For a number of years aluminium bi-folding doors have been a popular choice for homeowners who are looking to open up their home to outdoor space, light and views. They are now facing competition from lift and slide sliding doors.
Lift and slide doors operate by turning the handle downwards, which lifts the door panel up from the bottom rail, allowing the homeowner to open or close large panes of glass with minimal effort.
The lift/slide opening door panel can be “dropped” back down at any point on its travel, and locked into place, allowing ventilation into the room, whilst keeping the room secure.
Both bi-folding doors and lift and slide sliding doors allow you to open wide apertures of your home to the outside, and flood your home with light, but which option is right for you? We take a look at the pro’s and cons of each.
Bi-folds allow you to almost completely open up an aperture and over a considerable distance of up to 7000mm. This is great if you have a patio or love to entertain in the garden. You are truly able to let the outside in. The lift and slide door will inevitably still have a portion of the aperture closed as the panels slide on top of one another (the exception of this of course is when it is hidden within a wall pocket!).
For bold architectural statements cornerless openings are also available for both bi-folds and lift and slide doors. Opening up an entire corner of your home to nature, without a post getting in the way.
The downside of a bi-folding door of course is that you cannot open it just a few inches or just a few feet, save using the slave door. Whereas with a lift and slide door you can open the door a small amount for ventilation, or to let the cat out or children in.
One of the main reasons to want a bi-folding or sliding door is to make the most of your views. Due to the multiple panes of a bi-folding door, your view is interrupted more, compared to a sliding door where you are likely to only have 1 or 2 sightlines. If you went for the pocket door option with the lift and slide, you could have no sightlines at all.
On the flip side, when the doors are open, with a bi-folding door you don’t have any sightlines but with a lift and slide door you would.
In summary the decision between a bi-folding door and sliding door is completely down to individual preference and what is most important to you. If you are looking for a seamless transition between inside and outside then bi-folds could be the right choice for you. However if you are looking for large panes of glass and minimal sightlines then lift and slide doors could be the right choice. Either way you can’t go wrong.
Need some help deciding? Book a showroom appointment with one of our experts, who will talk through your requirements, demonstrate your different options and help you choose the right door for your property.
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Mrs Oakes-Ash, Exmouth
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Mrs Moores, Templecombe
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Mr Foster, Exeter
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