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All You Need to Know About Bi-fold Doors

In this article, we will cover:

  • What are bi-fold doors?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of installing bi-fold doors in your home
  • Safety and security features
  • What you should consider before making your purchase

Suitable for your patio, conservatory or even inside the home, bi-fold doors are an attractive, low-maintenance option for many style-savvy UK homeowners.

What are Bi-fold Doors?

Bi-fold doors are two or more doors (panels) which slide open and close on a track, similar to traditional sliding doors. However, bi-fold doors work on a concertina system so they can be fully opened or closed without blocking any of the light or view. Equally, you can just open one of the doors if a larger area isn’t required for access at that time.

Stylish and sophisticated, they can be made from timber, uPVC or aluminium and usually comprise large glazed areas for uninterrupted views and plenty of natural light. This makes them perfect patio doors, but they are equally at home being used to divide internal rooms. 

How Bi-fold Doors Work

The tracks the doors glide along are on the ground, with an upper lintel keeping the doors in place as they slide. These tracks should provide a smooth and soundless gliding action. 

There are different sizes and configurations available, with individually glazed sections. Each section has hinges which dictate how that section will fold. Bi-fold doors can have up to seven panels, with two being the necessary minimum. 

As you open each section, they will neatly ‘stack’ against each other, saving space while providing maximum viewing. This system also offers excellent ventilation, allowing fresh air to flow through the home.

That’s not to say cold air is streaming through the gaps between the doors and the track. Airtight seals, thermal breaks and insulated glass all ensure excellent thermal performance. 

They are designed to prevent heat loss and can help you to regulate the temperature of the room. 

Unlike most doors, such as French doors, which only open one way – outwards or inwards – bi-fold doors give you unlimited access to the room or outside space they open onto.


Depending on the materials used, bi-fold doors can fit most spaces. Aluminium bi-fold doors are particularly flexible as aluminium can withstand a lot of pressure, even when the frame itself is slim.


We offer a range of glazing options, including triple glazing and self-cleaning glass and laminated glass is available in all our doors for your security and peace of mind. 

Whether you choose timber or aluminium, you will be spoilt for choice with all the colours and finishes available, including any RAL colour for aluminium. 

You can further personalise the look with a range of hardware options.  

Advantages of Bi-fold Doors

  • They offer space-saving benefits due to the concertina design
  • They can be made to most sizes and specifications
  • They are suitable for indoor, entrance or exit use
  • They are ideal for ‘open plan’ living 
  • They maximise the natural light in your home
  • They offer wide uninterrupted views
  • They require very little maintenance (depending on the materials used)
  • They are safe and secure 
  • They are attractive and can increase curb appeal
  • They can add value to a home
  • They can be customised to suit personal preferences

The Disadvantages of Bi-fold Doors 

  • They can be expensive to install over larger areas
  • Due to the low level, excess water can be an issue without adequate drainage
  • Large bi-fold door installations can eat into space when in their folded or ‘open’ position
  • It can be labour-intensive to open and close the doors for frequent access in large spaces 
  • There could be privacy issues if the bi-fold doors are poorly positioned

Safety and Security Features

All doors at Manchester Window Factory area are available with laminated glass and Ultion door barrels to increase your security. 

The built-in security systems are British security standards approved, with multipoint locking systems and toughened glass making it extremely difficult for a would-be intruder to gain access.

Considerations Before Installation

Sizing and configuration options

How the doors are configured will depend on how you want them to open and close. Think about how many times a day you will need to open and close the doors based on the function of the space they open onto. 

Cost factors

The price of your bi-fold doors will increase depending on the size and configuration you require. Your choice of frame and glazing will also affect the final cost, with timber usually costing less than aluminium.

Each material offers pros and cons, but both are excellent options for your home or the entrance to your garden.

Maintenance requirements

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, our slimline aluminium bi-fold doors could be ideal. Strong, durable and weather-resistant, they require very little maintenance and are easy to clean. 

Timber requires slightly more care and attention, but our timber bi-fold doors are treated to make them weather-resistant and prevent warping, swelling and cracking. 

With either option, you’ll need to clean the glass regularly to maximise your views and ensure the track is clear for the doors to glide smoothly.

How Can Manchester Window Factory Help?

With 25+ years of experience in selling and installing doors, windows, and conservatories, the experts at Manchester Window Factory are the best people to help you make your choice.

Our stunning range of bi-fold doors includes timber and aluminium designs of the highest quality, all made to British Police Security standards.  

Choose from a wide range of colours and finishes, including dual colours and wood effects, to create the aesthetic you want.

Our in-house experts can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Even better, we also employ professional fitters, so you can arrange a smooth and efficient installation at a convenient time when you buy. 

To find out more, pop in to see us at our Altrincham showroom, call or email us, or fill in our online contact form for a free no-obligation quote, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.