Bi – Fold doors what’s best for you?

So you have decided – Bi fold doors are exactly what you want for your home – you have seen them in magazines and the homes of friends and family – the existing aluminium sliding doors will have to go – so you will have a perfect 3.00metre wide opening – and now you have to start making choices.

Finding a manufacturer you prefer or trust and selecting colours accessories is in many ways the easy part, understanding the “descriptive jargon” that comes with the opening operation of  Bi-folds can be a bit harder.

Do you, maximise the width of your glazed panels to create the best panoramic view of your garden or do you increase the number of panels by reducing their individual width to give you greater control over the opening possibilities

Take your typical 3000mm wide opening the norm for this width would be to accommodate 3/4/or 5 opening panels – If you were purchasing your door in a face to face discussion with a salesperson you wanted four panels and they started talking in numbers 4-0-4 / 4-1-3 / 4-2-2 you would have every right to look confused its actually not as complex as it sounds –

The first number is the number of panes

The second is the number that park to the left

The third is the number that park to the right

A 4-1-3 is therefore a door with 4 panes one parks to the left and three to the right when fully open

The next problem is deciding how you wish your doors to open inwards or outwards and this very much depends upon your individual choice or the style of your property – doors which park inwards tend to slightly reduce internal floor space when fully open.

Fortunately, most on-line Bi-fold door sales companies will have their own “designer tool” where you simply input your opening dimensions, the number of moving panels you require, direction of opening and the designer will create a graphic or choice of graphics of the door of your choice of the door of your choice something like the images below – which is both easier than speaking to a Salesman and allows you to experiment until you discover the configuration that best suits your property.

In this case we would have selected  five opening panels, sliding right in a typical 3.00 m opening and left the designer to produce the options.


The image to the left 5-0-5 acts simply as a sliding folding door where all 5 panels slide to the right whereas the image on the left has a single fixed door to the left which can be operated as a single point of entry exit or should you want your Bi fold fully open this single door will slide to the left and the other four panels slide to the right.

A further alternative would be to have selected a 5-2-3 configuration where the locking point would have occurred between doors two and three giving the option of a pair of opening doors in your Bi-fold.

The best thing about Bi Fold door designers is that the good ones do all the work you decide what you want and the designer does as it says “designs the configuration of your choice” leaving you free to spend a little more times selecting colours and accessories.