What to Look for When Buying Bi-fold Patio Doors

Bi-fold patio doors are a great choice for any home with a large deck or a great view to the outside. Bi-fold doors can be fully opened and stacked against the wall, so there is no frame or hardware in the way of that view, and nothing to block foot traffic when entertaining on the deck or patio. 

When you're ready to have bi-fold doors installed in your home, first note some important features to consider and to discuss with a manufacturer or installer. This will ensure you get the right type of doors for your space and don't overlook any details when choosing those doors.

A lip or ledge

If you need to keep sand, dust, silt, and other such debris away from your patio entryway, or if you live in an area with lots of bugs, scorpions, gecko lizards, snakes, and other pests that you want to keep out of the home, ask about a lip or ledge for the bi-fold door's track. A small ledge on the door's track will help close the gap between the door and the ground, keeping out sand, dirt, and pests. However, note that a lip or ledge can also be a tripping hazard, so be careful of this option if you entertain a lot and have friends who might overlook this obstruction.

Note the glass

When buying bi-fold doors, you may be very concerned about the material for the frame, and rightly so, as this material should match the style of your home and patio or deck. However, the glass type you choose for the doors is also very important. Thick safety glass can keep out potential intruders who might try to shatter the door glass to gain entrance to your home. Thicker glass also means more insulation against outside temperatures, which is important for very large doors that replace an entire wall, and if you live in an area with consistently inclement weather.

While thicker glass does offer these advantages, you might note if the glass you choose would also obstruct your view to the outside. Safety glass made with a high concentration of plastic can often look a bit cloudy and dull, so you may not be able to thoroughly enjoy your view through that glass when the doors are closed. Balance your need for security with the appearance of the glass, so your home is safe but you still enjoy your view even when those new bi-fold doors are closed.