Who Makes The Best Bi Folding Doors?

It is well known that some of the best bi folding doors are available in Aluminium, PVCu and Timber. There is also the choice of hybrid materials which consist of aluminium on the outside and natural wood inside.

For this article, we will concentrate on the choice of aluminium bi folding doors, and try to offer some guidance.  We also explain how bifolds are similar in specification and give you some of the many brands available.

Helping you choose the best bi folding doors for your home.

First of all, people ask this website “where can I view several examples of bi folding doors in one place?”  There are some good reasons why this is not always possible.  One important reason is space!  Unlike window samples, a double glazing salesperson may bring into the home, bi folding doors must be full size working and correctly installed doors to give the right customer experience. Only a full-size door provides a good overview of the product.

As a result, to display many different doors, typically 4 metres wide would need substantial showroom space.  Now, good bifolding door showrooms are commonplace. Express Bifolds in Leeds, Romford, Redhill and Glasgow has some of the best showrooms in the UK. Hehku in Sussex, Aspire Bifolds in Epsom, Open Living in Letchworth, Everglade Windows in Middlesex, Sunflex in Norwich, IQ Glass in Buckinghamshire. These are just a tiny fraction of outstanding showrooms with many doors on display.  Contact us as we can put you in touch with showrooms where you can see several products.

Home improvement companies choose which system they sell to you in the same way as retail shops choose which brand of product to stock. Most home improvement firms offer windows, entrance doors, conservatories and bifolding doors.  Other businesses specialise only in bifolding as well as sliding doors.  Consequently, you are more likely to see a greater variety of bifolding door systems at a bifolding door specialist.

Brands like Origin, AluK, Smart Systems, you will see everywhere.  There are substantially more brands on the market than these.

best bi folding doors

Bifolding doors remain a desirable home improvement product.

First of all, one of the most important things to know about bifolding doors.  The reliability of the product is down to the quality of the manufacture and precise installation. Finding the best bi folding doors is therefore also about who makes and fits it.  Find the right installer, and your new bifold door will serve you well. With any quality door and installer, you get several ‘peace-of-mind features, such as:

  • Extensive choice of colours.
  • Certified security and weather performance such as PAS24 or Secured By Design.
  • Multi-point locking, security door cylinders and durable door handles.
  • A selection of door brands.
  • Matching windows and other doors where required.

With most bifolds being exterior doors, another factor is weather resistance. Virtually every reputable brand comes tested to current weather performance requirements.  Therefore, bifolding doors today have excellent weather performance. We do not hear of bifolding doors suffering from water ingress.  Seals, gaskets and great design allow any water to drain to the outside.  And remember a bifold door is weather resistant only when correctly made and fitted.

Over the years, substantial improvements to hardware and running hear means bifold doors work better than ever.  As a result, your doors provide reliable operation for many years to come. As well as hardware improvements, bifold door design is better. Modern doors come substantially improved over previous generations of sliding folding doors.

So it is fair to say that the bifolding door has progressed significantly over older versions of sliding folding doors. To find the best bi folding door means understanding who makes it too.  To illustrate this, we explain the role of the bifolding door within the aluminium supply chain.

Bifolding doors come direct from many different manufacturers or exclusively produced by the systems company that designed them. Learn about Systems Companies.

The Bi folding door “system”.

Many of the best bi folding doors in the market come designed and extruded in raw material form by Aluminium Systems Companies. These are called bifolding door systems.

In general terms, these Systems Companies supply the aluminium bars, hardware and accessories to nationwide manufacturers. Many of these manufacturers then sell the fabricated bifolding doors to the installers, home improvement firms, general builders and companies specialising in home renovations.  Some manufacturers also make and install your bifolding doors.

As well as this, some home improvement companies choose to rebrand these bifolding doors with a different name. They remain for example a “Smarts System” (or Smarts Door), but a simple marketing exercise enables a Company to have its own particular “brand” of a bifolding door.  In many cases, the door is the same as any other of the same system.  Some other companies do choose to fit different handles or customise the design in some way to differentiate their door from another.

The systems companies support all these manufacturers and provide detailed fabrication manuals, technical support documents, tooling and machinery.

All reputable bifolding door manufacturers adhere to the guidance in these technical manuals, ensuring the product comes manufactured, glazed and installed as intended by the systems company.  Moreover, this is important in the event of a problem with the finished product.  The Systems Company only stands by and supports issues with their products when manufactured and installed correctly.

The only perceived risk with any door supplied to more than one fabricator is that quality can differ from company to company as will the guarantees. In reality, this is nothing to worry about.  Some of the best names in bifolding doors such as Schuco or Reynaers come fabricated by many different businesses all over the country.

One company only manufactures some of the best bi folding doors.

By comparison, some companies offer bifolding doors unique to them. They retain their own bifolding door “system” but also manufacture the doors themselves.  These are then be supplied ready-made to their approved dealers and installers. Such companies include Origin Bifolding Doors, Sunparadise, Solarlux, Sunflex, Centor, are just some.

Origin Bifolding Doors are one of the most highly regarded bifolding doors in the UK.  The Origin door is an excellent example of a large business that fabricates bifolding doors to an exceptional standard. Only Origin makes their doors. In 2019 Origin has introduced new products such as sliding doors and the new OB-49 bifolding door. The brand new OB-49 by Origin now comes with ultra-slim sightlines of just 110mm at the door mullions and is now one of the slimmest doors available. It comes with Hafi handles as standard and has the same expert craftsmanship, quality and engineering of their original product, now called the OB-72.

Another benefit to one manufacturer is consistent quality, greater control of the product as well as an after-care service.  Origin, for instance, actively engages with its customers where many other systems companies less so.  Moreover, the way Origin exclusively supplies its quality folding doors also enables them to offer a 20-year warranty.

SUNFLEX is another excellent, sought-after brand of bifolding doors with a German-made product. This brand bifold comes with several unique features over other bifolds as well as being one of the thinnest.  Well worth looking at alongside any other premium brand.  There are seven different door models to choose from in aluminium, timber and hybrid materials.

Dutemänn based in Dartford is a premier manufacturer of Schuco doors. Dutemann additionally offers their FD85 bifolding door giving you three panels when most other systems on the market need four panels.  The Dutemann FD85 uses the Greek Alumil system. Express Bifolding doors also use Alumil in their XP View door.

Sunparadise Systems come with Swiss design, engineering and quality influences and are widely regarded as one of the upper-tier bifolding doors on the market.  Some of the best installers operating in the high-end residential market use Sunparadise products.  These sit with Centor, Solarlux, Sunflex and Schuco as some of the best bifolding doors you can buy.

Therefore if who makes your bifolding doors is essential, do your research and ask each potential supplier for a full background. Or contact us for more information on a brand or system.

Many factors affect your choice of bifolding door.

Another factor around which is the best bifolding door comes down to features and benefits. Professionals in the door and window industry all have their view of what is the best bifolding door.  They base their reasons on factors such as ease of installation, previous experience with reliability as well as, for manufacturers, ease of fabrication.

After product considerations come service levels from their supplier.  Long-term reliability is another consideration. Finally, brand perception is important too.  To begin with, suppliers like to offer an affordable bifold like the Smart Systems Visofold or AluK Optio BSF70 bi-fold door. After this, they then sell a door with a better brand perception such as Schuco, Reynaers, Air, Sunfold or Sunflex.

Also important to bifold doors sellers is a choice based on styling and aesthetics. For instance, Origin doors are widely available in the UK, but the OB-72 is not the thinnest.  Therefore many dealers supply Origin with a thinner alternative for comparison and choice.  Schuco, Reynaers and SUNFLEX is usually the one.  To help with your research, we’ve compiled a comprehensive article showing who makes the slimmest bifolding doors.

Importantly for the end-user, the best bifolding door also relates to price, guarantees, aesthetics and of course confidence in the company they’re buying them from.  Having considered the supply chain, we now examine the technical, aesthetic and other features standard in some of the best bi folding doors.

Frameless bifolding doors by FGC

The best Bi folding Door Brands

We say there are no absolute best bi folding doors. Rather, the leading systems can be grouped for comparison.  This list is to help you compare the various systems should you wish to do so. We have compiled this through our experience of having worked with many bifolding door products, the companies and their customer base.

The following Bifolding Door brands are considered by this website and many professionals to be the market leaders in terms of design, build quality and service levels. Obviously, the price reflects this too.

Brands of Aluminium Bifold Doors

MID-RANGE BIFOLDING DOORSHIGH-END BIFOLDING DOORS
Alumina by LiniarSunflex Bifolding Doors
Smart Systems Visofold RangeAir 800 Bifolding Doors
AluK Systems RangeSchuco ASS Systems
SAPA Building SystemsReynaers Aluminium Systems
Senior AliFoldSolarlux
Greenways ArchitecturalSunparadise Supertherm 80
Kestrel Aluminium SystemsOrigin
Comar Aluminium SystemsSolarlux
Kaye Building Systems KBSFrameless Glass Curtains
New Wave DoorsCortizo Bifolding Doors
Panoramic DoorsCentor Bifolding Doors
Warmcore DoorsExpress Bifolding Doors
DeWall Doors by DebarAlumil Supreme SF85
Express BifoldsSieger Systems & Sieger Lux

What about Everest and Anglian Bifolding Doors?

We must mention the two biggest home improvement firms in the UK and their bifolding doors. The reality is there is very little information about them as Everest and Anglian don’t reveal much.  They rarely provide detailed information when asked so we can review the products.

It is our understanding that the Everest Bifolding Door uses the SAPA bifolding door with minor modifications to make it ‘unique’ to Everest.  Anglian, we believe uses modified AluK bifolding door profiles.

Bifolding doors for apartments.

Bifolding Door Quality & Standards

If the sheer choice of bifolding door brands and products seems like a minefield, we can help. The technical specifications of many bifold doors are similar. Thanks to the many industry standards in place to produce doors and windows, bifold door specifications are broadly the same.

Paint finish, aluminium profiles, glass and gaskets all come from high up the supply chain.  Therefore, our advice is to concentrate on the aesthetics and personalisation options as the material quality is pretty much the same.

All bifolding door manufacturers operate within strict guidelines for material quality, glass specification and security standards. Other companies will have their own in-house Quality Assurance Systems and procedures to ensure product and manufacturing quality is consistent and of a high standard.

FeatureRelevant Industry Standard
Quality of aluminium profiles and extrusions Aluminium Alloy 6063.T6 to BS EN 755 Part 9: 2008 or BS EN 12020
Quality of polyester powder coated finishBS EN 12206-1:2004.
Quality of glassBS 6262 and Approved Document N
Quality of glassBS 6262 and Approved Document N
SecurityPAS 24, Document Q, Secured by Design, BS7950, BS EN 12209
Weather resistanceBS 6375: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3:2009
Water resistanceBS 6375: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3:2009
Air permeabilityBS 6375: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3:2009
Quality of rubber gasketsEPDM Rubber manufactured in accordance with BS3734.
Quality of woolpile sealsBS 7386:1997
Polyamide Thermal BreakPA66 GF25
Anodised coloursSilver or bronze anodised BS3987 (AA25).

U Values

A U value is the name given to how heat transfer is measured through a building material such as a door or a window.  In simple terms, it is a measure proving how-how energy efficient a door will be including its glass.  This is to comply with new Building Regulations that came into effect in October 2010.

All parts whether windows, doors or building materials that contribute to the overall energy efficiency of a home must achieve a  U Value.  Generally, the lower the U Value, the more energy-efficient the product.  The current Building Regulations require the overall door energy rating to have a U value of less than 1.8wM2K. On bifolding doors, U-Values will vary from system to system, but each must meet the minimum standard as determined by the Building Regulations product to product as well, but each should meet the minimal standard.  As a result, several good doors offer great U-Values when glazed with a standard double glazed unit.

Powder Coating

The powder coating process and the way aluminium doors are coloured and finished is one of the most appealing features of aluminium bifolding doors.  Most leading systems companies such as Smart Systems, Senior Architectural Systems and others have invested in their own powder coating plants.  Other systems will outsource the painting of their aluminium doors to approved and expert powder coating companies.  It does not matter who paints your doors as long as it is to recognised industry standards. Most powder coaters have Qualicoat Approval.

Some of the best bi folding doors come with thicker paint finishes for enhanced durability. Great for exposed or coastal locations.

Salt and Chlorine

For doors installed in a coastal or swimming pool environment, it is imperative that the powder coating applied takes into consideration the location. Any bifolding door system can, therefore, come with an extended paint guarantee. This guarantee protects powder-coated bifolding doors against salt, chlorine and other contaminants.

Several brands come with this enhanced powder-coated finish (coated to thicker microns) as standard. Be aware that guarantees are offered only by the powder coating applicators.  There is a difference between a thicker grade paint finish without a warranty and one where an application for a special guarantee to the powder coater needs to be made.

Security

Locking mechanisms will mostly meet minimum or maximum security requirements depending upon what testing standard has been carried out. Some bifolding doors meet Secured by Design accreditation; others do not.  We suggest you always ask about testing and certification with your doors.

Weather

Weather performance on bifolding doors will also have been carried out to established industry standards. Some doors will have a more severe weather rating than others.  This does not imply that the bifolding doors with the lesser standard will leak!  You may wish to consider a door with a higher weather rating for doors in an exposed location. If your doors are simply for an extension to a typical terraced house, the lesser standard will suffice.

What about the best bi folding doors you rarely see?

