Aluminium Bifolding doors v UPVC Folding Sliding doors

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Published: 17th January 2011
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Bifolding doors are available in both UPVC and aluminium frames. There are many strengths and weaknesses of these materials depending on the specification required. The two important aspects to consider are aesthetics and usability. What is more important, the way it looks in your home or the performance of the product.

Price is another consideration when choosing what type of patio door system to purchase. There is a large price difference between the plastic and aluminium folding sliding door. An aluminium bifolding door has an RRP of around 1000 per square metre (exc vat). Compared with the UPVC alternative which is around 50% cheaper.

In terms of performance of the two patio door alternatives there are some substantial differences. The aluminium bifolding door has slimmer frames, due to the stronger material used and is also much more visually attractive. A strength of the UPVC folding door is that it has much higher energy efficiency. However, having said this the more recent aluminium systems now use a thermal break which vastly increases its efficiency. There is not much difference in the efficiency of the two different materials to date but it is a fact that plastic will always be a better insulator than aluminium.

The improvements in efficiency for the folding sliding aluminium patio door is a key reason why the plastic alternative is becoming obsolete. Unless price is the most important factor there is not much of a reason to choose the UPVC product. With regard to durability there is no comparison, the aluminium will outlast any UPVC based product.

The key aim of either product is to achieve maximum clear views and therefore quality is crucial to the products performance. The folding sliding patio door will give the largest glass to frame ratio, can allow for larger openings due to its strength and is much more durable, with a choice of over 400 RAL powder coated colours. For these reasons there can only be one winner between the two alternative types of patio door. The resurgence of aluminium in door systems has now crossed over to the window community, with the aluminium window slowly being preferred to the traditional plastic and cheap looking UPVC window.

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