Shopping for the ultimate folding door system can be a little stressful, to say the least. While it’s certainly exciting to be able to make such a drastic improvement to your home decor and design with a simple accordion door, these large doors cost a pretty penny so you’ll want to make sure you make the right choice before you place your final order
Even if you’ve already selected the brand that you want to work with, you may still have some doubts in your mind about which material you should choose for your door frame and jambs. Aluminum is probably the most popular material on the market thanks to its high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s both lightweight and strong, making it an excellent alternative to stainless steel or solid wood bi-fold doors.
4 Tips For Choosing The Right Aluminum Bi-Fold Door System
However, there are several choices you’ll have when it comes to selecting the type of aluminum door that you want to use in the individual panels. From thermally-broken aluminum to structurally-reinforced aluminum, the choices you make will depend a lot on your personal design preference, energy efficiency goals, and local climate.
#1 Think About Your Personal Style
One of the top reasons why people choose bi-fold doors over sliding doors or swing doors is because of the unique style. For the style and design-conscious shoppers, aluminum is an excellent door frame option in terms of its stylistic versatility. Most manufacturers allow you to choose from a wide range of custom colors that come with a high-quality factory powder coat designed to last for years.
While you may prefer to go with a more conservative look such as brushed metal, black, or white, the ability to choose from hundreds of different colors certainly gives you more flexibility. You’ll also usually be able to custom-color the folding door’s hardware as well. Items like door jambs, shoot bolts, door handles, and more can be custom coated with a standard satin nickel finish or bronze, gold, or white finishes as well.
#2 What’s The Local Weather Like?
The local weather and climate will likely play a large role in the type of aluminum bi-fold door system that you end up choosing. If you live in an area that has moderate, pleasant weather year-round, then you’ll probably be just fine with one of the more standard aluminum options.
On the other hand, if you live in an area of the country that experiences extreme temperature lows or highs (such as an elevated mountain town or a desert city in the midwest), then you’ll want to select a door option that utilizes thermally-broken aluminum. This special process involves layering a synthetic polymer coating inside of the door stiles. When combined with low-e glass technology and glazing, they’ll help keep the outside air out and allow you to keep your living area stable.
If you live in a coastal area that’s prone to storms, hurricanes, and strong winds, then you’ll likely want to consider paying for a folding door system designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. These usually feature structurally-reinforced aluminum that’s layered with extra supports and fiberglass to increase durability and allow the doors to stand up to strong conditions.
#3 Are You Looking For Low-Profile?
As you’ve probably already noticed, each manufacturer has their own interpretation of how aluminum folding doors should look. While some go for a more classic look featuring thick multi-point door panels (most often seen in large patio doors), others go for a more low-profile door frame design (most often used as interior doors or office room dividers).
Generally speaking, the lower the profile of the door frame, the less resistance it will have in terms of strong winds/storms. Interior folding door systems can actually be designed without a frame since they’re not required to adhere to the same energy efficiency codes as exterior doors.
#4 Are The Door Panels For Large Openings?
There are few things that are more impressive than a large 12-foot-tall folding door system as you walk into somebody’s home or office space. While impressive, these larger door panels often need to be custom designed with heavy-duty hardware and reinforced-aluminum to prevent structural warping.
Most of the leading manufacturers are able to cater to this aesthetic, but you should definitely double-check to ensure that the company you’ve been shopping with does offer large opening doors.
Why Aluminum For Bi-Fold Doors?
Still have some doubts about whether or not aluminum doors are right for you? What about PVC, solid wood doors, or stainless steel doors?
While they’re all good options and have their own perspective benefits and drawbacks, there’s a reason why aluminum is the industry standard and the most commonly used material- its incredibly diverse range of applications.
Here are some of the top reasons why our past customers have chosen aluminum bi-folds over other popular building materials.
- Aluminum Door Panels Are Very Strong
- Thermally-Broken Aluminum Is Energy-Efficient
- You Can Choose Custom Colors With Aluminum Accordion Doors
- Aluminum Doors Are Low-Maintenance
- You Can Choose Between Multiple Configurations
None of this is to tell you that aluminum is better than other door materials, but depending on the particular situation that you’re using these doors for, aluminum may very well be your best option. It features an elegant, futuristic appearance while still providing trustworthy structural support and protection from the outside elements.