Look at many of the most beautiful bifolding door showrooms, and it is the case you will often see the same brands of doors available. Good examples are Smart System Visofold and AluK bifolding doors.  These are good quality bifolding doors, widely available and at competitive prices.

Alumil SF85. One of the newest bifolding doors in the UK is the Alumil SF85. Alumil is a Greek systems company offering very high specification bifolding doors and other glazing systems. Their SF85 has excellent technical specifications, outstanding proportions and goes up to 4 metres high.

Kawneer bifolding doors.  The Kawneer name has a global reputation providing their glazing systems in some of the most famous buildings in the world.  The Kawneer AA3720 is hard to find in the typical showroom.  Kawneer doors are manufactured and installed by the most experienced and professional manufacturers and installers.  Their expertise is in commercial and complex work they don’t sell directly to the public.

Senior Architectural Bifolding Doors.  Senior Architectural is one of the biggest independent systems companies in the UK. Like Comar or Kawneer, they remain highly specified in the commercial market.  Presently Senior Systems offer the AliFOLD and PURe FOLD suite of doors.  Both versions are well designed, attractive, provide a wide choice of sections and are very adaptable doors.

Senior doors also offer the glazing bar option for those wanting a steel look door with multi-panels. Senior bifold doors we say deserve much more consumer consideration.  You won’t easily find them in your average showroom – contact us, and we can put you in touch with a local installer.

SAPA Crown Doors.  A well priced bifolding door featuring a continuous hinge.  SAPA has a great name in the UK for aluminium doors and windows. In 2020 SAPA rebranded as Technal in the UK

Schuco and Reynaers doors.  The first choice for anyone wanting a more luxurious door from two of the best known brands in the world. Take a look and see how Schuco and Reynaers doors compare with each other and with the Origin bifolding door as well. 

Bifolding doors to match PVCu windows.

Many homeowners are adding bifolding doors to their homes after they’ve installed new PVCu windows.

Liniar has an excellent reputation for PVCu windows and doors.  The Alumina door from Liniar provides a  sculptured profile to replicate the aesthetics of Liniar windows.  Alumina matches other sculptured PVCu windows too.  The new Stellar  Bifolding Door also comes in this finish.

One of the many advantages of this product is that it’s available in a foiled finish to match modern PVCu windows.  Also, its sculptured profile makes it the only bifolding door on the market that can match the Liniar range of PVCu windows and doors. This gives a matching bifolding door.  But if you’re looking for a bifolding door with all the advantages of aluminium, yet can create a similar look to PVCu elsewhere in the home, Alumina by Liniar is well worth considering.

Another great feature around doors like Alumina is how they benefit installers. Using PVCu beads, these doors are one of the fastest to glaze compared to bifolds with aluminium beads.

Aesthetics

The aesthetics of bifolding doors will vary from system to system. Therefore it is advisable to consider whether you want a door with profiled or rounded edges to the frame and door leaves, or a more flatline and contemporary appearance. Bifolding door aesthetics vary greatly. Do your research, shop around and find the bifolding door that will best match your home.

For grey colour doors, the flat appearance of some systems looks better. A wood effect aluminium bifolding door looks more authentic with rounded profiles.

For those wanting the slimmest possible sightlines, there are also all glass bifolding doors available that consist of virtually no aluminium framing. These offer far less visible aluminium frame than many standard and popular products.

Some bifolding door systems come with a limited choice of profiles. Other brands give you contemporary or traditional looking doors.  Examples include a chamfered door or a contemporary flat-looking door. Warmcore doors by Synseal Systems offer four different profile combinations.

In our experience, security, performance, thermal efficiency and product guarantees are significant to consumers.  But at the same time, aesthetics is highly important and will often be the critical decision when buying a bifolding door.  Therefore, it has to look right.

Maximum and minimum sizes of doors

Bifolding door systems vary in what minimum and maximum door leaf sizes you get. Some bifolding door systems stop at 2500mm to 2700mm high. Other door systems come in a maximum height of 3 metres. Some, like Sunflex go up to 3.5m high.  As a result, bifolding doors for larger openings create either floor to ceiling glazing when closed or even large open apertures in the summer.

Therefore, if you have a particular requirement, make sure you seek advice. If your local bifolding door suppliers offer a system at smaller maximum sizes, look at other brands.

If you’re designing a new extension and looking for wide and tall doors, you’ll see some products stating their maximum door sizes. Many of the best bi folding doors like Schuco or Dutemann come with wide and tall door sizes.  Some systems report big sizes but not always possible.  For example, a 3 metre high door is possible with narrower door leaves. A wide door leaf may need a reduced height.

Quality of the Running gear and hardware.

The running gear is one of the essential components in a bifolding door.  Bifolding doors with the weight on the bottom are more reliable than those bifolding doors that “hang” from the top. A bifolding door is a complex product and reliability is essential. The best bi folding doors come with reliable, quality running gear taking the weight on the bottom with guides at the top.

Some bifolding door manufacturers use proprietary running gear. Other companies have developed their running mechanisms, unique to their doors.

The same applies to door handles and hinges. There is diversity in the quality, and some bifolding door manufacturers differentiate themselves with the high quality construction, design and feel of their door handles. The door handle, the intermediate pull handles between the doors remain visible at all times. Therefore you have to be happy with how the handles will look.

Likewise, other bifolding door manufacturers offer pull handles that are more concealed than others or recess entirely. SAPA provides a bifolding door with a continuous full-height hinge. Origin doors offer safe finger gaskets that can colour match the rest of the door. Schuco offers excellent, distinctive door hardware that is instantly recognisable. There are differences between all systems, so again shop around.  Most doors on the market have finger protection between the doors.

The bifolding door low threshold

The threshold on bifolding doors is important as most people want as flush as possible threshold.

The dimension of the low threshold will vary by millimetres from system to system.  Find out more about Thresholds on Bifolding Doors.  Therefore always speak to your builder, door provider and architect if you’re looking to achieve an ultra-flat look to your door threshold.

Again beware the marketing literature. Many systems will state they offer a slimline or ultra-low threshold.  Always check the small print that this threshold is suitable for external applications as many systems offer this very low detail with doors intended for internal use only.  As a result, you may find weather tests and security tests carried out apply to a product with a standard threshold.  This doesn’t necessarily mean your doors will leak or be easy to break into, but it is worth checking if this factor is important in your buying decision.

We have mentioned Aluhaus’ Alufold doors in this article already for their engineering and quality.  Alufold bifolds come with a weather-rated low threshold.  Alumina bifold doors do too.

Guarantees and Service Levels for bifolding doors.

Almost all bifolding door brands provide good guarantees. You will find differing service levels and customer care from company to company.  Some manufacturers give a guarantee to their installers, assuming a correct door installation.  Installers offer their own guarantee (typically ten years).  All of these guarantees will largely depend upon the door system. Remember glass or glass with integral blinds often comes with only five years guarantee. Check with your bifold door provider.

Therefore there is no disadvantage to the consumer with doors supplied and guaranteed via several parties.

Origin Doors have a 20-year guarantee.  Aïr 800 bifolding doors have a 25-year guarantee – one that no other bifolding door company offers.  This does not imply that a door with ten years will be any less reliable.  It merely means such companies who make their doors have greater control of all their processes internally, involving fewer parties. A guarantee is a deciding factor for many choosing the best bi folding doors.

It’s important to understand that guarantees will vary between a window company installing bifolding doors and your builder fitting them.  The supply process is complicated, so always check what guarantee you get depending on who fits your doors.

Buildings often buy doors a trade supplier or trade counter.  Trade Suppliers do not offer much beyond the powder coating and hardware guarantee.  Consequently, the company fitting your doors give you a better guarantee.  Bifold doors from the builder will be cheaper than an installer, but the latter gives you better peace of mind.

Alufold bifolding door

Summary

This article aims to help you understand the various features of some of the best bi folding doors and what to consider. We have given some background about the different parts of the supply chain. And how the guarantees work, along with some general questions relating to bifolding doors.  Therefore there is enough information to ask the right questions, and fully understand the answers.

A reputable and experienced home improvement company will be able to advise you about bifolding doors fully.  Similarly, a company providing a range of bifolding door systems will explain the features and benefits of each.  Our advice is, be happy with the product, the price and your chosen supplier.

Of course, there are many other brands of bifolds and some quite impressive brands like Sieger from IQ Glass, Fineline and others with a different design, functionality, specification and cost.

For homeowners seeking the very best high-end doors whether in design, engineering, customisation or product quality we consider the following brands in a different category compared to others.

Centor
Solarlux
Sunflex
Sunparadise
Frameless Glass Curtains
Schuco

Contact us whatever your questions about bifolding doors.

Every year this website helps thousands of consumers and those in the trade.  We provide answers to bifolding door questions, finding the right product and from the best suppliers. Whatever your question about finding the best bi folding doors or where to source them, please contact us and we can help you.  Our service is free.

Published on April 25, 2014

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Sophie says

    Hi, we’ve been quoted by two different companies one is fir origin doors and the other is for cortizo. The cortizo quote comes in at nearly 1K cheaper and that includes installation . What brand to go for here? From my research they are both good, reputable brands. Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Sophie, both are indeed good brands and systems and both, well-made and (importantly) well fitted are reliable doors.

      There’s lots of information around the origin sole-manufacturing, manufacturer warrany and other positives. Cortizo really depends who you’re buying it from and how it comes. We know some manufacturers making quite standard doors such as Alutech, the Eurocell product and others using Cortizo but rebranded as their own. Then there are specialist fabricators making these doors even better with different locks, handles and gearing.

      One good indicator of quality is how the doors feel when they slide and fold, so if you’ve not tried both brands do open and close them and see how they feel.

      You don’t mention if you’ve looked at the OB-49 or OB-72 model from Origin, the former being a little slimmer than Cortizo.

      The only ‘advantage’ Origin has is the personalisation options with handles, hardware, gaskets etc, so if this is important to you then this brand has the edge.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards,
      Nick

  2. Adriana Mirica says

    Hi,
    Hard to chose between Alu-k or SAPA for our bi-folding doors. Any advise , please?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Adriana, thank you for your question. Both doors are just fine although different in aesthetics. Some people like the sightlines and the pop-out T handle found on the Aluk doors, others love the continuous hinge of the SAPA.

      Go with the door you like the look of the best and the one that also feels best when sliding and folding. A smooth slide action is a great indicator of quality. But both doors well made and fitted should serve you well.
      Hope this helps
      Kind regards,
      Nick

  3. Renato says

    Hi,

    Very interesting article – I never imagined spending time reading article about bi-fold doors, but apparently it is tricky choice.

    I am looking for a slimline bifold system (3 panels h:230cm w: 300cm) to replace smaller UPVC bifold doors.

    What do you think about the slide&pivot solution from Sunseeker? It costs almost twice other alternatives and and to open the first panel you have to slide it few cms. Is it practical and durable? I have seen a cheaper identical alternative, but the seller didn’t share any specs. Do you know what is the maker of these pivot&slide systems?

    Alternatively, I have found some websites with incredibly cheap Cortizo offers, but very few and mixed (or even fake) reviews. I understand that the Cortizo platform is great, but I am afraid to end up with inaccurate, poorly assembled or even scratched frames. Does the manufacturer make a great difference or they all use the same tools and templates provided by the maker of the system?

    Finally, can you suggest an excellent Cortizo manufacturer in London?

    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Renato

      The Sunseeker doors are a good product – it’s hard to comment on price points as price comes down to many factors including your own home and accessibility for fitting, profit margins, etc.
      Due to the increasing volume of comments, we are struggling to manage these via the comment forms. Therefore, please can you use our contact form where these are managed and always responded to and can put you in touch with a Cortizo manufacturer.

      Kind regards
      Nick

  4. PeteG says

    Hi
    Great guide – very useful.
    I want to install aluminium bi-folds and matching profile windows into a summerhouse. The only company I’ve come across so far offering a bespoke service is a company named Slide & Fold of Coventry. As I live in Cumbria I hope you could recommend someone a little nearer to where I live.

  5. Hayley Marston says

    Hi. I am looking for bifolds 5m wide. I’m based in north London . I love the look of the slide and pivot doors but the firms that I have seen locally such as sunseeker seem to have bad ratings which is making me wary. I see this is actually a mentioned form above. Are there any recommended companies that offer slim Sightline but great security. I am also interested in knowing bifold doors that offer good security. One of my main concerns is making sure they can not be broken in to but would like slim sight lines at the same time. I have received a good quote from glass opening Go-70 bifolds are they are good product / company?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Hayley, We have been asked about these doors before and I think they might be the Alulux Turkish product.

      Glass Openings is using a combination of images from Reynaers and others and therefore a bit hard to see what system they sell exactly even though their drawings on ebay do mention again that it’s Turkish, possibly the ASAS aluminium profile and the DRC-60 bifold system.

      There is nothing wrong with doors made in Turkey or anywhere else in Europe as long as you’re confident of getting good service in the event of a fault and the doors need servicing or replacement parts. For example, Sunflex doors are made in Germany and this is a very fine brand indeed.

      They also say their service is online and our view is always to see the doors you’re getting.

      If you’re worried about security and your supplier tells you the doors are PAS or SBD tested then ask them what specification their test model came with to pass the test. As a minimum, it would have had laminated glass so are you at least getting that? Also what grade of door cylinder was tested compared to what you’re getting in your doors?

