How to Choose A Good Quality set of Folding Sliding Doors26th April 2014 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
I love this time of year, the days are getting longer, the tulips are out in force and there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the garden. This year I plan to spend more time enjoying the garden and one way of achieving this is to make the transition between the garden and the house as simple as possible. You see this being achieved on programs like grand designs where large expanses of glass can be opened up and the living and garden space become one. Before we go into the different types of aluminium doors how would you go about measuring quality ?
As with most things in life you get what you pay for and given that doors are a one time purchase it’s worth spending a little more to get the best quality that you can afford. Choose a retailer that also fabricates, that way you can be sure that they are in control of their own quality rather than reliant on someone else. Look for a guarantee, the longer the better. Do they have a showroom where you can see the doors in operation ? If you’re buying online look for decent imagery with close ups so you see the quality of the door furniture and overall finish. There’s also review sites – if someone has a bad experience then you can usually read about it online or in chat forums. Then there’s the different systems available, modern systems have slim site lines and this is where aluminium wins over both wood and pvc in that the site lines on aluminium doors are amongst the slimmest. If the supplier is advertising German Engineering then it is probable that the system being used is Schueco, a well established brand at the top end. If it’s British engineering then it could be ‘Smart Aluminium Systems’. Both these systems are constantly being developed and improved and for this reason they are both popular choices. But perhaps the best tip is to speak to them, you can gauge a lot by speaking to someone – do they sound like the sort of company that you can trust ? All of the doors at a respected online retailer like Vivafolio are of good build quality and come with well matched service and a ten year guarantee. So having given you some pointers lets take a look at the different types of doors :
There’s a number of different door systems available, conventional French doors can be opened out as a pair and this traditional approach is popular and can achieve an opening a little over 2 metres wide. Here’s an example of french doors, just incase you didn’t know. Then there’s sliding patio doors, popular during the 1980s, which can be slid open from either side. These days with modern technology it is possible for sliding doors to be much larger providing maximum glass area and minimal framework. There’s also the prospect of using a triple track which allows for a larger opening since the doors can overlap. This video shows a 6 metre aperture being spanned with three doors.
Equally impressive is the option of bi-folding doors. The advantage of folding sliding doors is that when opened they neatly stack at one end to make the most of the opening. Again this is probably best illustrated by the video below. You can choose which way they open according to the geography of your home and garden and how you want to use the space. I favour sliding patio doors over bi-folding since there’s less framework but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.
So is this the year to make a home improvement ? A number of online retailers offer delivery in as little as three weeks so there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the summer. You’d be surprised how a new set of doors will change the way you live.