London Bi Folding Doors

by Scott Edwards

The vast majority of bi folding doors are manufactured with fully glazed panels and a consistent door frame section. This is by far the most popular style that customers request, but many do not realise that in fact any style of door can be manufactured and fitted to a bi folding mechanism, and there are multiple options on how to configure them.

A good example of what is achievable with bi fold doors is when we were approached by the founder of London based children’s clothing chain Jojo Maman Bebe to manufacture a custom bi folding door system for her home. Our clients chosen design is technically referred to as “marginal lights” and is commonly seen in traditional sash windows and some French doors on Edwardian and Victorian buildings throughout the UK. The marginal style inserts small squares in each corner of the frame which are then connected with bars to create a margin, hence the term “Marginal lights”. The margins can then be glazed clear or with coloured glass to add more character which is exactly what our client opted to do. She further requested that the standard part timber, part aluminium cill be manufactured completely from timber. The aluminium exterior section is used because it has an inbuilt drainage system to keep the guidance track clear of water, whereas a timber cill must be manufactured to incorporate drainage that won’t cause rot. Early bi folding doors had their weight centred on the cill but this was problematic over time as a build up of debris would inhibit the smooth function, which is why almost all systems are now manufactured with the weight and operation in the head of the frame with the cill track solely for directional guidance.

A four door bi folding system is most commonly configured with all doors either sliding to the left or to the right. However, in this instance our client requested a master door that could be opened independently. This was hung on the left hand jamb and secured with a multi point locking system whilst the other three doors folded together to the right hand side.

The end result was a bi folding door system that provided modern functionality and open space living whilst maintaining the character of a 4 storey London town house. 

London Bfi 1

London Bi Folding Doors 2

London Bi Folding Doors 3

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