Small But Important Details to Consider When Choosing Bi-Fold Patio Doors

When your home has a patio or deck, or any outside area, bi-fold doors are often a better choice than a standard sliding door or hinged door. Bi-fold doors allow you to open the doors completely, getting them entirely out of the way, so you have more room for foot traffic, as well as an unobstructed view to the outside. When you're ready to choose exterior bi-fold doors, note a few small but important details to consider so you know you get the right style and material for your home.

Aluminium versus wood

Wood doors are very attractive and can offer your space a rustic and natural look, or they can be painted a dark and rich colour for something more upscale. You can also paint wood yourself, so you can change the look of wood doors over the years.

However, aluminium doors are lighter so they may need less repair, since they're not putting as much pressure on the tracks, rollers, and hinges. Aluminium is also easier to fabricate to exacting standards, so they doors may fit more precisely when installed. Wood may also shrink and expand over the years as it absorbs humidity and then dries out, so wood doors may eventually squeak or stick.

Number of leaves and size of frame

The panels of a bi-fold door are called leaves, and each will have their own frame. The more leaves and the thicker their frames, the less of a view you get to the outside of your home when the doors are closed; however, larger leaves will jut out more once they're folded, potentially getting in the way of foot traffic. You also may want a thicker area of frame around the bottom of leaves if you have pets or children; this will mean fewer nose prints on the doors and less chance of a child scratching the glass with a toy or bike.

Entryway options

It's also good to consider having an entryway door at one end of the sliding doors, for coming in and out of the home. Without a separate door, opening even one panel can mean having that joint or hinged area jutting in or out of the space, getting in the way of foot traffic. If you need a quick way to get in or out of the space where you're having the bi-fold door installed without opening all the leaves, ask about a separate hinged door.