living room

It may be simple, but certainly a surface make-over will be an effective way to modernise your home. Take a look for ideas on Pinterest to find some inspiration for your new modern home.

Sometimes giving your home a more modern feel could come down to a simple solution, such as giving the walls a lick of white paint and investing in some cool and quirky artwork on the walls.

Choose understated furniture to put in the room. A hot trend at the minute is an open-air bookcase and draped lights. You can be as inventive as you like.

Install sliding doors in your home for a more modern feel. Regardless of whether you prefer a more traditional home or a contemporary one – they will fit right in.

Get in touch us to speak to us about the installation of bi-fold or sliding doors today.

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.

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.