News and articles from Open Living

These articles are intended to provide more information about the products and services we offer. Ranging from a detailed explanation about the thresholds on Bifold doors, to a discussion about which system to use. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance.

aluminium doors in a garden

How to buy aluminium sliding patio doors

At Open Living, we specialise in providing premium aluminium sliding doors for your home. We want to help you understand sliding doors better and make an informed choice. Therefore we share some of our expertise, giving you information and advice about aluminium sliding doors. Here is what you need to know.

large house with new doors

View our latest installations

We showcase some of the installations our team have carried out recently. From large barn conversion featuring the full range of Origin home improvements, to a stylish new front door.

You can trust our experienced sales team and installers to treat your property with care and create the home you want.

dutemann doors

Overview of Dutemann Products

Open Living is an approved supplier and installer of the ultra-premium Dutemann range of sliding and bifolding doors, front doors and entrance doors. If you are looking for one of the more exclusive brands on the market, we give you some more information about Dutemann doors and the benefits you will get in your home.

Choosing Between French, Bifolding or Patio Doors

The most common choices in doors for the rear of your home are French Doors, patio doors or bifolding doors. What are the benefits of each type of door for your home? One of the deciding factors in choosing between French Doors, patio doors or bifolding doors is whether you fit these doors to a new or an existing opening.

Sliding Door Glossary of Terms

A modern sliding door offers your home fantastic views through the large glass panels. These highly engineered products are now better, slimmer and more desirable than ever before. If you are currently in the market for a new sliding door for your home, you may come across technical terms or descriptions you are not familiar with. We have compiled a sliding door glossary, explaining what some of these terms mean.

How To Spot Good Quality Doors and Windows

When it comes to choosing new windows and doors for your home, you can be faced with many different incentives to buy. Some home improvement companies focus on price giving you seemingly great discounts and low prices even for a complete houseful of windows and doors. Other companies focus on the quality of their products preferring to deal in high-value prestigious contracts, rather than typical replacement windows. Finally, there are window companies that will extol the virtues of their experience, their staff as well as the products they sell.

Who Makes and Fits Aluminium Doors and Windows

Visit the Open Living Showroom in Letchworth, and you will see a whole host of cutting-edge products in aluminium. Our showroom demonstrates just how sophisticated aluminium home improvements are in the UK today.

If you are in the market for new windows and doors, you benefit from the latest products, the best aluminium extrusions, the finest choice of colours and the best design. With modern aluminium doors and windows, there is also no compromise with security, weather resistance and long term reliability.

At Open Living, we work with the finest aluminium systems companies in the UK such as Origin, Schuco and Smart Systems.

How Energy Efficient are Bifolding & Sliding Doors?

How much insulation do bifolding or sliding doors provide? How energy efficient are bifolding or sliding doors? If you are thinking about new modern doors in your home, you may be thinking that all that glass will not be energy efficient. We answer some questions around energy efficiency on bifolding and sliding doors.

The aluminium frames comprise a polyamide thermal break. The thermal break insulates the typically cold aluminium profile, creating a thermal bridge. In simple terms, the aluminium material is no longer solid aluminium from outside to inside. The thermal break interrupts the metal and creates a barrier, giving the aluminium profile a level of insulation and makes it warmer.

Bifolding Door Glossary of Terms

A bifolding door has many different elements and parts. If you are currently researching buying new bifolding doors for your home, your local home improvement company may use terminology to explain bifolding doors and their installation you may not be familiar with.

We have put together this glossary of the most common bifolding door terms to help you.

Colour Choices for Bifolding Doors

Choosing the right colour for bifolding doors is one of the big decisions to make about your new folding doors. There are over 200 different colours to choose from. Add to this the choice of different colours inside and out and colour becomes important.

Bifolding Door Lead Times

At Open Living we have the resources and expertise to fit new bifolding doors quickly and help you complete your project on time. In this article, we explain what you need to think about if you want your bifold doors fast and how we can help you.

Comparing the New Origin Sliding Door with Schuco and Visofold

Our new Origin sliding doors is drastically different from our other high quality Schuco Sliding door and the Smart Systems Visoglide Sliding Door. Each of our premium sliding doors has its own unique set of features and specifications.

At Open Living, our range of sliding doors is designed to appeal to all our customers, regardless of their budget, design requirements and the features they want from a quality sliding patio door.

Comparing Bifolding, French and Sliding Doors

In choosing the best door for your home, there are several things to consider between the main types of doors.

  • What is the difference between bifolding, sliding and French Doors?
  • What are the pros and cons of each door type?

There are many different materials for doors in your home, however for large doors such as sliding doors and bifolds, aluminium is the preferred choice.

Sliding Door Frequently Asked Questions

The current range of aluminium sliding doors is more advanced and quite different from old patio doors. Here we answer some of the most common questions about sliding doors and patio sliding doors to help you. Such as:

  • Is it possible to have a sliding door with an open corner?
  • What is best? A bifolding door or a sliding door?
  • What is the difference between an inline and a lift and slide patio door?

