An update from FrameX – April 2022

We’re back with another company update, and this time it’s from our MD Tim Mooney and Technical Production Manager, Nick Corrigan. We’re sharing exciting updates, some insights into the aluminium price increase and company insiders. So, let’s get to it!

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Update from Tim Mooney, Managing Director

“We are through the first quarter of 2022, and this year looks very promising. We have recently scaled up our operation with a new 15,000 sqft manufacturing facility. This has given us some much-needed capacity and space to grow. 

So far this year, sales are good with a mix of products ordered. We have introduced some additional products into the showroom, including some curtain walling, Our FrameX entrance door, a bifold window and some electric blinds in glass, which are a great option. 

The showroom continues to be a great hit with builders, architects, and end-users who all find the visit well worthwhile. Open 6-days a week, with a member of our sales or technical team on hand to offer a coffee, advice, and answer any questions. 

 Aluminium prices continue to rise, with another 12% increase in aluminium due from the 1st of May – let’s hope this is the last. Everyone in our sector is being affected. So, we are rolling with it and trying our best to keep our manufacturing costs down. 

 Our aim for 2022 is to create exceptional service. We are confident we have a brilliant product range, so I am aiming for excellence on our service side too. I’ll be focusing my energy on making our customers’ journey an even more seamless experience, so we can continue to grow our order book with more repeat and recommended customers.”

aluminium specialists

Update from Nick Corrigan, Technical Production Manager

“As Tim mentioned, the first quarter has seen us move into a much larger facility with sizable investments in machinery. This has allowed us to improve our capacities and bring lead times to 2-3 weeks on some of our products. 

Several trainees have been brought in and have been learning the job over the last few months from our experienced fabricators. Another van is on its way and should be with us soon, meaning we can manage more deliveries and go a little further afield. 

We are now in a position where production is ready to be put to the test. We are excited to see what numbers we can push through in the second quarter.

With our aim being customer service driven, the production office strives to keep all customers up to speed with their orders. Confirming lead times at the point of order, keeping them updated through the process, and checking in a few days before delivery to ensure they are ready.”

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FrameX: Aluminium Specialists With Quality at Our Core

Quality is at our core, and it’s likely a priority for you too. Without high-quality products, successful long-term results can’t be achieved. Quality goes far beyond physical products too. It should be in the service, fine details, and the completed outcome you experience.

We’ll never compromise on the other important details – lead times, delivery, communication and more. But what can FrameX help you with? What makes us aluminium specialists? We’ve covered all you need to know here.

Let’s take a look at the following:

Quality Products

Quality products go hand in hand with quality results. If you want to produce great results, you won’t be able to do this without quality products – it’s a fact. Or if you do, they won’t withstand long-term, and you’ll encounter some costly mistakes.

Quality products have high endurance and resistance to time and weather conditions – providing long-term safety and product performance. A construction project or property with high-quality materials sits above the rest in life expectancy. Maintenance will be minimal, no hidden repair fees, and the property value will be increased.

At FrameX, we know the importance of performance, and we won’t ever let this slide. From quality control to high-calibre materials – we’ve covered it all. We ensure that high quality is present in everything we do, from the manufacturing techniques we use to the stringent checking procedures we have in place.

Excellent Customer Service – At Every Stage

From enquiry to completion – we’ll be here to help. We know that efficient communication keeps things ticking over, and it’s essential for your project. We won’t leave you in the dark about product and project updates  – we’ll be transparent, professional and importantly, honest.

Our vast industry knowledge and experience have equipped us with the expertise to deal with even the most complex queries efficiently and proactively. We know what works, and we know what doesn’t work. We can advise at every stage and provide our expert services where needed.

If you need product updates – give us a call. If you have an enquiry – get in touch. If you need to make amends to a project – we can help. Nothing is ever too much, and we’ll always do our utmost to add value to every project.

