Bifolds or Sliding Doors: How to Choose?

Windows and doors play a major part in the overall aesthetics of your annexe. But, as well as looking good, you will want them to let in enough light, be functional and practical, too.

1. The View

If you want uninterrupted views of your garden and beyond then sliding doors are a popular choice because there’s less frame and more glass. That means you get a good view, more light flooding in and a sleeker aesthetic.

But, if you crave a more seamless connection with the great outdoors, then bifold doors, which open up 90% of the aperture creating a wide opening onto the garden when concertinaed back, are the most popular choice. A level threshold with similar flooring inside and outside will also help create a cohesive living space that connects with the garden.

2. The Space

If indoor space is limited and you don’t want a stack of bifold panes encroaching the floorplan, you can choose for the system to stack outwards. But, this does mean you might have the same problem outside! So, if space is an issue, sliding doors are a better option.

3. Access

This is an important point to consider. There’s a real desire to want to throw open (or fold/slide back!) glazed doors to create a connection between inside and out. But do think about the practicalities. The British weather isn’t always the best so if you’re in a windy exposed spot, for example, then bifolds might be closed more than they are open.

But, bifolds are versatile, you can of course open up around 90% of the opening and with some configurations, you can install a standard door that can be opened independently of the concertina system: a great option if you have children and dogs and need easy, regular access to the garden.

Sliding doors are a good choice if you want/can have large panes of glass and larger doors. Even though sliding doors don’t open up fully, the side that’s open will be large enough to offer a connection between inside and out, the limited frame profiles won’t hinder the view and air will be able to circulate in and out of the space.

4. Materials

Both bifold and sliders can be made with a timber or aluminium frame to match the overall aesthetic you want to create or need to match with existing window frames, for example. If you desire a contemporary, sleek and modern look then aluminium delivers, plus there’s little maintenance. If you’re after a more natural look, then stained timber is the preference, but bear in mind any timber will require maintenance. If you want the best of both worlds, pick alu-clad sliding doors with a warm timber interior and a low maintenance exterior.