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Bifold Doors vs Patio Doors: Which is Right for Your Home?

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With summer creeping up on us, homeowners across Northern Ireland will no doubt be planning how they can best make the most out of their property for the warmer months ahead.

Two popular choices to enhance the amount of natural light entering your living space, blurring the indoors and outdoors in the process, are bi-fold and patio doors.

Bi-fold doors fold neatly against each other, creating a spacious opening. Offering panoramic views of your garden and beyond, they truly add a contemporary feel to any home – but does this luxurious addition come at a cost?

Patio doors on the other hand offer a more traditional approach to accessing outdoor space, but how limited are they in comparison to a bi-fold? This blog will uncover all, helping you discover what’s right for your home.

What are bi-fold doors?

As we mentioned earlier, bi-fold doors have multiple sections or panels that fold up into each other, using a ‘Lift and Slide’ mechanism to open and close.

They can be ‘stacked’ on either side of the opening, or even down the middle, and open internally or externally depending on your preferences.

On days where you don’t want to open them fully, you can choose to have a single traffic door, but when the sun is shining and you do fancy letting in as much fresh air and light as possible, they can open to around 90% of their full width.

Large grey aluminium bifold door

What are the benefits of bi-fold doors?


Unlike traditional hinged doors that swing open, bifold doors fold neatly into themselves, which takes up minimal space.

Sitting on the side in a neat stack, this makes them an incredibly practical option and allows potential guests to easily mill around the area between your living room, kitchen, and garden.

Winning aesthetics

The clean, sleek lines of bifold doors create a minimalist feel, which is very much on trend in 2024.

Forming a winner centrepiece on almost any patio, they offer an unobstructed panoramic view, with the large glass sheets allowing plenty of natural light into your living area – and creating a feeling of a much larger space in the process.

Black aluminium bifold door

Smooth Operation

Aluminium folding doors are incredibly lightweight and easy to handle, provided they are properly installed and aligned.

Their natural, slim profile allows the panes to travel back and forth easily, allowing for a slick opening and closing process.

Enhanced security

A common misconception amongst many is that bi-folds are a more unsafe option than more traditional doors due to the size of the glass sheets.

However, at Turkington Windows & Conservatories, our bifold doors are installed with advanced multi point locking systems, with sturdy aluminium frames offering vital peace of mind and protection against intruders – as well as double glazing.

They can’t be lifted from their outer frames either, as the mechanism for loosening them is situated on the inside of the door.

Bifolding doors for your home

What are patio doors?

In comparison, patio doors, sometimes known as sliding glass doors, typically consist of one or two large glass panes that slide horizontally, often made from uPVC.

They offer a partial opening of the doorway, meaning a section is blocked when open, as opposed to bifold doors which stack and can hide away completely.

Patio doors have a more classic look, whilst still offering great views of the outdoors.

Sliding patio doors

What are the benefits of patio doors?

Natural Light

Just like with bi-fold doors, patio doors offer an abundance of natural light, with their large glass panels allowing ample sunlight to stream into your home, creating a brighter, more inviting, and cheerful atmosphere.

In turn, this reduces reliance on artificial lighting, potentially lowering those energy bills.


At Turkington Windows & Conservatories, our patio doors can be tailored to fit your exact requirements, no matter your property.

From maisonettes and bungalows to traditional detached and contemporary end-of-terrace homes, they are an incredibly versatile option, particularly beneficial if you are short of space.

Grey uPVC sliding patio door

Low maintenance

Patio doors are relatively straightforward to maintain. Typically, all that’s required is regular cleaning of the glass panes, which can be done with a damp cloth. Easy operation is another perk of their high quality build.

Energy efficient

Both patio doors and bi fold doors are incredibly energy-efficient, high-quality products that will improve your thermal efficiency.

At Turkington, our patio doors have advanced insulation properties, helping to minimise heat loss in your property – meaning you’ll be less reliant on costly heaters and radiators in the winter months.

What else do I need to consider?

Just like bifold doors, patio doors are a great option to blend the indoors with the outdoors, making access to your garden easy.

However, there are a few things to consider before deciding that patio doors are right for you. The first notable difference is that they offer less open space than bifold doors, as they cannot fold completely as the opening is only partial.

From an aesthetics perspective, it’s worth taking time to consider which style, finish, and colour you want your patio doors to be – giving you the perfect opportunity to create an inviting entrance which reflects your style.

uPVC sliding patio door interior view

Bifold Doors or Patio Doors – What’s right for me?

Both bifold doors and patio doors are brilliant choices with either likely to significantly increase the value of your home, but the likelihood is that one will be better suited to you depending on various factors.

The first of these is budget. The cost of each installation varies on several factors, but generally speaking, bifold doors are slightly more expensive than patio doors.

The next is how much space you have – if you have limited wall space, with room for only a few glass panes, patio doors might be a better fit.

But on the flip side, bifold doors are unrivalled when it comes to maximising open space and creating a seamless transition from indoors to the great outdoors, bringing in more natural light while their thin frames arguably make them more of an aesthetically pleasing choice.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but you can’t lose when choosing between these two options. Bi-fold doors are beautiful, ideal if you want a modern look, or have the space for them to operate. If it’s a smaller operation or a more traditional style you desire, it may be worth looking into patio doors.

About Turkington Windows and Conservatories

At Turkington Windows and Conservatories, we don’t just offer doors, but windows and conservatories as our name suggests, fascias, and a whole range of home improvement services.

Our friendly team of experts would love to hear from you at =44(0) 2838 393 030 should you have any enquiries. Alternatively, you can email us at, or visit one of our showrooms, in either Portadown, Lisburn, or the Dublin Trade Centre.

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Double Glazing Across Ireland

With showrooms in Lisburn & Portadown we are ideally placed to supply and install windows, doors and conservatories all across Belfast and Northern Ireland, as well as the greater Dublin area and counties Monaghan, Meath and Louth.

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