Aluminium specialists

Aluminium Specialists and Established Manufacturers

With high-end products and aluminium innovation, FrameX has a firm position in the fenestration industry, and we take pride in partnering with builders, architects, and housing developers.

We’re an established manufacturer and trade supplier of aluminium and uPVC windows, doors, roofs, and commercial glazing. Aluminium is at our core alongside quality, expertise and expansion.

Our recent investment of £350,000 has enabled us to fund some of the best equipment in the industry and upgrade to a 15,000 sq ft manufacturing facility. This has allowed us to upgrade our offerings, meet your expectations and speed up lead times (2-3 weeks on some of our products).

Although we’ve only recently invested, we continue to seek additional innovations, and we’re always wanting to improve our offerings so you can wow and delight your clients in the process. Any new innovations we launch or work on will be featured in our newsletter – so don’t forget to subscribe today.

Same Day Quotation and Trade Prices

We know that outlining fees and budgets for your clients can be an enduring challenge, but with our free, same-day quotation, you’ll be able to be transparent with clients, weigh up your options and set realistic estimates.

Outlining budgets is a professional imperative, and we’ll always aim to provide an accurate quote on the information you provide. Transparent fee schedules will ensure you can communicate to clients effectively and deliver precise results.

We’ll ask you to outline what products you’re interested in, the project description, drawings, or schedules you have and some basic contact information. Of course, budgets can change, projects can alter – so, this will be a quick quote to get you on track.

There are no hidden fees, and we’ll always aim to provide competitive trade prices. If you’re in the trade, are a builder, architect or property developer, we can help you meet project deadlines efficiently, stay within budget, and exceed expectations.

aluminium bi-fold doors

Free Delivery (Within 100 Miles)

Free delivery isn’t a bonus – it’s a no-brainer for us. We know the importance of fast, reliable, and secure delivery.

From the moment an order is placed, we’ll keep you updated at every stage. We know how crucial it is to keep clients updated, so we’ll ensure the process is as streamlined as possible for you.

Before transit, we also have a rigorous quality check process. This ensures products are high-quality, meet specifications, and are packaged safely and effectively. Nothing will leave our warehouse before it’s had our expert approval first. 

Industry Updates

Knowing the ins and outs of the industry is important. Especially if it’ll affect the service and offerings you provide. But how do you sift through the information and find what’s relevant? With the help of our FrameX resources!

We’ve become a force within the fenestration industry, and our expert team is always looking for industry-relevant information to share. Whether that’s aluminium prices (12% increase in aluminium due from the 1st of May) or other industry-related news, we’ll keep you in the know.

We provide industry updates via our newsletter, on our social media channels and right here on the News page on our website. Don’t ever miss a thing, and make sure you’re subscribed. 

Want to Experience Quality Products and Service for Yourself? Come and Visit Us Today!

If you want to experience high-quality products and service for yourself, come down to our showroom, and a member of our sales or technical team will be on hand to offer a coffee, advice, and answer any questions you have. We can’t wait to meet you!

In the meantime, if you’re keen to keep up-to-date with industry insights and get access to exclusive FrameX news, sign up for our newsletter below. 

Aluminium Performance: Your Most Common Questions Answered

Aluminium is a popular material choice for a variety of commercial installations, and we know why – it’s innovative, robust, and high-performance. Although aluminium is a popular choice, questions are still asked regarding the performance of the material.

Making informed choices about materials is crucial – if you put a foot wrong, you could endure costly mistakes and upset your clients.

To see if aluminium is suitable for your project demands, and to get your queries resolved, take a look at some of the frequently asked questions we’ve compiled below.

We’ll answer:

Do I Need to Cater For Longer Lead Times for Aluminium Bi-fold Doors?

Once you’ve received a quote, we offer a 3 week + lead time. Although the demand for aluminium has reached an all-time high, we’ll be sure to keep you updated at every stage of manufacture to ensure you can manage client expectations effectively.


