7 Problems with screening bifold doors.


There are so many types of door styles available to choose from.  By far the most popular in Australia is the bi-fold door.  Available in Timber, Aluminium and PVC, these doors are specifically designed to totally open up a home blending indoor and outdoor living seamlessly. But opening up your home also opens it up to uninvited guests such a mozzies and flies. So what good are these beautiful doors if you can’t enjoy them?

Here are a few common concerns you may have when thinking about screening bifold doors.

1. You didn’t know there is a solution for screening bifold doors.

Bifold doors have been in vogue in Australia for several years, and it’s still surprising to hear how many people aren’t aware of the types of screens that are available that are perfectly suited to bifolding doors. The 2 most popular types of screens best fitted to bifold doors are retractable and pleated screens.  Retractable screens come in an alumiumum cassette which is fitted the side of the door and are rolled out across the opening when needed, then rolled back to the cassette when no longer needed. Pleated screens are also fitted to the side of the opening and they extends back and forth across the opening. Both of these screens can be fitted to just about any bifold door.

2. You have beautiful doors and like the look of them

Bifold doors aren’t just a practical solution to opening up your home, they are actually a decorative feature of your home.  It’s no secret that good quality doors in timber, aluminium or PVC, with quality hardware are an expensive investment.  With that investment comes a look and feel that make your home and view stand out, the last thing you want to do is add anything to the frames.  So the thing to do is select a screen that blends in with the frames and becomes a seamless addition.  Choose a screen that with small profiles and extrusions which can be colour matched to existing frames.

3. You don’t want to take away from your view

The point of bifold doors is to open up your home transitioning smoothly from indoor to outdoor living without any obstructions.  The right screen should be discreet, tucked away out of sight when not in use and as invisible as possible when in use.   Depending on the width of the opening, one screen could span the opening offering no interruption to the view.  Where two screens are required, to meet in the middle or off centre, there would be minimal interruption.

4. You are concerned about how much space screens will take up

There are a variety of bifold door styles available to suit just about any application.  The frames of these doors and where they are fitted is unique to each home.  Some door frames are “chunky” and commercial looking while others are more delicate and have smaller profiles.  Some doors will have blinds or other window furnishing added to them while others won’t.  The biggest concerns to most homeowners are: how much space do the cassettes of a retractable screen take up or what is the stack back of pleated screens? A simple answer is the wider the opening with bigger the cassette and pleat stack back.  The upside is that the wider the opening the less obvious the sections become and therefore more likely to blend neatly.

5. You’re worried the doors clash will with the screens?

Bifold doors can be fitted with the leaves of the doors opening either outward or inward depending on the layout and space of the home.  If the doors hinge outward the screens are fitted to the inside of the home and vice versa.  Generally, if the doors are open, the screen will clear handles and hardware because the doors are completely out of the way of the screen.  When not in use the screens are moved away to the side of the opening.  In some cases if there is potential for a screen to clash with hardware, it can be mounted to the face of the door frame or built our so as to clear it.  In most, if not all cases, there is a way to install a screen without a problem

6. How do they work with your door configurations?

As all homes and lifestyles are different so are the choices homeowners make when considering additions to their homes.  For those that like to entertain a big 6 panel centre opening bifold that opens up is for them.  For others that like to use one door regularly but like the idea of opening up the home for ventilation then a 3 door bifold with 2 opening to one side and a single lead door to the other could be for them.  In any case there are solutions available.  It could be one big screen covering the whole opening in one span, it could be 2 screens that meet in the middle or even off centre.  Whatever the configuration of your doors, there will be a solution for you.

7. How easy are the screens to use?  Can kids or guests use them?

Screens for bifold doors have had a bit of a chequered past.  They have had a reputation of being flimsy and not particularly user friendly.  Fortunately as with all things, innovation and improvements in quality manufacturing has improved the reputation of these screens.  A good retractable screen should be sturdy, easy to use and have a soft closing mechanism to ensure the screen retracts slowly and evenly to its housing.  Some types of screens such as the pleated screens can be better suited to kids/guests as there is no tension on them and they are more visible. The bottom line is that you should choose a screen that you find comfortable and practical to use in your home.