The trend for replacing traditional patio doors or French doors with more modern bi-fold or folding doors goes on apace.

They offer much by way of enhanced access to the garden, better views and a much greater source of light into the home. Clients report feeling far less confined in their homes, and love how the light and air flood through to create a pleasant, natural ambience.

But which is better – bi-fold doors or sliding doors? Here we take a look at both so you can decide which option suits your home best.

Bi-fold doors (also known as concertina doors) essentially fold back on themselves so that they can be pushed back to give access to up to 90% of the full aperture, creating a natural transition between home and garden.

Sliding doors must sit on a fixed section, even when open, so there will always be part of the aperture that cannot be opened, unless you opt for more expensive architectural doors.

However, if your home looks out onto a lovely view, you may prefer sliding doors that offer uninterrupted glass panels without the hinged verticals that could spoil the vista.

Practicalities

Folding doors have a single lead door, which can be opened in isolation. This allows easy access to the garden during the winter just like with a normal patio or French door, without the need to fold back any further. They can be installed to open inwards or outwards, depending on where you have most space and the layout of your home and garden.

And if you’re worried about how much strength is needed to open sliding doors, you needn’t. Modern design and construction makes them light to the touch and easy to open and close. Plus they are thermally efficient, helping retain heat, despite the vast expanse of glass.

And the cost?

Bi-fold doors can cost more to manufacture due the very nature of their construction, however, sliding aluminium doors over a certain size, can work out more expensive.

For the ultimate in design and looks, it’s possible to design sliding doors as pocket doors that slide away into the cavity wall. This is a popular option for new build properties, where they can be designed into the construction from the outset.

We recommend you explore both folding and bi-fold doors to see which are most appropriate for your home. Do you want uninterrupted views or would you prefer to open up your windows to the full aperture? Which do you think look the most impressive? And which would suit the style of your home?

Whichever you choose, you’ll gain so many benefits and add value to your property. Spring is here, why not throw open your doors and let the sun shine in?