Designers of homes and gardens are agreed that one of the most visually appealing means of connecting the interior with the outside is to use bi folding doors. Also known as tri fold, multi fold, concertina and folding patio doors, this type of door represents the pinnacle in exterior door design, with as many practical benefits as aesthetic ones.

By opening up your living space to the outside with doors that fold, as opposed to opening out or overlapping one another, you make the best possible use of space in both the internal and external areas. Furthermore, with the addition of double glazing these doors are also sturdy and secure, and allow the maximum amount of light to come into your home. Although it isn’t the cheapest of options amongst the selection of external door varieties on offer, it is certainly the one with the most potential from a practical as well as a visual perspective.

The benefits of bi folding doors

Bi folding doors do not need to be opened out, nor is it necessary for one panel to overlap the other. This means that of all door types, folding doors are able to provide the largest amount of unobstructed space when open. Even a six-panel door, or larger, designed to open out onto the whole breadth of a patio or decking area, is able to provide an aperture that is 90% clear when open. By way of a comparison, a sliding door needs to have one panel overlapping another, and in a frame with two panels is only ever able to have a clearance of 50%.

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The added benefits that this greater access to the outdoors entails includes a more fluid distinction between what is the interior of your home and what is its exterior. By opening up your bi folding doors onto your patio, you can in effect double its space, allowing for easier movement between the dining table on the patio and the kitchen area indoors. This freedom of movement between the inside and the outside will make summer days in the garden even more of a delight.

The other major advantage that bi folding doors have over other types is that they look so attractive. With an eye-catching Mediterranean appeal, the doors look just as good closed as they do open. Some people prefer french windows, feeling that they are able to let in a greater amount of light when closed, but modern bi folding designs are able to keep the frame widths to an absolute minimum, so there is only a marginal difference in how much light they can allow into a home compared with french windows.

Bi folding doors prices

The amount you spend on your external bi folding doors will depend on the width, and therefore the number of panels you need to use. The other major deciding factor when it comes to price is the material of the frame. As a key visual aspect of your home or house extension, that will also have a significant impact on your outdoor area, it is important to choose the frame material carefully, with a view to what will complement both the interior space and the garden. Consequently, many people opt for hardwood frames, or, if their home has a more contemporary aesthetic, aluminium. For a new set of bi folding doors that opens out onto a full patio, expect prices to start in the region of £3000. A cheaper alternative to either hardwood or aluminium is uPVC, although the frames tend to be slightly less discreet.