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The Battle of the Patio Doors – Folding vs Sliding vs French

Bi-folding doors are an undeniably classic design choice for any home, particularly if you’re looking for a way of bridging the indoors and the outdoors in an organic way.

But while bi-folding doors are a popular and worthy choice for your patio or conservatory doors, there are other options to consider too before pulling the trigger.

Here, we’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of them all to help you make an informed decision.

Folding or French?

Whereas bi-folding doors are seen as more modern and conservative, there’s something undeniably ‘classic’ about French doors. They are certainly striking in an aesthetic sense but they are simply not as flexible and secure as folding door options.

French doors comprise of just two door panels that open outwards, whereas bi-folding and multi-folding doors can feature any number of panels you desire and can concertina back fully without any obstruction. This means they are comfortably the more sensible option where space is at a premium.

It’s not only space folding doors will save either, but light, as the clearer view and larger glazing area of a folding door will bring more light into your home and help it feel more alive and welcoming.

The only major benefit French doors have over folding doors aside from their classic and conventional looks is the fact that the gaps between the panels in folding doors can break up your view somewhat. They are also easier to install and more cost-effective.

Folding or Sliding?

The first obvious difference here is just how much bigger the panes of glass tend to be on sliding doors, they also slide behind each other to allow for a space-saving option that’s just as convenient as their bi-folding brethren.

The major drawback of sliding doors, however, is that they are much less secure, as they only lock at one point. As with French doors, they also can’t offer an uninterrupted view when fully open and the thicker frames can seem quite intrusive.

Many sliding door configuration options will depend not only on the size of your opening but how many panels you wish to use.

Note, however, that there will always be a lip at the bottom of the door which can prove a pretty nasty tripping hazard, particularly if you’ve had a few glasses of wine.

Folding doors, meanwhile, sit with their tracks flush to the floor and are definitely the safer option.

It’s all good

Whatever option you go for, there are various options to choose from when it comes to framing (aluminium, uPVC or wooden) and style, though it’s worth noting that going with wood will often cost more and will require more maintenance work. It all comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put into your doors and what you want to achieve with them.

Thankfully, experienced window-fitters across the country are ready to guide you through your options today.