      As I say, most doors offer good security and there are things you can do to improve it with enhancing your bifold and it’s extremely rare we hear of break-ins through a bifold.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

      • Sam says

        Hello I am from
        Glass openings and I can confirm we do not make our doors in turkey and we have been manufacturing the cortizo bifold system since 2017. Cortizo will also confirm we are their largest bifold manufacturer in the UK. I hope this helps and you can pass the information on when people ask.

        Thanks

        Any more info do not hesitate to contact me @ glass openings

  6. D McD says

    Hi

    Thank you for the informative article. We are at the Essex/London border and looking for a bifold for a 6m width. Height 2.4m over 5 leaves so all opens one way. We are considering Schuco, Aluk and Smart visofold 1000. Security is a big issue for us as is durability around 3 young children. Is schuco the clear winner here?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Thanks for your questions. All the brands you mention should be fine in your home. Importantly, they’ve all been security tested to the latest standards but where they differ is the lock types and the number of locking points. So while they’ve all passed the same/similar security test, it’s whether additional features would give you peace of mind.

      Some suggestions for improving the security of the door is laminated glass and upgraded high security door cylinder. Please bear in mind that the doors the systems companies submit for testing do have these upgrades in the test model, where many installers offer only toughened glass as standard. So please check with your installer what you’re getting with each product.

      Origin products as a further example also come tested to the same security test but these have 8 locking points on the lead door where other doors only have four or five-point locking. Schuco comes with Winkhaus German locks again tested to similar standards but using a lock with a higher quality perception.

      For durability, we’ve rarely heard of problems with correctly made and fitted doors. The only complaint we get is for Aluk doors where on older doors the pop-out T handle fails and customers struggle to find replacements. But, being fair to the product this could be down to mis-use rather than failure of the handle itself.

      There’s no ‘bad’ door on the market but they do differ in the overall quality of the components and engineering generally. We think Schuco, Origin, Sunflex, Centor, Reynaers offer the best engineering, highest quality components and best slide and fold action. Dutemnann doors are also very good for design, security too.

  7. Kishen says

    Hi

    Great article, and thank you for taking the time to write it.

    I’m looking for a system to span a 4m opening. My builder has recommended Reynaers but local glazing company has recommended Cortizo. I’ve never heard of Cortizo and your article doesn’t mention them. Have you ever come across them and if so, how do they compare with the Reynaers system?

    Are you aware if any showrooms in the Twickenham area to help me make a decision?

    Many Thanks

    Kishen

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Kishen, thanks for your question. Cortizo bifolding doors are available from a number of manufacturers under different brand names and they’re good products. They’re on a par with the Reynaers system although their sliding doors are better known in the UK than their bifolds. Yes we know the products well, we’ve seen them and well-made and installed they should serve you well.

      If you’re trying to decide between the two, our suggestion is to focus on the smoothness of the slide and fold action (a good indicator of quality and the overall quality/style of the door handles.

      Im not sure locally to you where you can see Cortizo doors but their London office is in Croydon if that is worth a visit?
      Hope this helps
      Kind regards,
      Nick

      • Steve Duxbury says

        We have just started manufacturing this door at Cheshire Bifolds in Altrincham. This is by far one of the best doors we have seen and manufactured. We have been manufacturing the visofold 1000 for as long as I can remember but this Debar designed door is a much stronger and smoother door. The only real design issue is with the add-on on the bottom of the door. I would have personally tried to incorporate the larger roller in to the threshold. This door is PAS24 as standard, and I always insist on laminated glass and anti snap cylinders on all our doors. The problem will all SMART products is they just keep adding different components to improve the product and meet PAS24 . We intend to keep selling this door over the Visofold as I believe it represents better value for the customer. Thanks for a great article. Steve at Cheshire Bifolds.

        • Nick Dardalis says

          Hi Steve, yes you’re right it’s a very well thought out product easy to make and great to fit too from the feedback we get.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Thanks for your question. Our advice is always vigilance and care buying doors online without having seen the product. Check your specifications, sizes, what handles you’re getting, whether you need a trickle vent, cill and other details only a survey can establish.

      As far as Lunar is concerned I’m not sure. Their website seems to show the same images from Express bifolds so it’s worth asking if the businesses are connected. Given the professionalism and size of Express, I would be very surprised if their sharing their installations unless through their Express for Trade arm they’ve given permission.

      The company appears to offer Smart Systems products and Reynaers from the text and images on their website but we can give no more information than this.

      Finally the company appears as a manufacturer yet their premises are on a fifth floor of a business centre. It might be worth establishing where their factory is or where they buy their doors.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  8. Phil says

    Hi, just wondered how important it is to get someone with aluminum bi-fold doors installation experience to fit. Would installers of uPVC take naturally to fitting an aluminium system if I ordered supply only, or should I look for a recognised installer of a particular system?
    I’m in Kidderminster, West Mids if you could recommend a system/installer.
    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Phil. Very important. While there are many builders who fit bifolds and do it quite well, nothing beats a trained installer. This is especially important as every door has its own particular installation characteristic and an approved installer is usually trained by the people who designed the product.

      Can suggest the below that might be able to help you.

      Lite Haus
      E-mail: info@litehausuk.com
      Telephone: 024 7646 0115
      Lite Haus UK Ltd.
      205 Torrington Avenue,
      Coventry
      CV4 9UT
      https://www.litehausuk.com

      also further afield but worth speaking with
      Basfords Ltd
      https://www.basfords.com
      01159 226000
      Nottingham Road
      Attenborough
      Nottingham
      NG9 6DP

      L&L Installations
      Red Lane
      Tewkesbury
      Gloucestershire
      GL20 5BQ
      0800 592946
      01684 295038
      webenquiry@ll-installations.co.uk
      http://www.ll-installations.co.uk

  9. Jay Dee says

    Good afternoon,

    We are looking for Bifold doors to span a 5 meter width for an expansion.

    We’ve looked at Origin and Sunflex doors which we really like.
    Are there any showrooms in the South West of the UK that we could visit to see these types of Doors?

    We’re situated around the Taunton area.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Jay, two very good brands of bifolding doors. For Origin doors I only know of Aspect Windows in Exeter, although there are dealers in Bristol such as Bristol bifold. The Origin website can point you to a local installer or drop us a line via the contact form and I can help point you to the area of the website.

      For Sunflex its best you get in touch with the company to make sure the Sunflex dealer has the doors you want.

      SUNFLEX UK
      Unit B1
      Rhombus Business Park
      Norwich
      NR6 6NN
      01603 258649 (Any enquiries)
      info@sunflexuk.co.uk
      http://www.sunflexuk.co.uk
      sarah.jermy@sunflexuk.co.uk for a local dealer.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  10. Natalie says

    Hi

    We are considering Bifold doors for our new extension/family kitchen but stuck between two companies -: Express Bifolding for their XP vision or a local company, bespoke bifold for their smart Visofold 1000- is there any difference between these two makes / companies?

    Many thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      The XP Vision from Express is the Alumil system also available from Dutemann as the FD85. This is slimmer, better engineered, goes wider and taller and a much more premium bifold compared to the Visofold.

      Express also offers the XP10 that IS the visofold system and exactly the same. I don’t know anything about Bespoke Bifolds in Glasgow so can’t offer anything there to help you. Express are an excellent company with brilliant showrooms and service but one of the bigger ones and this does not mean you’d get a bad service from a smaller local company.

  11. Sam Felts says

    Hi Nick,

    Have you ever heard of Alpine Aluminium, I am considering using them on a supply only basis using their AP20 product.. I have however seen some very poor reviews but then also some very good ones… they are coming out by far the cheapest and I fear this is for a reason!! We are based in Cornwall looking for a 4m bifold and 2.2m French door set..

    Any dealings with these guys?

    Best

    Sam

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Sam, yes we do know of Alpine but have no direct dealings. They use the Aluk system which is what their AP20 is. It’s a very good affordable bifolding door when correctly made and fitted and should serve you well.

  12. Lynne Steed says

    Hello,
    I like the new hinge-less bi-folds with 2cm aluminium frames, these are available on at least 3 websites (SunSeeker, Ultra Slim and others) but I can’t find them listed here. Do you know where is the best place to get them from?
    (near Hertford)
    Thanks.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Lynne, these are available from the companies you mention as far as we know but worth asking them if they have a local dealer. Please do check with these doors their suitability for external use as some are only intended for pool enclosures and some only come single glazed. Also worth asking for certification/information about security and weather testing.

  13. A Rod says

    Hello,
    Firstly thank you for the very informative website.

    I am looking for a good quality bifold door for a new opening between my kitchen/diner and conservatory. We live in Cambridgeshire.

    The opening is only 2.14m so I imagine that 2 panels is likely to be fine. Ideally it should have a very low threshold because when it’s opened we want to be able to open a big dining table across the threshold between the 2 rooms. The floors are level between the two.

    At some point we might remove the conservatory, so the door would be open to the elements, however, so we want a door that can handle that.

    I read your articles and thought that Shuco, Origins or Reynears doors would be best. We are budget sensitive but also want a door that will last many years with good aesthetics(!) Overall I was veering towards the Schüco ASS 70 FD. I like air doors, but assume they will be far too expensive. We are not too concerned about customisation of individual elements and colours or finishes.

    Please can you suggest:
    – Some trustworthy suppliers/installers in the Cambridgeshire area?
    – Some alternatives to the ASS 70 FD at a lower price point (ideally with the same, or slimmer sightlines)?

    I appreciate I may be asking for the impossible!
    Arron

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Arron, thank you for your question will try to help.

      Get a quote for the air doors if you like them, these are available from HBD Systems in Hertfordshire

      HBD Systems
      Unit 8, The Gryphon Industrial Park,
      Porters Wood,
      St Albans, Herts.
      AL3 6XZ
      Tel: 01727 845600
      http://www.hbdsystems.co.uk

      Also worth speaking with Open Living in Letchworth. They provide the Dutemann FD85 as well as Schuco doors so worth getting a comparable on these as the FD85 are slim like the Schuco.

      Open Living
      http://www.openliving.co.uk
      01767 448005
      11 Amor way
      Letchworth Point
      Letchworth
      Hertfordshire
      SG6 1UG

      If you do intend to remove the conservatory then yes, you will need an exterior door.
      While sight lines are important there is not a huge difference between the doors. Products like Origin and Schuco enhance the experience through really nice hardware and general operation. Of course you have to like the aesthetics of the door but worth looking at the finer details too.

      Hope this helps.
      Kind regards
      Nick

  14. Simon says

    Hi, Thank you for putting together this information on the bifold door options, I’ve found it very useful and having been making my own contacts to get further information and quotes, but a little experienced guidance would be helpful. Below are a list of who I’ve contacted with my own comments (which others may find useful) in no particular order:

    Possible options:
    Eurocell (builder suggested them, but hasn’t used them before) – Good price, slim (120mm), good u-values (1.3-1.6), local (Cambridge) but seem to have dodgy reviews!
    Duration windows – Many options, good prices, slimmest is 94mm (u = <1.7) or 122mm (lowest u= 1.3), but I cant figure out which supplier they use. I think might be a few.
    Sunfold – Price is reasonable for a higher end system, but has wider profile and higher u-value (132mm, 1.7)
    Senior – Alifold is a good price, good U-values (1.2-1.6), still waiting for more info on PURe and slimness

    Awaiting info from Sunflex installer (over a week now)

    Possible discarded options:
    Alu-haus – Look good in most areas, but have a wide profile (156mm), and they're 2h30m away
    Express Bi-folding doors – expensive
    Biofold door factory (Schuco) – Expensive with a high u-value

    Discarded options:
    Cambridge bifolding doors (Origin) – Most expensive by a long way, plus least slimline.
    Bifold shop – 3 hours away

    I live in Saffron Walden and would like to see any potential units, so would prefer not to have to travel for hours to see the best options. I've so far had quotes between £3700-£5720 including installation and have a budget around £4000-£5000 for a door that 4m wide by 2.1m tall, 4 panel (3 + 1). I'd like a higher end system if the budget allows, but good U-value and slimmer join profiles are desired

    Many thanks,

    Simon

  15. Sam says

    Hi we are looking for bifold to fit in with the style of our Victorian home so a chamfered / decorative edge shape is preferred over the more contemporary styles, however if possible we prefer a slimmer look with more glass on display, finally the door must have finger safe gaskets (for our 3 children). Can you recommend any that for these criteria please.

    We are based in Southend Essex so could you also recommend suppliers/ showrooms in Essex

    Many Thanks
    Sam

    • Nick Dardalis says

      HI Sam, worth looking at the Alumina bifolding door as this is more decorative in appearance and comes in plain foiled as well as powder coated colours. It is a very good looking door with lovely hardware on it as well so well worth checking out. I’m not sure in your local area where you can see the door but the below two should be able to help you.

      Liniar Ltd
      Flamstead House
      Denby Hall Business Park
      Denby
      Derbyshire DE5 8JX
      Tel: 01332 883900
      email alumina@liniar.co.uk
      http://alumina.liniar.co.uk/homeowners/

      Whiteline Manufacturing
      26 – 36 Hawthorn Road,
      Eastbourne,
      East Sussex,
      BN23 6QA
      Tel: 01323 723724
      Fax: 0845 2802815
      Email: enquiries@whiteline.co.uk
      http://www.whiteline.co.uk

      To the best of my knowledge, all the doors come with finger-safe gaskets as well.

  16. kimberley says

    Hi – we are fitting out a kitchen extension with 1x bifold; 1xsliding door with gable pitch window above (both thin frame and invisible threshold) with additional 4x veluxes; 1x rooflight ; 2x picture windows.
    We have been quoted an all in price from express bifold to supply and install and then a quote at half the price for a direct trade price from a supplier.

