Beautiful French Doors

French, Traditional or Bi-Fold? The Great Patio Door Debate

Beautiful French Doors

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a property with a garden or other type of outdoor area, one of the most important decisions for you to make is that of which type of access to that area you wish to have installed.

Today, there are three main alternatives in the shape of French doors, traditional patio doors or bi-fold doors and each have their own characteristics and merits. Below you will find a brief explanation of what each of those is and a comparison of them in terms of three differing but equally important areas of consideration.

What are French, Traditional and Bi-Fold Patio Doors?

Before comparing the different characteristics, features and potential benefits of each type of patio door it is first crucial to briefly explain exactly what each one is.

French doors are the most long-lived version of patio doors and as such are the kind traditionally found in older properties. In essence, they are simply two glazed doors installed next to one another which both open either outward or inward, according to preference.

Traditional patio doors, meanwhile, which are also commonly described as sliding doors, tend to be comprised of two large panes of glass and to have one which slides behind the other to reveal a doorway to the outside.

Finally, bi-fold patio doors are amongst the most modern of alternatives. They are made up of a collection of panes or leaves of glass which can then be concertinaed back to fully reveal the opening between the house and the garden.

Aesthetics and Property Suitability

The first of our three major areas of consideration when it comes to comparing the main types of patio doors is essentially that of aesthetics and personal taste.

The different types of door obviously produce a different look when installed at a property and thus, one type will appeal more to one individual than to another. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to whether a particular type of door will suit a particular property but there is one crucial thing to keep in mind.

That is that French doors tend to offer more frame and glass options than the more modern alternatives, and thus can often be better tailored to suit the outward architectural appearance of an older property.

Quality of View

As important as how a property looks from the outside with its patio doors installed, is how the outside can be viewed through those patio doors, and in that area the three types also differ significantly.

Being essentially just two doors next to one another, French doors often offer less in terms of view than the other two patio door alternatives. Traditional and bi-fold doors, after all, can boast a much wider expanse of glass and can even take up the entire side of a room.

When they are open, too, bi-fold doors have an advantage over traditional sliding doors in the view department as the entire aperture – rather than just half of it – is clear of any obstructions. When closed, however, bi-fold doors tend to have more frames and thus offer a more broken and segmented view.

Customisation Possibility

A final area of consideration when it comes to comparing the three main types of patio door, is that of how much each type can be customised to best suit a particular property or location.

Due to their relative simplicity, there is little that can be altered when it comes to French doors apart from in which direction they open and whether additional panes of glass are included on either side. Traditional sliding doors, on the other hand, offer choices in terms of direction of slide, whether both or just one of the panes does slide and where the panes slide to.

Bi-fold doors offer even more alternatives still, in that the number of leaves, direction of fold and type of fold can all be altered and tailored. That means that this type of patio door can be installed in bays and corner areas, and is thus often the favoured choice of property owners who need a greater level of customisation.