As summer arrives, with promises of warmer days, longer evenings and all the benefits of the great outdoors, householders begin to look at their property to see how they can maximize both space and light. The answer is bifold doors – an emerging trend attracting attention from homeowners of properties large and small. 

Bifolds, as the name suggests, are a window/door combination that fold concertina style when opened fully, allowing a kitchen or living space to really become part of your garden. When they close, their thermally efficient construction makes them invulnerable to the elements while retaining maximum light. In short, if you want great all-year-round views from your room while retaining warmth and light, the bifold is the perfect solution for you. 

These doors are made from two popular and distinct materials – uPVC and aluminium. In this blog, we’ll look at the advantages of uPVC bifolds and see how these compare with aluminium. 

White aluminium bifold door interior view

uPVC bifold doors – the benefits

When choosing a set of bifold doors many people tend to see what’s in their piggy bank before they proceed. And while budget perhaps shouldn’t be the overriding issue, we are in an era of finding cost savings. This being the case, uPVC certainly has the advantage over aluminium in that it is mass produced and so a uPVC bifold will cost less than its aluminium equivalent.  

Allied to this is the money you’ll save via a uPVC bifold’s thermal efficiency. Frames made of this material can achieve U-values (a way of measuring how heat stays in) as low as as 1.3 W/m2k. If you install uPVC bifolds there is no doubt your energy bills will be reduced. 

Is uPVC a good option if you want a high level of security? Yes, it is. The uPVC bifolds we supply are equipped with a high performance 3-star Diamond rated lock cylinder, which includes a fold-flat ‘D’ handle that engages the shootbolts when the door is locked. All of these security features ensure complete peace of mind. 

If you have a modern property, a uPVC bifold is a good option. They fit in very well with all the aesthetic qualities of a modern house, they’re easy to clean, high quality, low maintenance and they are even available in a range of colours and woodgrain effects to enhance their attractiveness even further. 

Are they durable? Yes, they certainly are. A uPVC bifold door has a lifespan of somewhere between 25 and 30 years. That said, while uPVC is robust, extreme temperature changes can have an adverse effect on it, causing it to weaken. In this respect, aluminium has the advantage over uPVC – the latter is strong, but aluminium is much stronger. 

Interior view of a grey aluminium bifold doors

Now that we’ve had a look at the advantages of uPVC, let’s turn to aluminium bifold doors. In recent years, aluminium has been an increasingly popular choice among householders looking for maximum performance – as much bang for their buck as they can possibly get.  

Cost-wise, how do they compare to uPVC? In short, they’re more expensive – they cost more to produce, as this process is more complicated. However, aluminium is more than three times stronger than uPVC and an incredible 40 times stronger than timber. On average, a set of aluminium doors will last 45 years, representing an excellent investment for your home. 

In terms of thermal performance, uPVC has the edge here. Simply put, it is better at stopping heat passing through the door. That said, aluminium is no slouch in this department either. Our aluminium bifolds use cutting-edge polyamide thermal break technology, achieving U-values as low as 1.5 W/m2k. 

Aluminium bifold doors have slim frames compared to uPVC, allowing more natural light into your room and giving a more ‘architect-designed’ feel, which will suit a variety of homes. The doors themselves feature multi-point locks on the sashes and shoot-bolt locking for any floating mullions. It goes without saying that the security here is of the highest kind. 

Eventually, the debate between uPVC and aluminium bifold doors comes down to personal taste and circumstance. Both materials display excellent performance, durability, strength, high security and aesthetic benefits.  

Black aluminium bifold doors aluminium vs upvc bifold doors

Why choose Poole Joinery for your next home improvement project?

Not only do we offer bespoke bi-fold doors but we also offer sliding patio doors, composite doors, stable doors as well as an extensive range of windows that are available in a variety of styles and colour options including Anthracite Grey and Rosewood. 

Whether it’s uPVC or aluminium, a bifold door will undoubtedly enhance your property both in terms of great looks and excellent performance. For more information about our bifolds, contact us or give us a call on 01202 661299.