    Our concern is around the warranty and responsibility on supply only – the all in package provides assurance, but at a cost. Do you have any advice on supply only companies who may be able to offer a happy medium, and with our spec?
    On supply only, are general builders usually capable of fitting or is an “official” fitter recommended?

    Also if we consider doors from express and other glass from other supplier, any advice on how we ensure colour matching? we are going for anthracite grey.

    We are based in NW Kent.

    Many thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Kimberley.

      You usually get a much longer guarantee from the company fitting your doors. And this makes sense in several ways. First of all, if for instance, they offer a 10 year guarantee I’m fairly confident in telling you they don’t get this guarantee from the people they’re buying your windows from or from the glass manufacturer. Typically the guarantee on trade supply doors is minimal and glass is usually only five years. So the installer arguably takes a risk in giving you 10 years. So while you will always get a cheaper product supply only you need to find out what your builder/other installer is going to give you by way of a warranty and I’d also ask what warranty they get from their supplier. Some may tell you some may not. You also need to consider the CERTASS/FENSA route on the installation.

      Builders are capable of fitting a lot of products but the biggest ‘headache’ comes from the bigger doors such as bifolding and sliding doors where the precision installation is needed and nobody fits doors better than a business that fits them every day! It’s your choice ultimately but for the best peace of mind I’d get them supplied and fitted by the same company.

      There is only one way of ensuring an absolute colour match and that is the same painter to paint the entire order at the same time. This is not always possible, therefore the only other sure way of getting a colour match is to make sure your anthracite grey is not only the same RAL colour but also the same powder manufacturer.

      Interpon, Axalta, Tiger, IGP, Syntha Pulvin and others all make powders. While generally speaking RAL 7016, for instance, should be the same colour, the only way to match properly is to have the same powder manufacturer. So painting your windows after your doors from another supplier if your existing doors are interpon powder they need to order the following windows as ‘interpon’.

      So worth finding out which powder coating company is painting the bars and what powder manufacturer they use.

      Get in touch if you like via the contact form and can put you in touch with some suppliers to get a quote if you decide not to use Express. They’re a good company.

      hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  17. Ian Finlay says

    Hi, great website with loads of information.
    I’m presently sourcing a 2 door bifold door. I realise you cannot have a “traffic” door as our opening is only 1660mm unless you know a company that does – although the aim is to maximise the opening with doors open (outwards).
    I have a quote from KRB Ltd in Woking which seems reasonable and they seem to have a good reputation. They use a system from Real Aluminium who no one else seems to use. I’d appreciate your comments on company and maker.
    Many thanks, Ian

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Ian, thank you for your kind comments on our website.

      REAL Aluminium is the Smart Systems manufactured by Customade UK – a very good fabricator for many years supplying installers such as KRB. So although REAL is the brand name for the Customade product, the Smart System is extensively used in the UK, tried-and-tested and very reliable when well made and fitted.
      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  18. P says

    Hi, I’m trying to decide between a Senior ALI FOLD & a Sunflex S55e which will be in our kitchen and lead into the garden. We have 4 children and the door will be used a lot so it’s all about the mechanism and durability for use. Which one would you say would suit our needs best?
    Many Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Thanks for your question. Being fair to both systems both are great but also different. Reliability issues are rarely found when a door is well made and very importantly, correctly installed. The Sunflex door is German-made, very well engineered and widely regarded as a premium brand. Senior is a very good British system designing some outstanding products but arguably less well-known in the retail market, although many new build flats and dwellings come built with their windows.

      Therefore if the German-made and engineered door and the premium brand association with Sunflex matters, then go with that. You won’t go wrong with the Senior door either. Our advice is to see the doors, try them out, look at the handles and the overall aesthetics. The right price and confidence in the company you are dealing with should also be considered. I’d probably lean towards the sunflex for the sight lines and the hardware such as the door catches and slide action as well as the brand kudos. Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  19. Kim says

    Hi – I am looking for some bi-fold (tri-fold ? as there will be 3 !) doors to fill an aperture of 2320mm in a kitchen extension we are planning.

    This website has been very helpful in providing us with a huge wealth of background knowledge and I am grateful for all of the useful knowledge I have gained reading through it, so thank you !

    We would be grateful for another manufacturer / supplier who would be reasonably local to us in North Cornwall to compare against the quote we are hoping to get fro Orign in Holsworthy.

    Any recommendations ?

    Thanks in advance

    Kim

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Kim, thanks for your question and your kind comments on our website.

      Cornwall Aluminium we know do some fine work with aluminium and worth speaking to as one suggestion. http://www.cawcornwall.com

      Also worth speaking to Aspect Windows in Exeter, another good aluminium company but not sure if they work as far as Cornwall.
      Aspect Windows
      http://www.aspect-windows.com
      quote@aspect-windows.com
      8 Apple Lane, Trade City,
      Off Sidmouth Rd,
      Exeter, Devon. EX2 5GL
      Telephone: 01392 444233 Fax: 01392 444633

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  20. Nick Dardalis says

    Hello Ryan, thanks for your question.

    Alulux gives little away with their products so It’s hard to see what system they sell. My understanding is their doors are made in Turkey, using the ASAS aluminium profile and the DRC-60 bifold system.

    There is nothing wrong with doors made in Turkey or anywhere else in Europe as long as you’re confident of getting good service in the event of a fault and the doors need servicing or replacement parts. For example, Solarlux and Sunflex doors are made in Germany and these are two outstanding brands not made in the UK but extensively supported here.

    They also say on their website “All our systems are designed, engineered and built in-house” so again you might want to check if they do make their doors or they buy them in?

    If you’d like to drop a message with your location or get in touch via the website give me an idea of your budget and happy to try suggest alternatives for you. “

  21. Stephen Sayer says

    Would you be interested in quoting supply – and supply and fit?
    Anthracite
    9No small windows 600×1050,
    2No med windows 2000×1200,
    2No solid Doors 900×2100,
    2No 3000×2100 4 panel Bifold 3r/1l & 1r/3l, open in
    1No 3000×2625 4 panel Bifold no openings, (same profile as above)
    2No 2000×2100 2 Panel Bifold open out

    Delivery to NR20 5HJ

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Stephen, thanks for your question. Our website is an information resource only and does not quote directly or provide any products.  If you’d like to get in touch via our contact form, happy to put you in touch with some local installers to give you a price.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Stephen, thank you for your question. Our website is an information resource only and does not quote directly or provide any products.  If you can get in touch via our contact form with your location, I can suggest local companies with the right products and service that can help you.

  22. Antony Dolman says

    Hi Nick

    We are currently sourcing bi-folds for a space of 5 metres and the suggestions are Origin, Smart and Eurocell Studio glide system. We want built in blinds too. We can find lots of reviews on Origin and Smart but very little on Eurocell. Do you have any knowledge of them and what would be your opinion on them.

    Kind Regards

    Tony

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Antony, thank you for your question. The Eurocell Studioglide bifolding door is the DeWall bifolding door designed by Debar

      We wrote about it in 2016 specifically for manufacturers. https://www.aluminiumtradesupply.co.uk/15777/dewall-aluminium-bifolding-door/

      It is hard to tell you a lot about the product as this door is intended to be a system any company can take and rebrand as their own. This is what Eurocell has done and others in the industry use it too under different brand names.

      What I can tell you is Debar bifolding door hardware is used on some of the best bifolding doors on the market. Therefore, Debar took their expertise in making bifolding door components and designed their own door.

      This system was designed to take on Schuco bifolds at a much cheaper price. The sight lines, the adjustable frame jamb, the width and height capability are all very close to the Schuco product.

      As we say in our who makes the best bifolding doors article, all bifolding doors meet the same specifications for quality of aluminium, paint finish, weather and security tests and glass. Therefore the raw materials are all standardised.

      If you like this door and are happy with the look of it, the price and who is providing it then you should be fine. It’s certainly slimmer and more modern looking than the thicker Origin. Any well-made and installed door will be reliable.

      Origin make outstanding doors with excellent customer service, very good handles, particularly the hafi upgrade. The colour matched gaskets, as well as windows, french doors etc, all, give you a single point guarantee too. And only Origin make their doors.

      Smart Systems is a big seller in the uk, very much the builders favourite and again many companies offer this door. We’ve never had any negative feedback on it. I’d go with Origin for the overall package on offer, Studioglide if you want the slimmer door and Smarts I would think for the cheapest price?

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information.

      Here is where you can see the original marketing material from Debar.
      https://bifold-hardware.com/debar/debar-content/uploads/2014/04/DeWall-Aluminium-double-sided-A4-flyer-2016.pdf

      Kind regards
      Nick

      • Antony Dolman says

        Hi Nick

        Many thanks for you response.

        I would never have worked who manufacturers the studio glide doors and the information you have provided is excellent and extremely useful to us.

        Just one final question, we want blinds fitted inside the glass and Morley Glass appear to be the one offered.

        I assume that all 3 options allow for integral blinds?

        Kind Regards

        Antony

        • Nick Dardalis says

          You’re welcome Antony.
          Yes Morley Glass are the biggest and arguably the No1 brand of integral blinds installers choose to offer alongside most bifold door brands. As long as any window or door has at least a 24mm glazing cavity, ideally 28 (they all do) then yes all accept integral blinds.

          Also worth checking out Hitech Blinds, they have a very symmetrical appearance to them and seem to be popular as well.
          Hitech Blinds
          info@hitechblinds.co.uk
          0330 678 0280
          http://hitechblinds.co.uk
          HiTech Blinds Ltd
          Unit 5 Maxwell Road
          Woodston Industrial Estate
          Peterborough
          PE2 7JB

          Nick

          • Antony Dolman says

            Hi Nick

            That’s great and many thanks for your help, much appreciated.

            Kind Regards

            Antony

  23. Ming says

    Hi Nick, Very interesting and useful website. We moved into our house last July and are wanting to replace the very old and drafty uPVC with aliminium bi folds. Do you know of any suppliers in Mid Wales / Powys area. Many thanks.

  24. Ian says

    Hi

    I’m looking for a good quality mid priced bi-folding doors supplier in Camberley Surrey. Who can either supply the door to our builder or fit it directly for us.

    Thanks
    Ian

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Ian, thank you for your comment. There are many suppliers serving your area so worth getting in touch with us via the website and giving some information about any particular requirements and we can try help you.

      However, worth speaking to any of the below that should be able to help you.

      Aspire Bifolding Doors
      http://www.aspirebifolds.co.uk
      sales@aspirebifolds.co.uk
      11 Castle Parade,
      Ewell By Pass,
      EPSOM
      KT17 2PR
      020 8224 7431
      Aspire has many doors in their showroom including Origin, Schuco, Smart Systems and many steel look doors. I understand they also offer the excellent air doors as well as Dutemann. One of the better showrooms in Surrey and well worth a look.

      Also
      P&P Glass
      http://www.ppglass.co.uk with showrooms in Guildford, Wimbledon and Esher offer SUNFLEX and SAPA doors. SUNFLEX SF55e you can read about on our review section and its a fine door.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  25. Jan says

    What is your opinion on Alu-Tech bi-folding doors? These are supplied by Slide or Fold in Birmingham.

  26. Nina says

    Hi our builder has quoted to provide Evolution bifold doors, the price seems too good, we’re having three panels for a space of 2.5m (wide) x 2.6m (high).

    What’s your opinion of these doors? Would we be better going with Origin?

    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Nina, this door is fine, it is widely used by many different businesses under different brand names and you should have no issues with it when correctly made and installed. It is slim, with good credentials.

      If you like the product, the price and have confidence in the company supplying it, by all means consider it.
      Kind regards
      Nick

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Bren, Express make their own doors using either the Schuco, Smarts and other Systems rebranded under their own product names. Express has a substantial and excellent factory and showroom up in Leeds that I’ve seen.
      Kind regards
      Nick

  27. Georgina says

    Hi,
    What a wonderful expanse of information, your website has been my go to when researching bifolds over the past few weeks, thank you.

    I have been looking at the alumina bifolds by liniar in the hope of having a whole system that matches ie windows, bifolds and french door. The local fabricator that Liniar gave me the details of appear to only have the PVCu Modlock bifolds. Could you tell me the pros and cons between the Alumina and Modlock? Is going for alumunium really worth it?
    Would you be able to tell me any where local to me that will supply and fit the alumina as well as the Liniar windows, we are based in Heage, Derbyshire.

    Also before hearing about the Liniar products I was interested in the Alufold from Aluhouse as I liked the idea of them going all the way fro manufacture to installation with respect to the guarantee. The local company say that they do provide a 10 year guarantee with their products but then say that the guarantee is for the failure of hermetical seals, would you be worried that this doesn’t cover other things that can potentially go wrong with bifolds?

    Many thanks,

    Georgina

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Georgina, thanks for your question and kind comments on our website. Yes the Alumina Bifold is an excellent product for matching the Liniar suite of PVCu windows and doors as well as an excellent bifold in its own right so well worth looking at this. The choice of aluminium over PVCu for your bifold door is really down to you, budget and personal preference. Several years ago aluminium bifolds were substantially superior to the PVCu models which were widely regarded as problematic, thick and chunky and not that reliable.

      In fairness to the PVCu systems companies like Liniar and others, the PVCu bifold is now far better than the early generation models. They still can’t be as slim as aluminium or as strong and they still expand more. However, the ‘bad’ issues concerning these doors have largely been ironed out over the years. Therefore you’re now getting a good product albeit a different one.