However, it’s essential to take into account additional time for amends, customisations, and other contributing factors that could extend the lead time. If we think your lead time might take longer, we’ll inform you and set efficient timelines to meet your expectations.

We have an expert and innovative manufacturing process that delivers exceptional results. Our lead times allow us to help you meet project deadlines efficiently, stay within budget, and exceed expectations. We’re always honest, transparent, and friendly.

What Are the Benefits of Aluminium?

We’ve recently conducted a fair comparison of three popular materials – aluminium, timber, and uPVC. In our comparison post, we outlined the pros and cons of aluminium, whilst also presenting the best material choice for aluminium bi-fold doors. So, if you want to find out more, make sure you give it a read.

However, it’s important to note that the benefits of aluminium are enhanced when manufactured correctly and expertly. If you compromise on choosing an aluminium specialist, you won’t receive the best value for money and may even risk the performance of your product.

If expertly manufactured, you’ll experience the following benefits and more:

  • Optimal security guaranteed: aluminium offers incredible levels of strength, offering high levels of safety and security from burglaries.
  • Robust: aluminium is known for its robust qualities, allowing it to stand the test of time in all weather.
  • Long-term investment: Aluminium requires less maintenance and repairs, and it could potentially increase the value of a property. 
  • Environmentally friendly: aluminium is 100% recyclable and, depending on the recycling process, it can retain all of its original properties. 
  • Precision-engineered: aluminium achieves its strength from its chemical composition during manufacturing. Once manufactured, it can cater to complex layouts.
  • Thermally efficient: aluminium bi-fold doors are thermally efficient profiles. They resist the elements, are incredibly waterproof and won’t warp, decay or rot over time. 
  • Diverse customisations available: the possibilities are endless! Whether you want different colours, handles, thresholds and more – you can customise aluminium products.

How Secure Are Aluminium Doors?

Aluminium is robust and designed for long-term results. Its sturdy structure ensures that it can withstand all weather conditions whilst also remaining strong in the event of a burglary or break-in.

Out of all materials (timber and uPVC), aluminium is the most popular choice for optimal levels of security. Aluminium creates a resistant physical barrier between the inside and the outside world. 

Aluminium frames won’t crack (like some cheap uPVC windows), and they can’t be sliced or cut through, unlike wooden frames. Even the most forceful attack would struggle to get through aluminium, especially with the addition of vigorous locks and fastenings.

Again, this is all determined by the manufacturer and supplier you choose. Choosing a high-quality and reliable supplier will ensure you receive the best levels of protection for your aluminium products.

Is Aluminium Thermally Efficient?

Aluminium is the most thermally efficient profile out of all materials. However, this is only present in modern aluminium frames. 

Modern aluminium products resist the elements, provide waterproof protection, and continue to provide thermal efficiency for years to come without warping, decaying, and rotting.

All of the FrameX aluminium products have thermal break technology. This provides a barrier between the inside and outside frame and keeps the heat locked in whilst also stopping condensation from forming. U-Values as low as 1.19 W/m2K when calculated as a CEN Standard door

When looking at aluminium products, keep this in mind to ensure you’re investing wisely and receiving the most thermally efficient products.

Is Aluminium Sustainable?

If your clients are on the hunt for sustainable and recyclable materials – aluminium is a perfect choice. Aluminium is the third most raw material on planet earth, and it’s extracted from the ground without any environmental impact. 

Aluminium is 100% recyclable, and at FrameX, we recycle all of the manufacturing offcuts too. As well as aluminium, we’re also working hard to improve the other areas of our business so we can work towards being a more sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturer. We’re known for our industry-leading innovation, both for the exceptional products we create and our expert sustainability.

Can Aluminium Be Customised? – Colour, Size etc.

Of course! However, there are limitations depending on the supplier and manufacturer you choose. At FrameX, we aim to meet your unique requirements and help you achieve a bespoke solution every single time.

