Made in the UK and available through a large network of fabricators and installers, the Alutech BF73 bifold door is affordable, high quality and matches the slim sightlines at the mullion of more premium systems.
In this Alutech bifold doors review, there’s detailed information about the product, its benefits and product features and why both homeowners and installers should choose it for residential and commercial projects.
Alutech BF73 Bifold Door
An affordable bifold door product that's a mid-range alternative to the more premium Schuco bifold it emulates, with similar styling and sightlines.
- A slimline, attractive bifold
- Widely available
- Very fitter friendly
- Great for those on a budget
- Widely rebranded and can confuse buyers
- Its quality depends on who makes it
Alutech Systems and the BF73 bifolding door product
Alutech as a systems company is fairly new to the UK. The company is better known as the Alutech Group, based in Belarus and a significant aluminium extruder and designer of doors, windows and ancillary aluminium profiles.
In the UK, Alutech Systems is based in Dewsbury and offers a full aluminium range of windows, doors, curtain walling, cill sections and garage doors. However, it’s with the BF73 folding sliding door product that they’re making significant inroads in the UK market, introduced in 2017.
This particular product is now widely available nationwide. It’s especially popular with the trade and installers and in many ways is similarly designed, styled and matches the size capability of the more premium Schuco bifold door product, specifically the ASS70 variant.
It’s subjective whether the Alutech BF73 is a copy of it, but it certainly takes a lot of styling cues from the bifold from this well known German systems company and prestige brand.
Alutech BF73 Review. Key features
The styling of the Alutech bifold doors provides options for those wanting a contemporary look with flat profiles or a more rounded appearance with a curved sash option also available.
The curved sash can give the illusion of slightly slimmer frames with a little more glass. At the same time, curved profiles provide a solution where there are existing windows and doors with a similar timber-like or traditional look. Either profile uses the same outer frame, glazing bead and hardware.
Alutech bifold doors go up to seven panels in a door set and up to 14 doors when you create a corner set of folding sliding doors. As you’d expect the doors fold in or out, come with a single or double traffic door option, a 20mm low threshold where needed and a substantial choice of colours.
The product is insulated using the latest polyamide thermal break and has quality aluminium extrusions, meeting the requirements of architectural-grade aluminium.
Smooth Running System for easy opening and closing
With any bifolding door, its smoothness in how it folds and slides is always an excellent indicator of quality. The Alutech BF73 uses high quality hardware, although it’s not unique to the product in the same way systems such as Solarlux, designing the hardware for their doors exclusively.
We’ve seen many examples of Alutech bifold doors in situ. Well-made and fitted they’re light, smooth and consistent as they roll along the bottom track.
Large and wide panels with Alutech bifold doors
Suitable for existing openings or larger newly built apertures, the Alutech BF73 allows door panels up to 1.2m wide and 3m high. The advantages of wider panels are fewer of them, larger glass sizes and a better overall view looking through closed doors.
For the height, 3m isn’t the most popular dimension and many installations don’t go that high. However, buying a product with a wider and taller size capability also demonstrates good design and engineering within the system.
And remember, Alutech bifold doors or any other folding system provides single or French doors using the same aluminium profiles for matching doors throughout the property and especially where hinged doors are required elsewhere.
An adjustable frame jamb on Alutech BF73 doors
How easy a door is to fit doesn’t really matter to the end-user customer, but matters a lot to installers. And here, Alutech bifold doors come with a fully adjustable frame jamb at the end of the door where it meets the frame.
The adjustable frame jamb on Alutech bifold doors provide plus or minus 4mm adjustment which is ample for most site installations.
Gaskets overlap the outer frame at the top and bottom with a 4mm coverage. As well as sealing the essential gaps around the doors, this coverage lets the door stay sealed should it drop over time and reduces any visible gaps. Alutech also says that external wind pressure on outward opening doors increases the connection of the door seals even more.
No door or window is a fit and forget product. Some get used significantly more than others so a routine adjustment will invariably be required at some point during the life of the product.
For the hardware generally, there’s an option of matching colours for the lever handles, intermediate panel handles and exterior magnets.
The hinges on the doors are slim and work with the gasket sightlines for a cleaner look to the doors. They’re attractive, have less visible bulk, have better sightlines and overall create neater looking doors when viewed from the hinge side.
