Whether you’re looking for a new home project or want to upgrade your house before you sell it, homeowners know design decisions — such as what type of door to install — can come with a never-ending list of items to consider and added costs. Regarding back patio doors, bi-folding doors have recently seen a surge in popularity as they “bring the outside in,” creating an aesthetic look.

Folding back against themselves, bifold doors run along a track and are typically between two and seven panels while sliding doors glide into one another and are typically two larger frames. Bifold systems come in many material options: wood, vinyl, aluminum, and more. Make your choice based on how durable you need your doors to be. But remember, you don’t want ones too heavy to push open.

Slim or sturdy, bifold patio doors allow you to completely open space to the outside, creating a beautiful transition between the inside and out. They create slimmer sightlines, ease, and a touch of luxury to your home. They can add value to your house as well. Are you considering bi-folding doors? Here’s what you should know to determine whether they’re worth it.

Perhaps, the most apparent positive to bifold patio doors is the “wow factor” they bring to your space. They create a luxurious feel. For that expensive look, glass bifold doors best allow for slimmer sightlines, opening to your patio’s bonfire, garden, or backyard.

Bi-folding doors also allow flexibility in how much you open them. You can open one panel or the whole wall depending on the weather. Bifold enables you to open the room 100%, whereas sliding doors will require a pocket door to do that.

These doors also typically include an access or “traffic” door that operates as a regular door when they are not slid open. This way, you don’t have to open the whole row of panels if you’re going outside briefly.

Speaking of access, bifold patio doors can be installed with a low or flush threshold, meaning the track on the bottom is minimal or nonexistent. This way, wheelchairs can easily be accommodated. Sliding doors often have high tracks on the bottom and could cause people to trip. Bifold doors can also be hung from the top or the bottom.

Additionally, any builder or homeowner will be happy to know that bi-folding doors require a relatively simple installation. They are more suitable for rip-out and replacement installations, making your life easier in the future. However, these choices are not without their cons, too.

As far as aesthetics, sliding doors often provide more of a view compared to bi-folding doors. This is because bifold patio doors often require larger frames — due to the number of hinges. If you want a more seamless look and more natural light, you may opt for sliding doors instead. Although, frames can provide an elegant look as well.

And while they are pleasing to the eye, bifold patio doors also require some logistical planning. For example, bi-folding doors jut outward, which means they have more space for panels to stack. You should also note whether you want them to fold inwards or outwards. Consider these things when figuring out whether folding doors work for your home. It’s best to visit a showroom to understand how they will fit your space.

Another con to consider is energy efficiency. Sliding doors have fewer frames, making them more thermally efficient than bifold.

Finally, another potential con is the price. If you’ve read bifold patio door reviews, you know they can be expensive, but a great investment if you are looking for something versatile, accessible, and easy to install.

Cost can be calculated simply: The more panels, the more expensive. And if you have wide panes, that factors into the cost as well. However, depending on the material and size, you can adjust your door plans to fit your budget. Typically, folding patio doors cost between $600 to $1,200 per linear foot.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste and what you want out of the space. We are here to answer any of your questions and help you figure out which doors are best for you! Reach out to Dream Doors and Windows today.