Which material is right for my bifold?
With years of experience under our belts we know that there is no right or wrong choice. Everyone has different list of priorities and every bifold has pros and cons.
Here, we’ve pulled together THE DEFINITIVE list of pos and cons for UPVC, Timber and Aluminium. Which material is right for your project?
Pros• Great price. The cheapest on the market
• Will probably match the rest of the UPVC windows and doors in your house.
• Easy to supply and fit and plenty of healthy competition on price.
• Very little maintenance.
• Good thermal properties.
Cons• Can be tricky to open. The biggest downside to UPVC is that it expands and contracts. This isn’t an issue when its used for single windows or a standard door, but when you put 3,4,5 or 6 doors next to each other to make a bifold, the expansion and contraction can make the operation of the bifold door less than perfect. In the heat of summer when you want to use your door most, the UPVC can expand, making opening and closing the door more difficult.
• Less view. UPVC isn’t as strong as other materials, so the frames have to be much wider. This reduces the amount of glass you can have in your doors meaning you wont enjoy as much light or as much view outside.
• Higher threshold. One of the features people love about bifold doors is the seamless transition from inside to outside. UPVC has the biggest threshold of all the materials meaning you’ll have to step over the door frame to get out.
Pros• Environmentally friendly. All timber bifolds are now made using sustainable timber
• The natural properties of timber add a warm, elegant and traditional look to any home.
• Of all the materials used to make bifold doors, timber is the one that can be repaired the easiest.
• Slimmer sightlines than UPVC.
Cons• Timber bifolds are by far the most expensive material.
• Maintenance is high. Timber doors must be recoated, sealed and painted to maintain the factory finish every 3-5 years. This means there is an ongoing cost implication of keeping your bifolds in good repair.
• Because wood is a natural material there is a tendency for it to twist and split, even with engineered timber. They need regular maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition.
• Weather related warping through lack of care will probably not be covered by a warrantee.
Pros• No maintenance required. With up to a 20 year guarantee, you can relax knowing that your doors will still look good in 20 years time.
• The inherent strength of aluminium allows the profile of the window to be thinner than any other material, allowing more light to flood your room.
• With over 350 colours to choose from, as well as textured wood grain options you can style your door any way you wish.
• Amazing thermal properties, providing an integrated thermal break and keeping your house warm and cosy.
• Low threshold, giving you the seamless indoor/ outdoor look that we all strive for.
Cons• The cost of precision engineered aluminium can be high.
• You may need to shop around for an aluminium profile that will match and compliment your existing windows and doors.
• Aluminium can have more minimalist modern look, which isn’t everyone’s taste.
So there we are! Each material has its pros and cons, you just need to decide which of the pro’s are more important to you and which of the cons you can live with. If you’re sill undecided and need more information we are always happy to discuss your needs with you.