Typical of a very well designed product, you’ll find a two-wheel system at the bottom of the doors, taking the weight and ensuring a smooth slide action. Alutech says the BF73 sash weight is directed onto one point on the two-wheel roller, the advantage being less friction as the gravity falls on a specific point on the roller and therefore the track.
Security features with Alutech bifold doors
Alutech BF73 doors use high quality locking systems by Brisant, well known for their Sweet, Brisant, Ultion and other lock brands, widely used in quality residential doors of all materials.
For this product, you get Brisant Sweet handles available in black, white, grey, chrome and stainless steel. A Brisant 3-star cylinder is used alongside other features giving the Alutech product PAS24 security certification.
The lock itself features a six-point system called Alutech Alulock. There are double hook locks at the top and the bottom with a central hook lock further enhanced with the latch.
Other security features include internal glazing beads, laminated or toughened glass of course and general good design features all-round.
The 120mm mullion sightline and why it matters
When it comes to choosing new bifolding doors, the mullion sightline with the closed-door set is important to the trade wanting to sell a slimmer system and homeowners, attracted to the idea of more glass and less visible profile.
And here the Alutech BF73 doesn’t disappoint. At a more affordable price point, it ranks amongst the slimmest bifolds on the market with the same 120mm sightline as the more premium Schuco product. At the mullion, Alutech bifold doors are slimmer than the Origin OW70, Aluk bifolds, Reynaers, Senior Systems and the tried and tested Visofold 1000 product.
There are, of course, slimmer bifold doors on the market at this important dimension. But for those wanting a well-designed bifold, that’s appealing to the cost-conscious buyer with no real loss of features, it’s an excellent proposition and similar looks to the German systems.
Other products to consider alongside Alutech bifold doors
We think Alutech bifold doors for aesthetics and size capability provide an excellent alternative to the folding sliding door products by Smart Systems and Aluk products.
Compared to Origin, you won’t get the personalisation options Origin is unbeatable on, and Origin does have a slimmer version than Alutech. The company also provides a broader range of products right now, appealing to those wanting one brand across the entire project.
Compared to the Schuco ASS70 on which this door is heavily based, it’s worth looking at both products and making a decision on price, styling and brand reputation. Schuco is widely regarded as a prestigious bifolding door. That said, the Alutech BF73, well-made and fitted remains an excellent similarly styled and more affordable proposition.
Alutech BF73 review. Conclusion and Summary
One of the best things about the BF73 is how many fabricators have adopted the product meaning nationwide availability and great prices as a result.
Therefore, homeowners, builders and the glazing trade have access to many suppliers making Alutech products nationwide. Some of these are part of the Alutech Alunet Partner Network. The Alunet Partner Network is supported by the systems company and is steadily growing around the country, with new manufacturers dedicated to providing Alutech bifold doors. Some of these include:
Bournemouth-based AL-Bifolds a recent Alunet partner making the BF73 bifold for homeowners and builders.
In Sheffield are Trueglide Ltd, set up to make Alutech for the trade and providing other products.
Manchester, the North West and Scotland you’ll find 23 Doors Ltd, another Alunet Partner also providing their sliding doors.
Based in Essex, C and A Window Systems is an expert trade supplier, also providing Reynaers and Senior Systems on a trade supply only basis.
You’ll also find good businesses well-set up with the Alutech range and providing trade supply only and for homeowners wanting to buy these doors for their installer to fit. Of course, it’s widely available on a full supply and installation service and you can get in touch for suppliers of Alutech bifold doors near you.
One of the advantages of introducing a bifolding door system in an already mature market is knowing what existing bifolding door features sell well with manufacturers, installers and the end-user customer. Here, Alutech has the design spot on with desirable sightlines at the right dimensions, quality hardware, easy installation and broad market appeal.
If we were to be picky, the low threshold profile uses a glazing bead profile to create the rebate that’s a little crude rather than a fully extruded section with an upstand. However, to the non-technically minded it doesn’t matter and not using the rebate creates the right low threshold where Alutech bifold doors are used internally as room dividers.
As well as this the handle offering is a little traditional-looking for our liking. Schuco, Origin, Reynaers and aïr bifolds have the right styling using a separate lever and to the key cylinder. It just looks much better.
Overall, Alutech bifold doors come from a highly respected systems company and provide an excellent folding sliding door solution for new build or refurbishment projects.