Bifolding Door Security

The Origin bifolding door is our best selling bifold, renowned for its quality, 20-year warranty and impressive personalisation options. The Origin bifolding door is our best selling bifold, renowned for its quality, 20-year warranty and impressive personalisation options. The Origin bifold is not just a quality bifolding door. It also possesses some security and safety features to make it one of the best-engineered bifolding doors on the market.

Why Aluminium is Best for Bifolding Doors

With so many styles material and colours to choose from how you decide on the right bifolding door for your home? One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is which material is best, PVCu, aluminium or timber. Our experience tells us that a quality aluminium bifold will out-perform PVCu and timber in all of these areas. Here is why aluminium is best for bifolding doors and the best choice for your home.

Origin or Schuco - Helping you Decide

If you are trying to decide between an Origin or a Schuco bifolding door, visit our showroom and have a look at both products side by side. The brand new Open Living showroom is our beautiful modern showroom where you will find many different bifolding doors, windows, lantern roofs and other home improvement products. We urge you to visit our showroom where you will see a whole host of different bifolding doors in various configurations, colours and designs. In our showroom, you will see doors from the exceptional Origin brand. We also have on display the renowned Schuco bifolding door. If you are trying to decide between an Origin or a Schuco bifolding door, visit our showroom and have a look at both products side by side.

Why Visit the Open Living Letchworth Showroom

In designing our showroom we used our experience in windows and doors as well as learning from our customers through our many installations of windows and doors in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas.

If you are planning to replace your old windows and doors or thinking about a new extension, we give you some great reasons to visit our showroom and talk to us.

Grey Origin Bifolding Doors Installed in Bedfordshire Home

Every customer requirement is different. There are many customers that like the look of the classic white door. This easily blends in with their white PVCu or aluminium windows.

Other customers have opted for more bolder colours. We have provided a lot of black doors for those that wish to make an even bolder statement in their homes.

Integral Blinds for Bifolding and Patio Doors

Integral blinds are the latest innovation in shading and privacy, designed to provide convenience and enhance the modern appearance of your new windows and doors.

An integral blind is a horizontal blind permanently housed between the glass of a double glazed unit. Integral blinds are hermetically sealed between the glass meaning they are discreet and out of reach without affecting the performance of the glass. An integral blind also has many other benefits.

Benefits of Modern Sliding Doors

There are many benefits to having a bifolding door, but a sliding door can also provide you with features and advantages you may not have considered

Improve Your Home With a New Front Door

If you are thinking of adding some visual impact to the front of your home, at Open Living, we can provide you with some great ideas for the front of your house.

Benefits of Improving your home with French Doors

At Open Living we have worked with many Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire properties where our quality Origin French doors have added a new dimension to the home.

Replacing Old Steel Windows With Aluminium

Some homeowners have chosen to replace their old Crittall or other metal windows with PVCu and aluminium. These windows have instantly improved the property with the latest in double glazed windows. However, there are certain properties where replacing the original slim steel windows can compromise the overall appearance.

Origin Bifolding Doors for New Build Homes

As we try to cram more properties into plots of land, our houses have become smaller, and there are now more three storey properties constructed. The other constraint of newer properties is they have fewer reception rooms than older homes.

How To Improve Old Metal Windows

Secondary double glazing is a very narrow aluminium window fitted behind the original window, inside the house. The great thing about secondary double glazing is that it can fit and work with any existing window. If your windows open in or out, tilt and turn, pivot or slide, there is a secondary double glazed window to suit.

Aluminium Doors and Windows for the Whole House

Open Living is your local aluminium expert, providing a broad range of insulated, secure and premium quality windows and doors for your home. The Origin range is an affordable yet luxurious suite of aluminium windows and doors whatever your house type, size or style.

If you are looking to add quality aluminium windows and doors to your home, the Origin suite of windows and doors offers one brand of windows and doors for every part of your home.

Customising Aluminium Windows

The Origin aluminium window is just one way you can create a bespoke aluminium window. Our other aluminium window ranges also offer even more choice.

If you are in the market for new aluminium windows, Open Living provide a quality range of windows from Origin, AluK and Smart Systems.

One of the main advantages of aluminium is the thin lines, the strength and the excellent thermal performance. The other benefit is the huge choice of colours. What you may not know is that there are other options available on our AluK and Smarts aluminium windows as well.

wood effect bifolds

Wood Effect Bifolding Doors

If you live in a more traditional property or simply love the look of real wood, Open Living also provide Origin doors in some stunning woodgrain and wood effect finishes.

What is a Bespoke Aluminium Window

If you are currently looking for new aluminium windows for your home did you know that you can customise and personalise these to your precise requirements

Tips for Choosing Roof Lights

If you are thinking about a new roof light or skylight for the home, there are some different things to consider.

There are many different terms used to describe a glazed product designed for the roof or a flat glass product that you can even walk on. Skylight, roof light, lantern light, roof glass and other terms are used.

All these descriptions denote a product that is designed to add light where it is needed as well as provide ventilation if desired.

Advantages of Aluminium Rooflights

At Open Living, we provide a range of flat roof lights, skylights, roof windows and walk-on glass. All of these are available in a choice of sizes, colours, glass specifications and opening options.

