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Find the answers to your aluminium glazing questions

  • Do bifolds and sliding doors make the room cold?
    No. All the frames on our products are thermally broken so the cold from outside doesn't transfer through the frame. The glass used in the doors is filled gas that greatly improves thermal efficiency. The double glazed units are also thermally broken to improve efficiency even more. All of our doors and windows meet current building regulations.
  • What is a traffic door?
    A traffic door is a traditional door within a bifold. It allows you to come in and out without having to open the whole bifold door. It has it's own handle and locking mechanism so it works completely independently. Not every door configuation will be able to accomodate a traffic door so it's important to tell us if this is an important feature for you. Traffic doors can either be attached to the frame or one of the other bifold door panels.
  • Are there standard sizes?
    All doors are made to measure. We can make your door (within limits) any size you need. We don't stock any standard sizes. One of the ways we stay so competitive is by not having large storage space. We only have a door fabricated when a customer orders one. This keeps storing products in a warehouse to a minimum.
  • What are your lead times?
    lead times can be as little as 5 days but it depends on the product you want, the colours you choose and whether it is supply only or supply and installation. As a rule of thumb, expect it to take 4 weeks from placing an order to having your doors installed. If you need them sooner, let us know and we will pull out all the stops to get it for when you need it.
  • Which system is cheapest?
    Everything we do at Lyme Bay Bifolds is about excellence, so we don't sell cheap products. Of the products we do sell, the Smarts door is the most economical. If price is your main purchasing factor there are other doors on the market that may be better suited. If you want a well engineered and asthetically pleasing door at an affordable price then the smarts door could be the door for you.
  • Do aluminium doors take much maintenance?
    Not at all. All bifold and sliding doors have moving wheels, tracks and hinges which need to be kept clear of debris. We recommend sweeping the tracks periodically as well as spraying moving parts with a silicone based spray. This is something we can give you when your door is installed.
  • Can I fit the doors myself?
    It can be done but it's not recommended. Installing a traditional single panel door and ensuring it's square, true and set up to open, close and lock is hard enough. Multiply that by several more panels and the task becomes considerably more tricky. Some of our builders do fit doors for their customers and they do a fantastic job. This is due to the number they have fitted and quite often the training they have had from our suppliers.
  • Are your bifolds top or bottom hung?
    Both the Smarts and the Origin doors have bottom rollers. It's not that they are any better or worse than top hung doors, it just so happens that the products we sell happen to have bottom rolling systems. If a company tries to tell you one is better than another, they probably only have that type to sell.
  • Which material is best for bifolds?
    Aluminium, timber and UPVC all have their place in the world of glazing. UPVC is a fantastic material and revolutionised the window industry during the 80's and 90's. However, UPVC expands and contacts. It's not an issue when you have a window or a single door but as soon as you add together 3,4, 5 or even 6 panels, the rate of expansion and contraction is magnified. The operation of a UPVC bifold can be compromised during hot nd cold weather. Timber bifolds don't suffer from the same problem, however, they can suffer from twisting and cracking. In every timber bifold guarantee you will see the words 'timber is a natural material and we can not be held accountable for any twisting or checking (cracking).' There are many moving parts on a bifold door and the last thing you need is twisting and cracking. Having said all that, the best timber bifolds are made from engineered timber. This is where solid timber is cut into strips, flipped end to end, and then glued back together. This evens out the stresses within the timber and makes twisting and checking less likely to occur. Aluminium expands and contracts at a much lower rate. It is very stable so doesn't twist or crack. There are over 300 hundred colours to choose from which you don't get with UPVC and powder coated aluminium lasts forever, there's no need to repaint the doors every other year as you have to with timber doors.
  • What is a low level threshold?
    A standard threshold in a UPVC door is usually about 60cm above the finished floor level, so you have to step over it as you walk through. A low level threshold is either completely flush with the internal (and posibly the outdoor) floor level. If you are worried about the water tightness of your door then we recomend a rebated threshold. Although the overall depth of the threshold is bigger, the majority of it can be sunk below the finished floor level. There will be a 10-15mm upstand that the door closes against to create the weather seal. This is our most popular option.
  • What door configurations do you offer?
    As well as all the standard configurations our systems are capable of going round corners. The corner post can also move, opening up two walls with no interuptions. The image below are the most common configurations.
  • What is the maximum height of your doors?
    The Smarts door has a maximum height of 2500mm. THis may be reduced as the width of panel increases. The Origin doors have a maximum height of 3000mm
  • What is the maximum width of each bifold panel?
    Both the Smarts and Orign bifold has a maximum panel width of 1200mm.
  • What size are the sightlines of your bifolds?
