Then the Anthracite grey or RAL 7016 colour became trendy. This pushed up the price by 30% or more. The cost became comparable with aluminium and sales exploded, competition increased and aluminium bifold doors became quite affordable. People liked the idea of opening up their living rooms connecting with their patios and gardens.
Homeowners are now realising that the number of times they actually do this is quite infrequent and they are staring out through still quite chunky frames into their gardens. What’s more depending on the opening configurations of the bifolds, at the very best they often only have a single opening door on the left or right to open out easily to the garden.
Are we seeing the end of the bifold door? Maybe we are.
The average width of a bifold is a bit less than 3 metres divided into 3 sections. If homeowners are lucky enough and have 4 metres or more available they are opting for sliding patio doors where each section can be much wider.
What are the alternatives if you don’t have such a big opening available?
UPVC French doors have always been an option but the frame sizes are big. You lose so much glass and, therefore, light. Also they’ve got horrible chunky “flag” hinges stuck on the outside. In recent years a flush door has been available which uses normal butt hinges which is a big improvement but the frame size is the same.
In the last few years says Colin at Colin’s Sash Windows, we have slowly been witnessing the popularity of a 100-year old door! If you’re old enough you might remember growing up with single glazed steel windows and French doors. They were absolutely freezing in the winter, draughty and let in all the surrounding noise from outside.
Aluminium bifold doors
Industrial style aluminium doors
They’re still available from the original manufacturer now but these days they are double glazed and thermally efficient. The frames are really thin and the look has really come back into vogue. Homeowners can also have them single glazed for internal doors and partitions. There’s only one problem… they are very, very expensive.
An aluminium profile manufacturer came up with an alternative with a look alike lock. It’s called Smart Heritage 47. Okay, the frames are a bit bigger than the steel frames, they’ve got to be because aluminium isn’t as strong as steel. The prices of these external French doors are affordable though so the frame size is an acceptable trade off.
Sales of these, says Colin, has grown exponentially. They are, without a doubt, the most popular “new” thing in the window industry. They’re often ordered as a pair of French doors opening out with a matching fixed panel either side. The industrial style door provides the solution for conservation areas where planning regulations require a like-for-like product replacement.
Colin took the uPVC sash window market by storm in 2014. Before he started, sliding sash windows were only available fitted from window installers. He started retailing them direct to builders and DIY customers at affordable prices. He’s doing the same with the Heritage steel look doors.
His business, Colin’s Sash Windows is also one of the UK’s leading supplier of Smart Systems Aluspace single glazed aluminium doors for internal use.
Additionally they are offering an affordable steel single glazed option that can also be sliding. They are a bit more expensive then the Aluspace aluminium version but the frames are smaller.
Contact Colin’s Sash Windows to help you choose the best option for you.
Internal steel doors
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.