      Aluminium bifolds still remain thinner, stronger, allowing bigger door sizes, more discreet hardware and fixings and still the preferred choice. However PVCu is improved and remains cheaper.

      Regarding the Alufold from Aluhaus, I understand they have a different arrangement whereby your contract is with Aluhaus yet the installation and survey is carried out by their approved installers. You benefit from dealing directly with the manufacturer and get a better price.

      The guarantee on a product you buy is largely governed by what guarantee your installer gets from their supplier. This applies to colour guarantees and glass guarantees especially. In this instance, it sounds like they only get five year guarantee on their glass from the glass manufacturer. Some installers choose to just offer 10 years (for the sake of customer goodwill and other reasons). Other companies stick to the guarantee they get from their suppliers and just pass it on.

      Sounds like they’ve been clear that the glass is covered for five years and the product/installation for 10 years. Again I’d ask them to clarify what is covered. However, correctly made and installed your bifold should be reliable but you should expect (subject to use) to have to carry out some routine adjustment and lubrication in the years to come.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  28. Robert Sasso says

    Hi
    I am a builder based in Guildfprd, Surrey and I am looking to get a supply only quote for several sets of bifolds and some windows which I will fit in an extension in my own home. I am interested in quotes for Origin and Smart systems. Can you recommend any local companies that i can get quotes from or could I go directly to Origin or Smart for a quote?
    Thanks for your help.
    Robert

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Robert, Origin has a buy online facility on their website that may help you so yes you can buy directly from them if you wish or one of their dealers.
      For Smarts, you can’t buy directly for them but the below is closest to you and is a Smarts Fabricator

      http://www.totalinstallations.com
      102-120 North Lane
      Aldershot
      Hampshire
      GU12 4QN
      Tel. 01252 336614
      Fax. 01252 341035

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  29. Elaine Woodhouse says

    Hi Nick,

    I’m looking to purchase 2 sets of bi-fold doors, both with an opening of 3030 x 2020. My main concern (other than quality), is that they complement the Residence 9 windows that we have installed in the rest of the property. Our windows have a foiled, white woodgrain finish, square profile on the exterior and a rounded profile on the interior. Is there a bi-fold that could deliver similar aesthetics?

    Alternatively if a white woodgrain finish isn’t available, is there a matt white bi-fold product with square exterior profiling and rounded interior profiling? The bi-fold doors will be in a very prominent position on the front of our property so I am also conscious of the size and position of hinges as I want the bi-folds to look as traditional as possible.

    Your advice would be very appreciated,

    Elaine.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Elaine, thanks for your question. Well done on the choice of Residence 9 windows, they are excellent.

      Yes, there is a door that can match the aesthetics of Residence 9 and that is the Alumina bifold door from Liniar. This is an aluminium bifold but designed to match the sculptured aesthetic of PVCu windows. The white woodgrain finish I can’t guarantee on but fairly certain Liniar could do this for you. And yes there will be a matt white powder coated colour available for you to choose. Again the hardware on the Alumina door should meet your needs for a more traditional look. It’s a very good bifold and worth looking at.

      If you can get in touch with us via our contact form with your location, I can put you in touch with either Liniar directly or one of their installers.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  30. Lou says

    Thank you for such a wonderful guide!
    Do you by any chance have any recommendations for trusted companies in the South Wiltshire area? We are currently struggling with a 5m, south facing exposed face and need options and help! Thanks.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Lou, thanks for your kind comment. I can suggest the below that should be able to help you. It would help if I had some idea of the type of bifold you’re looking for – any particular features you would like.

      Most good bifold doors have good weather performance overall but worth considering threshold levels, the configuration on how the panels slide and fold, glass options and of course, colour.

      The below should be able to assist you with a range of products.

      Stonehouse Corinium (Moreton-in-Marsh Showroom)
      Old Market Way, 
      Moreton-in-Marsh, 
      Gloucestershire, 
      GL56 0AJ
      01285 653 999
      http://www.stonehousecorinium.co.uk/

      Corsham Building Plastics
      Unit A12, Fiveways Industrial Estate

      https://www.bristol-bifold.co.uk
      0117 428 6837
      Bristol Bi-fold and Sliding Doors Limited
      Old Green Farm
      Earthcott Green
      Alveston
      Bristol BS35 3TD
      Hawthorn
      Corsham
      Wilts
      SN13 9RG
      Telephone: (01225) 811663
      Fax: 01225 811420
      E Mail: enquiries@corshambp.co.uk
      http://www.corshambp.co.uk/

      Hope this helps,
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  31. Robert says

    Hello Nick

    Looking at doors and have had a quote from the Folding Sliding Door company, which is near us. I like the idea of a company that fabricates its own doors and that is nearby…but the product needs to be a quality product as our door will be u in the Pennines, and facing west. Their quote is noticeably cheaper that for a Schucco door, but prefer cheap if its good and does the job! Any views?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Robert, Folding Sliding Door company as far as I’m aware have their own system and they were one of the first companies in the UK with bifolding doors with an expanded range now.

      We are about to publish a review of their doors but from our research looks a well-made and designed door.

      • Joel says

        Hi Nick

        Have you published your review of the Folding Sliding Door Company as I would be interested in your opinion as they are offering payment in instalments?

        • Nick Dardalis says

          Hi Joel, it has taken a while to obtain the full details of the system to do a detailed Folding Sliding Doors but a review is coming in the next few weeks.

          What I can tell you is the company is one of the first into the UK market starting in about 2000/20001 when bifolding doors were very new. Therefore, they have been around for a number of years.

          I understand this to be an American system but engineered for the UK market as well. I have had a look through the basic technical drawings and information and nothing of particular concern. It’s a very typical bifolding door in design.

          It also appears to meet the PAS24 standards as well, so that is a plus point. Additionally, I can see their doors are independently tested for by EXOVA and Chiltern, both very reputable independent testing institutes.

          We’ve never heard anything negative about the product or the company, but as you can also see from the website, many of the images appear to be non-UK installations, but this is hardly anything to be concerned about either.

          The fast lead times is something to cater to the builders and homeowners where the structural opening is ready for the doors, avoiding the 4-6 week lead times of other systems.

          Technically there is nothing of concern, running gear, handles, components all look fairly standard although as yet not too sure how good these are. The plus point is the company appears to have it’s own hardware from the many manuals on their website available for download.

          If you like the door and happy with the price then you should be fine. Their guarantees also look pretty good as well when supplied and fitted by one of their dealers.

          Kind regards
          Nick

  32. Michael says

    Hello Nick,
    We are thinking about changing some old patio doors to bi-fold doors. Our opening is only 2100 mm wide by 2050 mm high. so we are worried that this might be too small for a 3 fold door. What would be the best door to go with?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Michael, yes you will end up with a door panel at about 700mm wide only as well as the extra vertical mullion. Three panel doors have their advantages over two panel in that they provide the option of the traffic door. Traffic doors enable easy entry and exit without having to fold all the panels back. If these are the only back doors out to the garden then i think a three panel will be more functional. If they are not, you’ll get bigger glass and better views with the two panel, but you will have to fold them every time you want to use them.

  33. Michael says

    Hi Nick

    On a budget but looking for decent bifold doors for a 3.5 x 2.1m opening. Saw Duration at a recent show but the price seemed too good to be true. What is your opinion or recommendations for the Harrow area?

    Many thanks

    Mike

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Michael, Duration windows are a substantial and long established provider or windows and doors. They have excellent purchasing power and often this is reflected in their prices. Many in the trade also buy their products from Duration. They use both Aluk and Smart Systems, some of which are customised to be individual to Duration. Therefore if the prices are good and you’re happy with the product go for it.

      Alternatively, you could try:

      Everglade Windows in Perivale Middlesex
      http://www.everglade.co.uk 
      020 8003 1309
      Wadsworth Road, 
      Perivale, Greenford, 
      Middlesex, 
      UB6 7JD

      London Glazing Group
      http://www.londonglazinggroup.co.uk
      4a Canal Wharf Industrial Estate,
      Station Road, Slough. SL3 6EG
      Phone: 07588188181
      Email: info@londonglazinggroup.co.uk
      Website: http://www.londonglazinggroup.co.uk

      Smart Systems Visofold 1000, as well as the Aluk Optio BSF70 bi-fold door, are about the best priced on the market. Again it depends on where you buy it from.

      Hope this helps,
      Kind regards
      Nick

  34. Elizabeth says

    Hi, like everyone says this has been so helpful and informative I wish I’d found it earlier. We are about to order some bifolds for a space approx 2400 wide by 2200, 3 doors. We’ve had quotes for Origin and Centor. Think Centor has slimmer sight lines? Really surprised by difference in Orign price depending on supplier. Really significantly different quotes for same job. Do you think Centor is a better system? I can’t find any reviews about them to compare.?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your question and your kind comment on our website. We’ve not got round to reviewing the Centor door yet. It is a very good door indeed and well worth looking at. The Centor C1 offers mullion site lines of 136mm and the Origin 154mm. Both doors are brilliantly made with high end hardware and you should be fine with either. You don’t mention which door came out the most expensive. Origin doors come from a nationwide network of dealers. While we understand they all buy doors from Origin are fairly similar prices, profit margins, installation costs, overheads etc vary from business to business. Therefore this is why you will find varying prices from different suppliers.

      If you want the slimmer (and more exclusive door) go with the Centor, but any of these, correctly made and fitted will serve you well.

      Hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Nick

  35. Danny says

    Hi
    Thank you for this fantastic website. Full of useful information.

    We are wanting bifolds for our 4.2m x 2.1m opening in our new kitchen / diner extension.
    The builder is wanting to use Smart 1000. We are on a budget so this could be the best solution for us.

    We are wanting a low threshold so its flush with the floor level on both the inside or outside of the bifolds.
    My questions are, is it possible to get such a low threshold with the Smart 1000 and if so by having such a low threshold are we at risk of rain water creeping in underneath or are they built to prevent this from happening?
    Or, is there a different bifold that would do this job better for a similar price?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Kind regards,
    Danny

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Danny, the standard threshold on most bifolding door systems is designed to provide weather protection. Any water that could get into the threshold is designed to drain away to the outside. What your installer can do is work with you so this threshold is set as low as possible. However you will usually have a step over and not completely flush with the floor.

      Another option is to have a look at a bifolding door system with a ramp type threshold.
      One option is the Alumina bifolding door as well as the Alufold Warcore bifolding doors – both of these come with a ramp type bifold door threshold as well as a weather rating.

      For Alufold
      http://www.alu-haus.co.uk
      0115 838 4747
      41 Evelyn Street
      Beeston
      Nottinghamshire
      NG9 2EU
      sales@alu-haus.co.uk

      For the Alumina door, best to speak to Liniar Systems directly and they can put you in touch with a local installer.
      http://alumina.liniar.co.uk/

      Hope this helps you.
      kind regards
      Nick

  36. David Bonfield says

    Hi this is an amazing thtead very useful info . I am looking for 2 runs of bifolds, and have seen that there is a firm called Alulux based in Kent though i am coverned at how reasonablw their prices seem to be, have you heard of these guys?

    Thanks Dave

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Dave, thanks for your question and your kind comment. I have heard of Alulux but their website gives very little information about their products.

      I would ask them what systems they use as their website only appears to consist of one page and it’s hard to decipher from the images what they make/sell. Their prices are indeed low but can’t see whether these prices are supply only or supply and install?

      They also claim to make their products yet are based in a business centre. Worth establishing that they do have a factory and make their doors as they say.

      If you want to get comparable prices, get in touch via the contact form with your location and I can put you in touch with some suppliers.

      Hope this helps,

      Kind regards
      Nick

  37. Marie Cooke says

    My husband and i have had several quotes for bifold doors 4050 mm wide x 2100mm high, to also include a gable 4170mm x 1856mm and a fixed panel 840mm x 2100mm, with uvalues of not more than 1.4. We have had several quotes ranging from £8000 to £11700.
    The least expensive we do not know the brand as the company seems reluctant to tell us, followed by £9500 for Senior Architectural Systems PuRe fold and £11700 for Origin . The prices quoted are to include integral blinds. The doors are for an extension to our kitchen to incorporate a garden room.

    As there is quite a difference in the prices quoted we have become confused as to which one to choose, or whether to get further quotes. We would prefer Origin but is it worth paying the extra cost.

    We would appreciate if you could give us details of any other companies in North Lincolnshire who supply and fit bifold doors .

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Marie, thanks for your question. First of all, it’s a source of frustration when installers seem reluctant to tell you what system they use. The main reason they do it is to prevent you going with the ‘system information’ and seeking alternative quotes elsewhere for the same product.

      Other companies like Express Bifolds, Vufold and others take existing systems like Schuco, Smart Systems and Reynaers and rename them with their own names. Then there are others that also take existing systems put on a different handle set that is exclusive to them and again market them as their own.

      If you’d like to get in touch via the website and tell me who is not telling you I might know and can tell you. Another way of finding out is to ask for the technical drawings as often they are a good indication of the system. I can probably identify that for you as well.

      Origin is an excellent system and you’re probably already aware of their long guarantee, exclusivity in manufacturing and excellent customer service.

      Senior Systems is also a very good product. You rarely see Senior doors in the typical retail showroom. However, Senior windows and doors are widely installed in commercial developments of flats and houses. Therefore there are many owners of new homes with Senior products in them.

      One thing we repeat often on this website is that there is no ‘bad’ product on the market. They differ in aesthetics, engineering and quality of the components. The door handles differ as well in brand and how ‘premium’ they are.

