Choosing the right type patio doors for your home

That all-important connection to the garden is usually top of the list for our clients.

A home that cuts you off from your outside space can feel frustrating and can really limit how you use your garden space.

But the question we get asked the most is ‘what doors do we go for?!’

The main contenders in this arena are bi-folds and sliders. What are the differences?
The pro’s and cons? Let’s go through a few of them to help you make that all-important decision.

Bi-fold Doors

Bi-folds are great for getting that completely open feeling.
On a beautiful day in summer, who wouldn’t want to throw the doors right open
and have that seamless ‘bringing the outside in’ connection?

However, we are talking about the ‘interesting’ British climate here… and how often will we have those doors right open?
It very much depends on you as a person, if you are someone who has all their doors and windows open at the sniff of spring, you may be very happy to embrace the weather. If you are someone who
feels the chill more easily, you may hardly ever use bi-folds to their full potential.

One of the drawbacks to bi-fold doors is that they have a maximum size per door, this is because
of the mechanism used to open them. This means that you will have more ‘frame’ in your line of view
as you look out towards your garden. You might find this off-putting if one of your key requirements is to be able to enjoy the garden more from inside the house.
On the basis that the doors may not be fully open an awful lot, this may lead you to consider another option…

Sliding Doors

The big benefit to sliding doors is that you can have huge expanses of glazing with largely uninterrupted views.
So this style of door is worth considering if your priority is your views and ideal for larger openings.
The profiles can be slender, giving you a great ‘open’ feeling, even with the doors closed.

You can have different arrangements; for instance, you could have one pane static with the other panes sliding behind, or all panes moving. Click here to see a sliding door install on one of our projects

The con here of course is that you will always have one pane of glass static in the opening, not quite the full opening of the wall that bi-folds offer.

The type of opening that you go for really does depend on your brief and how you want that opening to work for you. Make sure you have a good think about HOW you want to use the space. think of what you are like as a person, what function are you looking for across your new inside/outside space? Are you a family who uses their garden a lot in the summer and it almost becomes the outside living area? Then there are lots to consider.

Contact us if you have any more questions about this topic or your self-build/renovation project.

Written by Architect, Verity Lovelock, who is passionate about residential design and making your home space work for you and your family. July 2021