What to look for in a bifold door

What to look for in a bifold door

Folding doors make a wonderful addition in a home, especially if you like to entertain. Many companies now offer bi-folding doors, as a trusted and experienced folding door contractor we can help you decide which door is right for you. 

Read on to discover 3 tips on what to look for in a folding door.

What to look for in a folding door

  1. Quality Materials
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. Weathertight Threshold

Quality Materials

When buying folding doors make sure to look for a door that is made with quality materials. Popular folding door materials include wood, extruded aluminum, and fiberglass. We wouldn’t recommend solid wood because it’s not weather-resistant and it can be heavy but extruded aluminum and fiberglass make good options because they’re more durable and low-maintenance.

Aluminum and aluminum clad doors are available from all of our trusted door partners. What makes extruded aluminum a good choice? Extruded aluminum is:

  • Strong - can withstand great force
  • Durable - resistant to rust, rots, insects, and warping
  • Lightweight - requires less push and pull force to open or close

Bifold doors opening to rear courtyard of a contemporary home. Photo by: Jodie Johnson(↗)

Energy Efficiency

Folding doors are commonly called big glass walls or moving glass walls. These door systems replace a regular wall with one that’s made entirely of glass. 

An energy-efficient door should reduce thermal transfer and have high-performance glass, so your HVAC system is not working overtime to make up for the door’s performance. More specifically, look for:

  • Low-E glass coating
  • Weathertight seals around the frame
  • Thermal break in aluminum doors

Confirm that the door you choose meets or exceeds your local energy code requirements before you purchase it. Visit ENERGY STAR®(↗) to learn about rating requirements(↗).

Interior view of a contemporary home with bifold doors and large glass walls. Photo by: Jodie Johnson

Weathertight Threshold

Water is one of the biggest threats to your home. Folding doors need proper drainage and a weatherproof threshold to prevent water and air from entering your home. Manufacturers offer flush or weathered thresholds – flush thresholds create a seamless transition while weathered thresholds have a small lip upstanding just a few millimeters. 

Weathered Threshold

  • Greater protection against rain
  • Door compresses against lip for a tight seal
  • Not flush

Non-weathered Threshold

  • Good for those with mobility issues
  • Ideal for sheltered areas
  • Doesn’t seal as well as weathered threshold 

We recommend weathered thresholds for optimal weather performance. 

As folding doors become more available it becomes harder to find a reliable door. It’s important to do your research and make time to visit a showroom before you buy. Testing an actual folding door will allow you to feel how the door operates and gives you an opportunity to ask questions you may not have thought of otherwise.

Ready to explore your folding door options? Check out this list of the best folding door companies.

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