4 Qualities to Look For in Exterior Bifold Doors 4 Qualities to Look For in Exterior Bifold Doors

Bifold doors have traditionally been used as closet doors or simple dividers between two rooms. They open up in a way that provides complete access to spaces and take up little space in the room. With new open house designs and building techniques, bifold doors are now being used as exterior doors. When they are used instead of sliding doors, they create more access to decks and patios. In nice weather, the outdoor space becomes part of the house. Exterior bifold doors often have large panels of glass so they allow a lot of light into the interior even when they are closed.

1 - Materials

Wood is a common basic material of exterior bifold doors. Woods such as oak, fir and pine are common. Fiberglass is resistant to warping so it is a good material in areas with a lot of humidity. Fiberglass doors are made in wood finishes. Steel is used if security is a major concern. Steel expands with heat so if the doors get too hot they can crack the paint. Steel also dents fairly easily. Aluminum can be custom fitted to unusual sized doorways.

2 - Weather Resistance

Exterior bifold doors are most common in warm areas, but they will still face rain and temperature changes. Wood doors should be constructed with panels that negate warping when damp. Vinyl coating can help mitigate weather problems. Fiberglass is less likely to warp, so it is a good choice for humid areas. Aluminum doesn't rust, so it can be a good choice.

3 - Security

Any exterior door has to keep the residents of the house safe. A beautiful glass bifold door still needs to be strong and have a good lock. This is why steel is used for these doors. Steel does not have to look like a vault door; it comes in a variety of colors and styles.

4 - Solid Construction

Bifold doors used on the exterior of a home need to be much stronger and heavier than interior doors of the same type. They use much stronger tracks and hardware so they will glide easily open and closed. They have tracks on the bottoms of the doors as well as the tops. The need for good construction extends to the door frame itself. This type of door creates a wide opening, which means that the heavy doors hang from a door structure that has no support in the middle. The beams that the tracks are attached to have to be strong enough to support the doors. Temperature changes and weather also affect the door structure.

Exterior bifold doors can add an open and inviting air to a home, and make it very pleasant in warm weather. They have to be built to withstand the less pleasant times of year also. They should either be designed into the home from the start, or installed with all the possible problems carefully considered.

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