Patio Doors, Bifolding Doors or French Doors – How to Decide

Are you trying to decide between French Doors, patio doors or bifolding doors? For most home improvements, the back of the house is where choosing the right door is very important.

French Doors, patio doors or bifolding doors

Choosing between French Doors, patio doors or bifolding doors.

Our collection of folding design patio doors, opening up an entire wall.

For larger glass panels or the thinnest profiles, a range of sliding door brands.

Where you have a smaller opening or like the steel-look, a collection of aluminium doors.

The most common choices 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.

For new extensions, you have the advantage of creating your opening to suit your doors making a big door opening possible for bifolding or sliding doors. There is no reason why you cannot choose French Doors as well with expansive side panels as well. The thing to bear in mind is that your structural opening will largely determine the type of door.

The best doors for existing openings.

  • Smaller openings are ideal French Doors.
  • Older style patio doors are replaceable with new bifolding or latest generation sliding doors.
  • Consider knocking out the brickwork of an existing large window to create a bigger opening to fit doors instead.

The best doors for new openings.

  • Newly built openings give you total flexibility in door design.
  • Opens up more bifolding and sliding door options.
  • You can even create new wall pockets for sliding doors that disappear into the wall or a corner door option.
  • Create picture or gable windows above your doors for even more light and visual effect.

What to consider with Aluminium French Doors.

Aluminium French doors are still a good choice in the home and should not be regarded as dated or inferior to bifolding or sliding doors. If you live in a larger property with more than one doorway to your garden or outside space, French doors can work very well alongside bifolding doors. Our Origin doors use the same profile on their French doors as they do in their bifolding doors giving you matching doors throughout – something most other brands cannot provide.

  • French doors can open in or out.
  • Low thresholds are available for easy access.
  • Aluminium French Doors give bigger sizes than PVCu and don’t need costly sidelights or toplights.

A quality aluminium French Door can still give you impressive openings. It is possible to make aluminium doors fit within a typical 2400×2300 structural opening as one door set. In aluminium, French Doors can go up to 2200mm high or bigger if needed as well as door leaves of over 1100mm wide too.

What to consider with Aluminium Sliding Doors.

When compared to bifolding doors or French doors, aluminium sliding doors have two significant advantages. The first is that no other door gives you the glass sizes of sliding patio doors. With door panels available up to 9 square metres with most quality systems, if you want the biggest glass walls and the maximum amount of light, sliding doors are perfect.

The other advantage of sliding doors is they slide on a track and do not rely on hinges. This makes sliding doors ideal where you do not want the open the door to encroach on your inside or outside space when hinged or folded open. If you have a small patio, a balcony or want to make the most light and big glazing, sliding patio doors are for you.

  • Perfect for creating the biggest sized doors with maximum glass.
  • Sliding doors cannot be caught by the wind when open.
  • Available from two up to six panels.
  • Choose simple inline sliding doors or the latest lift and slide.
  • Sophisticated rollers make big doors effortless to slide.

What to consider with bifolding doors.

For many people, the bifolding door is the ultimate showpiece door for their home. Also known as concertina doors, accordion doors, slide and fold doors or bi-fold doors, these precision made doors offer your home something special.

The biggest advantage of bifolding doors is how they can open up your entire structural opening, have floor levels in and out that are level and create a great transition from the inside to the outside of your home.

  • Two two eight door panels available.
  • Can fold in or out, slide to the left or the right.
  • Available with standard or flush thresholds.
  • Traffic doors made bifolds useable all year round.
  • Can be provided with gable or large windows above the doors for extra light.
  • Look great when combined with a lantern roof.

Which is best? A patio door, a bifolding door or French Doors?

Your home, budget and own tastes will determine what type of door is best for your home. French doors will ultimately be the most affordable with sliding doors being a little cheaper typically than a bifolding door.

Bifolding and sliding doors are often compared, so we suggest you visit our showroom and have a look at these impressive large doors side by side. You may find yourself wishing for a bifolding door but discovering a sliding door may be more suitable for you.

At Open Living, we specialise in transforming all types of homes with our premier range of sliding, folding and French doors. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Published on June 21, 2017

Some of the images on our website are indicative images illustrating how products may look. Please contact us for full product details and specifications.
Aluco logo origin logo bereco logo fensa logo air logo which logo schuco logo