As an example, with our aluminium bi-fold doors – the possibilities are endless. They are available in a range of colours, finishes, configurations, sizes, and they can suit a range of threshold options. Our bi-fold threshold options are – standard 83mm inc cill and low 50mm inc cill both weather rated. 

The maximum width leaf sizes for aluminium bi-fold doors go up to 1300mm wide using our tried and tested heavy duty gearing which can carry up to 125kg. All of our aluminium bi-fold doors are adjustable too and have adjustable hinge packers system as standard. 

The team at FrameX can provide expert advice when it comes to deciding on the perfect customisations and configurations for your project and client needs. We know what works and what doesn’t and we want to ensure you’re receiving quality products, quality service and quality results.

How Long Will Aluminium Bi-fold Doors Last?

When manufactured to perfection by our FrameX team, our aluminium bi-fold doors have a life expectancy of 40+ years. All of our products will exceed current building regulations and meet future changes.

If your clients are looking for products that are investment pieces whilst also withstanding the test of time – aluminium is the choice. 

Have More Questions? Get in Touch!

Could you not find your answer here? Do you need some other questions answered? Don’t worry – get in touch with us, and one of our expert team will be delighted to help you. We’re here to help and look forward to connecting with you soon.

How to Find a Specialist Aluminium Bi-fold Door Supplier for Your Project

No matter what commercial project you’re working on – choosing the correct supplier is essential. Making an informed choice will ensure things run smoothly, deadlines are met, and budgets are adhered to. 

Choosing the wrong supplier will be detrimental to the progress and completion of a project. It’ll slow things down, the quality will be lacklustre, and you’ll be compromising on the results you can achieve – upsetting and you may end up turning away clients in the long run.

Even if suppliers and manufacturers put in a tender and pitch for a job, it’s vital to be aware of the credentials you should be looking for. In this quick and handy guide, we’ve listed some of the considerations you need to make to help you identify any red flags and find the perfect aluminium bi-fold door supplier for your project.

We’ll explore the following considerations:

Research Expertise and Experience

When searching for an aluminium bi-fold door supplier, you should be researching their expertise and experience. 

Don’t be afraid to ask suppliers about their previous clients or ask to speak to previous businesses or architects who have worked with them. This is a great way to get an honest account of what the partnership was really like. References make all the difference when it comes to choosing a supplier. 

Also, don’t forget to look at their supplier’s thought leadership presence online. Consider looking at social media, website content, PR and industry reviews. It all contributes to a brand image. You could even explore their previous case studies for more insight too.

The chosen supplier you opt for will reflect on the services you provide. If you choose an inconsistent supplier who lacks expertise, knowledge and experience, this will reflect negatively on you – not the supplier.

Investigate Product Specifications and Quality

Quality is a priority, and it’s likely to be at the top of your list when advising and selling to clients. So, your supplier needs to be able to meet your expectations.

Remember, you don’t always get what you pay for. The price of something does not determine the quality. You need to ensure there’s a pre-agreed level of quality that you can rely on to ensure you can delight clients and provide great results.

The last thing you want and should be doing is marketing your products and specifications as high-end solutions when your supplier provides you with something different and low-quality. 

Quality refers to the physical product, the service you receive, the product specifications and more. Before signing any contracts, ensure you’re aware of all the offerings your supplier provides.

As an example, ask questions such as – are the products packaged adequately during transit? Can there be customisations made? What is the manufacturing process? And are items labelled accurately? As well as many more.

Ask About Trade Prices

This is probably the most obvious point out of all those listed here. However, it’s just as important as the rest. When choosing suppliers, you need to consider the cost. Cheap suppliers aren’t always the best value for money, and they may cause drawbacks further down the line with your project.

It’s essential to strike a balance between cost, reliability, quality and service. It’s important to shop around and see which supplier can offer you the perfect deal for what you need. Some suppliers may offer exclusive discounts, and you may also receive a lower price for bulk buying items of high quality.

Consider all the options you have, do your research and weigh up the pros and cons of each to avoid being disappointed.

