SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 230
ALUMINIUM FRAMES HAVE THE ADVANTAGE
OF SLIMMER SIGHTLINES AND A FINISH
THAT NEVER NEEDS TO BE RE-COATED
larger expanses of glass with less visual
interruption than subdivided bi-folds.
Single-glazed versions of a sliding
system are being used for partitioning
living space - between dining room
and lounge perhaps - allowing more
light to flow through the interior.
Often thought of as a more traditional
choice, these full glass, hinged doors
(also known as French windows) can
look just as good in contemporary
homes as they do in period ones and
are the ideal option for smaller spaces.
French doors come in a range
of designs and materials (such as
aluminium) - so there's more choice
than just traditional wooden frames.
The downside is that compared
with bi-folds and sliding doors,
French doors tend to bring in less
light, although combining them with
sidelights or positioning them within
windows will increase this.
They also offer the advantage of
quick and easy access out to the
garden or patio when you don't
want to open up a run of glazing
- as is the case with sliding doors.
PICKING the best bi-folds
When it comes to choosing between timber and aluminium bifolds,
there are certain factors to take into consideration. Timber ones
are ideal for traditional-style homes and look great in period
properties. They also tend to provide the best thermal insulation,
but the downside is that they require regular painting or varnishing
to maintain their appearance.
Engineered timbers have more dimensional stability than solid
timber doors. Softwood engineered products tend to be cheaper
than hardwood, but some of the lower-end models can be
prone to warping over time when exposed to heat and moisture,
meaning they will stick in their frames or won't close.
Aluminium has the advantage of slimmer sightlines and a
powder-coated finish, which will never need re-coating. But being a
conductor, aluminium isn't as thermally efficient as timber. However,
it is possible to triple glaze, which will help to keep the heat in.
230 | MAY 2017
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