Types of Bi-fold Doors & Prices In Singapore (2022)

Nowadays, homeowners tend to open up to innovative and more functional means of entryways. Bi-fold doors have been on the scene for quite some time and have slowly earned their place as top-sellers on the market.

Whether you own a landed property or you have a small balcony or closet, they have excellent features that can serve lots of purposes.

From increasing natural light and giving easy access to small spaces, they are a simple but effective alternative to traditional ones. If you’re looking for interior and exterior doors for your planned renovation, here’s everything you need to know about bi-folds.

 

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What is a Bi-fold Door?

A folding door, better known as a bi-fold door, opens by folding back in panels. Because of their compact and flexible structure, they are very suitable for internal or external room dividers. It employs different materials, most commonly glazed with wood, aluminium, or uPVC frames.

How do Bi-fold Doors operate?

As mentioned previously, bi-folds employ two or more panels. When opened, they fold against each other like a concertina. Each entry has a tracking system that fixes the panes for smooth and easy operation.

Apart from the increased visibility, bi-folding doors provide excellent functionality. Such a traffic door allows for entry and exit from both sides, just like a traditional door.

When it comes to operating systems, you’ll find that they are either “top-hung” or “bottom-rolling”. They correspond to the way the door weight is supported. Generally, the top-hung system is more aesthetically appealing because it conceals most of the operating mechanism in the frame head.

Moreover, it provides somewhat easier maintenance as there’s less chance of dirt and leaf accumulation in the top track. On the other hand, bottom-rolling systems are easier to install and pull down less weight from the top of the frame.

 

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Are Bi-fold Doors worth it?

Versatility

It come in a variety of options that can fit into any home design. Moreover, they can employ various materials, which allows homeowners to pick the best choice for their closet or patio door. They are customizable so that you can place an order in your local home renovation store. The professionals will design the door to meet your exact specifications. Just remember to order them in pairs.

Natural light

Making the most out of your garden view requires more than just big windows. Whether you choose to go with a barn door, a room divider, or other configuration, a bi-fold door is bound to have a positive effect on your mood by allowing ample natural light into your living space.

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Low thresholds

The seamless transition folding doors deliver is perhaps in their top 3 distinctive perks. Thanks to their low threshold, they can easily blend interior and exterior spaces. Just make sure you consider any possibilities of rain penetration and install a weather-tested threshold.

 

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Great room dividers

For fans and owners of homes with open plan spaces, bi-folds are an excellent method of utilizing new and flexible “corners”. Since more homeowners lean into the open plan aesthetic, the savvy “concertinas” serve as great room dividers.

Residents can simply fold away a partition when someone’s visiting, or there’s a need for privacy. Moreover, these internal doors can employ a glazed panel, which will allow natural light while delivering functionality.

No more cold spots

In the past, glazed doors didn’t boast decent insulation properties. Luckily, the advancements in material processing have solved the problem. Now, property owners can rely on double or triple glazed bi-folds that are becoming increasingly popular. The latter is incredibly efficient as their U-value indicates only 1.3W heat loss per square meter.

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A Budget-friendly Alternative

Generally, bi-folds are relatively affordable compared to other door types. If you’re looking to spruce up a room, folding ones will come out considerably cheaper than hollow cores. Of course, there will always be others that cost less, but none can offer the same value for the money as bi-folds do.

A Huge Selection of Options

Another distinctive feature of bi-folds is that there are plenty of styles and options at hand. Since bi-fold closets come in virtually all standard materials like wood, glass, mirror, etc., homeowners can fully customize them to fit in with the rest of the interior. That would easily make for a beautiful focal point in any room.

 

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How Much Do They Cost?

In terms of cost, bi-folds have become reasonably affordable in recent years. Along with their qualities, the combination gives outstanding value for money.

Depending on the material, a 3-panel folding door can roughly cost from $1800 to around $2800. Generally, uPVC bi-folds are the most affordable, but it all depends on the size, material, and quality of the door. Also, make sure you have at least $1000 extra money for installation costs and delivery (if required).

Safety and Security

Folding doors generally provide significant access points in a home. That’s why they must comply with specific security standards to offer satisfying security levels.

A multi-point locking system is widespread with bi-fold doors and is just enough. However, some owners invest in anti-pick cylinder locks for an additional layer of safety. For small children, ordering finger-safe gaskets will prevent unwanted incidents from happening.

 

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What are Their Strengths and Weaknesses?

When considering which door type to choose, it’s good to have a clear vision of your preferences and needs. If your number one priority is the view, then sliding doors are the best option for you.

Your garden view will hardly face any hindrance, and you can easily install two large panes to create two wide apertures, each sliding over the other. On the other hand, bi-folds can also provide a full view, but only when completely open.

