Bifold doors are an excellent way to add lots of natural light and fresh air to your kitchen, sunroom, or lounge. They offer so much more than regular french doors, patio doors, or windows. The most popular style is the aluminium bifold door, as they are lightweight, stylish, easy to maintain, and last well over time.
We’ve collated this handy guide to help you when considering buying and installing bi-folding doors in your home. We recommend an aluminium frame and three large panes as the most versatile and popular design. We’ve assessed the bifold door prices for different styles to help you create a budget for this project.
How does a bi-folding door work?
Bifolding doors are a concertina style, usually with three large glass panes that fold against each other. Typically, bifolding doors have a tracking system in the top or bottom, which supports the sliding aspect, allowing them to smoothly open and close. The first bifold door pane will have a locking system that secures the doors.
This first pane can often be opened independently from the other panels for a light breeze or easy access to the garden. Bi-folding doors are a great alternative to large windows or french doors and look great in lots of home styles across the UK. If you’re building a new extension, bifold doors are a great option. Aluminium frames are lighter than other materials and give a sleek look to finish your new extension with a bifolding door.
What are the benefits of bi-folding doors?
- Additional natural sunlight
- Expand indoor and outdoor space
- Flexible – open first pane
- Perfect for remodelling
- Increase the value of your home
- Easy to maintain
A huge benefit of installing bifold doors into your home is that a large amount of natural light will be able to flood into your extension, sunroom, or lounge. Bifold doors offer more natural light than traditional windows or even patio doors.
Furthermore, bi-fold doors can easily be fitted with lightweight blinds that can offer occasional shade and privacy. Natural light has been proven to have a positive impact on well being, and bi-fold doors are a great use of otherwise static wall space.
Secondly, most people who install bi-fold doors, have them opening up onto patio or garden space. This space helps to increase the access to outdoors, and give the room and house a much larger feel – a great benefit of bifold doors.
Bifold doors offer a large expanse of space, which is brilliant for hosting events and parties. The open doors provide a way for people to move freely in and out of the house, which is an experience you can’t get from large windows.
Thirdly, bifold doors are versatile in the three-pane style, as the first bifold door can be opened independently. This allows you to let in a small breeze, pop out into the garden or let a pet run outside without having to move all the panels.
Bifold door panes are available in a range of sizes, and you’d be able to create a system of 2, 3, or 5 doors to fit the gap in your home. Make sure you have enough room for the folded door system to open into your room.
A feature like bifold doors is also set to increase the value of your home and is an excellent investment if you’re looking to sell in the next 10 to 15 years. Furthermore, aluminium is a low maintenance material that won’t warp or wear over time. Clean them every year with soap and water to keep the glass and frames fresh.
There are many benefits of installing an aluminium bifold door system, which is why it’s such a popular option for homes across the UK. Even if you’re re-modelling a traditional period home, bifold doors are stylish, offer additional light and air, and will modernise the look of your home.
Cost of bifold doors
Let’s look at bifold doors cost, including aluminium bifold doors, which are the most popular. On average bifold doors cost between £2000 and £3000, and we’ll break down the costs of each bifold door product here.
Three materials are popular for bi-folding doors. The first is aluminium, which is lightweight, lasts many years, and is easy to maintain. Next is uPVC, a cheaper option that comes in a range of finishing colours. It’s also lightweight and easy to maintain.
Thirdly is timber, which is not that suitable for bifolding doors as it can make for very heavy frames that rot and wear over time. Timber is also considerably more expensive – it’s around double the cost of aluminium frames.
Aluminium frames offer the best value for money, giving a sleek look that remains durable for many years. The approximate cost of purchasing three aluminium bifold doors is between £2,300 and £2,600, which rises to £4000 when purchasing five doors. This figure is a great estimate for you to start building a budget, and for you to compare against any quotes that you may receive.
uPVC is a cheaper option that has similar benefits, including different finishing colours. The cost of uPVC doors can be from £1,600 to £2,000 for three doors, and £2,800 to £3,200 for five frames. Although uPVC is slightly cheaper, we would recommend aluminium as the best material for bifold doors. This is because uPVC can expand and warp in sunlight, which can disrupt the smooth running of the bifold doors and the locking systems.
You’ll also need to add in any additional costs and costs of installation into your budget. It’s worth shopping around when looking to purchase the door panels and bifold door prices, as many window and door companies will offer deals or discounts for different materials, sizes, or additional features. This can help to lower the bifold door prices and the overall cost of your project.
Additional costs and features
There are some additional costs and features to bifold door prices that you may want to consider, including the purchase of your door panels. These will inevitably increase the door prices, but are a worthwhile investment.
Firstly, the formation of the doors. Most homeowners choose to have three large bifold door panes that fold up against each other. However, if you have a larger space, it may be worth considering installing five door panes to make the best use of the space.