Customer Reviews

Ordered Origin bifold doors. Diane, Marsha and Danny have been a pleasure to deal with. Slight delay to install date but all handled professionally. Fitters completed in one day as agreed. The product is excellent, would thoroughly recommend.
David N
David N
10:44 25 Sep 21
Lovely aluminium French Doors.Initial issue with square of door sorted out immediately and the response from both the office and the fitter was excellent. I would fully recommend Open Living Ltd.
colin H.
colin H.
13:43 02 Feb 21
Excellent service designing, removing previous (tough job it was) and installing two bespoke floor to celing windows.
Richard J.
Richard J.
13:22 19 Jan 21
Open Living was one of the last suppliers we discovered, but we were taken by their great range of windows, doors and lanterns as well as their sales team. Diane walked us through the many options but also listened to our preferences. Rather than steering us toward the most expensive option they were usually able to offer a choice on each aspect and the pricing was very transparent and competitive. Excellent quality ranges of windows, doors and lanterns. We opted for the Origin bi-fold doors, Origin aluminium windows and Atlas roof lights, all superb build quality/spec and great colour options.The installation team led by Danny and backed up in the office by the all-knowing Marsha and Linda were efficient, thorough and a pleasure to have on-site, coordinating well with our builder. Our neighbours also used Open Living before us and had a few issues at installation, but we believe these were mainly due to a supplier issue. All our windows, doors and roof lights went in as planned, well secured and sealed, with no damage.The only little point of feedback on their whole process is that the final quote and specification can spread across more than one document which did add a little uncertainty. This meant we had to double-check exactly what was coming. An all-inclusive final statement of all the options would be good. However, with a little bit of checking everything did come exactly as expected and we are extremely happy with the finished project.We would definitely recommend Open Living.
Paul E.
Paul E.
11:21 29 Aug 20
Fantastic service, great customer care. 5****
Angela I.
Angela I.
08:40 02 Jul 20
Good staff ,great fitters excellent product!
Paulo R.
Paulo R.
17:45 07 Jun 20
Open Living installed Origin bi-folding doors for our home. Their quality and service has been excellent throughout. Very trustworthy company. Right from the start, they provided good advice to help us select the right doors for our home; their quote was very competitive; their customer service was excellent throughout as they kept us updated on progress. The quality of the doors and the installation has been top-notch. Would highly recommend.
Kinjal P.
Kinjal P.
11:06 05 Jun 20
Bought a bifold door for our house extension. Great quality products and fantastic service. Very happy with Open Living
Ajith S.
Ajith S.
14:37 21 May 20
We have just had are bifolding doors fitted,We're over the moon. Marsha is very helpful and friendly.Service was great 😀Would recommend open living.Geoff
Geoff P.
Geoff P.
10:01 18 May 20
Open living installed our ORIGIN bi-fold doors about a year ago now. The fitters were great guys with really good standards. We are so pleased with our installation. It’s great 👍
Phil B.
Phil B.
22:48 02 May 20
We purchased 1 set of bifold and 1 set of French patio doors, both Origin. Sales approach and customer service was excellent. Fitting and installation also excellent. Can't fault the product, either. Would have been 5 stars if it wasn't for an issue we had around the height of the threshold, which turned out to be much higher than we wanted/were expecting. This issue was resolved in a satisfactory way after discussion. Would definitely recommend, but my advice is to make sure the threshold height for patio doors is agreed at the survey and written on the paperwork before parting with any money.
Ashley B.
Ashley B.
07:52 10 Mar 20
Lovely people to do business with, we bought some BiFold doors and a window from OpenLiving. We did have a couple of minor teething issues once fitted but these were dealt with quickly and without fuss. Recommended!
Dino L.
Dino L.
14:03 28 Sep 19
I looked into a number of companies before deciding on Open Living in Letchworth for our bifold doors. I wanted the bifolds to be from a manufacturer that was very regarded, and Origin (though Open Living can also supply from Schuco and some other suppliers) certainly fall in that camp. I also liked the fact that Open Living were close to home, which made repeated visits to their showroom easy to make. Throughout the process, Linda and Marsha were professional and courteous and I would thoroughly recommend anyone who is looking to get bifolds to put OpenLiving Ltd on their shortlist.
Roy
Roy
16:16 04 Jul 19
So far I have ordered 12.5m sliding doors, 1 set of aluminium bi-folds and 5 windows from Open Living. The fitters are all great guys, and they take time to do a good job.The service and the products supplied have been excellent. I will be ordering more windows and do not hesitate to recommend them.
jeff H.
jeff H.
11:30 17 May 19
Had some OW80 windows that were fitted some time ago (by other installers, who had lost the cill caps).Marsha kindly helped me get some replacement items from Origin despite there being no financial incentive for open living to do so.Assistance has been very much appreciated and would highly recommend.
Mark I.
Mark I.
07:32 13 Mar 19
Great service and choice of products. Highly recommend Open Living
Allison M.
Allison M.
11:11 10 Dec 18
Great service from start to finish. The origin windows and doors look fab. Can highly recommend.
Emma G.
Emma G.
11:15 27 Nov 18
Great price on a roof lantern. Installed on schedule.
Niall R.
Niall R.
14:51 31 Oct 18
Great Service from start to finish. Communication was great. The fitting team were first classWw will recommend and use again in the future.
Asa H.
Asa H.
18:30 04 Sep 18
Superb all roundMarsha was polite and informativeThe system itself is sleek and works greatThe fitter I had was polite and very effective, clean and professionalAnd the price was not only reasonable but the cheapestI genuinely don’t know why you would opt for a more expensive system or company when the origin system provided by this company does it allSuper happy and will use on other properties I haveUse these guys, awesome3772.00 for 3 leaf fitted in a week!! Immense !LukeBishops Stortford
luke J.
luke J.
18:33 18 Aug 18
Great service and brilliant product. Really happy with how the house now looks. Couldn’t recommend them any higher.
Stuart C.
Stuart C.
18:06 23 Jun 18
Had a great experience with Open Living. We had a 6m run of Origin bi-fold doors, an Atlas sky light some upvc windows installed. Customer Service and communication was good throughout, the installation guys did a good job and their technical guy was helpful with determining levels so we could achieve a level and flush threshold on the door. On top of this they were by far the lowest priced installer we found for the Origin doors which we had quoted by another three suppliers. Would recommend to others and will use again.
Richard N.
Richard N.
20:02 22 Jun 18
Great customer service from start to finish. Very helpful and competitive price.Installation was fast and of good standard.Would highly recommend Open Living.
Noleen P.
Noleen P.
11:15 06 Jun 18
We weren't quite sure what bi-folding doors would be best but all the options were clearly and concisely laid out before us and some great solutions suggested to the issues we hadn't been able to work out on our own or with our builder. The showroom has lots of choice, brilliantly set out. We decided that Open Living would install our doors and they came and did a wonderful job.Looking forward to the spring to really get our new "open living" lifestyle underway!!
Paul S.
Paul S.
17:26 27 Feb 17
11 Amor Way Letchworth Point, Letchworth SG6 1UG
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Saturday09:00 – 14:00
01767 448 005