Understand The Customer Service and Communication Process

Communication is key. Between you and your clients, and between you and your supplier. Your clients will likely want to know project updates, and they will pester you until you provide further information. Having a reliable supplier will ensure you can meet client expectations with timely updates, whilst also streamlining the rest of your project.

Your supplier should communicate honestly, and regularly, and give updates on delivery, customisations, feedback, and briefing. If a delivery is going to be late, you need plenty of warning, and if things are arriving on time, you can inform clients either way.

Communication and excellent customer service between you and your supplier are important for a good working relationship. It will also set the tone for the relationships you have with your own clients.

bi folding aluminium doors

Consider Location

Do you operate with local suppliers? Have you built your clientele upon the expertise in your area? 

Well, location is a big factor to consider too. Choosing a local supplier does have its advantages. Communication can be easier, deadlines are more likely to be met, product shipments won’t be delayed, lead times will be shorter, and they’ll be clued up on business rules and regulations.

If you can source local suppliers, it’s a no-brainer. You don’t want your supplier to complicate your project and create any additional costs. You need the process to be streamlined, professional, and reliable.

Check Lead Times

Settling realistic and reliable expectations is important – not only to aid the rest of your project but to inform your clients too. Flexible suppliers who work efficiently and quickly will ensure you can respond swiftly to clients and provide great results.

In some cases, you may need to meet changing customer demands and suggest edits and amends. Having a supplier that can aid that journey and still deliver exceptional outcomes is key.

Looking for suppliers that offer quick lead times without compromising on quality is fundamental. This will ensure you deliver excellent results, meet project deadlines, serve your clients efficiently and get value for money.

If you don’t check lead time expectations, you’ll delay your project, provide poor customer service and limit your offerings for future developments.

Visit Showrooms

The best way to gauge an understanding of your supplier is by attending their showrooms. You’ll be able to submerge yourself in their products, ask all the questions you have, and see samples in person. No waiting around for samples to arrive, see them there and then.

At FrameX, we welcome trade and commercial customers to our showroom to browse and ask questions. Based in the heart of Rossendale, Lancashire, come along and see our expert quality products and experience our excellent service.

Get Your Questions Answered and Gain Valuable Industry Insights Here

Choosing a reputable supplier isn’t an easy decision to make. However, we hope with the help of our recommendations, you’ll find the perfect supplier for your project and continue to delight clients.

If you have any questions in the meantime or you’d like to speak to a member of our expert team further – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re aluminium specialists that help builders, architects, and property developers reframe their projects with excellent service, expertise, and exceptional results.

To keep up to date with industry insights, FrameX company updates, and exclusive offers – sign-up for our newsletter below.

Aluminium Bi-Folds: The 7 Performance Features To Know

Performance and quality are likely a priority for you when choosing products, alongside other quality indicators. If you’ve used aluminium bi-folds for your projects before, or you’ve worked with an installer who’s in the know, you’re probably already aware of some of the baseline performance features. 

It’s great to know the basics. But when your clients request more information beyond that, how will you relay that information back? With our article, of course. 

We’ve compiled all of the performance features you and your clients should know in this post for Ali FOLD and PURe® doors. The hidden gems, the high-tech capabilities, and the juicy extras to help you impress all clients and re-frame projects.

We’ll cover:

Ali FOLD and PURe® doors Configurations and Styles

Ali FOLD Bi-Fold Door

The Ali FOLD Bi-Folds are high-performance, cutting edge, and stylish aluminium doors. They’re customisable to suit a range of demands and available in nearly an unlimited range of colours to suit a variety of projects. They are also fully compatible with Senior windows and curtain walling.

bi folding aluminium doors

Available Configurations:

  • Ali FOLD Single Door (open out or open in)
  • Ali FOLD Double Door (open out or open in)
  • Ali FOLD Folding Sliding Door (open out or open in)
  • Low Threshold Non Rebate (open out or open in)
  • Floating Mullion option available
  • Heavy Duty option available

*Please see manuals for a full range of configurations.

