bi-fold door materials
Aluminium / UPVC What is the difference?
UPVC Bi-folds expand in the heat much more than Aluminium Bi-folds. Therefore you might be advised to limit the width of your UPVC Bi-folds to 4 metres for this very reason. Aluminium Bi-folds comfortably go up to 6 metres or more. Aluminium also has the advantage that it may be coloured any RAL colour. Also generally Aluminium doors are slimmer than UPVC due to Aluminium's greater strength like-for-like, therefore you can maximise the glass area of the doors.
Aluminium Bi-folding doors are purpose made from a drawing board to be a Bi-fold door whereas the UPVC bi-folds use certain parts of the standard UPVC high security Residential doors which is why the UPVC Bi-folds are slightly cheaper than their Aluminium counterpart.
Generally Aluminium or UPVC Bi-fold doors can be made to open inwards or outwards, the choice is yours, however it is recommended that UPVC only opens inwards.
Also generally Aluminium doors are slimmer than UPVC due to Aluminium's greater strength like-for-like, therefore you can maximise the glass area of the doors.
Hardwood - how does it compare?
Modern finishes ensure very little maintenance is required, and your doors should serve you for many years. The finishes generally come in a wide range of wood or paint colours dependent upon your supplier.
Timber is natural, organic and renewable, and has numerous environmental advantages over competing materials. Converting timber into a usable building material takes far less energy, and therefore generates less carbon dioxide than virtually any other alternative including aluminium, steel, concrete and UPVC.
Once installed, wood is an extremely effective insulating material with a very high energy efficiency, indeed, timber-framed houses are widely recognised as being the top performers in energy efficiency.