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Best Alternative To Bifold Doors For Style, Space & Functionality


Best Alternative To Bifold Doors For Style, Space & Functionality

Andy Brame
Written by Andy Brame
Updated on 10th July 2024
Posted on 9th July 2024

What are the alternatives to bifold doors?

Bifold doors are a popular option for homeowners who want to create an open and spacious feel in their homes.

Black 5-Panel Aluminium Bifold Door

However, they may not be the best choice for everyone and have become less popular in recent times.

Whether you're looking for a different look, a cheaper alternative, or need a door for a smaller space, there are many alternatives to bifold doors to consider, such as sliding doors.

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Luckily here at Value Doors, we offer a huge range of options!

So by considering the alternatives, you can find a door that meets your unique needs and enhances the look and functionality of your home.


Why are people looking for bifold door alternatives?

Bifold doors were, and still are, to an extent, a popular option for many years, especially in modern and contemporary homes.

However, in recent years, they have become less popular than the likes of French doors or patio doors for a few reasons, which we will dive into now.

Bifolds Can be expensive

Firstly, bifold doors can be quite expensive to install, especially if you want high-quality materials such as aluminium or composite. This, in turn, can make them less accessible to homeowners on a budget.

Bifold patio door costs will also depend on the size of them, as the bigger bi-folds that you require, the more you will end up paying.

Lots of moving parts

Second, due to the mechanism and the way they work, traditional bifold doors require more maintenance than other types of doors.

They have multiple moving parts, and if these parts are not well-maintained, they can break or wear out over time. This can lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Not practical for some situations

Third, some homeowners find that bi-folding doors can be cumbersome to use and impractical for their needs.

Bifolds do require a lot of space to open and close every door panel, which can make them difficult to use in smaller homes or rooms if the configurations mean that they open inside.

Additionally, if you have 3 panels or more they can be heavy and difficult to operate for some people, especially the elderly or those with physical limitations.

There are better alternatives

Finally, and the main reason you are reading this post is that there are now many other types of doors available that offer similar benefits to bifold doors, such as sliding pocket doors, patio sliding doors, and pivot doors.

The main highlights of these doors are that they may be easier to use and require less maintenance, and probably one of the main points is that they are more affordable than bifold doors, making them a more popular choice for many homeowners.

Overall, while a sliding bifold door has its place in modern home design for opening up a property or for an extension, its popularity has declined.

This is due to its high cost, fiddly and expensive maintenance requirements, and awkward usability issues, as well as the availability of alternative door options.

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Best bifold doors alternatives

Here are some alternatives to bifold doors for your property or home extension:

Pocket Doors (sliding doors)

Sliding doors can often seem like too big an option; however, these doors slide into a compartment in the wall and are completely hidden when open. They are ideal for small spaces or areas where there isn't enough room for a traditional swinging door.

A pocket door is a type of sliding door that slides into a compartment, or "pocket," in the wall when it is opened.

Pocket doors, therefore, clearly are a great space-saving option for areas where a traditional inward or outward swinging door would take up too much room.

Pocket Sliding Door

To use a pocket door, you simply slide it along a track and into the wall cavity, where it's completely hidden from view and not taking up any extra space.

When the door is closed, it functions like a regular sliding door, providing security and sound insulation.

Pocket doors come in a variety of styles and materials, and can be a great option for many types of spaces inside and out, including closets, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

External pocket doors are a fantastic showpiece for modern homes.

They're also ideal for rooms with limited space but you want maximum light entering your room, as they can be used to divide larger areas into smaller, more functional spaces.

Overall, pocket doors are a versatile and functional option for homeowners who want to save space and add a unique touch to their home design.

French Doors

The legendary style of French doors is a popular option that consists of two hinged doors that open outward from the middle. They offer a classic and elegant look that works well in many homes.

If you've seen double doors on a property, then this is most likely the type it was.

A French door is a type of door that consists of two panels, or "leaves," that are hinged on opposite sides and swing outward from the middle creating a nice atmosphere.

With a wide range of styles available, the doors typically have glass panes that allow for natural light to enter the room and provide a view of the outdoors.

Anthracite Grey Aluminium French Doors

French doors are known for their elegant and classic look, especially if made from aluminium, and they are a popular option for both interior and exterior use.

They can be made from a variety of other materials too, including uPVC, wood, metal, and composite.

They can be designed to match the style of any home, which can make the cost of French doors vary.

French doors are most often used as exterior doors, leading out to patios, decks, or gardens, as they allow for easy access and provide a wide opening for bringing in large objects.

If you have a larger home, they can also be used as interior doors to separate rooms while still allowing for an open feel.

Overall, we love French doors as they're a stylish and versatile option that can add charm and sophistication to any home!

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Sliding patio doors

Sliding patio doors are similar to bifold doors, but instead of folding, they slide along a track to open and close.

Like most door options, they come in a variety of styles and are great for large spaces where a traditional door that opens inwards or outwards might take up too much room.

