Quality is everything when it comes to high-performance bi-fold doors. But how can you recognise what you’re buying is top of line and will keep your clients happy? Luckily for you, we’ve created this handy guide to help you decipher between the good, the bad, and the downright ugly when it comes to purchasing bi-fold doors.
We’ll take a look at:
- Why quality matters when it comes to bi-fold doors
- How to spot the difference between high quality and low quality products
- 7 ways to recognise a high-performance bi-fold door
Why quality matters when it comes to bi-fold doors
Your clients want the very best – and you want the very best for them too. Whether it’s an extravagant extension or bespoke new build, your detailed designs need to be complemented by high quality fixtures and fittings – and certain types of windows and doors just won’t cut the mustard.
Bi-fold doors often replace huge parts of a structure – and for good reason too. This allows light to flood into a room, as well as creating a seamless journey between the outside and inside. Our clients’ homes are so important to them and we want to create an environment where they get to enjoy both the indoors and outdoors, without sacrificing on space or quality.
So why does quality matter so much when it comes to bi-fold doors? And how can you convince a client to take more notice? Sometimes it comes down to the fear factor. Poor quality bi-folds can affect the structural integrity of your building, leading all that hard work and design time to go down the drain. This means more expense in the long-run for your clients – and potentially damage to your own reputation.
From a performance perspective, poor quality bi-folds can potentially allow rainwater and draughts into a building, ruining any energy efficient standards you may have created, as well as truly scuppering the aesthetic. Lower energy efficiency means higher fuel bills for your clients too.
Security is another big factor when it comes to deciding on the right bi-fold. Poor performing doors can potentially be a security risk, with shoddy hardware and flimsy locks – and thieves finding it easier to break in.
How to spot the difference between high quality and low quality products
So now we’ve taken you through why high-performance bi-folds matter, let’s investigate how to spot the difference between high quality and low quality products.
Low quality bi-fold doors will normally:
- Be difficult to operate and open. Mechanisms might be stiff, or even too slack, causing functionality to be compromised
- Be made from scrap aluminium, rather than full, high-grade aluminium billets. Scrap aluminium may be mixed with other materials to make it more substantial, which doesn’t always look as smooth when powder-coated
- Only meet the set industry standards and won’t be future-proofed
- Have poor quality hardware, such as handles, hinges, and mechanisms, causing them to fail and become a security risk
- Not have a guarantee.
When dealing with high quality, high-performance doors, you’ll find:
- They can keep their shape and will be smooth in both appearance and touch because of the high-grade billets used
- They’re durable and long lasting because of a high quality powder-coated finish
- You have a choice of thresholds, instead of standard building regulation ones
- Sightlines are narrow to ensure all that light can shine through – without compromising on sturdiness and robustness
- They come with at least a 10 year guarantee
- They’re tested past PAS 24 and have additional security components.
7 ways to recognise a high-performance bi-fold door
Now you’re equipped with the dos and don’ts of bi-fold doors, let’s list the ways to recognise a high-performance bi-fold door and how this can benefit your clients.
- Brand reputation
First up is brand reputation. No, this isn’t a component of the actual bi-fold itself, but it’s certainly something you should keep in mind when choosing a manufacturer to purchase from.
Take a look at reviews online and on social media to see what other companies think and the experience of dealing with them. This is a great way to get a feel for lead times and efficiency as well. You’ll also see a lot of reviewers commenting on the quality and finish of the products as well.
- Component quality
We touched briefly on this before, but it’s not just the performance of the door you should be examining, but also the components and hardware. Handles should be well designed, but the design should not sacrifice on the quality of the functionality. They should be strong and durable – and you should feel confident in using them and that your clients won’t be able to break them easily.
Hinges, gears, gaskets, and locking mechanisms should be tested extensively to ensure they meet, and then exceed, industry standards.
- Threshold variations
Being limited by threshold height means that your chosen bi-folds won’t be weatherproof for your clients. Your manufacturer should be able to offer you a choice of threshold types, both weathered and unweathered, to ensure you can make the right decision. And be careful – even some thresholds that may be sold as weatherproof can still allow water to come in.
- Lead times
Again, not related to the actual performance of your chosen bi-fold door, but you should feel confident that the manufacturer you’re working with will be able to offer competitive lead times, whilst still delivering on quality and performance. Extremely long lead times can be frustrating and put a project back, affecting other components of the development.
A high performing bi-fold door will come with a high level of specifications. This includes elements such as long life expectancy, narrow sightlines, low weather rated threshold, tested to the correct standards (and exceeding these standards), finished to the highest quality, and have high thermal values and barriers. You can read more about bi-fold doors specifications, options, and performance here.
- Safety and security
This is paramount when looking at a high-performance bi-fold door. Your clients deserve a decent level of security – and this can only be achieved through durable and correctly installed bi-fold doors. They should have multi lock systems and other robust components, such as secure hinges and handles.
We want to make sure your clients are kept warm and comfortable – and only a high-performance bi-fold door, with superb thermal efficiency, will allow that. Thermal efficiency of bi-fold doors is measured in U-values and the lower the U-value, the better.
If you need high-performance aluminium bi-fold doors for your next project, speak to the experts at FrameX today. We offer same day quotations, as well as competitive lead times, and are more than happy to discuss any size of project. If you have any questions about bi-fold doors, see if we can answer them via our latest blog article.