French doors have been the preferred choice for glazed extensions for decades, providing a the classic and stylish entrance which combines aesthetic beauty with practical function.
However, although French doors are still popular with some, in recent times there’s been a new kid on the block: bi-fold doors.
Bi-fold doors offer all the benefits of French doors – but better.
Maximising the use of space and helping the flow between indoors and out, they’re a wonderfully modern solution.
But can bifold doors simply replace French doors?
Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Bi-fold Doors?
Bi-fold doors can be best described as a hybrid of sliding doors and traditional French doors, with a little extra thrown in.
Made up of different panels, rather than being slid or thrown open, they fold up concertina-style.
Fitted to runners underneath, bi-fold doors slide back and fold simultaneously, allowing you access to the full width of the doorway while being unencumbered by the door being swung open.
This allows you to use all of the space on either side of the doorway, without having to consider the path of the door opening outwards or inwards.
Bi-fold doors come in many different sizes so can be used for small areas as well as opening up the whole of the frontage.
Can Bi-fold Doors Replace French Doors?
Yes, absolutely; many people are opting to swap their older French doors with a more modern bi-fold door.
As they encourage a more natural flow from the internal space into the garden, bi-fold doors help to create a seamless feel and “bring the outside in”.
Are Bi-fold Doors Secure?
Modern designs such as aluminium and timber bi-fold doors feature the latest in security, bringing the very best of stylish design together with optimum safety.
Using premium frames and multipoint locks plus a whole range of other security features, you can have confidence that your bifold door will be safe and secure.
Many bi-fold doors now feature toughened glass, which is up to five times strong than the single glazing that is typically used in traditional French doors.
This means they are much more secure and is one of the reasons that existing French doors are being upgraded to bi-fold.
Will Planning Permission Be Needed to Replace French Doors with Bi-fold Doors?
In the majority of cases, you won’t need planning permission to replace your old French doors with bi-fold doors.
There are a few exceptions such as:
• It’s a new build property
• The use is being changed from commercial to residential
• The doors are being installed in a large glazed extension that goes beyond permitted development size
• It’s a listed building, or the property is in a designated area such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or a conservation area.
What Sizes Do Bi-fold Doors Come In?
Bi-fold doors can be made with anything from three to eight panels, giving you enormous choice over the size you want. If you only plan on replacing your existing French doors, then three panels will probably be sufficient.
However, if you want a more radical renovation, you can extend the space in your wall to utilise up to eight panels. For these much larger projects, you may need planning permission and a structural survey to ensure the change is suitable.
Whatever type of bi-fold doors you’d like, we will provide advice and guidance for every step.
Get in touch today for an informal chat.