A sliding patio door is a type of door that is designed to provide access from a room to an outdoor space, such as a patio, deck, or balcony.

More often than not these sliding doors consist of two or more panels that slide open and closed on tracks, like how the triple track patio doors function,  allowing for easy entry and exit.

Sliding patio doors are typically made of glass with a slimline frame and can provide a great view of the outdoors, while also allowing plenty of natural light to enter the room.

New patio doors come in a variety of styles, including traditional and contemporary, and can be made from materials such as wood, uPVC, aluminium, or composite.

One of the main advantages of sliding patio doors is that they are space-saving, as they don't require any floor space to swing open like traditional doors.

This makes them ideal for smaller rooms or spaces where you want to maximise floor space. They also offer good ventilation when opened and can help to blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Removing sliding patio doors can also be done with some help, which is another benefit of fitting them into your home.

Overall, sliding patio doors are a popular and functional option for homeowners who want to create a seamless connection between their indoor and outdoor living spaces for a reasonable price point.

Pivot Doors

Pivot doors rotate on a central hinge, creating a dramatic and modern look.

They look fantastic and they work well in contemporary homes and can be designed to be quite large, making them an ideal choice for grand entrances where bifold doors would be too clunky.

A pivot door is a type of door that rotates on a pivot hinge instead of traditional hinges that are mounted on the side of the door. As the door pivots it allows the door to swing open and closed smoothly and with minimal effort.

Pivot doors can be made in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and glass, and they come in a wide range of styles and designs.

These are a less common design but they are often used in modern and contemporary homes because they provide a sleek and minimalist look.

One of the main advantages of pivot doors is that they can be quite large and heavy without compromising their functionality.

Whilst Bifold doors are usually used at the back of a property, this makes pivot doors ideal for use as front doors, where a grand entrance is desired. Pivot doors also offer a unique visual impact and can serve as a focal point in a room or space.

Overall, pivot doors are a stylish and functional option for homeowners who want to add a modern touch to their home design and the ultra-slimline versions are particularly well-suited for large spaces or areas where a bold statement is desired.

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Slide and turn doors

A slide-and-turn door, also known as a lift and slide door, is a type of sliding door that allows for a larger opening than a traditional sliding door and gives you far more versatility than the concertina effect of a bifold door configuration.

It operates by sliding along a track but also has a mechanism that allows it to be lifted slightly off the track and tilted inward or outward, making it easier to operate and providing better ventilation.

Turn and slide doors are typically made of glass panels and are used to provide access to your outdoor spaces such as patios, balconies, or gardens.

Whilst they can be used in most homes, they are often used in modern or contemporary home designs and are favoured for their sleek, sharp and minimalist look.

One of the advantages of slide-and-turn doors is that they can be made to fit larger openings than traditional sliding doors or bifolding doors, which is a great advantage in making them ideal for homes with large living areas or expansive outdoor spaces.

A turn and slide door will also provide a greater degree of flexibility in terms of ventilation, as they can be tilted to allow for airflow while still providing a barrier against the outside world and things like insects and debris.

Overall, slide-and-turn doors are a stylish and practical option for homeowners who want to create a seamless connection between their indoor and outdoor living spaces. They offer a sleek and modern look while also providing increased functionality and versatility.

Dutch Doors

If you're looking for an opening with some security, then Dutch doors are split horizontally allowing you to open just the top or bottom half of the door.

They're great for homes with pets or children, as you can keep the bottom half closed while still allowing for ventilation and light.

Composite Dutch/Stable Door

A Dutch door is a type of door that is divided horizontally, so that the top and bottom halves can be opened and closed independently of each other, usually just the top half.

They can be opened together for extra security. You may likely know this door better as a stable door or half door.

Dutch doors are traditionally made of wood, and they have a classic, rustic look. However as times have changed, you can now get this type of door in more modern materials such as composite or uPVC.

They're often used as exterior doors, particularly in homes with a country or cottage-style aesthetic.

They can also be used as interior doors, particularly in kitchens or other areas where it is desirable to keep pets or children out while still allowing for air circulation and natural light.

Overall, Dutch doors are a charming and practical option for homeowners who want to add a touch of traditional style to their home design.

They offer a unique combination of security, functionality, natural light and visual appeal and can be used in a variety of ways to suit your needs.


Which alternative to bifold doors should you choose?

These are just a few options for alternatives to bifold doors. The best choice for your home will depend on your personal style, budget, and the specific needs of your space.

If you think a bifold door is best, however, then we offer a wide range of the best aluminium bifold doors online to suit everyone. From small 2-panel configurations up to 10 panels, we can find the right bifold doors for you.

Design your door

Written by
Andy Brame
Andy Brame Senior Technical Manager
Posted on: 9th July 2024
Topic: Advice

Andy Brame is a seasoned senior technical manager with experience leading technical teams and driving innovation in the field. With a strong background in technology and a passion for problem-solving, Andy brings a unique blend of technical expertise and leadership to his role.

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