Are Bi-fold Doors Right For You? Things You Should Know Before You Buy The Top 3 Door Styles
Do you have a building with a big hole in the wall? You probably need a big door for it. There are several options out there that you’re most likely looking into when you’re choosing the right door. Here are a few things to consider. These options also apply to an existing building that you’re looking at retrofitting as well.
This is one of the most economical options out there, and a common application for machine sheds. Sliding doors are cheap and easy to install. Sliding doors are the bulk of the the retrofits that we at Diamond Doors do. Over time issues develop with the rail, the rollers, and the area in the path of the doors. One of the main reasons buildings are retrofit with new doors is that in some occasions, sliding doors allow the elements to get into the building. A bi-fold door however will create a tight seal once locked down that will prevent wind, rain, and snow from entering your building. A bi-fold door also provides a number of options that offer convenience features such as auto-locks, pedestrian doors, and more!
Overhead doors are easily the most popular choice for many large opening applications, this option is something that everyone is familiar with. They are generally very reliable and pose very few issues even in long term use. One key area where bi-folds shine is in the headspace in the building. Where an overhead relies on tracks that cut into the building, creating a dead space that cannot be used, or that must be carefully navigated by forklifts in some buildings, a bi-fold does not. Also, due to the overhead being mounted inside they are more susceptible to weather. In some cases overhead doors have failed during harsh storm conditions and have been blown into the building, putting the structure itself at risk. As a bi-fold door mounts to the exterior of the building, not only do you retain 100% of the headroom inside, you are also far less likely to have a storm related failure.
A relatively new concept is the hydraulic door. This is basically an entire wall that swings straight out from the building. Some very impressive things can be accomplished with these doors. Especially when talking about hangar doors, this option has become quite popular. There are some considerations to take into account in this instance. Rather than lifting straight up like a bi-fold door, these doors require additional bracing to compensate for the forces pulling the frame outward. Most companies building these doors have this taken this into account and generally do a good job; however, some have not. There are several applications where this style of door is a great option. Some things to keep in mind include the exterior clearance required for the door to swing outward, the additional bracing required, and the limited application potential. Lifting points can only be on each side and not spread out across the width of the door. A bi-fold door can be added to virtually all construction types, where these doors are limited to wood and steel frame buildings, and cannot extend past the roof or roof slope, limiting your total vertical opening height.
Generally there is a notion surrounding bi-fold doors that they are available at a much higher cost than the other options. This isn’t always the case, what might cost you more upfront can end up saving you money in the future. The first door that was designed and built by Diamond Doors founder, Dick Suderman, in the mid 80’s is still operational today. A bi-fold door is extremely flexible in the applications it can support and offers a number of optional features. If you are currently shopping for a large format door, contact us or fill out a quote form to see how a bi-fold door may be a great option for your new or existing building.
Request a quote with us today for your next bi-fold door.