PURe® Bi-Fold Door

The PURe® Bi-Fold Door range will exceed all expectations. It’s innovative, revolutionary and designed for maximum performance and style. They come in a range of configurations and sizes and are pre-finished in an almost unlimited range of colours and finishes both inside and out. They complement the PURe® window range perfectly, and they are fully compatible with Senior windows and curtain walling.

aluminium bi folding doors

  • PURe® FOLD Single Swing Door (open out or open in)
  • PURe® FOLD Double Swing Door (open out or open in)
  • PURe® FOLD Folding Sliding Door (open out or open in)

*Please see manuals for a full range of configurations.

The 7 Performance Features To Know

Triple glazed

Although this component isn’t aluminium focused, it’s still one to note down. Both Ali FOLD and PURe® doors can be manufactured with a double or triple glazed finish. The triple-glazed finish has an impressive thickness of 50mmm – enhancing thermal and acoustic insulation levels. Both glazing options differ in price, so check with your manufacturer for more details.

Long Service Value

Service value is without a doubt one of the most important performance indicators. After all, you need to know and understand how long your bi-fold doors will last and provide optimal performance.

With Ali FOLD and PURe® doors, there’s no need to worry. Long after installation, both door suites have a life expectancy in excess of 40 years. This is impressive, especially for those looking for robust, durable and sleek bi-fold door options. You need to inform your clients that aluminium bi-fold doors are a long-term investment.

Polyamide Thermal Barrier

Although both bi-fold door ranges offer incredible levels of thermal efficiency, PURe® doors deliver exceptionally high levels. PURe® utilise an integrated thermal break manufactured from expanded polyurethane (PUR) which allows ultra-low U values to be obtained.

PURe® offers incredible performance, but in simple terms – this technology creates a protective layer that prevents any potential conductive heat loss. It keeps the inside insulated and warm – even during the colder months. These doors will enhance energy-efficient standards you may have created whilst maintaining the sleek aesthetic.

Narrow Sightlines

Narrow sightlines are present on both bi-fold suites – this complements other window ranges, offering a sleek and polished aesthetic. In simple terms, to explain to your clients, narrow sightlines offer larger glass units – reducing vertical dividing sections and creating an uninterrupted view of the outdoors. More light indoors and a neater outdoor finish.

High-Performance Gaskets

Another performance indicator of PURe® Bi-fold doors that can obtain and improve heat insulation capabilities is high-performance gaskets as standard. The gaskets create a seal along the door frame and reduce the infiltration of sound, light, drafts, moisture, fire and smoke. This is essential when the bi-fold door panels are folded against each other and for increased safety and energy-efficient standards.

Although the gaskets are visible along the door perimeters, they are slightly unnoticeable to ensure a stylish and sleek aesthetic is always maintained. 

Low-U Values 

Both aluminium bi-fold ranges surpass energy levels and expectations and offer incredible U-Values as low as 1.19 W/m2K when calculated as a CEN Standard door. 

However, quality installation is important, and without it, you may compromise on the final U-Value achieved. On the other hand, if fitted correctly, these doors will meet energy-efficient standards. 

Robust Aluminium 

Aluminium, out of all materials, has the highest performance value. It’s low maintenance, durable, scratch-resistant, flexible, and weather resistant. Both bi-fold door ranges offer unparalleled aluminium benefits.

Come and See the Performance Features in Action!

Do you want to see some of these performance features in action? Why don’t you come down to our showroom and explore more? We’d be delighted to meet you. Give us a call to find out more.

In the meantime, if you have questions about bi-fold doors and the available configurations, you might find some answers in our previous blog article.

Which Material Is Best for Bi-Fold Doors: Aluminium, uPVC or Timber?

Stylish finish, panoramic views and versatility are a few of the benefits of bi-fold doors. They’re a popular choice for many projects because they’re customisable and durable, bringing a space to life. However, this is only possible with the correct material.

