Here, besides offering a few options and scenarios to mull over, we’ll also be discussing the benefits and drawbacks of certain bifold door types, which will hopefully help you make up your mind.
Bi-fold doors versus french doors
French doors are classic. Even the name itself speaks to sophistication and beauty. However, they might not work in every situation, and they can certainly have their drawbacks, especially when compared to the more flexible and secure option of a bifold door setup. The primary differences between the two are quite easy to spot, even if you’re not looking particularly hard.
For starters, bifold doors feature multiple panels, which concertina back to open up an aperture fully, without any obstruction, for this reason, they are often installed either externally leading out to a garden or patio, or internally covering a wardrobe or pantry, where space is at a premium.
French doors, meanwhile, generally comprise two, separate doors which open outwards, and will often be found in older houses leading out to patios or conservatories. For this reason, they are often also referred to as “patio doors”, although this term can encapsulate other door types too. Regarding which doors will better suit your situation, you must first understand what a set of bifold doors could do for your home, especially externally.
For example, installing a set of folding doors leading our from your kitchen (for example) to your garden will bring a lot more light into the home, and will provide a much clearer and more attractive view of your outdoor space. This could add some significant value to your property (if you’re looking to sell), but will also make your time spent in the kitchen feel less of a chore because sometimes, a good view makes all the difference!
In contrast, the only major con regarding bi-folding doors is that, as they are made up of a number of different panels, the gaps in the glass can break the view up when the doors are not folded back. They do, however, offer the advantage of opening up the whole side or back of your home when they are fully open and folded back.
This is something simply not possible with a conventional french door and wall configuration. In terms of flexibility, french doors can also generally only be hung to open inwards or outwards, and that’s about it.
Bi-fold doors, however, can have a different number of door panels (as many as you’d like) and can be designed to all open in one direction, to open in the middle or in multiple other configurations to suit your individual needs and preferences.
French doors might be better suited to older properties, as there are generally more options available regarding framing and styles of glass, but bifold doors are becoming more popular in older properties, even though they are perceived by many as a more modern alternative, especially in older homes with modern extensions.
The main benefit of french doors, meanwhile, is that they are generally more affordable and easy to install. Also, chances are you already live in a home that has a french door installed, in which case, removing the old door and installing a new one is a simple and cost-effective solution, whereas to install bifold doors would probably mean tearing out a rather large chunk of wall! Of course, we’ve only talked externally here.
Internally, the differences matter a little less but are still comparable. For example, if you were considering replacing the french doors leading to your wardrobe or kitchen pantry with bifold doors, it wouldn’t be half as complicated a job. Many of the pros and cons listed above would still apply, though, minus the ‘lighting’ and ‘view’ points of course.
There’s also the option of partitioning off your living room and kitchen/dining area with a set of bifold doors, but in this case, we honestly can’t see any reason why you’d even consider french doors!
Conclusions and final tips:
As you can see, bifold doors are more than capable alternative to French doors and sliding doors that shouldn’t be overlooked just because they might end up setting you back a little more. Ultimately, it’s a price that’s worth it, and we promise you’ll be enjoying them for years and years to come!