Opening Windows in Bifolding Doors

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Nick Dardalis

A frequently asked question about bifolding doors is whether they can incorporate opening windows within them.  By that it is meant that the doors have an opening vent within one or more leaves.

the innovative glass bifolding doors from frameless glass curtains have many unique features compared to standard bifolding doors.
Bifolding doors such as these frameless doors generally have no requirement for opening windows.  But it is possible to fit an opening window in some bifolding doors if you need it.

So can you incorporate an opening window in  bifolding door and why would you need it.

Why have opening Windows in bifolding doors?

There are several reasons why your customer may require an opening window in a bifolding door.  One obvious reason is ventilation when the doors are closed whilst still providing security.

Another reason is that every home is different and it may be that there are no adjacent windows in the room with the doors that can provide ventilation when needed.

A final reason is that you may require an additional opening window to create a draught or flow of air when this and another window elsewhere are open.

It is worth considering that your sight lines on doors will be compromised when fitting an additional window.  You will notice thicker sight lines in the door leaf that has the opening vent and this may not be to everyone’s taste. It is inevitable and unavoidable given there is a window that is inset into the door.

What kind of window is fitted in a bifolding door?

schuco are internationally regarded as the finest aluminium windows available, found in the very best buildings and homes.
Schuco bifolds have been designed to incorporate a tilt and turn window without heavy modification.

Presently the only options available are tilt in or tilt and turn windows and opening in or outwards casement windows.  Given the design of the doors we would recommend an opening in vent or a tilt in window.

It is important to remember that any opening window will need to run the full height of the door.  We do not recommend a smaller window with a transom as this will again compromise the aesthetics of the door.

This is why tilt and turn windows are ideal.  In aluminium they can be made at door sizes meaning you can have a full height opener, where many other casement windows cannot be made that tall.

What bifolding doors are available with opening windows?

To the best of our knowledge presently only Schuco offer bifolding doors designed to accept tilt in opening windows.  Any other system will be a modified system to accept an opening window.

Another thing to consider is that many window firms won’t actually be aware that it is possible to incorporate an opening window window within a bifolding door and may simply say it cannot be done.  It can.  For the trade and the technically minded the below drawings show the Schuco inset tilt and turn window in their bifolding door.

In 2017, SAPA owned WICONA announced the folding sliding WICSLIDE 75FD door.  WICONA bifolding doors are specified in commercial developments of dwellings. The WICSLIDE 75FD door has the capability to incorporate an integrated turn/tilt or tilt sash within the bifolding door set.  Contact us if you would like more information.

What other options are available?

Some bifolding door systems offer a system within their standard locks whereby the doors can be partially opened for ventilation.

The Sunflex SF70 Bifolding door has a feature where the shoot bolt rod can be locked into a second partially open position.  This enables ventilation whilst at the same time leaving the doors secure.

greenways offer their super slim sliding and folding doors with locking across the entire door opening.
Greenways offer their super slim sliding and folding doors with locking across the entire door opening.

Greenways Architectural also offer a similar system whereby the head and cill section of the door outer frame has a consistent series of machined holes along their entire length.  This again allows partial-opening for ventilation across the entire opening meaning you can lock the doors in any position you like.

You may find these doors having an intermediate locking option a better solution than fitting an opening window.

Are you in the trade? Do you know of a better solution to this question?  Please leave a comment.