Bifolding Door Opening Options

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. In this article we explain the various bifolding door opening options.

Bifolding Door Opening Options showing schuco doors in a conservatory.

Buying Bifolding Doors

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

If you’re presently researching patio doors in the folding style for your home, why not contact us, visit our showroom and find out about the different types of folding doors on the market. You’ll find many different products and types available.

All bifolding doors available today are of good quality. These are extensively designed and engineered to stringent security, energy efficiency and quality standards.

There are of course varying price points and quality on bifolding doors but generally all doors today meet or exceed current recognised industry standards. There isn’t really a ‘bad’ folding door as industry-wide quality standards prevent this.

One of the things you’ll notice when comparing bifolding doors is how they open and close. For bifolding door opening options, there are two main methods to slide and fold a typical bifold.

Bifolding Door Opening Options.

In doing your research around bifolding doors, some doors hang on the top. The majority of bifolds take the weight on the bottom, called bottom hung. The other arrangement with bifolding door opening options is the slide and pivot arrangement.

There is no “best” method of opening as the various systems available differ in aesthetics and overall design as well as how they open. Generally the bottom hung door is the most popular.  These doors work best when the weight of the door leaves is on the bottom rather than suspended from the top.

When it comes to how doors slide and fold you’ll find two typical methods. The hinged door and the sliding pivoting door.

Here we explain the differences between the two.

Hinged bifolding doors.

Our market leading folding doors from Schuco, Origin and Smart Systems all used the hinged opening arrangement.

This is by far the preferred method for doors of this types. The hinged bifolding door means that all the door leaves connect by their respective hinges. Bifolding door panels connect together and move together.

If you visualize these doors opening, they feature a “zig-zag” effect when folded forward and being slid back. The doors slide in the guides at the top and bottom and fold to one side or both sides depending on how you configure them.

Hinged folding doors fitted with an access leaf are common on doors with an odd number, such as a three or five pane arrangement. On these doors, the access leaf will be positioned either not the one side or the middle of the doors. This leaf is designed to hinge open only. The intention behind this leaf is to provide easy access in and out of the doors without having to fold them back every time.

Sliding and Pivoting Doors

The sliding and pivoting door is less popular, but some systems provide this method of opening. The difference with these doors is that all the doors are independent of each other and do not connect by their hinges.

Each door panel slides on its own along its track. It reaches a certain point at the end of the track and then engages to swing open.

In using both types of these doors, you’ll notice that pivoting doors have no visible hinges. The swing action is generally concealed in the head and the track.

What is best? Hinged or Pivoting bifolding doors?

All these bifolding door opening options mean bifolds work in different ways. It is very much down to personal preference.

The folding hinged door is perceived as being easier as all the doors are connected together.   Comparatively the pivoting doors each operate as individual panels. For some people having a large six panel door, this involves several repetitive operations.

One advantage of the pivoting doors is that you can slide the panels partially open for ventilation. However bifolding doors with an access leaf can also give you partial ventilation but in a different way.

So as you can see, all quality door systems offer different advantages to the user. If you would like further information on the design and construction of our folding doors, please contact us.

Published on July 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
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