Aluminium, Wood and uPVC Bifold Doors: What's the Difference?
External bifold doors are an excellent addition to any home. They boost natural light and bring nature into your home, whilst helping to reduce noise pollution and allowing you to open up your rooms to create a much larger space.
So, what are the best external bifold doors? What’s the best material to use and can you purchase cheap bifold doors without compromising on the quality? When shopping for patio doors, it can be difficult to decide whether you should go for solid wood external doors or aluminium folding doors, but in reality one isn’t better than the other; in fact, aluminium, wood and uPVC all have their benefits. The material and style that you choose for your external bifold door comes down to personal preference.
Here at Climadoor, we’ve created this nifty guide to help you choose the best material for your home and lifestyle, whilst keeping within a reasonable budget!
Aluminium Bifold Doors
Aluminium bifolding doors are an excellent choice for external doors due to their weather resistant properties and durability. Aluminium is a very strong material, providing strength and security to your exterior.
People may choose aluminium doors over other materials such as, uPVC and wood, as it stands up well in harsh weather conditions and needs very little maintenance in comparison to other material options. Aluminium doors and windows are also the material of choice for many, as the overall finish of the metal suits the style and feel of their homes interior and exterior design.
Are Aluminium bifold doors better than uPVC?
For design, sturdiness and lifespan, many people opt for aluminium doors over uPVC however, uPVC folding doors are the most popular choice because of the price; they’re the cheapest option compared to all other materials. uPVC is also a lighter material when compared to aluminium and therefore, doors made from uPVC are a lot easier to install.
How much do aluminium bifold doors cost?
Aluminium doors are the more expensive material and therefore, depending on the size of the bifold door, you could be looking to spend a pretty decent amount of money. Realistically, a quality set of aluminium bifold doors can cost between £2000 and £3000 depending on the size, style and colourways you choose.
How long do aluminium doors last?
An aluminium bifold door is very durable and can withstand the harshest of weather conditions, making it a great choice for an external door. Roughly, an aluminium door can last for between 30 to 40 years depending on how well it’s looked after.
Do aluminium doors expand in heat?
Aluminium is the best material for windows and doors as it’s great for insulation and is highly stable when the temperature changes. An aluminium door will not contract or expand with a change in heat, so your bifold door will always run smoothly and you won’t have any issues when opening and closing your door.
Wooden Bifold Doors
Solid wood bifold doors are a brilliant choice for external patio doors as they provide your interiors with a generous amount of natural light whilst being customisable in the size, shape and wood choice, which other materials such as aluminium and uPVC aren’t able to offer.
Whilst a solid oak bifold door looks beautiful and adds a great sense of security to your home, the wood will require general maintenance every few months to protect it from harsh weather conditions. By protecting your door, you’ll achieve a much longer lifespan.
What wood is used for external doors?
As long as you look after your external wooden door, you can use many different types of wood. The most common hardwood for exterior doors is oak, as it’s a very strong wood and has a great resistance to decay. If oak wood isn’t for you, you can also use elm, beech, walnut, mahogany and sycamore, which are all excellent hardwoods!
How much do wooden bifold doors cost?
Solid wood bifold doors are generally cheaper than aluminium and will cost roughly £1000 to £1500 depending on the wood, size and style you choose.
Are solid wood doors energy efficient?
Wooden doors aren’t as energy efficient when compared to uPVC and aluminium. Wood expands and retracts when the temperature changes and, because of this, there will be a slight gap between the door and the frame to prevent the door from expanding too much and sealing the door shut until it has retracted. if you love the look of a wooden external door, you can add take extra steps such as using a draught excluder and door curtain to improve its efficiency.
Do you need to treat solid wood doors?
Solid wood doors, although very strong and sturdy, do need some help when it comes to standing up against harsh weather conditions. If water gets into your wooden door, the cracks will expand, resulting in air being able to get through, as well as swelling the door and ruining the wood. To prevent this, wooden doors require general maintenance every few months where the treating of the wood should always be a priority, especially when the seasons start to change.
uPVC Bifold Doors
uPVC folding doors are the most commonly purchased type of door for external use. uPVC is the cheapest material to use, when compared with aluminium and wood. It’s sturdy and is much higher in energy efficiency than wood.
People often choose uPVC bifold doors as they match their home aesthetic. uPVC is very neutral in terms of colour and design and allows little imagination if you’re to buy your bifolding doors online.
What is a uPVC door?
uPVC stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride and is a form of hard plastic that has no flexibility.
uPVC is used on external doors as it’s very energy efficient, sound reducing and cheap to purchase making it a great all-rounder for doors. uPVC requires very little maintenance when compared to other materials and doesn’t need to be treated as it stands up well in harsh weather conditions.
How much do uPVC bifold doors cost?
The price of uPVC patio doors can vary widely depending on quality, size and design. You can expect to pay in the region of £1000 to £2000 for quality uPVC bifold doors.
Can you paint uPVC doors?
You can paint uPVC doors although it’s advisable that you don’t. uPVC isn’t a material that can soak up the liquid and allow it to set, meaning you’ll more than likely see the paint running and drying in drip marks and patches.
If the paint has dried to a reasonable standard and looks good enough, you also run the risk of the paint flaking off when the door expands and retracts when the temperature changes.
If you really want to paint your uPVC door, it’s advised that you use a stain instead as this won’t flake, will add a protective layer and will add a splash of colour.
How safe are uPVC doors?
A uPVC door is as safe as any other door if they’re fitted right and you have a good, sturdy lock. If your uPVC door is pretty dated, it’s a good idea to look into replacing it as there are a few known vulnerabilities in older uPVC doors.
Today, many of us are switching our external doors to bifold doors as they bring in natural light, allowing nature into our homes, reduce noise pollution and allow us to create larger spaces internally.
When buying an external bifold door, there is a lot to take into consideration; such as size, shape, design, placement and, most importantly, the material that you choose. In most cases, the material of the bifold door simply comes down to personal preference as there are pro’s and con’s to each one. We hope we’ve managed to give you some insight into bifold doors and that the material you choose, whilst is very important, isn’t something that you need to stress over too much.