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External Bifold Door FAQs

Chances are that if you’re visiting this page you’ve got a question about external bi-fold doors. We’ve gathered together the questions we get most frequently asked by customers so hopefully this is where you’ll get the quick answer to that question about external bi-folds you’ve been looking for. For more in depth information be sure to checkout the advice on our external bi-folds page.

How Do External Bi-fold Doors Work?

External bi-fold doors are made up of several panels which fold back on each other to create a wide opening. The panels of exterior bi-folds are connected to each other and glide along a track, usually on wheels which give a smooth and quiet opening and closing operation.

Are External Bi-fold Doors Secure?

Modern bi-fold doors are one of the safest types of external door you can choose as they are fitted with a multi-point locking system, and as external bi-fold panels are mounted on a track, this makes them incredibly hard to remove. The construction of bi-fold doors means they are far more secure than French doors or sliding doors. For tips on how to improve the security of your bifold doors even more, you can look at our article.

What Locks Are Used on Bi-fold Doors?

The multi-point locking system of a bi-fold door will keep the door in place but there are several types of door lock available. Twinpoint locks operate from a handle in the middle of your doors that secure bi-folds in one movement. Drop bolts can add more security to bi-fold doors but may be slightly detrimental to the looks of the doors. Deadbolts will generally be part of the multi-point system that is supplied with your door and offer a good level of security.

How Many Doors Can I Have In an External Bi-fold?

Bi-fold doors come in different widths and layouts and the number of doors you will want will generally be decided by the size of the opening. A 3-metre external bi-fold door can have 3 to 6 doors. One thing to consider would be the more doors you have, the more interruptions there will be of the panoramic view that bi-folds give.

Are External Bi-fold Doors Expensive?

Bi-fold doors will vary in price depending on size and materials used but they will generally always cost more because more materials are used in the construction of bi-fold doors and their complexity means manufacturing the doors is more expensive. However, they can still be a worthwhile investment as bi-fold doors can add value to your home.

Are External Bi-fold Doors Energy-Efficient?

Quality bi-fold doors are thermally efficient and retain more heat than traditional patio doors. This means that bi-folds can save you money on your heating bills.

Do External Bi-fold Doors Let the Cold in?

Bi-fold doors when manufactured to high, modern standards offer great levels of thermal insulation and will be better at keeping out drafts than conventional patio doors.

How Do I Clean My External Bi-fold Doors?

Cleaning your external bi-fold door will involve both washing the glass of the doors and cleaning the frame. Mixing water and vinegar makes a great glass-cleaning solution and a mild soap solution will be perfect for wiping down the frames. You will also need to clean the tracks with a vacuum and use a lubricant to clean the locks. If you need step-by-step help to get your bifolds sparkling, take a look at our guide to cleaning bifold doors.

What Maintenance is Required for Bi-fold Doors?

Cleaning regularly will mean your external-bi-folds will need little in the way of maintenance from a professional. As well as washing down the glass and cleaning the frame with soapy water, you should make sure the tracks at the bottom of the door are free for debris such as stones & leaves. You can also lubricate the locks and mechanisms with a silicon-based spray to ensure a smooth opening and running.

Why Won’t my Bi-fold Doors Close?

External Bi-fold doors not closing is usually a sign that there is a problem with the alignment of the doors with the tracks and some adjustment will be needed. Hinges can be adjusted with an allen key until the doors run flush. If the bi-fold doors are dropping or dragging out of the tracks, the hinge bolts may need adjusting on the doors. If simple adjustments to your bifold doors do not work, it may be that you need to contact the manufacturer or a tradesperson to help if you are not comfortable with removing the doors for further inspection.

What is a Traffic Door?

A traffic door is like a normal door built that is part of your external bi-fold door. Quite simply, it opens and locks separately from the rest of bi-fold so gives you quick access to the garden or house without having to open the whole of the bi-fold door. You don’t need a traffic door but they do come in handy for quickly popping in and out of the house.

What Colours are External Bi-fold Doors Available In?

Modern bi-fold doors come in a variety of colours and can depend on the material of the door. Wooden external bi-folds are available in options such as fully finished oak, but are also available unfinished, meaning you can choose the best colour for your home. White is always a popular classic choice but currently grey is proving a particularly in-demand colour for a contemporary look and feel.

Which Material is Best for External Bi-fold Doors: Wood, Aluminium or uPVC?

The best material for external bi-fold doors can be decided by the major factors of strength, thermal efficiency, maintenance requirements, style and price. However, all of the materials bi-folds are manufactured from have their pros and cons, and your choice will be personal at the end of the day. Aluminium is generally stronger and easier to maintain than wood, but wooden bi-folds offer more style choices and can be repainted if necessary. uPVC bi-folds are an affordable option that provides great thermal insulation and are easy to maintain but offers fewer aesthetic variations. The choice is yours!

What Sizes Are External Bi-fold Doors Available In?

External bi-fold doors are made to fit openings that are 1800mm in wide at the smallest, with the largest standard bi-fold being 4800mm in width. The standard height for external bi-folds is 2095mm.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Install Bi-folding doors?

Planning permission is not usually necessary when fitting bi-fold doors in the majority of houses but if your property is listed or in a conservation area, you should check with your local planning authority.

How Do You Install an External Bi-fold Door?

External bi-folds are not difficult to install if you are comfortable with DIY and there is no building work required. That said, bi-fold doors are heavy so it might not be a one-person job, and you will need to use a spirit level throughout to ensure the doors hang flush and are level.


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