Sliding Doors

by Scott Edwards

If you ask the majority of homeowners what they would like most from their current, or next property, the most likely answer will be; “More space”. The first hurdle to gaining more space is that there’s generally a considerable cost that comes with it. So as a result, most of us are looking to maximise the space we have by removing walls, adding extensions, loft conversions and conservatories. Obviously there’s always a limit to the amount we can add to any property, which means we have to be creative.

Removing walls between reception rooms has been popular for years. But this can often be a compromise when you want more space, yet would still like the usability of separate rooms. The original solution to this home crisis was either French or concertina doors. Both work well but also have their drawbacks. French doors when opened will often protrude too far into one of the rooms, and end up being more of a hindrance than a help. Concertina doors on the other hand, slide and fold away neatly, but are generally thin, rickety and lack class.

Modern sliding doors are becoming extremely popular for dividing rooms, and for opening large aspects of houses to the garden. The sliding doors of today are available twofold. The first of these are similar to aluminium sliding doors that were very popular some years ago, otherwise known as “patio doors”. Although today’s sliding doors are much more elegant and smooth, and are also available in natural wood thanks to great advances in mechanisms. In new build properties it’s even possible to design the building so that the doors slide into the wall cavity, allowing the maximum of open space. However, for most of us this just isn’t a viable option, and we can only open one sliding door or the other, resulting in only half the clear space. Fortunately there is another kind of sliding door available which will allow you to take advantage of the full opening. These are more commonly known as bi fold doors, and basically work on exactly the same principle as concertina doors by sliding and folding to one side. The mechanisms for these have also improved enormously which has allowed for their use on external aspects. These are also available in wood, aluminium and upvc plastic.

The massive advantages of more natural light, ease of use and high security locking systems of modern sliding doors are encouraging people to replace their old French windows and even remove normal windows and brickwork to accommodate them.

Sliding doors are very much a “Lifestyle” product of today.

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