Bi-Fold, Patio, French Doors - What’s The Best Option?

Struggling to choose between bifold, patio or French doors? Let us help make that decision a little easier.

Bi-fold, patio, and French doors all have their advantages and disadvantages. At Dale Joinery, we understand that whether you’re looking to develop your existing home or you’re in the process of building your very own home (or many), you’re going to want to take pride in how it looks, its features and unique selling points. You can be proud of all angles of your property, and you can increase its value by taking small steps that can make a big difference.

New doors can change the design and feel of your property while adding practical advantages. From maximising space to letting more light in, making your home more energy-efficient and plenty more. Below we’ll dive into the differences between bi-fold, patio and French timber doors.

What Is a Bifold Door?

Bifold doors are made from a series of panels that fold up against one another like a concertina when in use. They are incredibly smooth to open and close, and each door leaf is bottom rolling to provide stability in use. There are 3 types of bifold gearing available and these are: bottom running, top hung and 5050 split, each of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Bifold doors feature high insulation levels and energy-saving properties, essentially helping you lower your energy bills too!

Bifold doors are also known as folding doors because they fold in or out to open up space. External bifold doors are most commonly used in properties thanks to the large glass panels because they let plenty of light in. By connecting the inside of your home to the outside, it’s a beautiful way to let nature in, as well as that extra bit of sunlight day to day.

However, internal bifold doors are most frequently used in smaller spaces such as pantries and walk-in wardrobes.

The majority of bifold doors have the option between 3 to 8 glass panels, all of which are connected with hinges. This, of course, depends on how large your space is. These doors use a tracking system that runs along with the panels, resulting in a smooth but quiet operation. At Dale Joinery, our timber bifold doors boast high security, multi-locking mechanisms and security glazing to provide a robust barrier against forced entry.

We also offer bifold doors that can be designed to a more traditional design with panels and glazing bars (to suit period or traditional style properties) along with the more contemporary clear and clean look (with no bars and panels). 

Choose Bifold Doors If:

You’re looking to open up the space between 2 rooms, e.g. conservatory and garden spaces.

You want more natural sunlight in the home.

You’re looking for flexibility, as well as ease of use.

You have a large room.

What Is a Patio Door?

Patio doors are also known as sliding glass doors. Just like bifold doors, they are a stunning option to open up your home and create a gateway from one room to the outdoors. Similar to bifold doors, they slide on a tracking system, and they’re known to be a much cheaper alternative than conversions or extensions. Patio doors allow for more open plan living, which is extremely popular in new modern, contemporary houses we see today.

Our timber patio doors are customisable with up to 6 sliding panels. They have an overall width of up to 8 metres.

Choose Patio Doors If:

You’re looking to open up the space between 2 rooms, e.g. conservatory and garden spaces.

You want more natural sunlight & fresh air in the home.

You’re looking for flexibility, as well as ease of use.

You have a medium-sized room.

What Is a French Door?

Originating in France during the 16th and 17th centuries, there are various types of French doors. French doors consist of door sashes that open outwardly, most commonly into the garden space. However, there are French doors that open inwards, but this isn’t a significant advantage when it comes to saving space. Like patio doors and bifold doors, they feature large glass panels that allow natural light to flow into the home.

French timber doors are charming and elegant but better suited towards smaller homes. The main difference between patio and French doors is how they open. Patio doors slide to one side, whereas French doors are operated via a pivoting hinge. 

Choose French Doors If:

You’re looking to open up the space between 2 rooms, e.g. conservatory and garden spaces.

You want more natural sunlight & fresh air in the home.

You’re looking for flexibility, as well as ease of use.

You have a small home and want to increase the feeling of space.

Choosing Between Bifold, Patio & French Doors

It might help if you ask yourself the following questions before making any final decisions. Only you know what is best for your home or development project and what space you have to work with.

How often will you use the doors?

Will you primarily use them in summer or all year round?

Are they secure?

Are they easy to maintain?

Are they in your budget range?

About Dale Joinery

At Dale Joinery, we pride ourselves in creating the ultimate timber window and door for you. We carefully source all parts of our frame and only use the best materials to guarantee product security, quality and longevity. If you’re interested in our sustainable timber windows and doors for your project, please get in touch or give us a call on 0800 030 2222. Download our digital brochure or request your physical brochure online for more inspiration.