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Understanding bifold doors configurations and panel options

Amanda Hewer - Operations Manager

Author: Amanda Hewer - Operations Manager

When purchasing bifold doors for your home, it’s important to know what options are available to you. Bifold doors have a huge number of available options and configurations so, while you might have an idea of the doors you want, the size and the number of panels, knowing whether your chosen supplier can meet these needs is important before ordering your bifold doors.

External bifold door sizes: minimum and maximum

When thinking about purchasing a bifold door, you will probably have an existing opening in mind or have an idea of how large or small you would like your new bifold doors to be. However, it’s important to know what the minimum and maximum sizes that your supplier can offer are.

These may differ depending on the supplier that you choose but the minimum and maximum sizes are usually similar.

The minimum recommended sizes for bifold doors are:

  • Width: 1400mm for a two-panel door, or 700mm per door panel
  • Height: 1600mm

These sizes are important for the mechanisms and functioning of the doors. Any smaller than this and the doors may not work as they should.

The maximum recommended sizes for bifold doors are:

  • Width: 7000mm
  • Height: 3000mm

It is not usually recommended to fit bifold doors fitting these maximum sizes as, again, it can have a huge impact on the functionality of the doors. It’s also important to remember that the materials of your door frames can have an impact on the minimum and maximum sizes available for bifold doors.

To find out more about the minimum and maximum bifold door sizes available from Vufold, you can read our guide here.

External bifold door sizes: standard sizes

Many bifold doors suppliers, such as Vufold, offer bifold doors in a number of sizes so there is something for every home and opening.

Standard sizes are doors created to offer an easy way to order and install your bifold doors without the need or cost of using a tradesperson. However, it can be difficult to know what the standard sizes are and whether they will fit in in your home.

It’s important to find out whether your intended opening for your bifold doors will fit a standard sized door or whether you will need to have a bespoke door made. Before ordering your bifold doors you should:

  • Measure the corners of your opening
  • Measure the exact width and height of the opening in millimetres
  • Subtract 10mm from the smallest measurement (this is the bifold door size you will require)
  • Check the space inside or outside your home to make sure you have room for the doors to fold back
  • Choose your door from the Vufold website and match the measurements against your own

If you find that your measurements do not match any of the options for the bifold doors you’re looking for, you can order bespoke sizes to make sure your doors are right for your home.

Read our guide to find out more about the standard bifold door sizes available from Vufold.

Corner bifold door configurations

Corner bifold doors that open up a full corner of your home, helping to connect indoor and outdoor dining and sitting areas, have become a popular option in many home extension and home renovation projects.

There are two types of corner bifold doors including:

  • Floating corner bifold doors
  • Fixed corner bifold doors

Both types of doors have their own benefits and drawbacks, so these are important to be aware of and to consider before choosing a corner bifold door for your home.

There are also a number of other configuration options to consider before choosing your doors including:

  • Number of panels
  • Materials
  • Doors opening inwards or outwards
  • Traffic or lead door
  • Opening direction of the doors

Learn more about corner bifold door configurations in our guide.

2-4 bifold panel options 2-4 bifold panel options

If you’re replacing existing patio doors such as French doors, sliding doors, or even a set of older bifold doors, you might be looking for a smaller span of bifold doors.

Bifold doors are available in options between two to four panels which should fit into your existing opening without having to do too much building work to widen it in order to make your new doors fit.

These options offer the following benefits:

  • Two panels – can be folded completely away to leave the opening completely open.
  • Three panels – offer a huge amount of flexibility in the way they can be configured and opened and will also accommodate a traffic door.
  • Four panels – provide a great option if you have a larger space and are looking for an even more flexible option.

Choosing the right bifold door for your home is important to make sure the door functions in the best way and offers you the solution you need. You should consider the following factors when choosing the right bifold door for your home:

  • Use of the space
  • Size of your existing opening
  • Traffic doors

To find out more about the pros and cons of two to four panel bifold doors, you can read our guide here.

Panel options: 5+ panels

5 panels 5 panels

Larger spans of bifold doors are a popular option with homeowners who are looking to enjoy expansive views, connect their patio with an indoor seating area or to maximise the amount of natural light in their home.

One of the biggest benefits of choosing bifold doors with five or more panels is the flexibility they can offer in terms of opening options and including a traffic door.

Larger bifold door spans offer the following possibilities and configurations:

Five panel doors

Five panel bifold doors can be configured in the following ways:

  • All fold in one direction with a traffic door at one end
  • 3-2 design in which three doors fold one way and two-fold the other way

Six panel doors

  • 6R or 6L – all doors fold to the left or right with no traffic door
  • 5R + 1L or 5L + 1R – five doors fold one way, and one folds the other
  • 3R + 3L – three doors fold left and three right with the traffic door in the middle

Seven panel doors

  • All doors slide to one side
  • Doors split in the middle and slide either way
  • The access door can be flexible due to the large number of leaves

The ability to split larger doors in a number of ways is beneficial because many homes may not be able to accommodate having large numbers of doors stacked on the inside or outside when all of the doors are open.

To find out more about installing bifold doors with five or more panels, you can read our guide here.

Choosing the right bifold door configuration for your home

Bifold doors provide a great solution for any home, helping to introduce high levels of natural daylight into a room and allow you to enjoy expansive views.

When considering bifold doors for your home, there are a number of considerations you should take into account to make sure they’re suitable for your home and needs, including:

  • Number of panels
  • Opening direction of the doors
  • Inward or outward opening doors
  • Lead or traffic door
  • Cost

All of these factors will have an impact on the range of doors you choose for your home as well as the size and the way they operate. It’s important to remember that smaller spans of bifold doors have fewer opening options but larger spans allow you to be more flexible in the number of panels that open each way and where you can place your traffic door.

To find out more about the factors you should consider when choosing bifold doors for your home, please read our guide.

Internal bifold door sizes: Choosing the right door for your home

bifold door panel open bifold door panel open

Internal bifold doors are a great addition inside your home if you’re looking to open up a space or introduce more light. Just like external bifold doors, internal bifold doors are available in a range of sizes and configurations so understanding the options available to you will help you to find the right doors for your home.

The factors you should consider when choosing internal bifold doors include:

  • Size of the opening
  • Space taken up by open doors
  • The purpose of the doors

Door opening patterns and configurations for internal bifold doors include:

  • 2L
  • 2R
  • 2L+2R
  • 3R
  • 3L
  • 3R+1L

All internal bifold doors include an access door so this may have an impact on your bifold door configuration.

The bifold door size you require will depend on the opening and size of the space you have available so make sure you measure the space and think carefully about your needs before choosing a door and configuration.

Read our guide to find out more about choosing the right internal bifold door size for your home.

If you’d like to know more about the bifold door configurations and sizes available from Vufold, please contact us to speak a member of our team today.

Amanda Hewer - Operations Manager


Amanda Hewer - Operations Manager

About Amanda Hewer

Having been at Vufold for around 12 years now, Amanda became operations manager after spending time in Customer Service, Sales, Order Processing and our Warehouse. Amanda likes that no two days are ever the same and believes her successful career stems from her keen interest in people, helping them achieve their goals and striving for constant improvement across all departments.

Read more about Amanda Hewer