Choosing the perfect material for bi-fold doors is essential and if you don’t choose correctly, you’ll compromise on quality, aesthetics and, in the long run, frustrate your clients. All materials have benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to know each one so you can make informed decisions for your next project. 

How do you choose the perfect material? What are the pros and cons of each one? Don’t worry, we’ve put a handy guide together with all the information you need.

We’ll cover:

uPVC: Pros and Cons

Easy to clean and lower maintenance than timber, uPVC offers a variety of benefits. However, it equally has just as many drawbacks. Although plastic may be easy to maintain, it does look like a budget alternative, especially when manufactured into bi-folds.

Your clients want the very best, and so do you, so you can’t compromise on quality no matter the size of the build. It’s not a particularly robust material either. The structural appearance and performance of uPVC bi-folds can be flimsy. This isn’t ideal when structural stability and reliability are essential. But let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of uPVC in more detail.

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing: uPVC has a low upfront cost, so it’s easier to stay within the budget for the short term. 
  • Smaller properties: if panoramic views aren’t a necessity, uPVC is perfect for smaller builds.
  • Thermally efficient: some uPVC bi-fold doors can be more thermally efficient than other materials, but this differs between manufacturers and suppliers.

Cons:

  • Replacements required: although the initial upfront cost is cheaper, uPVC isn’t advised for the long-term. This material will need replacing more frequently, which could hike up the long-term costs.
  • No panoramic views: if you’re wanting panoramic views, uPVC bi-fold doors won’t achieve this. They have a smaller surface area due to their wide sightlines.
  • Loss of structural integrity: uPVC frames are more likely to warp affecting the aesthetic look and feel. This will also impact the thermal efficiency and performance of the bi-fold door.
  • Regular maintenance needed: although some uPVC doors come with a 10-year warranty, they can often look worn after only a few years and will require more upkeep than aluminium frames.
  • Sunlight exposure: uPVC can degrade when exposed to extreme sunlight. Although this isn’t always a concern in the UK, it’s worth bearing in mind. Anything that can affect the quality and longevity of a product is essential to know before purchase.

Different coloured uPVC frames, such as grey and black, are becoming more popular, as they have the appearance of aluminium. However, even in the UK sunlight, these can fade quickly, making them look outdated and worn.

  • Lack of flexibility: uPVC is less flexible in comparison to aluminium bi-folds. This will affect the overall performance of the bi-fold door and will cause limitations in the long term.

Limited customisations: uPVC bi-folds can be the least popular of the three materials because they are available in fewer colours and are typically bulkier in appearance.

Timber: Pros and Cons

Wooden bi-fold doors are the more classic option among the three. They work well for traditional builds. Although there are definitely some positives, the cons outweigh the pros. Wooden bi-fold doors are created with dated manufacturing methods and therefore come with limitations. 

Regular tedious maintenance is required, and timber is more likely to rot, warp, and bow. Whereas modern bi-fold doors can resist these problems if they’re correctly looked after and maintained. To put things into perspective, we’ve listed the main pros and cons below.

Pros:

  • Classic appearance: wooden or timber bi-fold doors are the most classic of all three materials. They offer a versatile appearance – whether they’re finished with a dark stain naturally highlighting the grain of the wood or painted a feature colour.
  • Natural insulator: timber is a great natural insulator whilst also being relatively strong and durable.

Cons:

  • High maintenance: timber will require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance is guaranteed both aesthetically and operationally. Regular checks every six months are recommended to ensure you notice any deterioration before it becomes a long-term problem. If not maintained, the finish can result in problems such as bowing and splitting.
  • Water leaks: although wood is tough, it is more susceptible to water leaks and contaminants. Over time, this will cause long-term defects – including exterior and interior damage. Again, this will contribute to increased maintenance costs.
  • Loss of structural integrity: timber frames absorb water compared to other modern materials – causing rotting and warping over time. Wood can also become infected with fungus and wood beetles requiring professional treatment – another costly consideration.
  • Higher price point: timber is one of the most expensive frame options you can choose. Although other modern frames are worth the investment and higher, it’s clear that timber has multiple drawbacks.

