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French, Sliding and Bifold Doors: Which Are Best?

11 January 2023

Installing full-size windows and large doors can help create a space that is open to the natural world outside. These ‘glass walls’ are amazing for areas like garden-facing rooms and the good news is there are several options to choose from.

Here we look at the difference between French, sliding and bi-fold doors and which may be the best option for your home.

French Doors

If you love traditional structures, French doors are certainly one option to consider. These normally comprise two doors that open out into the garden. They are smaller than sliding and bi-fold door installations but can look fantastic and add lots of natural light to any room. They are often combined with larger windows that fit either side of the doors.

Pros and Cons French doors tend to be a good lower-cost option and are perfect for any size garden. Today’s styles ranging from traditional to modern are not only highly secure but have great energy efficiency ratings with the latest double glazing. The one downside is that they open outwards so you need space on either side of the doors for them to operate properly.

They are a good option for kitchens and smaller rooms that you want to open out onto the garden.

Sliding Doors

The next option is sliding doors which tend to comprise two or more large panes, one of which is designed to move across the other to open up a space. The big benefit is that you don’t need to create room in the garden for the panels to open as you do with French doors.

Pros and Cons
Today's high-quality sliding doors can be made from a variety of materials including uPVC and aluminium. They are thin and light and easy to move compared to older models that tended to be more heavyweight. A sliding door can fill up an entire wall, letting in loads of light and providing instant access to your garden space.

Sliding doors can be a little more expensive than other options and you cannot open your room fully – one of the panels is always behind the other.

This is a great option if you have a patio and want to be able to open your room onto it during the summer months. During the winter, it provides an expansive view of the garden whether you use the home space for dining or simply relaxing and watching the world go by.

Bi-Fold Doors

Unlike sliding doors, Bi-fold doors are split into slimmer panels that concertina to one side to create a fully open space for garden access. They are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners because they provide more flexibility than either French doors or sliding varieties.

Pros and Cons
Bi-fold doors are light and easy to move and you can decide how much of your space is open to the outdoor elements. There is a wide range of different designs and materials to choose from and they provide a largely unrestricted view of the outside world.

You do need to be aware of the size of the opening and how much space each of the door panels will take up when they are stacked against each other. This type of design works best when you have a relatively large opening available and is perfect for areas like patios.

Which is Best for Your Home?

There’s more to consider here than simply personal preference. The space you want to convert and what you want to use it for are critical in making the right decision. If you are planning on installing French, sliding or bi-fold doors it pays to consult a professional team.

At Vision Home Improvements, we’ve been installing amazing doors for homeowners across Liverpool and the surrounding area for more than 25 years. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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