This carries a higher cost, as not only are the door prices higher, but there are additional frame materials to consider, too. It may also take more time to configure and install.
Secondly, a feature you may want to consider adding to your doors is sun blinds. Many people choose to install light cotton blinds or roman blinds to the inside of their bi-fold doors. However, this isn’t a good idea as the blinds and top mechanisms will interfere with the doors folding, and they will not correctly sit together. Instead, you can choose from a range of built-in blinds that sits between the two panes of glass.
These roman blinds are operated using an external pully and can be tilted, closed, and brought up to expose the glass completely. This is a very popular and clever choice but will come with an additional cost depending on the style and colour of the blinds you choose.
A benefit of bi-fold doors on the ground floor of your home is that, unlike lots of other types of building work, you don’t need scaffolding! Scaffolding is an essential tool for completing work on your home on the first or second floor, and can cost from £250 – £400 per day to hire. But not to worry – you won’t need to add these additional costs to your budget for this project.
Impact on Heating Bills
Many people worry that installing a large amount of glass will impact their heating bills, as the air temperature can change depending on the weather and season. This can be true for patio doors of the past that have been installed with wooden frames and single glass panes. However, bi-folding doors today are built with double glazing glass panes, secure aluminium frames and high quality locking devices.
These elements, if correctly installed, should not have an impact on your heating bills. Another reason why aluminium is a popular material is that aluminium frames won’t warp or bend over time. This is because aluminium is a strong material that doesn’t rust easily. It’s also lightweight so that it won’t put pressure on your structure.
If you’re designing a new extension or kitchen redevelopment, you may want to consider underfloor heating as an option. With bi-fold doors, you are likely to lose wall space and, with that, radiators. Underfloor heating is a brilliant option for ensuring your rooms stay toasty through the winter months.
Installation costs for bifold doors
As mentioned above, the cost of installing timber frame bifold doors is significantly higher than aluminium bifold door costs. Timber frames can also be more challenging to work with and install as they are heavier, and so there may be additional costs for installing compared to aluminium bifold frames.
Remember, if installing bifold doors is a part of a larger project, it won’t take much additional preparation work for them to be securely installed. However, if you’re removing a window and sections of a wall to add the doors, this job will take a considerable amount of time to complete. There will be a lot of preparation work involved to get the large gap in the wall completed and in a good state for the runners and doors to be installed.
Generally, it will take around one day for your bifold doors to be installed. However, we would strongly recommend that the tradesman or window company visit your home before completing the work so that they can properly assess the work involved and predict any issues that could arise.
There may be additional costs for your installation, depending on the company or tradesman you use. Furthermore, if the installation is part of a larger extension project, this could mean a discount, or the work could be completed quicker if by the same company.
Your window supplier may offer a home delivery service and installations, giving you one price for the whole package. Alternatively, you may choose to use an individual experienced tradesman to complete the work and source the materials. Use Quote Check today to find reasonable quotes from tradesman local to you.
Find a Local Installer
If you’re installing bifold doors as part of an extension or redevelopment, then it might be that your builders are experienced enough to install bifold doors. However, installing bifold doors can be a tricky and complicated process, with many elements needing to be exactly correct for the doors to work smoothly. It may be that you’re looking for an independent tradesman, who is experienced in installing these aluminium bifold doors, to complete the work in your home.
Here at Quote Check, we have a wide range of window and door installers, ready to give quotes on your project. We’ll help you to find a local and affordable Bifold doors’ tradesman near you to complete this work. After some initial contact, you can invite them to visit your home and review the work that needs to be completed.
Remember that if you’re replacing a window with bifold doors, there will be considerable preparation work to complete on the wall before the runners and doors can be securely installed.
Do bi-fold doors need planning permission?
In most cases, bifold door panels can be installed without planning permission, as they’re not considered to be a major alteration to your home. However, if you’re building an extension out the back or side of your home, this will need planning permission. The bifold doors should be included in this.
If you live in a listed building or conservation area, then there is likely to be an element of approval needed when you make changes to your home. Also, consider the material used. Aluminium gives a great sleek finish, which makes it much more likely to blend into the surroundings and complement your home, helping you to get planning permission.
It’s also worth considering if the large glass bifold door space will infringe on your privacy or the privacy of your neighbours. It may be that you can plant a mature tree or two in your garden to help ease the line of sight with your new glass doors. Remember, you can also add blinds that sit within the panes to give more privacy through the seasons.
Overall, installing bifold doors to your kitchen, sunroom, extension, or lounge is a brilliant way to bring in more natural sunlight, increase the value of your home and give additional access to your decking or garden. Use QuoteCheck.co.uk today to find a quote from local tradesmen and businesses at affordable prices. Purchase and install your new aluminium bifold door products today!