Your garden isn’t just an extension of your home - when it’s designed to connect indoor and outdoor living, it can become a valuable ‘outside room’ that’s a pleasure to relax in day or night.
With summer almost upon us, there really is no better time than now to start thinking about how to open up our homes into the garden, terrace or balcony to enjoy more time for alfresco dining or relaxing in the sunshine with friends and family. The easiest way to connect your home with the great outdoors (and boost its value or saleability at the same time) is through glazed doors.
With so many styles and materials available, the choice can be confusing though.
Here’s our guide to help you choose the best glazed door option for your home.
Sometimes known as folding sliding doors, bi-folding doors have grown rapidly in popularity in recent years. The key benefit with bi-folds is how they allow for whole walls of glass to be opened up completely to blur the boundaries between the home and the garden and create a wonderful light-filled space.
Bi-fold doors simply concertina back to provide easy access to the garden and they can be hung so that they open inwards or outwards, depending on what suits your property. The configuration is flexible and can be arranged so that all the doors either fold to one side or are split to fold back on both sides. The tracks can also be configured in a number of ways – many homeowners favour a flush floor track so that the internal and external floor levels are the same.
Top tip: Outward fitting bi-fold doors encroach less on your internal space.
Sliding doors are big news in contemporary homes at the moment because they incorporate large expanses of glass to provide masses of light, whilst their narrow frames ensure less visual interruption to views outside.
Sliding doors are a great option for large openings as each glazed panel can be wider than the panes on bi-folding or patio doors.
Top tip: With no sections to fold back, sliding doors are a great solution where space is tight.
Although often associated with traditional-style homes, French doors are available in plenty of designs (and materials, such as aluminium) which means they work well within a contemporary property too.
French doors typically sit within smaller openings, so they tend to bring less light in when compared to bi-folds and sliding doors. However, they can be incorporated into more glazing to increase the amount of light drawn in.
With less engineering and less glazing than sliding or bi-folding doors, they can be a cheaper option to install.
Top tip: French doors provide quick and easy access to the garden or terrace when you don’t want to open up a large expanse of glazing.
How to choose your frame materials
Timber, PVCu and aluminium are the most popular frame materials for doors:
- Timber is strong, beautiful and traditional, but less versatile than aluminium and it can often be expensive.
- PVCu is generally lower in price but the frames tend to be thicker than other materials which may be an issue if you want uninterrupted views of your garden.
- Aluminium is an investment buy that will add value to your home. Strong, durable, thermally efficient and able to comfortably hold large panes of glass, aluminium is ideal for all types of doors.
Us Brits enjoyed more than 130 million barbecues in our gardens last year and beef burgers have overtaken sausages as our favourite barbecue meat!
Feeling inspired? Take a look at the REAL Aluminium range or our 7 big interior design trends for 2018 for more ideas on how to incorporate stylish aluminium doors and windows into your home to make the most of the long summer days.
Click here to get your free copy of our REAL Aluminium retail brochure today!