    The sightline is the amount of material between each glass panel. Smarts = 132mm Origin OB-49 = 110mm Origin OB-79 = 154mm
  • Which areas do you cover?
    To serve our customers well we stay local. We are often asked to go further afield but to be able to give great customer service we stay within the areas below. Dorset: Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Blandford Forum, Weymouth, Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne. Somerset: Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil, Frome, Shepton mallet, Chard Devon: Exmouth, Axminster, Seaton, Exeter, Torquay, Paignton, Dartmouth, Dawlish, Brixham, Teignmouth, Salcombe
  • Why do aluminium doors vary so much in price?
    There are two main reasons why the price of a bi-fold or sliding door will vary from one supplier to another. As with any product, there are varying levels of quality. Maunfacturers such as Origin have put a lot of time and money into creating some of the best doors on the market. The components they use are only of the very best quality, hence why they can offer a 20 year guarantee. They even go as far as manufacturing their products to ensure quality is maintained, almost every other aluminium system supplier has licencees manufacture their products which can result in varying levels of quality. The second reason prices vary comes down to overheads. Most aluminium glazing system suppliers license the manufacturing of their products to independant fabricators. Smarts have over 400 licencees in the UK alone. At one end of the scale there may be a fabricator that invests in state of the art cutting machinery ensuring cuts are precise and clean. At the other end of the scale a licensee could be using a chop saw from a local hardware store. The business that invests in better tooling will produce a better product but his overheads are going to be higher. This results in two Smarts doors which in theory should be the same but actually result in very different products. Lyme Bay Bifolds has visited all of it's suppliers to ensure that we supply only the very best products to our customers. If you buy a door from us you can be sure that it will have been fabricated to the highest standards.
  • Are bifold doors and sliding doors secure?
    In essence, bifold doors offer high security. They feature toughened safety glass and include a multi-point locking mechanism for enhanced safety. Bifold doors have multi-point lock mechanisms on the main opening sashes providing high security while the doors are also secured by shoot-bolt locks on the floating mullions. Sliding doors have multi-point locking and also anti-lift blocks which prevent intruders from lifting the doors off the rails. All of our doors are beaded from the inside which prevents the glass being removed from the outside.
  • What colours are available for the windows, sliding doors and bifold doors?
    The smart range has three stock colours. White, black and anthracite grey. Origin has these three colours in their stock range along with black grey and slate grey. Both systems allow you to have your frames powder-coated to any colour in the RAL colour chart for a small cost. Having different colours inside and outside is available in both systems. This does increase the lead times though as your windows and doors will be specially painted just for you.
  • Do I need planning permission?
    Generally, if you're swapping out existing windows and doors, you typically won't need planning permission. However, if your property is in a conservation area, it's advisable to consult your local council for additional guidance before proceeding. If you're considering an extension, it's wise to review local building regulations before beginning any work.
  • How much do bifold doors cost?
    As an example a 3 panel Smart bifold would cost around £3600 including fitting and VAT. Size, brand, colours and additional features will affect prices. Custom designs and higher-end materials will be more expensive. Contact us for a precise quote based on your requirements.
  • What is involved in the installation of bifold doors?
    Installing bifold doors involves accurately measuring the opening, fitting the frame, and attaching the folding panels. It’s crucial to ensure that the doors align correctly and operate smoothly. Professional installation is recommended for the best results.
  • How do you maintain bifold doors?
    Bifold doors require regular cleaning of the tracks and hinges to ensure smooth operation. Lubricate the moving parts and inspect the seals periodically. Clean the glass with a mild detergent to maintain clarity and appearance.
  • What security features do bifold doors offer?
    Bifold doors feature multiple locking points, reinforced frames, and robust glass options such as toughened or laminated glass. These features enhance security and make it difficult for intruders to gain entry.
  • How do bifold doors compare to sliding doors?
    Bifold doors can open completely to create an unobstructed connection between indoor and outdoor areas, while sliding doors are more space-efficient as they do not need extra space to open. The glass panels can be much larger in sliding doors which reduces the number of aluminium panels in the opening so gives a less interrupted view. The choice between the two depends on your specific space requirements and aesthetic preferences.
  • What are the best brands for bifold doors?
    Top brands for bifold doors include Origin and Smart Aluminium. These brands are known for their high-quality materials, innovative designs, and excellent performance in terms of energy efficiency and security.
  • What are the benefits of choosing aluminium windows and doors?
    Aluminium windows and doors are durable, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance. They offer excellent thermal and sound insulation, are resistant to corrosion and warping, and come in a variety of styles and finishes to suit any home design.
  • What makes Smart Aluminium products stand out?
    Smart Aluminium products are known for their innovative design, superior thermal performance, and robust security features. They offer a wide range of customization options and are manufactured to the highest standards to ensure longevity and reliability.
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