      Doors and windows (as we say in this article and elsewhere on the website) also meet very similar specifications. Quality of aluminium, the powder coating process, glass, gaskets, security and weather resistance all meet similar/same standards. Therefore go with the doors you like the look of, at the price that is right for you and, of course, confidence in the company you are buying from.

      A well made and well installed bifold will be reliable long-term. It’s mainly down to getting a good installation.

      Another reason for the price difference is the supply chain. Origin supply to their dealers. It could be that your price for Seniors comes directly from a manufacturer. Another reason for the price difference is the profit margin, installation costs and overheads, all affecting the price. The buying power of each business is also relevant to prices. Some dealers/manufacturers by virtue of their size, longevity and supplier relationships get better discounts all round or just buy well.

      Another door to consider is the Alufold door from Aluhaus. Excellent engineering, great U Values and top of the line components.
      http://www.alu-haus.co.uk
      0115 838 4747
      41 Evelyn Street
      Beeston
      Nottinghamshire
      NG9 2EU
      sales@alu-haus.co.uk

      Liniar’s Alumina door is also well worth a look at as well.

      Local to you there is
      https://aluminiumframeco.co.uk/
      http://www.alpinealuminium.co.uk

      Hope this helps

      Kind regards
      Nick

  38. Robert Evans says

    Hi, What a great article, very informative, we had a Schuco system which was brilliant but the local installer is no longer trading. Looking for someone to help in the Monmouthshire area/South Wales

  39. Danny says

    Hi.
    I am looking for bi-fold doors and it’s a bit of a mine field. Your article is super helpful but hoping you can give me a better steer.
    I am looking for approx 4.6 x 2.2 doors, as thin profile as possible with as low threashold as possible, without worries of leaks.
    Budget isn’t a huge concern, within reason. Quotes are around £5600 at the mo but no idea what brand they are.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Danny, as a rough guide, bifold doors typically retail for about £1100-£1300 per panel. Hopefully then this gives you an idea as to what you can expect to pay. Obviously prices vary depending upon the product and who is providing it.

      I would insist anyone you get quotes from is honest enough to tell you what brand or ‘system’ they are selling. Some companies use their own brand names like Express Bifolds selling Schuco and Smarts, RAUM selling Reynaers and others. An honest salesman should be able to provide this information.

      Some companies might say ‘this is our own system’ but I would take statements like this with a mild pinch of salt. To bring your ‘own system’ to market requires substantial investment in design, tooling, testing etc which your typical installer does not have the resources to do.

      Some companies customise a standard door to make it ‘unique’ to them, for example by using a different handle or other accessories.

      It can be confusing buying bifolding doors with so many brands out there but they all have one thing in common as our article says and that is many common standards. Therefore any good door is security and weather tested. Correctly made and fitted, there should be no leaks.

      If you’d like to get in touch with the website via our contact form with your location, I can put you in touch with some suppliers to see some brands. If you’re happy with the quotes you’ve had by all means ask the company what system they’re quoting for.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  40. Clive Arundell says

    Hi Nick, a really helpful article – thank you!
    Could you suggest some good companies with showrooms for Schuco bi-fold doors in the Medway/Kent area. I really like the well engineered/smooth action of these doors – could you suggest an alternative door we could look at that is similarly well engineered.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Clive, thanks for your question and your kind comment. Local to you Eden Windows have Schuco doors in their showroom as far as I’m aware as well as Origin, SAPA and Smart Systems. However worth giving them a call to double check.

      http://www.edenbifolds.co.uk
      Gibraltar Farm, Ham Lane
      Gillingham
      Kent ME7 3JJ

      0808 252 0074
      info@edenbifolds.co.uk

      Slightly further afield is UK Windows, also with Schuco bifolds.

      UK Windows Surrey
      http://www.ukwindowssurrey.co.uk
      10A Station Road
      Belmont
      Surrey
      SM2 6BH
      TEL: 0208 619 0077

      As far as alternatives go, that are outside the conventional brands like Aluk or Smart Systems is worth looking at air doors based on a re-engineered Reynaers System.

      Britelite Windows (Maidstone Show Centre)
      Britelite House,
      Bircholt Road,
      Parkwood Trading Estate,
      Maidstone, Kent,
      ME15 9XY
      0808 2743818
      https://www.britelitewindows.co.uk

      Hope this helps,
      Nick

  41. ryan Newlands says

    Hi Nick

    ive had several quotes for Bi folds but trying to decipher whats best the 2 lowest bifolds are from Panoramic Doors which are are a Smart Systems Visofold Range. the other from Stevens wood which are a REAL Aluminium. which are best. Im in central Scotland if you have any ideas on other suppliers

    Cheers Ryan

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Ryan, the two systems are exactly the same, REAL is Smart Systems which is the residential brand of windows and doors manufactured by Customade UK in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. I believe REAL has a few enhancements over the standard Smart Systems, but essentially you are looking at exactly the same system and product.

  42. George says

    Hi Nick,

    Great article.

    Do you have any experience of firms in Leeds area.

    We are pricing up 2 sets of 3 panel aluminium bifold doors and getting a large range of quotes. Bi-fold express, sliding door company and AluFoldDirect (supplies and fixed by our building contractor) – bi fold express are top end and there is almost £4k price difference between them and lowest quote. I’m trying to understand if the quality is different – AluFoldDirect look like ALUK but can’t see what other two are?

    Any views much appreciated.

    George

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi George, we’ve updated this article substantially since you posted your comment so you can now see the many common specifications bifolding doors share.

      Alufold Direct make AluK which are fine bifolds and excellent sellers in the UK. We do get a number of people contacting the website with old Aluk models where the popout T handle is broken and needs replacement. Being fair to the product misuse could be the cause rather than a bad design on the door.

      If you want to buy doors on a supply only basis that is up to you. The only thing to caution is what guarantee you get from Alufold or any other trade supplier. It will not be the expected 10 year guarantee you get from a company supplying and installing bifold doors. Also worth checking with your builder what protection they will be offering on their installation as well.

      Im not too sure who are you referring to on the other two, Bifold Express or Express Bifold Doors? Is the other business The Folding Sliding Door Company. ?

      • George says

        Thanks Nick. Yes it’s express bifold doors XP10, and the sliding door company is the other.

        On Alu, builder offering the 10 year guarantee. Good to know they are quality doors.

        George

  43. Hemant Patel says

    Hi There?

    We useful information but very confused about which bifold doors we should go for.

    We are thinking of putting Origin bifold doors. As per your article most important part is fitter.

    Can you please recommend fitter around Bracknell ( near reading)

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Thanks for your question. Origin doors are an excellent choice but also worth looking at Schuco, Reynaers, Air doors which are slimmer and more flat in appearance. AluK, Smart Systems are also very well priced. The below should be able to help you.

      For Origin
      https://www.bifolddirect.co.uk/

      For Schuco, AluK and Air
      Jewel Windows (Ash Vale Showroom)
      380 Vale Rd, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 5NJ
      01252 444 365
      http://www.jewelwindows.co.uk

  44. Terence says

    Great information here. I am ready to purchase bifold doors and evaluated Panoramic, La Cantina, Schuco, Centor, Nana Wall and Origin. Centor never gave me a bid . Schuco was 250% in price. I am torn between origin and Nana which are neck in neck in price. I am in California. Any advice appreciated.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      H Terence, thanks for your comment. We only help the UK market so unsure if we’d be providing an accurate point of view, given that doors may be specified and engineered differently for the UK market.

      If I was to use the UK as the example, Schuco, Centor and Origin are all excellent brands here. Centor is especially good but not as universally well-known here as it deserves to be.

      But thank you very much for visiting our website.

  45. Nik says

    Really helpful article thanks! We’re looking at replacing our back door with aluminium bifolds, do you know of any good companies in the Newcastle upon Tyne area that it would be worth speaking to? Thanks

  46. Paula Channell says

    Hi. Thanks for such an informative article – very helpful. We are about to create an open plan kitchen-diner and are replacing one window with 3 panel bi-fold doors. We are looking for a fairly slim sight-line as the doors won’t be huge – 2300 wide x 2100 high, and would like a low threshold. The best u-value we can afford too. We are in Bishop’s Stortford (Herts/Essex border). I’d be grateful for any suggestions you could make as to which products we should be looking at, preferably with a showroom within a reasonable distance.
    Many thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Paula, there are a few products you could take a look at that could offer solutions.

      The New Dutemann FD85 is slim and goes quite wide with the door panels. Also worth looking at Schuco.

      Open LIving
      http://www.openliving.co.uk
      01767 448005
      11 Amor way
      Letchworth Point
      Letchworth
      Hertfordshire
      SG6 1UG

      For Air doors, also slim can suggest:
      HBD Systems
      Unit 8, The Gryphon Industrial Park,
      Porters Wood,
      St Albans, Herts.
      AL3 6XZ
      Tel: 01727 845600
      http://www.hbdsystems.co.uk

      Smart Systems Visofold 6000, also very slim on the market
      Aspire Bifolding Doors
      http://www.aspirebifolds.co.uk
      sales@aspirebifolds.co.uk
      11 Castle Parade,
      Ewell By Pass,
      EPSOM
      KT17 2PR
      020 8224 7431

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  47. Andrew Fyfe says

    Hi, we have a set of 4 pane Bi-fold PVC patio doors and during the year we have great problems locking the handle of the single door. I believe its because the doors expand and contract as they are South facing and cheap PVC installed by a second rate developer. We are now looking at changing them and understand Aluminium doors wouldn’t suffer from any outside heat fluctuations. Is this correct?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Andrew, aluminium expands but substantially less than PVCu so you should get none of the operation issues you mention. The reality is that developers will choose the most cost-effective doors so there is no real focus on the product, its design and expected long-term reliability. To be fair to the PVCu product the doors could just need adjustment rather than solely down to thermal expansion. Please get in touch if you’d like us to suggest someone local to you when you’re ready to change your doors.

      Kind regards
      Nick

  48. yvonne spark says

    What a helpful site. We are in the process of renovating our kitchen and removing a window and replacing with bi fold doors.
    our measurements are 2m wide x 2330 high, wondered if you could recommend any companies near York that have a good reputation. Many thanks.

  49. Mark Jackson says

    Hi, this is a brilliant website!
    We are taking out our patio doors and replacing them with bi-fold doors. The measurements are 1800w 2100h. We require two panes one of which will be a door. Can you recommend a reputable company that we can trust? Hopefully in the area of Worcestershire. Thank you so much.
    Regards
    Mark Jackson

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Mark, thank you for your kind comment on our website.
      If you can get in touch via the contact form on our website we will try to assist you. However worth speaking to Clearway Doors and Windows in Cheltenham, http://www.clearwaydoorsandwindows.co.uk 01242 513322
      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

  50. Andrew says

    Hi,
    very informative article, thank you.
    Looking to replace our french doors/side lights with 3 panel bifold, a bit of work needed to remove the walls below the sidelights.
    Trouble is the side gate immediately to the left hand side where ideally we would like the doors to retract to. Right hand side has more patio so opening to the right is ok. We want the single panel quick use door to be on the right also.
    Seen a slide and glide system but wondered if you had any thoughts. Apparently its a lot more expensive?
    Looking for reputable and affordable near Hitchin Hertfordshire/ Bedford areas. Not really looking for safe style/anglian types.
    Size of opening is 2140×2100

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Andrew, thanks for your question. You can have a three panel door with the left-hand panel hinged on the right (viewed from the inside) opening outwards to be your traffic door. This door and the remaining doors can all slide to the right when you want the doors fully open.

      Have sent you an email with a sketch of the door and some local suppliers that can help you. Do get in touch with the website via the contact form if you have any questions or need further information.
      Nick

  51. James Goddard says

    Hi,

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review.
    I’m based in Cornwall. One of my bi-fold quotes have said about using a company called Cortizo, when googled it seems to be a Aluminium fabricator in Spain? Have you heard of them?

    kind regards,

    James

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi James. Cortizo is a Spanish company and is making big inroads into the UK market. Several of the leading bifold and slimline sliding brands you see for sale in the UK, including some front doors, are all Cortizo. It’s a great system. If you are happy with the product, the price and the company providing it, you should get a good product and installation.

  52. Jackie says

    Very helpful information , we have had a quote from Duration windows in Essex , but they have had some bad reviews , Their bi folds look good the staff seem very helpful , shall I take a chance !

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Jackie, Duration Windows are a long-established and very professional company, used by a large number of window and door companies in the trade. Things can go wrong in any business and it’s how the company responds to complaints and deals with them that is the main thing. If you are happy with the price, the company and the product then go with the company you have the confidence to deal with.

  53. Mik says

    Hello – what a very useful thread! I am looking to get bi-folds for a living room and kitchen (4500mm and 2800mm wide respectively). Ideally looking for a low/flush threshold that is still weathered. It’s for a property I am renovating with modern fixtures and fittings before before renting it, so I am looking for a cost-effective solution.

    What brand/product would you suggest and which suppliers are cost-effective in the south-west London region? (SW15)

    Many thanks,
    Mik

  54. Ben Rutherford says

    Hi,

    Excellent and informative article, thanks – I wish I had found it a few weeks back!

    I’m looking for a 3m (2.1 tall) door for an extension in the South East Northumberland area – preferably one that doesn’t break the bank!

    I’ve had a quote from Washington Aluminium Services for £2250 – does that sound reasonable? I believe it’s a Smarts visofold 1000.