In terms of access, bi-folds are virtually unbeatable. Unlike sliding one, they allow for full access when opened. Moreover, their low thresholds are perfect for disabled people and people in wheelchairs as there are no obstacles that can cause trips. On the opposite, sliding one are more suitable for larger openings where opening two-thirds of them is just enough.

There’s no clear evidence of which type performs better at preserving temperature. Still, some sliding doors may have leverage on this because bi-fold doors employ more frames, which increases the chances of thermal bridging.

 

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Types of Bifold Doors

One thing that makes these so unique is that they are fully customizable. Besides, they come in a wide range of styles and types, each being slightly different from the others. Perhaps, this is the key to why these can serve any purpose – room dividers, closets, patios, etc.

You should talk to a few companies before hiring a professional and asking them for design advice. That said, let’s take a look at the standard types.

Single-panel Bifold

The single-panel or concertina is the smallest door in the category. In their function, they serve as an alternative to the standard internal door. These entrances usually consist of two panels that fold in the centre when opened.

This feature allows for reduced use of space, which makes single bi-fold an excellent choice for small spaces. For this reason, they are a unique solution for built-in wardrobes and closets or any other area that doesn’t allow for a change in the architecture.

 

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Room Dividers

Sometimes, you will people refer to these types are called folded, interior bifold, or folding sliding doors. In reality, they all mean the same thing. The name “bifold” often suggests the use of only two panels, but there are cases with more than two panels per door.

There are cases of up to eight leaves. In such cases, the door functions in the same way, but on a larger scale. The sets run on a track, and the panels fold back and stack against the wall.

 

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Bi-fold with Access

In considerably more extensive areas, people often rely on access to make moving in and out easier. Similar to a standard internal doorway, the access door opens and closes itself independently from the rest of the bi-fold configuration. It is fully customizable and allows for quick access on either side of the opening in the preferred direction.

Door Configurations

Usually, bi-fold door leaves go in pairs, but if you employ an odd number of panels, one of them can act as a traffic or access door. Such configurations allow for easy access in main exits and master doors without having to fold every panel back. With an even number of panes, you’d have to split them open in each direction.

Two and Three-panel configurations

Two-panel bi-fold is ideal for patios. Since they can fully open, these are practical and stylish solutions for small spaces. Bear in mind that the two-panel can move either to the left or to the right.

Three-panel bi-fold is a little more flexible in that aspect. Instead of sliding in either of the directions, they can employ an access or traffic door. Thanks to this feature, they are ideal for homes with patio where there’s a need for a quick connection to the garden.

 

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Four and five-panel configurations

With larger spaces come larger door configurations. If you need a more spacious entrance, a four or five-panel bi-fold door will provide an outstanding stylish look to your home design.

The advantage here is that you can employ two centre panels to function as traditional French doors while the rest of the sections slide to each side. The five-panel ones have a popular 3-2 split arrangement, and its idea is to avoid tucking too many leaves to one side of the wall at one time. They can create an excellent glass feature and are great for patios.

Six and Seven-panel configurations

Similar to four-panel bi-fold, the six-panel configuration adds leaf at both sides. They can either slide to the left or right, but they can also operate in a 3-3 arrangement. A common alternative is the access door, whereas the rest of the panes slide to the opposite side. Imagine having a five-panel bi-fold patio configuration.

Now, imagine having a seven-panel patio arrangement. This type of folding door works just like the doors with fewer panes. The main difference is in the effect that it creates. The unique glass feature is the ultimate feature of any modern home design. You can incorporate all ideas mentioned above, including a French door opening.

Raised-panel

Perhaps, the most common bi-fold door style. It consists of panels, stiles, and rails. The panels can be either horizontal or vertical, and they look like they’re floating within the frame. A raised panel bi-fold door made of solid wood is the perfect focal point for your interior design.

Accordion/Concertina

Accordion bi-fold, also known as concertinas, are excellent room dividers, especially for open-plan spaces. Because they fold neatly and evenly, they are also perfect for smaller spaces like closets and laundry rooms. In terms of material choice, you can pick anything from glass to uPVC vinyl or wood.

French-style

Whether you choose clear tempered glass or bevelled glass, this type will make your home look stylish and functional at the same time. French-style bi-folds are ideal for your patio, where the configuration generally employs more panes. You can always utilize them in room divider configurations, individually as traffic doors for more convenient access.

Flat-panel bi-folds

These bi-folds are simplistic and clean-lined. Nevertheless, you can still experiment with configurations and styles. Flat-panel bi-folds are similar to their raised panel counterpart so you might combine the two in your home design.

Louvred style

If you like luxurious design styles, louvred bi-folds are here to impress. You can choose between a vented or false louvre door design. The first type is perfect for areas where you’d need ventilation, such as laundry rooms.

False louvred bi-folds are more appropriate for spaces where there’s a need for privacy. This feature makes them the ultimate closet door.

