There is no doubt about it… Moving house is expensive and can be incredibly stressful, especially when the housing market is unstable. For this reason, many home owners choose to stay put and make the most of the homes they live in by carrying out home improvements instead of moving. The benefits of investing in your own home are wide ranging, and the financial savings can be immense, especially when you consider the rising costs of the actual move itself, never mind the inevitable increase to your monthly mortgage repayments. A recent survey carried out for mortgage and loans provider, Ocean Finance revealed that 54% of UK homeowners are planning to carry out home improvements this year.
Love where you live
Once the decision to invest in your home has been made, there are several approaches that can be taken. The most common improvements that homeowners make are:
- Extending the property
- Loft, garage or cellar conversions
- Replacing windows and doors
- Garden Improvements
Whilst creating extra space will give a property a new lease of life for the existing owners, it will also make it more desirable when it comes to selling it, and will hopefully add value to the selling price. However, it’s important that homeowners are discerning about how they invest in their homes, and make improvements that add real value to the home and ultimately ensure that their property stands out from the others.
A clear view on revamping your home
According to a recent survey, one of the best value home improvements you can consider is to install bi-fold doors. Not only will they ensure a return on your investment, but also enhance your quality of life in the meantime. The survey also suggests that the inclusion of a quality set of bi-folding doors is likely to be more important to potential buyers than a new kitchen or conservatory.
Why choose bi-folds?
Bi-fold doors can instantly transform your living space like no other home improvement can. They open up a multitude of possibilities, changing how rooms are used, brightening up dark spaces and creating a seamless progression from inside to outside.
Due to their unique low, non-weather threshold systems, features from the interior (for example a tiled or wooden floor) can be continued through to blend with the outside space, enhancing and extending the useable living area.
Many people who have had bi-fold doors installed have been amazed at the difference that they have made to how they use their home. The ease of being able to eat and entertain outside is a great benefit and ultimately serves as a huge lifestyle ‘lure’ for potential buyers.
Further benefits of bi-fold doors include:
- They create a lighter, more welcoming environment.
- They break down the barriers between inside and out.
- Bi-fold doors are energy efficient.
- They provide superior security and safety.
- The doors are constructed from aluminium and are therefore maintenance free.
- They instantly add a modern twist to any property.
What’s the advantage of replacing patio doors with bi-fold?
Sliding patio doors have been popular since the middle of the last century and lots of homes still have them as a means to accessing the garden. Many of these doors are still in place simply because of the age old concept of ‘why fix it if it’s not broken?’ However, aside from the improved aesthetics that come from installing contemporary doors, there are many other benefits of taking the plunge and doing away with the old doors.
Unlike traditional sliding patio doors that typically only open up half of the available opening, bi-fold doors fold back to just a few inches of the opening. This means that considerably more of the outside environment can be enjoyed, utilising space as never before.
The security elements of bi-fold doors are far superior to traditional sliding doors. It is commonly believed that some of the old sliding doors can create an easy entrance for burglars, as the locks are generally basic and easy to tamper with. So much so, that some insurance companies consider them as a security weakness in a property, and consequently raise their premium.
Origin’s Bi-fold Doors offer superior security with locking systems, and surpass of the latest security tests to help provide assurance that the mechanisms include important features such as multi-point locks with hooked locking points and shoot bolts.
Installation is another key area that contributes to the security of any door, so have them fitted by a competent professional recognised by the manufacturer of the product.
Leading UK bi-fold manufacturers offer finger-safe gaskets, to protect inquisitive little fingers from getting trapped, which was a common fault with the old fashioned sliding doors, which gain momentum as they are closed.
As the cost of heating the home continues to increase, consideration also needs to be given to ensuring that new products have strong environmental and energy-efficient credentials. Doors that are fitted with high performance double glazed units provide a thermally-efficient barrier and, together with a certified thermal performance, meet all current UK Building Regulations.
Whether used outside or inside, bi-fold doors are incredibly easy to operate, with free-glide running systems using near-frictionless, maintenance-free needle roller bearings that ensure no matter the number of doors in the set, they are a breeze to open and close. This advanced usability is a far cry from the heavy, clunky doors of the past, which are renowned for sticking or slamming closed with momentum.
Are bi-fold doors only suitable for houses with gardens?
A common misconception surrounding bi-fold doors, is that they are only an option if you have a large property, and that they can only be installed at ground floor level. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as long as the room has sufficient support to house the doors, they can be installed anywhere.
A stunning way to revamp an apartment is to install bi-fold doors, either leading out onto an existing balcony or fitted alongside a Juliette balcony. As they offer a seamless view of the outside world, this is an excellent way of making the most of a view from up high.
Can bi-fold doors work in small or awkwardly shaped rooms?
Even the smallest room can benefit from a bi-fold transformation, even more so because the additional light will open up the space. Origin’s bespoke range of doors come in all shapes and sizes and can fit and ultimately complement any space.
Their folding format typically means there are several, smaller door units to an opening compared to just two for a traditional sliding patio door, they are also totally retractable. This means that they can work in numerous different ways, with multiple opening configurations to suit any setting. For example:
- Opening into or out of a room.
- Folding to the left or right.
- Corner configuration sets can wrap around the side of a property.
Whichever option you choose, the result is always the same – more light and more space.
What materials should I look for to ensure longevity?
Although bi-fold doors can be made from a variety of materials, lightweight aluminium is the modern choice as this material’s aesthetics equal wood and the material’s performance and durability exceeds both wood and UPVC, making them more reliable for maintaining alignment over their lifetime.
The benefits of high-grade aluminium include:
- The perfect combinations of strength and weight allows for a narrower more aesthetically pleasing frame.
- A vast variety of colours and finishes can be applied.
- Powder coated aluminium will not corrode, discolour, rot or warp.
Are bi-fold doors a passing trend?
You only need to flick through any of the glossy home improvement or lifestyle magazines, such as Grand Designs, to see that bi-fold doors are here to stay. Over recent years, they have become the product of choice for designers and architects aiming to make domestic architecture more interesting. As designs have advanced, for example Origin’s Colour Palette range that allows bi-fold doors to blend into any environment, homes are being enhanced and modernised, whilst remaining sympathetic their original structure.
How will I ensure I have made a sound investment?
Given that bi-fold doors may represent a larger investment than initially planned, knowing who, how and where your doors are made is important. Manufacturers such as Origin design and build their products in the UK, which gives them complete control over the quality and specification of the items being produced, which is one of the reasons why Origin has been able to introduce unparalleled guarantees of 20 years on their door and window systems.
Quality is clearly a huge factor to be considered, and badly made products quickly receive a bad name amongst the professionals. With this in mind, it is worth noting that Origin’s high quality and short installation lead times make it one of the first choices within the industry.
For more information on Origin’s bespoke bi-folding doors, call us today on 01923 720 792