    Any other good companies local to me?

    Thanks again

  55. John Brooks says

    Hi just found your web site and it has been so helpful. We are about to start an extension and need to choose a bi fold.
    Looking at Origin as we want 2500 W and 2100H 3 door system with 1 traffic door and they make non standard sizes. However we await their quote but sense its going to be way above our budget of £3000. Could you suggest other companies that offer a similar quality product that can get tour budget. They will install as well. Any suggestions will be appreciated and we live Bexley, Kent

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi John, thanks for your kind comment. The Origin door is excellent but there is no ‘bad’ door on the market. All of the current systems available today when well made and correctly installed will give you good service. The price of Origin doors does vary from installer to installer as these are all separate businesses with their own profit margins and other costs. So if it is Origin you want it’s worth shopping around.

      I can suggest the below that are worth contacting and see how they compare.

      Aspire Bifolding Doors
      http://www.aspirebifolds.co.uk
      sales@aspirebifolds.co.uk
      11 Castle Parade,
      Ewell By Pass,
      EPSOM
      KT17 2PR
      020 8224 7431

      Also worth looking at AluK or Smarts bifolding doors, the below should be able to help you with those.
      http://www.newlite.co.uk
      101 Cooden Drive
      Bexhill
      East Sussex
      TN39 3AN
      0800 269 238
      info@newlite.co.uk

      Finally if you’re considering Origin I’d like to suggest you look at Alufold Warmcore doors. These have many unique features but share Origin’s Hafi handles, colour matched gaskets and other great features such as a welded construction. My understanding is that they’re very well priced as well.

      http://www.alu-haus.co.uk
      0115 838 4747
      41 Evelyn Street
      Beeston
      Nottinghamshire
      NG9 2EU
      sales@alu-haus.co.uk

      Obviously there are many other bifolds on the market but these hopefully offer you others to consider.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 

  56. Debby says

    Hi what a great article. I am just embarking on my quest to find a set of bi folds on a budget and feel a little out of my depth. My sister didn’t have a good experience with a local window firm but used Express bi folds and found them to be of good quality. Do you have any knowledge of Express which are manufactured in Leeds? The opening for my doors will be 3.6m and height 2.1 and I require one door to be a traffic door as it will be the only access to the rear of the property. Could you suggest a rough price guide to be starting with and could you recommend anyone near to me. I live near Margate in kent. Thank you for your time.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Debby, thanks for your comment. Express Bifolds are an excellent company, manufacturing Schuco and Smart Systems. There are many factors that determine your overall experience of a window company – the two most important are how well the doors are made and how good the installation is. There is no bad door and window system on the market but where they differ is who makes them and the overall supply chain. All the current systems meet industry standards for weather performance and security, as well as the quality of aluminium and quality of paint finish. Where they differ is in their engineering, the quality of the hardware, the choices available and their brand perception.

      As a rough price guide, you should be paying about £1100 to £1200 per panel including VAT and fitting but this is only a rough price and varies on several factors such as the profit margin, whether your installer makes the doors or buys them in and, of course, the overheads of the business. Local companies strive to give you good service and I would consider a local business as well a larger organisation.

      I can suggest the below that should be able to give you a competitive price.

      http://www.newlite.co.uk
      101 Cooden Drive
      Bexhill
      East Sussex
      TN39 3AN
      0800 269 238
      info@newlite.co.uk

      Britelite Windows (Maidstone Show Centre)
      Britelite House,
      Bircholt Road,
      Parkwood Trading Estate,
      Maidstone, Kent,
      ME15 9XY
      0808 2743818
      https://www.britelitewindows.co.uk

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 
      Kind regards
      Nick 

      • Debby Preston says

        Thank you Nick that was really useful. I have had quotes from all three suppliers and will soon be visiting their showrooms. Just two more questions if you wouldn’t mind. As I said our opening will be 3.4 to 3.6 wide and two companies have quoted for 3 doors but the other company said he would always recommend 4 doors so I wondered what your thoughts would be. Also do you have any knowledge of Rhino based in Broadstairs ? It looks like they have just launched a new range but wondered if you knew anything about them.
        Thanks again in advance
        Debby

        • Nick Dardalis says

          Hi Debbie, you can have either three or four doors but the company suggesting three probably has a product that can comfortably go to 1200mm wide per door panel. Some companies don’t like doing big doors, others are quite happy to do it. Schuco, Alufold, air and other systems can easily go to that width. Correctly made, installed and adjusted there should be no issues. Less door panels will make the bifold cheaper as well.

          The only consideration with oversize door panels is that when fully folded back/open they will project quite a bit into the space. That’s worth thinking about.

          Rhino aluminium supply AluK products and I presume you mean the new F82 bifold that has recently been launched. We recently reviewed it. https://www.aluminiumtradesupply.co.uk/25500/aluk-luminia-f82-bifolding-door-review/

  57. Diana Odell says

    You recommend Sunfold doors in your article. I would warn your readers that this is one of the worst companies I have ever had to deal with – the product is good but the installation is terrible and the customer service is appalling. Stay well away!

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Diana, thanks for your comment. Sunfold are a big company and it is rare to hear negative comments about their service. I would urge you to try resolve the issues with Sunfold directly.

  58. Matt Robinson says

    Hi there – what a useful article!
    I have a slightly unusual question that I haven’t seen covered anywhere. Our bifolds are to cover a 4m gap at one end of a 10m wall that backs on to the garden. We have young kids so we want an everyday access door but consequently we are wavering constantly between a 5+0 or 3+1 configuration for the doors. Should we get 5+0 so all the doors can be pushed aside when open? Or 3+1 so that we have fewer joins, more glass and a cleaner aesthetic. This would become a ‘no-brainer’ if the single door in the 3+1 system could be opened 180 degrees so that when open it is out of the way, resting against the outside wall. Having a 1m door sticking out 90 degrees into the garden and potentially getting in the way of garden furniture is much less appealing. So more joins/less glass (5+0) vs sticky-outy door (3+1). You see the dilemma.

    Do you have any advice on whether there are any 3+1 systems where the single door could fold back out of the way without compromising the weather resistance? Your review of the Sunflex doors (
    https://www.aluminiumtradesupply.co.uk/25242/sunflex-bifolding-door-review/) talks about “a choice of static or moveable corner posts that offer 135 degrees as well as the expected 90 degrees”. Would that (to some extent) solve our problem?

    The other consideration is that with 5+0 you then have a lot of doors stacking together and quite a large thickness of doors at one end. Do you have any information, like your excellent comparison table on the slimmest profiles, that compares the thickness of the doors of different systems or the width of the stack when open?

    Thanks so much for putting together such a useful website.

    Matt

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Matt, no it’s hard to compile a table of stack dimensions and many bifolding door systems don’t provide this information either. The bifolding door arrangement all stacking in one direction is fine, however if the bifolding doors are your only access door into the garden or you intend to use the doors a lot, then an access leaf is recommended. The fewer doors, the bigger glass sizes and doors and the doors should be cheaper too because there is less aluminium being used. I don’t know of any doors that fold back in the way you mention as there are obvious engineering and weather resistance constraints with these. The best suggestion is to speak to a local supplier and go try out some doors in various configurations. However the bifolding door with the traffic door tends to be the most popular choice because they are so much more convenient.

      The corner posts are intended to work around a corner so not sure if that would solve the problem. Thanks for your kind comments on our website. Do get in touch via the contact form and I can put you in touch with someone who can help if you want to see some products.

  59. Martyn says

    Hi

    Great article, really helpful.

    I’ve seen that roof-maker are now adverting bi-fold doors, which look good value. Do you have any insight into these and how they would compare to a Schuco, Origin or Air door?

    Are these just re-branded doors of another manufacturer?

    Thanks in advance

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello, thank you for your comment. The Thermfold door as they market it appears to be the Reynaers system and rebranded. Not 100% certain but looks like the Reynaers product. If it is then it is as good as Origin, Schuco and Air. All these are fine doors with different aesthetics, colour choices and hardware. Air and Origin are only made by the companies behind them, Schuco and Reynaers are fabricated by a nationwide network of manufacturers.

  60. Steve Morlidge says

    A great article – thank you. Express Bi-Folds (who have a showroom in the East Surrey area where we live) are noticeable by their absence from your list of suppliers. What is the reason for this? And is there any other supplier local to us that you would recommend we take a look at.
    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Steve thank you for your comment on our website. Express Bifolds manufacture Schuco and Smarts systems so we try in this who makes the best bifolding doors article to focus on systems rather than individual manufacturers of these systems. Express is a very big company, professional and with some fantastic showrooms around the UK. We do of course mention some systems that manufacturers have worked with the designers in re-engineering to improve them, in the same way that some independent businesses take cars and create different versions.

  61. Sue Collins says

    Hi there- I’m looking for bifolds approx 5.2m long (height can be variable) for a new extension. I’ve been quoted excellent prices for Exlabesa which I see are a company featured on your site –
    However I’m curious about which other suppliers might offer a similar thin profile and low threshold but with greater security (I see that Exlabesa offer only 3-point locks). . I’m based in north London/ Herts – are there any companies you could recommend at a similar price?

    Thank you for your very useful article.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Sue, the Exlabesa door has a lot of experience behind it while not that well known as a residential product direct to the homeowner. There is no bad door and window system on the market but where they differ is who makes them and the overall supply chain. All the current systems including Exlabesa meet industry standards for weather performance and security, as well as the quality of aluminium and quality of paint finish. Where they differ is in their engineering, the quality of the hardware, the choices available and their brand perception. If you like the door, the company supplying it and the price is good for you then go for it.
      The below could help you as well with alternative systems.

      HBD Systems
      Unit 8, The Gryphon Industrial Park,
      Porters Wood,
      St Albans, Herts.
      AL3 6XZ
      Tel: 01727 845600
      http://www.hbdsystems.co.uk

      Everglade Windows in Perivale Middlesex
      http://www.everglade.co.uk 
      020 8003 1309
      Wadsworth Road, 
      Perivale, Greenford, 
      Middlesex, 
      UB6 7JD

      Bifold13
      http://www.bifold13.co.uk
      11 Vale Industrial Estate
      Aylesbury, HP19 9EW
      Phone: 01296 330 066
      Email: info@bifold13.co.uk

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information. 

  62. Belinda says

    I need bifold approx 5m x 2.3m. It’s south facing, in the countryside and can be a bit exposed sometimes, so weather tightness is important to us as is U value. We’re north wiltshire.

    I went to a show and liked the sunflex system and will probably investigate further. But I’ve had a quick quote and it’s more expensive then some.

    Which system is going to give me the best u value and weather tightness and also best value ?

    At the show i could also see that for some companies the running gear is more exposed when the door is open…it looked like a roller skate, and it makes me cringe when i think of tiny kid’s fingers trying to explore it … some other running gear ( like with the sunflex ) where the running gear is more hidden and protected by flaps which i liked more. Is that a feature of a more expensive system ?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Belinda, thanks for your comment.
      We have just reviewed the Sunflex range of bifolds which we think are excellent with great engineering and good design. You can read our review of them here https://www.aluminiumtradesupply.co.uk/25242/sunflex-bifolding-door-review/

      I’ve also replied to you by email with some additional information. To be fair to bifolding doors with the rollers exposed and sat on the track, we have never heard of any issues with these or posing any kind of risk in use. You would also have to have this arrangement if on some doors you were having a ramp type low threshold rather than a standard one. But obviously everyone has different criteria for their doors such as young children so if the hidden mechanism would work better for you then that would be the one for you.

  63. Daniel Tolmie says

    Hi, best article on the web I’ve read about this – do you know of any suppliers you’d recommend for bi-folds in the St Albans area?

    The bifolds will face west so will get all the afternoon sun, so am guessing that stability of material is key – is aluminium the most stable?

    Many thanks for your time.

    Daniel

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Daniel, thanks for your comments. The below should be able to help you.

      Herts Bifold Doors/HBD Systems
      Unit 8, The Gryphon Industrial Park,
      Porters Wood,
      St Albans, Herts.
      AL3 6XZ
      Tel: 01727 845600
      http://www.hertsbifolddoors.co.uk

      Bifold13
      http://www.bifold13.co.uk
      11 Vale Industrial Estate
      Aylesbury, HP19 9EW
      Phone: 01296 330 066
      Email: info@bifold13.co.uk

      Aluminium contracts two and a half times less than pvcu so while you will get thermal expansion it won’t be as prominent or noticeable when compared to PVCu. Choose a well-made and well-engineered product and you should be fine. A good installation is also very important.

  64. Caroline says

    Hi, thanks for this website it’s very useful I’ve been looking at Solarlux Ecoline or Highline bi-folds for a 3 metre width space but you don’t seem to mention them in your lists They have very low U values plus a low sightline, have I missed something or are they also sold under a different name? Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Caroline, we are shortly to review the Solarlux range of bifolding doors so will cover these. With so many sliding and folding doors on the market sometimes they get missed, but we do mention them in our tables of sliding door sightlines and elsewhere on the website.

  65. Will Scott says

    Hi nick
    I have installed various bi-fold systems over the years and all seem to be very similar
    I use a large manufacturer of smart systems base in the north of England who seem to meet most of my requirements
    However, a customer of mine has asked me to look at the Schuco system
    In your opinion, would you be able to justify the Schuco being 65% more than the Smart system?

    Many thanks
    Will

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Will, 65% is a difference in price of course, however it very much depends on a number of factors as to why you are getting the prices you are. I am assuming the prices you’ve had are direct from two manufacturers and not a trade counter or other business that does not make the doors themselves?

