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Bifold Door Opening Options – Advantages & Disadvantages

Advice

Bifold Door Opening Options – Advantages & Disadvantages

Myles Robinson
Written by Myles Robinson
Updated on 21st February 2024
Posted on 27th July 2023

Different Bifold Opening Choices - Pros & Cons

The direction in which bifold doors should open depends on various factors, such as the layout of the room, the position of the furniture, the space available, and personal preferences.

Bifold doors are becoming increasingly popular in modern homes as an alternative to sliding doors or French doors, thanks to their space-saving and elegant design. Bi-fold doors allow you to open up an entire wall and seamlessly connect your indoor and outdoor spaces.

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Black 5-Panel Bi-folding Door

However, one issue that homeowners often face is whether to have the bifold doors open in or out. While, unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, as it is totally up to you, there are several factors to consider when deciding which option is best for your home.

If space is limited inside the room, then exterior bi-folding doors that open outwards are generally preferred as they do not take up valuable interior space when fully opened. But on the other hand, if there are obstacles or furniture outside the room, then bifold door panels that open inwards might be a better option as they will not interfere with items in the exterior space.

You can fully design your bifold doors online now with Value Doors; why not try it?

Should bifold doors open in or out?

Bifold doors are an excellent way to enhance the look and functionality of your home with their flexible opening options, particularly in areas where space is limited.

This may seem like a minor issue, but it is such an important consideration that can affect the overall design and usability of your space, especially when you consider how much bifold doors cost to install.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both options when installing bi-fold doors, as well as other factors to consider when deciding whether multi-panel bifolding doors should open in or out.

Pros and Cons of Inward Opening Bifold Doors

Pros

  • Inward opening bifold doors are ideal for small spaces since they do not encroach on the external space when opened.
  • They are easier to clean, as the external surfaces are more accessible when the doors are opened.
  • Inward opening bifold doors are less likely to be affected by wind and rain, making them ideal for areas with adverse weather conditions.
  • They provide a sleek and modern appearance, as the hinges are concealed when the doors are closed.

Cons

  • Inward opening bifold doors take up space inside the room when open, which may be a problem in smaller rooms.
  • They may be less secure since the hinges are on the outside and may be more accessible to intruders.
  • Inward opening bifold doors may be more challenging to install, as the hinges and fixings need to be precisely positioned.

Pros and Cons of Outward Opening Bifold Doors

Pros

  • Outward opening bifold doors provide more space inside the room since they do not take up space when open.
  • They are more secure, as the hinges are on the inside and more challenging for intruders to access.
  • Outward opening bifold doors are easier to install since the hinges and fixings are visible and more accessible.

Cons

  • Outward opening bifold doors may not be suitable for areas with adverse weather conditions, as they may be affected by wind and rain.
  • They may be more challenging to clean, as the external surfaces are less accessible when the doors are open.
  • Outward opening bifold doors may not provide as sleek and modern appearance, as the hinges are visible when the doors are closed.

In general, bifolding doors that open outwards tend to provide a larger opening and better ventilation than those that open inwards. But, if security is a concern, then bifold doors that open inwards might be preferable as they are less vulnerable to forced entry.

Ultimately, the decision on which way your bifold doors should open will depend on your individual circumstances and personal preferences, therefore if you are unsure about which way to go, it is recommended to consult with a professional installer to determine the best configuration for your specific situation, or you may need to adjust your bifold doors if you want to change it.

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Which ways can bifold doors open?

Bifold doors offer different opening options depending on the number of panels and the configuration of the tracks. The configuration of the bifold doors and opening direction is where you can decide where the lead door that locks will go and open towards. Here are some common bifold door opening options:

Single opening

A bifold door with a single opening consists of two panels up to 10 panels that are hinged together in the middle. All the panels fold in half and slide to one side of the opening.

Double opening

An example of a double opening bifold door consists of four panels, with two panels on each side of the opening. The panels fold in half and slide to both sides of the opening, creating a wide opening.

Triple opening

A triple opening bifold door consists of six panels, with three panels on each side of the opening. The panels fold in half and slide to both sides of the opening, creating an even wider opening than the double opening option.

Corner opening

A corner opening bifold door is designed for openings that form a corner. It consists of two bifolding doors that meet at a 90-degree angle, with each door folding in half and sliding to its respective side.

Custom opening

Bifold doors can be customised to fit non-standard openings, such as those with an uneven number of panels or a curved track. This could be where you have seven panels, and 5 open one direction and 2 panels go the other.

Overall, the opening option that is best for your space will depend on factors such as the size and layout of the opening, the amount of clearance available, and your personal preferences.

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Factors that affect the bifold door opening options

When choosing a bifold door opening configuration, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Space

The available space where the bifold door will be installed is an important factor to consider. The opening configuration of the bifold door should be such that it fits well into the space available, especially when opened up to the left or right, for example, bifold doors on a summer house may need to open out if it is a small building.

Functionality

Consider the purpose of the bifold door and how it will be used. Will it be used as a main entrance, a room divider or a closet door? The opening configuration should be chosen accordingly to suit its intended function, the way it will open and any potential obstructions.

Traffic flow

Consider how people will move through the space where the bifold door will be installed. The opening configuration should allow for easy and convenient traffic flow. A traffic door can also be fitted for easier access, which is a single door that opens on its own like a normal door.

Aesthetics

The opening configuration of the bifolding door should complement the style of the room and enhance its overall appearance. Aesthetic considerations include the material and colour of the door, as well as the hardware used, any glazing options, privacy or integral blinds.

Energy efficiency

Consider the energy efficiency of the bifold door. The opening configuration should allow for proper insulation and minimise heat loss. All our aluminium bifold doors are also very energy efficient when closed with extra low u-values.

Security

6-Panel Anthracite Aluminium Bifolds

The bifold door should be secure and provide adequate protection against unauthorised entry by unwanted guests such as burglars or thieves. The opening configuration should be chosen to enhance security, such as having the hinges on the inside. All our bifold doors come with multi-point locking systems and 3 star diamond standard Ultion locks.

By taking into account these factors, you can choose the bifold door opening configuration that best suits your needs and enhances the overall function and appearance of the space.

Design your bifold doors opening direction online now

Here at Value Doors you can fully design your bifold door opening options online in minutes. All out multi panel doors come with full installation included, with a survey prior to any doors being manufactured. You can see how each configuration works and play around with doors opening options and traffic doors if required.

Choose from a range of colour options, double glazing, integral blinds and more panels.

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Written by
Myles Robinson
Myles Robinson Managing Director
Posted on: 27th July 2023
Topic: Advice

Myles is one of our esteemed directors at Value Doors, dedicated to sourcing and fitting the best composite doors and windows. His mission is to offer our customers exceptional deals on energy-efficient composite doors, focusing on reducing costs while making sure the most advanced technology is readily available for installation. This commitment is what motivates Myles in the door industry.

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