Bi Folding doors were launched around the turn of the century; they can be installed in place of French doors, where both doors are hinged to fold as they open together to one side. Bi folding doors can also span an opening to around 7 metres wide, depending on the frame chosen. A master door can be placed amongst the doors, at the ends or in the middle, wherever the opening is required; this door is a standard (pivot) opening door which enables the other doors to be pushed to the side or sides of the aperture, resulting in a sliding-folding action, concertina-style, to maximise the width of the opening between home and garden or conservatory.
Because slide-and-pivot doors have no hinges, there is no requirement for a sturdy side frame; its only purpose is to cover the gasket that seals the double glazed unit. This means that the views afforded through the expanse of patio doors have minimal interruptions. At the time of writing, there are two versions of frame-less glass doors available in the UK, both using the slide-and-pivot technique: one manufacturer supplies their frameless glass doors with kite-marked double glazed units which have a visible seal, the other uses an almost transparent method of sealing their double glazing. Contemporary by design, the absence of visible characteristics makes frameless glass doors a viable option for period properties.
There are two basic types of patio doors which include the hinged patio doors and the sliding or gliding patio doors. Hinged doors are normally available as French doors which come in a set of two doors. These normally open to the outside and may have a lot of glass incorporated into their overall construction, thus allowing you a view of the outside. There are certain other hinged doors that come in the form of accordion doors and are therefore able to fold open. If you are living in regions with warmer climates, you should consider investing in a good pair of accordion doors which also happen to be very space efficient. On the other hand, the sliding patio doors are normally available in a set of two, in which case one door slides past the other and in most cases these are entirely made out of glass.
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