Many kinds of bi-folding door are available, ranging from two pane up to seven panels or more if necessary. It is important to bear their configuration styles in mind as well as the space you have available when considering which design is most suitable for your home or extension. Below is a full description of the different types of bi-folding door there are to choose from.
Two panel bi-folding doors
As their name suggests, two panel bi-folding doors comprise of two panels. They open in one direction with a sliding movement. They are most commonly fitted in place of patio doors or French windows and offer a much higher percentage of opening space than these alternatives.
Three panel bi-folding doors
Three panel bi-folding doors can be configured in two different ways. The most appropriate style for you will depend on the intended amount of usage and the position of the door.
The first configuration available is as three panels all opening in one direction in a sliding motion. If you plan to use your door frequently, then the option of having one panel hinged as an access leaf would perhaps be more suitable. This set up allows the opening of a single leaf to get in and out, rather than having to slide all three panels of the door back, making it easier and more convenient to use. In this second configuration the access leaf swings back on its hinge when open whilst the remaining panels slide across in the other direction.
Four panel bi-folding doors
As the number of panels increase so do the variety of configurations. With four panel bi-folding doors three different formations are available.
The most common configuration is the ‘French door’ design. Here, the central two doors can be swung open and slid back if required, creating a lot of open space and a perfect option for warm, sunny days. If it is not quite so hot then either just the right or left end door can be opened instead.
Alternatively, these doors can be fitted so that all the panels slide across in the same direction in a similar manner to two or three panel bi-folding doors.
Five panel bi-folding doors
With five panel bi-folding doors there are also three different arrangements available. Firstly, all of the panels can slide across in the same direction to open. Another popular option is to have two panels slide one way and three the other. It is also possible to incorporate an access leaf at one end of a five panel door. In this configuration, four of the panels would open in a slide action in one direction and the access leaf would open on a hinge. This is a particularly good choice if you are regularly going to use the door.
Six panel bi-folding doors
There are also three ways to configure a six panel bi-folding door. All six panels can move across in the same direction, or alternatively three can slide across one way and three the other. An access leaf can also be fitted if required, meaning that five panels would slide one way with the hinged leaf opening the other.
Seven panel bi-folding doors
With seven panel bi-folding doors four different arrangements are possible. As with other bi-folding doors all panels can slide across in one direction only. Additionally it is possible for them to be configured so that three leaves slide one way and two the opposite, or in a combination of five and two. The final configuration is with a hinged access leaf on one side and the remaining six panels sliding across in the opposite direction.
For more information, you should speak to a professional bi-folding door company as soon as possible to ensure you get the right style for your needs.