Smart Systems is the largest aluminium systems company in the UK by turnover. Smarts also dominate the trade sector of the market. Substantial numbers of fabricators, trade counters and installers choose Smarts for its quality and low price. They are also pretty good bifolding doors as well. Brands such as Customade’s REAL Aluminium, Garrard Windows and other big fabricators all sell Smart windows and doors to the trade.
Why we are reviewing the Visofold 6000 Bifolding Door.
As an aluminium systems company, Smart Systems not only produces its suite of architectural aluminium products but they also extrude profiles for others looking to design their own systems with custom-made extrusions. They have done this for several other systems already. As well as this, Smart Systems also powder coat their extrusions.
The Visofold 1000 is the best selling of Smarts’ bifolding door products. As you can read in our Visofold 1000 review, it falls short on some areas despite being an excellent door.
This new bifolding door brings improved aesthetics, but not overall improved performance. The Visofold 1000 has better air, water and wind performance. Nonetheless, as you will see in this review, the 6000 does have some quite distinctive features.
The Visofold 6000 bifolding door adds to the range of four different bifolding doors presently available from Smarts. These are:
- Visofold 1000 is the most popular of the Smarts folding doors.
- The 2000 provides a deep bottom rail and square section to mimic traditional timber doors.
- A Visofold 3000 is a commercial or residential system with thicker profiles.
- Smarts Visofold 4000 continues the original concept of early generation bifolds where each panel hangs off an intermediate mullion.
Does the Visofold 6000 replace the Visofold 5000?
This new addition to the Visofold door range is numbered the 6000. Previous to this a Visofold 5000 came to the market and quickly discontinued. Very much a residential bifolding door, Visofold 6000 promises the aesthetics, price point and quality that the typical homeowner wants and the trade wants to sell.
While we can’t say for sure that the 6000 replaces the short-lived 5000 model, we think it does.
Options and Features of the Visofold 6000 bifolding door.
While this is a new door from Smarts, it would seem that the Smart Systems designers decided not to follow the trend of other bifolding door brands for wide door leaves and tall bifolding doors. Compared to other contemporary sliding doors such as the Dutemann FD85, the Schuco ASS70FD and the aïr bifold door, Smarts have avoided the popular 1200mm leaf width and 3 metre leaf height. This could be down to design limitations.
Here are the door sizes, .you can expect with the Visofold 6000 and other popular doors.
|Maximum Width||Maximum Height|
|Aluk Optio BSF70||1000mm||3000mm|
|Alumina by Liniar||1200mm||2500mm|
|Origin Bifoling Door||1200mm||2700mm|
Being very fair to Smart Systems, most typical door sizes fall within the size limitations, but a 2200mm door sash height seems too short when many new extensions design door heights up to 2400mm to maximise the light and create attractive large doors.
Visually, the new Visofold 6000 is very modern. Flat, square sections helped by their narrow sight lines. It is with sight lines that this new door from Smart Systems excels.
Visofold 6000. One of the slimmest bifold doors.
The Smarts Visofold 6000 is a remarkably thin bifolding door where it matters to some buyers the most. If the sight line where the bifolding doors meet in the middle is important, we think no other major bifolding door system offers the sight lines of the new Visofold 6000.
At a hugely impressive 94mm, the Visofold 6000 is 22% thinner than the Schuco ASS 70FD (120mm) and still thinner than the Sunflex SF 75 bifold door that is only 115mm. These dimensions are overall frame sizes to the glass line, including the glazing beads. The Visofold is flat on the outside and rounded on the inside.
You can see how the Visofold 6000 compares against virtually every bifolding door on the market.
Even when configured with French Doors in the middle the sight line is still an excellent 138mm, thinner than many other bifold doors are in a standard configuration.
Profile and design options with the Visofold 6000.
Smarts Systems offer a big range of profiles and options with the Visofold 6000.
- Fixed or moveable corner post.
- A wide variety of cill sections to suit every installation.
- A broad range of frame add-ons and ancillary profiles.
- Excellent support for fabricators through tooling and technical manuals.
- Sashes sitting flush with the frame.
With the Visofold 6000, there is a choice of a flat outer frame (DV612) or the conventional style frame with a lip (DV610). The sashes come as a curved (DV620) or square section (DV622). The outer frames are 74.5mm front to back and with a height of 55mm. When you add the sash section the sight line on the head/jamb is a slim 88mm.
On a typical three panel configuration with a traffic door, the sight line at the mullion is 94mm. Where the traffic door meets the folding panels, its 159mm. A Smarts cill adds 31mm to the bottom sight line. With the trickle vent at the head, the Visofold is 130mm using the ETC515N frame extension.
For the hinges, there is the option of the ACDV331 stand-alone door hinge or the ACDV274 with an integrated D-handle for open in doors.
Security and operation of the Visofold 6000
Visofold 6000 offers multi-point locking on the lead door. You lock the door in the familiar way, by lifting up the handle and locking the door from the cylinder.
The secondary doors secure with shoot bolts. These engage in the head and the threshold via a rotating handle. This turns 170 degrees, revealing another door cylinder to key lock. If you wish, a keyed-alike arrangement where all doors lock with one key is available.
We remain unsure if the Visofold 6000 is security certified to Secured by Design, Document Q or PAS 24.
The Smart Spark. What is it?
The Smart Spark is Smart’s quality commitment. Just like you get the Schuco logo on their doors, Smarts is stamping their mark on their bifolding door hinges, rollers and other hardware. Smart Systems says that when you see the Smart Spark, it is their guarantee of extensive testing and quality assurance. They also say that this helps with the reliability and durability of their products.
Naturally, Smart Systems is quality assured and certified.
The Visofold 6000 as a steel-replacement bifold.
One company we know of, Aspire Bifolds of Epsom, Surrey has adapted the Visofold 6000 bifolding door as a steel replacement bifold to great effect.
Aspire has customised the door as a heritage or steel look bifolding door with specific aluminium glazing bars, and alternative door handles. The company already does a lot of work with the Smarts Alitherm Heritage 47 suite of windows and doors. Realising how slim the door is they’ve added it to their range of steel-look windows and doors. They’ve also done the same with the Visoglide sliding door.
It is easy in most cases to apply glazing bars to any door to make it look like an old style steel door. The 6000, done right, looks very credible indeed.
Smart Systems Visofold 6000. Should you buy it?
Smarts need congratulating on developing the slimmest bifold on the market by a major systems company. Some installers might look to replace their slimline Schuco door with the 6000. However, Smarts might not have the brand perception of Origin, Schuco or Reynaers, despite their thicker doors. This is the challenge for Smarts products available virtually everywhere. Visofold might be thinner and more elegant, but others have better brand perception. On the subject of brand perception, Express Bifolding Doors as a premier manufacturer and installer of home improvement products uses the Visofold 6000 which they market as the XP Vision.
The Visofold 6000 specification falls in line with other brands, but for us, it is aesthetics homeowners go with rather than top performance.
Some installers report that the thin frames often require add-on sections, increasing the frame sight lines. This is of course, installation specific.
|One of the Slimmest bifolds||Door leaves don’t go as tall as other systems|
|Low/flush threshold option||Other bifolds have better brand perception.|
|Smarts Sensations and woodgrain colours a bonus||Other doors with more premium handles|
|Compatible with Pilkington Active sealed units.||The Visofold 1000 gives bigger leaves.|
|Also comes with curved bifold door sections|
|Fixed and Open Corner Bifolds available.|
Contact us for further information and where to buy the Visofold 6000 bifolding door.
This article was last updated April 2019.