Bi-folding doors are perfect for opening up a living space. They’re formed of a concertina of panels that move as one along a single track. This means bi-folding doors can be manufactured to fill very large spaces, and as such they’re often used to bridge the gap between a living space and a garden.
Bi-fold doors come in several varieties. There are those that open from a single side. There are also so-called ‘French-Fold’ designs, which consist of two equal-sized groups of panels which meet in the middle. Finally there are those that consist of one large group of panels, and a single traffic door.
What is a Traffic Door?
A traffic door is a single, ordinary door positioned immediately next to a folding door, giving the impression of a single, cohesive unit. You should be able to spot the traffic door in the picture of our Aspect Grey Bifolding Doors below – it’s the one with the handle.
Most traffic doors are functionally identical to an ordinary single door, featuring a lever handle and a key cylinder. In some cases, they’re part of the bi-fold system itself, and are set within one of the central panels.
Why Might You Need a Traffic Door?
If you need access to your garden, a traditional folding door has some distinct disadvantages. There’s a reasonable amount of effort involved in opening and closing them, for starters. What’s more, this extra effort means they take longer to open and close. This is turn means that in winter, they’ll let lots of cold air into your home.
Thankfully there’s a simple solution – traffic doors.
Traffic doors allow you to enter and exit your home without having to pull open the full set of doors. You can even do this when the main doors are locked from the inside, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a bi-fold without compromising on security.
During the height of summer, you might get away with leaving the door open all day. You won’t be able to do this in winter. Given that UK summers tend to last for just a few weekends (if that), and winters can last for what seems an eternity, the merits of a traffic door speak for themselves.
Do Bi-Fold Doors Always Need Traffic Doors?
In some cases, a traffic door isn’t required. If there’s another point of access to your garden in an adjacent room, then a traffic door isn’t really necessary. You might instead install a bigger folding door. If, on the other hand, the folding door is being regularly used for trips to the dustbin, or as the main point of entry to the home, a traffic door becomes pretty essential.
Generally, the larger the bi-folding doors, the less prominent a traffic door will be. This means that on very small bi-folds, you’ll find that the traffic door takes up a considerable amount of space. In fact, you couldn’t install a traffic door into a two panel folding door at all (this means you’d probably be better off fitting external French doors, instead).