No matter your choice, installing mirrors will ensure you make the most out of your bi-fold closet doors. We all need to take a quick look at our appearance in the mirror before we leave.

Also, mirrors will lighten up your room by reflecting natural light coming from outside. Ultimately, you’ll create the illusion of a larger space all by merely utilizing your bi-fold closet door. If you can afford it, order your bi-fold door with a built-in mirror for better results.

 

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Common Materials for Bifold Doors

As previously mentioned, bi-fold doors can employ various materials. Contrary to popular belief, bi-fold doors can pull off quite different looks while serving the same purpose. Solid wood, MDF, aluminium, and uPVC are only a few of the available options in this category. Here’s a more in-depth look into the materials used in the manufacture of bi-fold doors.

Aluminium bi-fold doors

Aluminium has been a practical alternative to metal and steel for quite some time. Thanks to its robust but lightweight structure, aluminium bi-fold doors great versatility in terms of style and functionality.

Moreover, they are easy to maintain and with longer lifespan thanks to their powder-coated finish. They are the perfect addition to contemporary-style designs where slimmer frames and sections with higher width make a huge difference. Last but not least, there are plenty of finish options for the structures that give an additional choice of colour.

Timber bi-fold doors

In terms of home design, timber has to represent everything traditional. With this in mind, timber bi-fold doors are a mix of contemporary door style with a classic look.

These doors are perfect for period properties and Mid-century classic style homes. In terms of durability, engineered timbers are generally better than solid timber doors due to their higher dimensional stability. Also, steer clear of softwood materials as they may warp and start to malfunction over time.

 

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Composite bi-fold doors

If you opt for a classic look but still want to have some of the benefits of aluminium, installing a composite bi-fold door is a good alternative. The good thing here is that such doors usually incorporate the best of both worlds.

In other words, you’ll get an aluminium frame with an internal timber facing. Moreover, composite is more affordable than hardwood and quickly gains weather resistance with proper sealing and finishing.

UPVC bi-fold doors

Finally, uPVC has deservedly dominated the windows and doors market for the past decade. The material is much cheaper compared to the other standard options.

However, the lower price is not the only thing that attracts home and business owners. Even though the frames are not as slim as the aluminium ones, uPVC bi-fold doors require little to no maintenance and show off excellent temperature-preserving and weatherproof properties.

 

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Permission Requirements

Luckily, there are no specific restrictions on bi-fold and sliding door installation or replacement for HDB homes. The only case you’d need permission to make changes is if you want to remove or replace the original balcony sliding door.

Other than that, have general authority to make alterations and install sliding doors and PVC bi-fold doors in your bathroom, toilet or kitchen entrance granted you don’t affect the principal elevations (RC lintels or hangers) of the home.

Panel Recommendations

There are no specific HDB home restrictions to the number of door panels employed per doorway. However, professionals often recommend getting as few leaves as possible.

As a general rule of thumb, you’d benefit the most from an odd number of folding panels. That way, the doors will fold in the same direction. Moreover, you’ll be able to install a traffic door mounted with a multipoint locking system.

If you still insist on getting an even-number configuration, you should consider splitting the setting into smaller odd-number sets. For instance, a four-leaf bi-fold door can benefit from a 3:1 setup. As a result, you’ll be able to utilize an access point with a lock. When placing your order, you should notify your provider of your plans. Leave the rest to the professionals.

The Verdict

Given the massive variety of materials to choose from, there can’t be wrong or right picks. Everything depends on the purpose and concept of the door. For this reason, you should be well-aware of the configuration and style of your bi-fold door before you make your purchase. Besides, it’s a good idea to ask a professional for advice.

As a general rule of thumb, uPVC is the best budget-friendly pick. Even though it doesn’t offer versatility in terms of colour and style, it’s still available in black or grey finishes – an excellent alternative to the classic white finish.

Because aluminium and wood are sturdier, their frames are considerably slimmer. You can choose to bet on either longevity with aluminium or style and warmth with timber. A good idea would be to get at least three quotes for quality comparison. You’d also want to have a decent warranty.

 

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Bi-fold Door Size In Singapore

As for door size, each material corresponds to some standard measures. For example, the suggested aluminium bi-fold door configuration consists of a three-panel set with a minimum length of 600mm per leaf.

Still, lots of panels measure at 800mm to 1200mm, which makes for a significantly larger opening for the smallest configuration of aluminium bi-fold doors. As for wooden doors, sizes can generally go up to 4000mm in length and 1100mm in width, holding up as many as 16 panes in one frame.

Typically, you’ll need to determine the size of the aperture and the tracks properly. To avoid any mishaps, hire a bi-fold door professional to carry out the installation process for you. Take into consideration that the type and size of the glazing may influence panel weight, and different hardware systems have individual restrictions for maximum panel size and weight tolerance.

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