      The Schuco fabricator may be buying the Smarts profiles far cheaper from Smart Systems, the fabrication times and costs allocated to each system may differ too. Smart Systems also has their own paint plant and I don’t believe Schuco does therefore this could also affect the price too.

      If you can give me your location, I can suggest some manufacturers if you’re looking to get comparisons.

  66. Mel C says

    Hi,

    This is a fantastic website and a wealth of knowledge!

    We are currently doing an extension and need 2 sets of bifold doors, the first opening being 2430mm and the second is 4030mm.

    We have been to visit Kloeber and loved the doors, but with the fitting costs was coming in bit too expensive for us. Although if that is the general cost then we will have to spend the money!

    I was wondering if you could recommend some companies within the South London area and Surrey whereby I could visit the showrooms to view, preferably from the market leader list.

    After visiting your website I know exactly what I want (I think!), but just need to go and view some models.

    Thank you in advance

  67. Suzzanne Wenton says

    Hi, we are in NW London.

    Looking for where reasonable quality meets price. This is important to us as budget is an issue. Approx 5m width and height up to us – so can do standard height or higher if not massive increase in price. We assuming that the higher they are the nicer? Also – due to kids – need integral blinds.

    1. Is there a height where price starts to hike?
    2. We want integral blinds – will this define how high the doors can be?
    3. Which companies would you recommend.

    Much appreciated and excellent site!

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Suzzanne. Thank you for your comment. In answer to your questions.

      There is no bad bifolding door on the market, where they will differ is where they come from, their individual specifications and of course the various price points, in the absence of a RRP for these products. All good doors are fit for purpose, meet the required security and weather performance standards, as well as the required industry standards for quality of aluminium extrusions, paint finish and glass. Our advice is to go with the product you like the look of, is within your budget, and of course, confidence in the company providing them.

      Origin, Schuco, Reynaers, Senior Architectural, Smart Systems and AluK tend to the best known systems on the market but there are others. The Alumina door is excellent for its quality, foiled finishes and sight lines to replicate the chamfered/ovolo profiles of PVCu window, but an excellent aluminium bifold overall. Air doors come with a 25 year warranty. There is a lot of choice. I have dropped you an email with some suggestions of who you can contact to go view some products.

      Oversize doors in height do tend to get more expensive the taller you go. The reason for this is bar optimisation. Aluminium bars are extruded to get as many ‘standard’ heights out of them as possible to reduce wastage. The taller you go the more aluminium waste, therefore, this can be reflected in the price you pay. Similarly, for integral blinds these are restricted by height but you should be ok with most heights up to about 2.5metres.

      I have emailed you with some companies you can contact and products to see.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information.

  68. Gerry Cosgrave says

    Hello,
    I am based in Northern Ireland and do not have the selection of aluminium bi-folding door providers that are available on the mainland.
    Do you have any advice about products/contractors that I might seek quotes from.
    Regards
    Gerry

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Gerry, thank you for your question.

      In the first instance I would get hold of the UK systems companies and check whether they have representation in Northern Ireland.

      The Metal Technology suite of windows and doors, they are based in Ireland, is very good and widely used in commercial and residential installations. They also have a good bifold door.

      Metal Technology
      http://www.metaltechnology.com
      Steeple Rd Industrial Est.
      Steeple Road
      Antrim
      Northern Ireland
      BT41 1AB
      T: 028 9448 7777
      F: 028 9448 7878
      E: sales@metaltechnology.com

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information.

  69. Sarwar Ahmad says

    Very useful article and website,

    We are trying to decide between Schuco and Air 800 Bifold doors for a 2m x 2.1m opening in a loft conversion dormer, with a matching large. casement window. The basis for considering these two versus Origin was on frame and sight lines, to maximize views, and maintain a contemporary look,

    However, it’s proving confusing to pick between the two as we cannot work out who actually manufactures or fabricates the doors and puts in the glazing, etc, whose guarantee are we relying on, and which of the two is better “engineered”.

    Also whilst they seem similar, the Air doors are quoted by installers as being more expensive than Schuco, Is Air a more premium product and/or higher in “quality”? I read your Origin v Schuco article and Origin v Air so I guess we would really appreciate any advice you could give on picking between Schuco and Air 800 (ideally soon as we are under time pressure to make decisions – and it’s tough as this is the single most expensive bit of kit in the extension!

    Thanks

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Sarwar, thank you for your question and kind comments on our website.

      The Origin door is excellent all round but if you’re looking at thinner bifolds then Schuco and air are two options.

      Air doors are exclusively made by Everglade Windows and nobody else. Comparatively Schuco doors are made by any number of fabricators. This does not mean you will get a bad door with Schuco, far from it. However if you want the peace mind of an exclusive provider and the 25 year warranty offered with air, then that is one thing to consider.

      Air doors are provided by Everglade to their network of approved and trained dealers. You can find these on the air website, http://www.discoverair.co.uk. Schuco doors are also provided by expert companies but the difference is that anyone can fit a Schuco door and it can be sourced from many different places. The glass is usually sourced from whoever the installer chooses to buy the glass from, but this should not be a major concern as most glass manufacturers are big, expert and capable businesses.

      Both Schuco and air doors have excellent engineering and you should be happy with either in your home. Air doors because of who makes them and how they’re supplied arguably are more exclusive and for this reason they come with the longer warranty. You’ll typically only get 10 years with a Schuco door.

      Hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any questions or need further information.

  70. Alison Perkins says

    Thanks for the really helpful article. Do you have any recommendations for companies in the Bolton area?

  71. Steve Rothwell says

    Excellent article.

    We are planning to replace two existing sets of PVCu bifold doors for aluminium bifolds, which we understand will be more stable for the south facing wall of our home (our existing doors don’t always close very easily on a hot day and we tend to hear a bit of cracking during the day).

    Both recesses are approx 3400 mm wide and 2000 mm high, and we haven’t been here long enough yet to know how the doors will be affected by rain and winds through the winter.

    We would quite like to maximise views without compromising security, and also reduce the existing lip height along the bottom.

    Many thanks.

    We are thinking about Origin doors, but haven’t physically seen the product yet, and would welcome some further suggestions if possible. Based Wilmslow.

    Many thanks.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Steve, I will drop you a line as need a bit more information but quite close to you is the Origin Warrington showroom where you can see them.

      Origin Global,
      Taurus Park,
      Europa Boulevard,
      Westbrook,
      Warrington,
      Cheshire,
      WA5 7ZT

  72. Andrew Pycroft says

    Looking to fit bi fold doors to new extension. Live near cardiff so ideally a local company would be best have had a price for the smart system doors. . Any recommendations please. Thanks.

  73. Alyson Jakes says

    Hi I am looking at bifold doors for a coastal location in Essex, can you recommend a supplier? I have had very different quotes so far for the same spec?

  74. Nicky Green says

    Great article thanks.
    Do you know of any bifold door suppliers/fitters in the north London area. I am looking for a good product that hopefully won’t break the bank, please?

  75. Ayo says

    Very informative article.

    I am interested in aluminium bifold doors for a new kitchen extension with an opening of 8m to the garden.

    Can you recommend a company in the Rickmansworth / Watford/Hertfordshire area?

  76. Diego says

    Great article and helpful responses.

    I am looking to renovate my kitchen and extend it further with the option of installing a set of bifolfing doors and fixed panels in a L shape.

    I am wondering what sort of budget should be allocating for slimline doors, Low U value, grey colour and matching handles. Also, been the dad of twins I would like to have the peace of mind that the low threshold won’t be an issue when opening the doors.

    With so many aluminium windows out there, I would like something that fist within my budget and also that provides me with the quality I need.

    I am keen to compromise aesthetics with all the above if that was the case.

    Any advice may help.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Diego, there are many factors that affect the price of a product such as the length of the supply chain. Someone that fabricates and installs should offer the product cheaper than another that buys it in. Also the specification, colour choices, whether it is inline or lift and slide in operation will all affect the price. If you can get in touch and give me your location I can help you further.

  77. Andy says

    Hi Nick,
    I was wondering if you could recommend bifold manufacturers in the Leics area please.

  78. Russ Lloyd says

    Great article. We are currently trying to source a set of sliding doors on a 3 track all way sliding ,as opposed to bi folds .
    The aperture is 7350 mm wide and 2090 mm high . Origin of Bristol bi folds say they can’t make a 3 panel system that wide.
    We visited the kloeber showroom in Oxford and were impressed but their product was 35 % dearer than systems manufacturers prices . Is this because they are that much better or should we be investigating other avenues ?
    Spending this much money we want to make the right decision so any help would be much appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Russ

    • Nick Dardalis says

      HI Russ, thanks for your comment. It really depends on the system, the size of the profiles and other factors. the air sliding door http://www.discoverair.co.uk can go up to 2200x2700mm high but this could go larger subject to wind loadings and other calculations. The same applies for other door systems. There are certainly three panel sliding doors bigger than your sizes, so I’d take a look at air, Reynaers and Schuco sliding doors as a start. Have emailed you further information.

  79. Andrew says

    Hi. Great article, very useful.
    I am currently obtaining prices for 2no sets of bi-folds, each 2700mm wide. I was wondering if you could advise which system (at the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum) provides the best sightlines?
    Many thanks,
    Andrew

  80. Henning says

    We’re about to make a decision on the door brand for three large bi-fold doors over 2100mm. We have had a quote via our builder from Kaye and another from AL13 for Schuco ASS70FD doors. Schuco doors are more expensive and we’d be willing to pay the premium as they are, as we understand it, at the high end of the quality spectrum, however, how do they really compare to Kaye? Thanks for advise very shortly (ideally today!).

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Thanks for your question. I’ve emailed you on this. Broadly speaking the Kaye bifold is fine but it’s rare we’ve been asked to compare this to the Schuco as the two brands are quite distinct. You’ll get a better-engineered door with the Schuco ASS70FD but Kaye have been around for many years as a systems company so can’t see you having any issue with that door either. Price aside it’s aesthetics, hardware and performance that should be a consideration.

  81. Keith Morris says

    Our architect has recommended Velfac for 4m bifold to be put at the back of our house. We like the elegant look, but I am nervous about the complicated chain: Velfac bifolds are made by Sunflex. We have to find an approved installer and there is a 10-12 week lead time. Are Origin the only one-stop bifold maker? How do you reduce uncertainties and misunderstandings

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Keith,

      Origin has certainly pioneered fast lead times on standard stock colours and about a 3 week lead time on anything non-standard. I do take your point about the long lead times on Velfac, but they are a really good system as well.

      Ultimately you need to go with the bifold that meets your needs as well as the company/product you have confidence in. If you’re looking at Velfac then I presume it is the hybrid door you like? If the Velfac lead time concerns you, I can suggest Senior Hybrid Systems, that should be on shorter lead times. http://www.seniorarchitectural.co.uk/architectural-systems/series-1-door/

      Have also replied to you by email with some additional information.
      Nick

  82. chris says

    Hi

    Great guide – very useful. I have a question through which you may be able to help with.

    I have had a few prices for a complete installation of uPVC windows, aluminium curtain walling and aluminium bi-fold doors. Specifically regarding the bi-fold doors, one company has quoted Synseal Warmcore and the other Comar 7P.i.

    Which in your opinion is the best system?
    Many thanks
    C

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Chris, interesting installation – pvcu, curtain walling and aluminium bifolds. Be good to have a look at this job if you’ve got any images? The two doors are quite different in terms of construction. The Comar 7P.i having a polyamide thermal break as opposed to the PVCu core of the Warmcore. Comar’s sight lines are much thinner than the Warmcore as well so that may influence your decision if slimness is important to you.

      The handles fitted to both products look very different so that may be a deciding factor as well. There is no ‘best’ system as the article mentions. Customer criteria is different. The U Values on the Warmcore door are better with a standard specification double glazed unit as well. Also the Warmcore comes with the choice of profiles and beads to replicate the appearance of the pvcu window more. So if you’re having PVCu windows you may want to match the detailing of those with the Warmcore?

      Then you may want to consider the reputation of Synseal and Comar as Systems companies. Both are long established with Synseal well known in the PVCu sector and Comar highly specified in the commercial. What system have you chosen for your curtain walling?

  83. Martin Hill says

    Hi

    We are looking at bifolds with different colours on either side, but don’t want the standard black gaskets. Ideally we want the gaskets to match the white of the inside and the grey on the outside. I believe the origin range do this but are there any others that we can compare then with.

    Martin, Derby

    Thanks

    Martin

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Martin, the Origin bifolding door offers a selection of coloured gaskets to match the various colours available. Also available is the Aluhaus Alufold Bifolding door. This door goes a step further by offering actual RAL matched gaskets. Worth a look at both of these.

  84. andrew murray says

    Hi, I am doing a domestic kitchen renovation and interested in Aluminium bifolds for the 4m opening from new kitchen extension to garden patio but need some advice on best system / manufacturer. Project in Bristol. Thanks.

    Andrew Murray.

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hello Andrew the system will really depend on your individual requirements but you have a bit of choice. Origin bifolds are excellent which is available from Bristol Bifold, http://www.bristolbifold.co.uk. Smarts bifolds are good bifolds and very well priced available from http://www.techniglaze.co.uk. Another one I would suggest you look at is the Alufold door from Aluhaus, http://www.alu-haus.co.uk. This has many clever features in how it is designed. If you have any specific requirements in mind, do get in touch via the contact form and we can assist you further.