Aluminium: Pros and Cons

Aluminium bi-fold doors are precision-engineered, and they are designed to stand the test of time. They have slimmer frames and sightlines compared to other dated materials giving a sleek and modern aesthetic. 

Out of all materials, aluminium is the most robust, making it the perfect choice for a bi-fold door – optimal security, performance, and durability. Although aluminium does have some minor drawbacks, the positives will always outweigh the negatives, especially when it comes to longevity and performance. We’ve listed the fantastic benefits below and highlighted some of the negatives too.

aluminium windows

Pros:

  • Optimal security guaranteed: security is essential for any property and offering your clients optimal security is essential. Aluminium bi-fold doors will provide just that and more. This material offers incredible levels of strength, so it’s perfect for bi-folds, offering optimal levels of safety and security from burglaries.
  • Robust: aluminium is known for its robust qualities, allowing it to stand the test of time in all weather. While it’s sleek and modern in aesthetic, style never ever compromises over performance with aluminium bi-fold doors.
  • Long-term investment: although the initial cost of aluminium bi-fold doors is more than uPVC, aluminium is a cheaper long-term investment. Aluminium requires less maintenance and repairs, and it could potentially increase the value of a property. We must add – aluminium bi-folds are guaranteed to last up to 40 years!
  • Environmentally friendly: aluminium is 100% recyclable and, depending on the recycling process, it can retain all of its original properties. So if sustainability is a priority for your client, you can provide aluminium bi-folds as the perfect option or replacement.
  • Precision-engineered: aluminium achieves its strength from its chemical composition during manufacturing. Once manufactured, it can cater to complex layouts, offer exceptional levels of security, sustain aesthetic and operational performance and more.
  • Thermally efficient: aluminium bi-fold doors are thermally efficient profiles. They resist the elements, they are incredibly waterproof and won’t warp, decay or rot over time. They will keep the inside insulated without wear and tear. Aluminium bi-folds are fitted with thermal breaks -lowering the U-value and increasing overall thermal efficiency levels. Because aluminium is so robust, aluminium frames can be fitted with triple-glazing for added warmth.
  • Diverse customisations available: the possibilities are endless! Whether you want different colours, handles, thresholds and more – you can customise aluminium bi-folds with all of the added touches. After all, the small details can make a big difference. 
  • Low maintenance: aluminium bi-fold doors are designed to last, so minimal maintenance is required. They may only need occasional cleaning with light soapy water – make sure to check with your manufacturer for more details. 

Cons:

  • Higher price point: aluminium bi-fold doors have a higher up-front cost compared to other materials. However, there are good reasons for this, as listed above. Price points and budgets are important – so it’s worth noting this down when weighing up the positives and benefits of each material and comparing this to the budget available.

Our Verdict

In conclusion, the choice of bi-fold door your client chooses will be informed by their taste, needs, and priorities. It’s clear that aluminium bi-fold doors offer incredible levels of thermal efficiency, security and durability, whilst not compromising on aesthetics. They’re a clear winner in this comparison.

It’s important to consider both the pros and cons of all materials and compare these against budget, energy-efficient standards – and more. Some materials perform better in certain locations and settings, but if manufactured correctly and accurately, aluminium will present the most impressive long-term performance.

At FrameX, we’re aluminium specialists with quality, functionality and leading innovation at our core. If you’re in the trade, are a builder, architect or property developer, we can help you meet project deadlines efficiently, stay within budget, and exceed expectations.

Now you know the pros and cons of three different materials, you might be left with a few questions. Fear not, we’ve got an expert team always on hand to help answer queries you have. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

In the meantime, a few of your bi-fold door queries may be here, so make sure to check out our previous articles for more information and industry insight and expertise.

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