If you have not considered a rooflight before, there are many advantages to putting one in your home.

Open Day to Celebrate our New Showroom

Our new showroom in Amor Way, Letchworth is nearing completion and will showcase some of the best, most advanced and cutting-edge home improvement products on the market. So we are holding an open day on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2016.

Bifolding Doors with Integral Glass Blinds

One of the most attractive additions to a home is a new or extended kitchen. Our kitchens are the hub of the home and often where we spend a significant amount of time.

Origin Doors and Lantern Create Light and Space

If you are presently looking to extend your home such as having a bigger kitchen or living space, few things work better together than a lantern roof with bifolding doors.

Facts about Aluminium Windows

Modern aluminium windows have advanced significantly in recent years. Gone are the days when an aluminium window was only used commercially. Today, the discerning homeowner is choosing aluminium as their product of choice.

How Secure are Bifolding Doors?

Our windows all come as standard with the latest shoot bolt or espagnolette multi point locking systems, locking handles and secure friction hinges. Windows are today very secure products and all are tested to the latest security standards such as Secured by Design or BS6375 and Kitemark

How Many Panels for Bifolding Doors?

One of the great things about bifolding doors is their versatility and flexibility. Unlike any other type of door they can be constructed from two right up to seven leaves. Not only does this give you a great opening when fully folded back but a door that is as good to look at closed as well as open

origin door

Open Living add light to a Cambridgeshire Home

The current trend of improving rather than moving house continues as extending the back of the home is a great way to add extra rooms. Often these renovation projects involve the creation of open plan living spaces that also feature expansive views out into the garden.

Family home improved with Origin Doors and Windows

Recently built properties often feature open plan kitchen and living spaces. However when it comes to doors, developers will often only provide a small french door or sliding patio door.

Welwyn home benefits from Corner doors

At Open Living we specialise in bespoke home extensions. Homeowners looking to add valuable extra space to their homes and the best in glazed products contact us for ideas and inspiration. And we can help provide great solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bifold Doors

If you’re currently researching bifolding doors for your home, you’ll be faced with a lot of information. There are a great many systems on the market and each have their own design features, specifications and options. Our Frequently Asked Questions Page addresses the most common questions about bifolding doors.

Product Guarantees and Information

At Open Living we offer a whole host of home improvement products in PVCu and aluminium. Each of these products are designed, extruded or manufactured by some of the UK’s best known System’s Companies.
A System Company is positioned at the upper end of the supply chain. Look on our website and you’ll see brand names for Origin, Smarts and Schuco. You’l also see Kommerling for PVCu. These are the Systems Companies. They are responsible for designing and creating the windows and doors we have in our homes. Depending on the company, these windows are provided to you in one of two ways.

What is best, a bifolding door or a sliding door?

Whatever the project one popular design feature in many homes today is the large glass door. Homeowners today want maximum light and a feeling of space. To achieve this bifolding or sliding doors are ideal. Both door options provide lots of natural light thanks to their large glass panels.

Opening Options on Bifolding Doors

More and more consumers are wanting folding doors in their home. This is because folding doors are far more flexible than other types of doors and no other type of door can provide that feeling of space whether they’re open or closed.

Bifolding doors are hugely desirable in the British home but they’re also very popular in bars, restaurants, cafe’s and other public places.

Benefits of Origin Twin Flush Window

Origin are already the UK’s biggest and best know bifolding door company. They have applied years of technical know-how into their exceptional bifolding doors. The Origin window is not only designed to complement their folding doors but also to offer window solutions in the home.

The Origin twin flush window offers a design never before seen in aluminium windows. Study even the latest Schuco or Smarts window or indeed any other, and you’ll see that opening sashes (or vents) overlap the frame.

Choosing the Right Bifolding Door

Today’s quality folding doors possess more complex hardware as well as more sophisticated engineering. This is what enables them to swing, slide and fold.

With bifolding doors also being fitted to much larger openings than other types of doors it’s even more important that your door is well made, has great design and impressive aesthetics. Only this way will your bifolding door remain reliable long into the future and give you years of enjoyment and pleasure.

Bifolding Door Threshold Options

If you are considering purchasing bifolding doors, you will probably already be aware of many of the advantages they offer. Bifolding doors offer many advantages such as letting in lots of natural light, being a real focal point in a room and opening up your inside and outside spaces. If you’re looking at bifolding doors for your home and you want to benefit from opening these up in the summer and creating a great open space to your garden or patio, one important consideration will be your door thresholds.

Five reasons to consider schuco doors

At Open Living we specialist in the supply and installations of some of the finest bifolding and sliding doors you can buy. Our range includes Origin, Smarts and Schuco. Mention the Schuco name to any building designer or architect and you’ll find many have used their products in some of the finest homes and developments of flats and apartments. Schuco is one of the best known designers of aluminium doors and windows in the world, but why are they so popular?

What makes an Origin door special

Origin doors are designed and made in the UK. They remain unique in offering a 20 year guarantee. This is one key feature that many homeowners find of benefit when deciding on a bifolding door. Each Origin door comes with a unique serial number making the product easily identifiable in the unlikely event of a warranty claim.

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