Performance values are often displayed on the label of aluminium bifolds and folding doors. These provide a clear picture of what the product does, but most people don’t realize the true meaning. It’s therefore hard to compare one system to the next.
Homeowners generally have a hard time grasping concepts such as air tightness, U Value, and water tightness among other common industry measurements. Many industry professionals don’t have a clear understanding. That’s why it’s so important to find an experienced contractor.
A Company Decision
Specifications, price, and quality are decided upon by door companies. Among the most important aspects are size and weight parameters. The ideal capacities of any given system are determined during research and development. Glass has weight and large systems must account for the heaviness and need for quality rollers, hinges, and guides.
- For example, PVCu doors can be up to 2.4 meters high, with 1 meter panels. They are generally not suitable for large glass surface areas. The use of darker materials restricts size even more due to heat expansion which can cause operational issues.
- On the other hand, aluminium has the ideal strength to size ratio for bifold doors. It also allows for slimmer frames compared to PVCu or wood.
What to Look For
When shopping for doors, there are several key parameters to look for. Each manufacturer should clearly label these for the brand and product. You need to look at the maximum width per panel, maximum height per panel, and the most weight each panel can tolerate. Engineers can help make the final decision. In many cases, you’ll be able to see right away the differences in hardware and performance.
Once you know the total weight, you can choose rollers, hinges, and other hardware which can hold up during a lifetime of use. Some doors have to withstand up to 120 kgs of glass. Performance and longevity depend on having materials able to support the weight.