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Bifold doors and why they’re a fantastic choice

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bifold doors in black background

Imagine waking up in the morning to be greeted by the sun and its welcoming rays — yup, all thanks to bifold doors. You can enjoy the view outside without spending too much time basking in sunlight, and without solid doors obstructing your view. Aside from that, they are also a chic, modern, eye-catching, and space-efficient addition to your household. 

In this article, we’ll get to the details of constructing a bifold door, the standard sizes, height, and width, and the regulations that you need to consider before installing one.

What are the benefits of using bifold doors?

Before knowing the perks of having a bifold door, let’s define it first.

Contrary to what the name suggests, a bifold door or a folding-sliding door, are not just two doors but a series of wide door panels that open or slide like an accordion. Its use isn’t limited to external installation or the opposite. It can also be used in houses with open floor plans.

bifold doors in a luxurious balcony

Choosing them for your home is not just about taking advantage of the view or enhancing your building design. Honestly, these are just bonuses. There are also several benefits to installing one for your house going to your patio or backyard deck.

  • Privacy and security reasons. You can take a glimpse outside without opening your door or window or compromising the security of your home. Since it’s made with wide glass panels, it provides a panoramic view of the outdoors. 
  • Having extra light and ventilation in the room. One of its benefits is that it brings in warm natural light and allows a cool breeze inside the home. It saves electricity since it helps with ventilation and light consumption.
  • Easy to use. Since they open like an accordion, they’re easy to fold and stack on only one or both sides. It can be installed with high-performance rollers which allows it to open seamlessly.
  • Easily accessible from portions of the home. Since they can be installed both indoors and outdoors, it would be convenient for people to go in and out of the house.
  • Mobility reasons. If you have a senior parent or grandparent, or wheelchair user at home, having this door will be accessible for them.

bifold doors overlooking the pool

  • Consumes less than 85% of the usual door space. This type of door is popular because of its ability to occupy less space than necessary. Its “stacking” mechanism saves space more than a conventional door takes.
  • Easy to maintain. Glass doors are easier to clean than traditional wooden ones. The material used as a base can either be aluminium or hardwood. The doors made with the former can survive long wear and tear.
  • Weatherproof and thermally efficient. While these doors are water-resistant and waterproof, they can also block the heat and cold from entering the house. In the same way, bifold doors keep them inside the house. They are safe, have weatherproof seals and designs and are insulated.
  • Versatile. A bifold door can be used in the rainy season or summertime. It can also pair with any type of design or building. Its versatility isn’t only limited to the function, but to the design as well. They are slim, less obvious, and can match any existing decor in your home. It’s aesthetically pleasing, polished, modern, practical, and suited to any building design.
  • Enhances the value of your home. These are a great addition to your home as they are popular and don’t really go out of style. It’s deemed to add value to your home for a rough estimate of 5-10%.

Check out this article if you want to know more about the best door designs.

How do bifold doors work?

open kitchen with folding doors

A bifold door opens by folding back the glass frames and panels hinged together. Taking in the concertina principle, it slides and compacts simultaneously to either one or two sides of the recess, opening up the whole area.

The design of this type of door is intricate and complex, having parts that must be installed with caution. The durability of the whole assembled bifold door relies on hinges, tracks, pivots, strike plates, ironmongery, fixings, and seals that must be of high quality.

Bifold doors standards

minimalist white and pastel blue bedroom

As a homeowner, you should be careful and familiar with the materials that will be used for your door. It must be tested for durability, longevity, and operability.

In this case, these are three materials available:

Aluminium is the strongest option and can last up to 20 years. This thin and low-maintenance material can be painted with whatever you like but usually is powder-coated to present a more durable finish. Aluminium is on the expensive side and is priced at $1936-7200*.

powder coated aluminium bifold

Meanwhile, UPVC is the most affordable option. It's available in a range of colours, so you can choose which one is the most suitable for your existing home design. Additionally, UPVC doors are low-maintenance and can last for more than 30 years. They're priced from $2500 – $4400.*

Hardwood is a durable material, too, but may require maintenance and repainting. It is engineered. This material is priced from $2800-$6000*.

Superdraft tip: You can actually get double glazed ones (doors with two panes of glass with a spacer in between). It provides insulation against sound and heat. Having insect screens is a plus, too. Both will increase the value of your home.

