The Differences between French, Bi-fold and Patio Doors

Whether you’re an estate agent, consumer or property professional, we all have the same goal when selling a house — to sell it quickly and to maximise its value. Knowledge is power — so the more you know about what features to add to a home and why the better position you’ll be in to make a successful sale.

When a property goes on the market, the little things can make a big difference, so it’s important to make smart choices. From the layout of your home and original features to the wall colours and interior furnishings —all these features work together to provide an overall first impression.

One way to add buyer appeal is to make the space light and airy as this makes rooms feel bigger and the property more attractive. You could do this by extending your living room space out into the garden, patio or backyard. Not only can this bring in a ton of natural daylight, but it can also be a great social addition to the home when you’re entertaining.

You don’t have to turn to the traditional conservatory to do this. Instead, why not add the perfect door to transition the two areas seamlessly? You can do this using a variety of door types, but the most common options are french doors, bi-fold doors and patio doors.

So, what’s the difference between the three choices, and which one is best? Let’s take a look.

What Are French Doors?

French doors are the perfect addition to a period style home, as they provide an elegant and accessible opening to your outdoor space. French doors fit well with contemporary homes too, as there are plenty of colours and materials to choose from.  

This style has two doors that fully open. French doors typically bring in less light than bi-fold and patio doors, but you can open them up for maximum sunlight and fresh air. Having two doors leaves you with the option of keeping one closed during the cooler months to prevent heat from escaping too quickly.

Most French doors also have double glazing features and include a dual draught-proofing system, so you can keep your living space warm throughout the year.

What Are Bi-fold Doors?

Bi-fold doors also known as folding doors — offer a stylish and modern touch to the home. They usually run on tracks that lie flush with the floor, which gives a smooth and fresh appearance.

Bi-fold doors can span up to six metres in length — allowing an entire wall to open out into the garden. As a result, they can consist of up to six glass door panels, which lets more sunlight flood into the home than any other door type. The current trend is to have frameless glass doors, to invite in even more sunshine.


What Are Patio Doors?

Patio doors also known as sliding doors — are a mixture of both French and bi-fold doors. They consist of two full-length panels of glass, but they slide from side-to-side, with the panels fitting behind one another.


You won’t be able to open the room up as completely with patio doors as with bi-fold doors. On the flip side, they’re a popular option when space is limited because you don’t need any internal or external room to open them.


So: french doors open outdoors, bi-fold doors fold in on themselves, and patio doors slide across. There you have it — next time someone asks you which door you recommended or if you’re advising or brainstorming ways to open the room up more, you’ll know which is the perfect door type.

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