Whilst different types of bi-fold doors have been around for centuries, they’ve previously had a reputation for being old fashioned. But recently, they’ve had an overhaul and have become more popular than ever – they not only look great but have a multitude of benefits that have meant many people have made the switch from regular sliding doors to their bi-fold counterpart.
But before you purchase a bi-fold door, there’s plenty to consider, including materials and installation costs. This guide will talk you through everything you need to know about the cost of bi-fold doors.
What is a bifold door?
Bi-fold doors, sometimes called concertina doors, are doors that fold into themselves when they are opened in order to allow access into another room or garden. They do this by being placed on wheels and gliding along a track fitted across the bottom of the door, that guides each panel to the correct location.
These doors are usually made up of 2-7 panels (although, on large scale projects they can have many more) and they are often filled with glass to let light filter into the house.
They have a number of benefits apart from being a great way to lighten up the home: they take up less space than regular doors as they don’t swing open, they are a lot more aesthetic and flexible than other doors design-wise, and they are very low maintenance.
Bi-fold doors are often used across whole walls to allow access into the garden, to blend the line between indoor and outdoor living, although, they can be used anywhere throughout the house to divide the space in an efficient way.
Bifold doors materials
One of the most important decisions to make when choosing a bi-fold door is the material that you use for the frame. There are plenty of options available on the market to suit a range of budgets, but it’s vital that you consider the pros and cons of each, as the material used can transform the way these doors look.
If you’re on a budget, uPVC bi-fold doors are the cheapest option and commonly used in the UK. Whilst they aren’t the most attractive on the market, recognisable as the standard white plastic doors, there are now options for a variety of styles, including a type of uPVC that looks similar to the woodgrain of timber for a fraction of the cost.
For a modern, almost futuristic-looking bi-fold door, you can opt for aluminium. While these kind of doors aren’t to everybody’s taste, they are ultra-stylish and low maintenance, just requiring a wipe down occasionally. Aluminium bi-fold doors are incredibly strong and have great thermal performance, trapping heat in the home.
Timber is very traditional-looking, therefore, most period properties looking to update their doors will do so with timber bi-fold doors. Although, it is worth noting that compared to other materials, timber requires a lot more care and attention, as well as regular maintenance to keep it in a good condition.
Composite is a relatively new material that blends together the pros of both aluminium and timber, meaning that it is great value, long-lasting, strong, and is visually far more palatable than most aluminium doors on the market.
Bifold doors styles
Bi-fold doors are usually categorised with 3 numbers (i.e., 5-4-1), and these numbers explain how the door will work. The first number refers to the number of panels on the whole door, the middle illustrates how many panels open to the left, and the last number explains how many open to the right. These numbers vary – for example, you can have 3-1-2 or 7-5-2 formations.
Whilst the majority of bi-fold doors are installed to work in a straight line, it’s also possible to have them curve around a corner of a house, although, this will increase the price by a fair amount.
Bifold doors vs sliding doors
Often, before people decide to purchase a bi-fold door, they also consider sliding doors as they have similar properties. The main difference between the two doors is that where bi-fold open in on themselves, creating more space, sliding doors slide behind each other, leaving less space for someone to pass through. Sliding doors are often more expensive too, which makes bi-fold doors a great option.
How much do they cost?
There are a couple of factors that can influence the cost of a bi-fold door, including the material used and the number of panels on the door. Generally, a bi-fold door with 3 panels can range from £1200 for uPVC, all the way up to approximately £2300 for aluminium.
This, of course, only increases as you add more panels – an aluminium bi-fold door with 5 panels can set you back up to £6000.
It’s vital that you consider the installation costs when working out the total price of the bi-fold door. Failing to do this could result in you going seriously over budget.
What can affect the cost of bi-fold doors?
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of bi-fold doors. These include:
- The number of panels used – more panels will lead to the price increasing
- The size of the bi-fold doors
- Whether the installation is internal or external
- The materials used – PVC is often the cheapest material, whereas aluminium and timber will hike the price up dramatically
- The type of glass – double glazing etc. will cost more
- Whether the locks need to be upgraded or replaced
Cost of Bifold door installation
It’s important not to forget to consider the cost of installation, as this can significantly increase the overall cost of the door. Whilst there aren’t regulated prices that dictate installation costs, the price will depend on a number of the following factors:
- If the existing space is suitable for a bi-fold door, or whether room will need to be created or filled in the wall
- The number of panels used on the door
- The material and style of the door
- Your location – rates differ across the UK
- The installer – depending on qualifications and experience, some installers will charge more
A basic installation with the correct opening in the wall will often cost between £150-£500 for labour and could take around a day to complete. As the installation becomes more complicated, the rates will increase well above £500.
These kind of doors are slightly trickier to install, as each panel has to be absolutely perfect for the logistics to work correctly – this difficulty is often reflected in the price.
Usually, installers will set their own rate, and so it is highly recommended that you get multiple quotes so that you can feel comfortable that the price you are paying is fair.