*The above-mentioned figures are rough estimates only.

outdoor deck with timber flooring

Standard bifold door sizes

One of the characteristics of a bifold door is its wide opening. Of course, the opening depends on the area of coverage and configuration of the door. The area where it will be installed is also a factor. A 3-door, 4-door, 6-door, and 9-door system varies not only in the number of doors but also in the direction of “stacking” and length.

Configuration

Direction of opening

Area of coverage

3-door

single 1.4-2.4 metres

4-door

single/two directions

2.9 metres

6-door

two directions

4.3 metres

9-door two directions

6.4 metres

The width of your folding doors depends on the tracking and hinge mechanism it comes with. The hardware and materials used should also help it glide seamlessly despite having multiple doors arranged together. These are factors that must be understood to figure out the cost of its installation.

Typically, the more panels your folding doors have, the more expensive they are. If you have any doubts or important questions, you can book a free consultation with our project coordinators. You only need to sign up for free access to our dashboard and Superdraft can match you with our draftsman or building designer depending on your needs.

The standard height for bifold doors

outdoor extension and gaming patio

An internal bifold door has a standard height of 2040 mm and/or 2.1 m. If you want a height of over 2.1 m or external folding doors, then prepare for additional costs.

Internal bi-fold panel doors have the same thickness as that of the standard Australian internal door which is 35mm thick. Panels come in three sizes: 720mm, 770mm, and 820mm (Ex. 2040mm X 720mm X 35mm). Bifold door configurations differ on the location where they must be fitted but they mostly are fit to openings of 1800mm and over.

Maximum width for bifold doors

scandinavian dining table in a deck

The standard width depends on the number of panels. Still, the standard door thickness is 35mm. Check the table below.

Number of panels

Width

2

1800 mm

3

2700 mm

4

3500 mm

5

4400 mm

6

5300 mm

7

6065 mm

Installation and labour

three frames of white bifold doors

Labour is a big factor for the overall installation cost. The fee may increase if there are additional configurations for your door or if the doors do not fit the opening. For your installation fee to be worth it, only hire professional installers who have a good reputation when it comes to their craft.

Superdraft tip: Superdraft can help you find qualified experts to do this. If you have enough space in your property for building a greenhouse, Superdraft can help! We can connect you to skilled building designers, draftsmen, and structural engineers who can help you plan out your project. We can also help you manage the entire construction process from start to finish. Sign up for our free platform now!

Regulations on installing bifold doors

open home design with folding doors in front porch

You must first know if your home is suitable for the installation of folding doors. Consult a building design professional to verify this. You certainly do not want to start demolition only to find out that the whole house is not suitable for it.

For any renovation that will modify your home or its structure, even outdoor or external extensions, securing a building permit is a requirement in order for you to proceed. Also, it’s a fact that in any home improvement, demolition of a portion or more is a must. This includes tearing down walls, roofs, or doors which requires a permit as well. If the subject of demolition is over 40sqm or may affect a public space, a building surveyor should be requested.

Moreover, since your bifold door is a residential addition, it must have a Performance label certifying its compliance with Australian Standard 2047. A Compliance certificate must then be issued by the National Construction Code.

In terms of council approval, it’s best to check first with your council the existing guidelines as to the installation of new doors. Internal renovations don’t actually need approval, but external ones do, and it’s best to confirm to avoid a rocky start.

Note that not all councils are the same, and you might need the help of a local draftsman for your home renovation. Superdraft can help you locate a draftsman in your area who can also assist you with obtaining a building permit. Hiring one from your city is more practical since they already know the regulations of the local council.

When will a bifold door design work best?

alspec living room with wide panels of folding doors and clerestory windows

A bifold door design works best on family celebrations and affairs or any event with a high volume of visitors or people who come and go. These are ideal to use outdoors and indoors, especially on open plan areas or home extensions like a backyard deck

folding doors by aws

Check out our inspiration gallery and look at the samples provided for by our partner inspirers. You may also check uploads featuring some bifold door designs.

Are bifold doors worth it?

Aside from the pros mentioned above, there are also cons to installing folding doors. They are expensive, may cause a slight obstruction when folded, and have no threshold. Despite this, it’s obvious that the benefits outweigh all the drawbacks. Including their longevity, durability, and all other advantages mentioned in its installation, they are flexible and are a great way to maximise the space of your home.

Our pleasure to help

If you want a specific plan of how much it costs to install a bifold door so you can enjoy the outdoor breeze and air in your home or if you intend to renovate further, sign up for our free platform! Once you’ve signed up, you can access our award-winning platform to find the perfect professionals for your home renovation.

You can even request a quote for free!

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