Whether it's a new home or simply a home improvement project, your doors are a significant component to think of. Privacy, security and aesthetic appeal are all the key roles that your doors play. Therefore, if you are considering changing a few doors in your home, bi-fold doors are an option to consider. Many homeowners prefer bi-fold doors not only for their aesthetics but also for their practicality. These doors are designed to fold as well as stack perfectly on one or both sides of an aperture when you open them. This allows for the free movement of people from one room to the next or from indoors to outdoors and vice versa. However, the doors come in three major material options: wood, uPVC and aluminium. Here is a guide to choosing the best for your home:
The first thing you will have to consider when choosing among the three options is your budget. uPVC bi-fold doors are usually the least expensive. Therefore, if you are on a budget, they would make a good choice. The price of wooden bi-fold doors will often depend on the wood species used. Hardwoods will generally cost you more. Nevertheless, wood can be cheaper than their aluminium counterparts.
Strength and Durability
Aluminium doors are the strongest as well as the longest-lasting of the three options. With the right care and attention, they will last for years. uPVC is often the weakest; it is easily scratched and warped compared to the other materials. What's more, it tends to discolour when exposed to sunlight for long. Timber or wood, on the other hand, is stronger than uPVC but weaker than aluminium. The durability of wood is often affected by its susceptibility to water damage and insect infestation. If the bi-fold doors are for exterior use, aluminium would be the best option. If you choose wood, make sure it's covered in a coat of protective paint or oil. This can help it stand up to water damage but only if the door won't be exposed to standing water for long.
Aluminium bi-fold doors are generally more energy-efficient than their timber and uPVC counterparts. That's because the material is an excellent conductor of heat. For even better results, you can go for the models designed with a thermal break. This is a non-conductive layer of material that's added to the door to minimise transfer of heat from either side. The strength of aluminium bi-fold doors also means thicker glasses can be supported. Thicker panes are often more energy-efficient, especially in the case of double- and triple-glazing. Wood also has excellent thermal properties but you need to be wary of warping that can interfere with its efficiency. uPVC is the least energy-efficient and should be your last option when it comes to energy efficiency.