Exlabesa Bifolding Doors Reviewed

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Nick Dardalis


Exlabesa bifolding doors are a product few may have heard of, but they come from a long established aluminium systems company.

Exlabesa was formerly known as Kaye Aluminium Systems or Kaye Building Systems.

About Exlabesa Systems.

Exlabesa already offers a range of commercial and residential systems in their product portfolio that presently includes:

exalbesa and kaye building systems.
Exlabesa introduces their new bifolding door in thermally efficient aluminium.
  • Casement Windows.
  • Tilt and turn windows.
  • Sliding Doors
  • Curtain Walling
  • Thermal and non-thermal shopfront framing
  • Thermal and non-thermal commercial doors.

Exlabesa has for a long time also offered powder coating and anodising of their aluminium extrusions as well as the supply of aluminium profiles and extrusions to suit a variety of sectors.

Operating from an 8-acre site in Doncaster, Exlabesa services their nationwide network of fabricators and installers, mainly in commercial contracting and specification work.

One of the latest products to be introduced by Exlabesa is their bifolding door.

The Exlabesa Bifolding Door.

The Exlabesa bifolding door is a thermally broken slimline aluminium door available in a range of configurations. In line with other bifolding door systems, it comes with high-quality extrusions, open in or open out options and is available in a choice of profiles.

The Exlabesa bifolding door we aren’t sure whether will be prominent in retail double glazing showrooms, but for the many manufacturers and installers, we think it will be well specified in commercial work.

The Exlabesa bifold meets the requirements of both the residential and commercial markets thanks to the option of both a sculptured and a square sash section.

exalbesa aluminium doors.
Exlabesa bifolding doors provide benefits to fabricators such as ease of installation, common components and fast lead times.

Features of the Exlabesa Bifolding Door.

  • Suitable for the residential and commercial markets
  • Sculptured or square sash options.
  • Fabricator friendly – takes less time to fabricate than other systems.
  • Hinge adjustments
  • Square or Bevelled beads.
  • Also available as a single or double door.

One of the good things systems companies do and the smaller ones like Exlabesa is that they carefully consider stock holding and making products easier to make for fabricators.

Exlabesa says that beads, cills, drainage cover caps, cleats and gaskets can all be used across their other products. This naturally reduces stock levels for both fabricators whilst keeping costs down as well.

How is the Exlabesa Door Supplied?

The bifold is available powder coated, anodised, in dual colour and mill finish for those fabricators that like to paint their own extrusions.

Lead times claimed by Exlabesa are four working days for mill finish, seven working days for an RAL colour and just ten days for dual colour. All these lead times are excellent, especially the dual colour availability.

Technical Specifications of the Exlabesa Bifolding Door.

  • U-Values as low as 1.5 Wm2K based upon a 2.7×2.4m three-panel door.
  • Available as double or triple glazed.
  • Materials meet all current standards for extrusions, powder coating, gaskets and polyamide thermal break.

The Exlabesa bifold looks a good proposition as a bifold moving away from the more popular systems. The only area (although not that detrimental) are the maximum leaf sizes. The Technical Manual gives a maximum sash size of 1000x2400mm high.

These sizes are typical of most bifolding door sizes in real world applications but won’t compare to the systems that can achieve door leaves of 1200mm wide and up to 3 metres height with some systems.

We expected the door to at least go above 2400mm with a 1000mm wide sash.

Our thoughts on the Exlabesa bifolding door.

Some systems companies go to town on the marketing of the products; others are a lot more low key. Exlabesa is the latter. It is hard to find any information about performance criteria of the door such as its security rating and weather performance.

Where many bifolding doors offer a five or eight point locking system to their master door, this one offers a three-point lock. This is not to say the door is not secure or can quickly be forced, but with current generation products, we are not sure why a 3 point lock would be a feature.

Other useful features of the bifold are interlocking gaskets which the company claims improves the weather resistance.

The range of bifolds from established but less prominent systems companies is our guilty pleasure. We know that some systems companies choose not to be noticeable with the residential installers. They adopt a network of loyal fabricators and installers that do sterling work in promoting their doors.

The Exlabesa bifold has already been installed successfully in commercial developments, and we will watch the product with interest to see how it is received residentially.

There is a shift to service as well as the product.

Systems companies like Exlabesa, Kestrel Systems, Comar, Debar, Jack Aluminium and others do have a good range of windows and doors. Some systems companies are very active in marketing their brand heavily such as AluK. Others leave this to their network of fabricators who also install and secure their own commercial work.

One area we see these systems companies excel is lead times and service. They are still large enough to deal with volume work but small enough to provide a far better service all round. It is rare on our travels to hear fabricators be critical of shortages, errors and delays with the smaller systems companies.

The good thing about these smaller systems companies is that they are often much more engaged with their fabricators through tooling, training and ongoing support. This is not to say the larger ones do not do it, but we see a shift. We have meetings with the smaller systems companies, and there is a definite focus on securing more fabricators and promoting their (often better) service much more.

Please contact us if you are a fabricator and interested in the Exlabesa bifolding door or other products from the Company.