Do Bifold Doors Open In or Out?

Do Bifold Doors Open In or Out?

Architecture has taken on many faces throughout history and has provided us with many creative solutions to homes and businesses' entryways. Bifold doors are one of these, although they can sometimes be confusing as to how they work and what configuration best suits the home. In this post, we're answering one very common and very important question: Do bifold doors open in or out?

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What is a Bifold Door?

Bifold doors have become quite a modern trend. They draw your attention to the patio entrance as you approach since they do not function like a typical hinged door. Interestingly, they are quite a bit more practical than a conventional sliding door.

Exterior bifold doors look similar to bifolding closet doors and room dividers, but they're bigger, heavier, and more beautiful. This style has grown in popularity in residential applications among homeowners who value outdoor entertaining and want to create a smooth transition from indoor to outdoor living spaces. If you haven't seen them at one of your friends's house, you'll likely have seen them at a restaurant, bar, cafe, and even some stores.

Watch the video below to see how a Centor bifold door works.

Do Bifold Doors Open In or Out?

Since bifold doors work differently from typical sliding doors or hinged doors, it can be confusing to understand which way they will open. Bifold doors also operate on a track like sliding doors. As they are opened, the panels fold against each other until they collapse on each other and form a stack at the end of the track.

Vendors can construct the door to operate either way. They can be "inswing" doors, where the fold to the inside side of the track and rest on the inside of the house. Or they can be "outswing" doors that will fold and stack to the outside of the house. Either way, they do not stick out the entire length of the door, but only the length of one panel and the width of all the panels stacked together on either side. There are several configurations available. The most common being that the door opens from one end and all the panels stack to one side or the door opens from the center and the panels stack to the left and right equally. 

Additional Bifold Door Configurations

The configurations and inswing, outswing, center pivot options will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The only big door company we work with that offers a center pivot option is Weiland.

Inswing Bifold Door Example

You can seen in the photo below that the door panels live inside the house when they are folding. 

Pictured: Standard Bifold Doors from Weiland

Outswing Bifold Door Example

You can seen in the photo below that the door panels live outside the house when they are folding. 

Pictured: Integrated Folding Doors from Centor

Center Pivot Bifold Door Example

You can seen in the photo below that the door panels are equally spaced between the inside and outside of the house when they are folding. 

Pictured: Beefy Bifold Doors from Weiland

Choosing the Right Door Configuration

The configurations for bifold doors will vary based on the manufacturing company, but you need to consider how it will affect your home. The configuration of your bifold door will affect how you can construct the exterior portion of your home, such as a porch or stairs. If you choose an inswing bifold door, you will have to be aware of aspects such as furniture, home accessories, or spaces such as closets that need to be accessible.

When it comes to the windows and doors for your home, making choices from the wide selection of aesthetic styles and products can feel overwhelming. If you are having trouble visualizing how a bifold door would function in your home contact us to schedule a visit to our showroom in Arlington, Texas.


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