The Cost of Installing Bi-fold Doors

All you need to know about installing bi-folding doors including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

installing bifold doors

What the job entails

Bi-fold, French and sliding doors offer a fantastic view of the garden when compared to windows so they are very popular home improvement projects in the UK. Bi-fold doors are the most desirable of all as they can replace an entire wall offering unprecedented view opening up the whole back of the house. Although they offer a similar view to sliding doors when closed, they offer by far the best view when they are open to make the most of the good weather. The trend toward glass bifold doors in new homes continues to build which means more and more homeowners are considering these doors as a home improvement for their existing homes. However, bi-fold doors are also the most expensive option and do not suit all property types. In addition, they are perhaps the most difficult to install and generally are not suitable for a DIY project.

The first thing you need to consider before fitting bifold doors is whether or not you need planning permission. Adding doors to your home is often a permitted development, so in most cases, you probably won't need it, but in unusual cases, it may be required, so always check with the local authority just in case. Next, you'll need to make sure that the lintels over the opening are suitable for the bi-folding doors. If the existing aperture is not the same width and height as required for your new door then you'll probably need to hire a structural engineer to change the size of the opening and ensure the correct lintel is fitted.

The first step is to make sure the structure you're attaching the top track to is capable of supporting the weight. Then you'll need to prepare the sill for assembly and assemble the frame which can be fitted into the opening and once square and level packing is used until it's nice and tight, then the holes can be drilled into the structure on either side of the frame for the fixing bolts. Next, the sill and head are fixed to ensure that the jams are vertical and the sill is level. Once all the fixings are in place for the frame, you can attach the hinges as per the manufacturer's instructions and install the multipoint lock before finally hanging the doors. Once the hinges and locks have been installed, the hard work is done and all that needs doing is to adjust the top and bottom pivot hinges as required to ensure the doors are vertical when fitted.

Bi-folding doors do a great job of merging the outdoor and indoor space, but this may not be the best idea if you do not have a beautiful garden! In addition, most prefer some sort of patio or hard landscaping outside the new doors to avoid traipsing mud throughout the house when people use the bi-folding doors as access from the garden. So if you are investing in bifold doors, it is a good idea to make sure your garden is also up to scratch. As a minimum, consider adding a patio if not in place already and adding steps if the rear garden is sloping. If budget allows, upgrading the garden to make the most of the new doors will make a huge difference.

Bi-folding doors are usually be made from either wood, aluminium or uPVC. Wooden doors have a distinctive and traditional look and can be sanded and painted as required. But the downside of wood is that it will warp over time and will require more maintenance than other materials. Aluminium is probably the most popular material for external bifold doors as it's stronger than wood or uPVC so you can have thinner frames and more glazing, which means more light and a feeling of space. Aluminium doors will also resist warping a great deal more effectively than timber and require virtually no maintenance. uPVC doors is a weaker material than Aluminium or hardwood so require thicker frames, but they are much cheaper. Though uPVC doors might appear better value at first glance, they can work out more expensive in the long-term, as they'll probably not last as long as Aluminium or even well-maintained timber, plus they are not as popular so will not add as much value to the property. Timber tends to be the most thermal efficient material whereas Aluminium is the least, however, most quality aluminium bi-fold doors will use a layer of non-conductive material as a thermal break to get around this shortfall.

The Cost to Install Bifold Doors

To provide accurate pricing information we have contacted numerous local and national trades, and we have utilised various online quotation tools. The figures provided should give a homeowner a rough idea of the costs involved if you are thinking of having bifold doors fitted, but of course you will need to gather detailed quotes from relevant tradesmen to get an exact price for your jobs' specifications.

The average material cost to install bifold doors in your property will depend on the size and the quality of the bifold door you choose. The bifold doors price can vary significantly starting from £1500 to £2500 depending on size and quality.

The average specialist will usually charge around £100-£150 per day. Bifold door specialists will often work in pairs to ensure the doors are fitted correctly, as there is usually some heavy lifting required. The total labour cost will be factored into the overall price quoted by the trade, which can vary depending on location and the overall time working on the project. The price and duration of the project will be considerably increased if you require a wall to be knocked through to make space for the bifold doors, when compared against a simple replacement job.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to install bifold doors:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Standard 6FT Bifold Doors £2000-£2300 1-2 days
Standard 8FT Bifold Doors £2200-£2500 1-2 days
Standard 10FT Bifold Doors £2500-£2800 1-2 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs to install a 6FT Bifold Door- Total Cost: £2,000

80%

Materials
£1600

20%

Tradesmen
£400

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

Bi-fold doors can be very secure depending on the quality of the glazing and locking systems fitted, much like any other type of door. They will use toughened safety glass and often a multi-point locking system for peace of mind.
Bifold doors tend to come in standard sizes to match a wide variety of door openings. However, if a standard size won't fit then made to measure bi-fold doors are available though they are of course more expensive.
Bifold doors are a modern double glazing design so are indeed thermally efficient. Timber bifold doors usually have an engineered core to reduce heat transfer, and aluminium doors use a thermal break to stop heat passing straight through the frame. The glazing also can be filled with argon to improve the overall thermal efficiency.
A traffic door is a special panel within a bi-fold door that can be opened separately for quick access without opening the whole sliding system (useful in the winter).
It depends! There are benefits and drawbacks to each material but Aluminium is the most popular and uPVC is the cheapest.
If you are simply replacing existing patio doors, you probably won't need planning permission unless you live in a conservation area or listed building. But you should always check with your local council before going ahead with bi-fold doors or any other works.
Most likley. They generally make your home more desirable and so add value when you come to sell if they are professionally designed and installed.