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Folding Doors Articles

all about bifold doors and other patio doors

Have you ever stepped outside to enjoy a gorgeous sunset, or feel the warmth of the sun on a beautiful spring day, or just to admire the colorful flowers in your backyard or a beautiful view? Or perhaps you have an active family, with young children who spend a great deal of their day playing in the yard, running inside for a drink of water or a snack, then back to their outdoor fun, then inside once again for a needed toy, then back outside….. Or you might even have a dog (or two) who demands to be let outside just so he can immediately turn around and beg to come back in. Whatever your situation, you are probably tired of the sound of opening and closing patio doors.

Luckily, there’s a solution, and it’s one that adds value and gorgeous style to your home: folding patio doors. These unique doors don’t swing outward like regular doors, nor do they slide from side-to-side like traditional sliding glass doors. Instead, folding doors follow a track to neatly “fold” completely to one – or both, depending on door design — sides of the doorframe, leaving the access (and view) to the outside completely unobstructed. And thanks to their large glass pane design, the illusion of no separation between indoors and outdoors continues even when the doors are closed.

Think that folding glass patio doors are a luxury only for the fanciest homes or the wealthiest homeowners? Well, think again, because actually, there are folding doors available for every budget, and that complement any style or decorating theme. At the Folding Door Store, we pride ourselves on our extensive selection of doors that not only add value to your home and look gorgeous while doing so, but are also engineered for all seasons, climates, and times of day, so you can enjoy the world around you now and for years to come.

Whether you’re doing a small makeover or a full remodel of your living room, you’ll have lots of decisions to make. One of them will be the type of door you want in your home’s largest living area. As typically, the living room opens out to the backyard, that decision usually comes down to two styles of door: glass sliding patio doors or folding glass doors. Both have good points, so here’s a brief guide to the main considerations in making your decision.

Your lifestyle: One of the biggest factors in choosing between a sliding and a folding patio door is your family’s lifestyle. Do you have kids that spend lots of time in the backyard, but frequently dash in and out to visit the kitchen or bathroom? A folding door leaves the entry wide-open, so your children can easily come and go. But perhaps you have indoor-only pets, or a toddler you need to keep an eye on. In that case, a sliding door is more secure.

How about entertaining? If you throw lots of outdoor soirees, you can’t beat the convenience of a folding door. As it pushes completely to the sides, leaving the entryway completely open, your guests can easily move between the living room and the outdoor entertainment area.

Outside views: If your home looks out on a gorgeous view, a folding door lets you enjoy it without any distracting frames or panels. While sliding doors also let you enjoy the view, they do have a more obvious frame than a folding door does.

Budget: You undoubtedly have a budget for your living room makeover. If that budget is very tight, you’ll find more affordable options with a sliding door.

Home value: A beautiful new door always adds value to your home, but because folding glass doors are often associated with luxury, they’ll add a bit more to your house’s value.

The house’s style: Folding patio doors are very elegant and dramatic, making them suitable for homes with equally elegant or dramatic design. Sliding doors work well with just about any style of home.

Slam! If you have a house that includes doors (in other words, if you live in any type of home that isn’t a cave), you’ve had a door slam at one time or another. If you have kids, slamming doors and running feet might even be a normal part of your everyday life. But the slam of a door goes beyond the ear-jarring sound. It can also damage the door, the door’s frame, or even the nearby wall. And if a door slams shut on a child’s small hand or foot, or catches your dog’s tail on her way outside… well then, a slamming door can spell catastrophe.

Unlike traditional doors, however, folding or bifold doors do not open and close in a swinging arc. Instead, as the name suggests, they fold to one – or both – sides of the doorframe, leaving the doorway open to the great outdoors. This means there is less chance of a folding door slamming shut unexpectedly, but it is not an impossibility. Most often, if your folding patio door closes unintentionally, it’s because of gusty winds.

Like any door, folding doors left unrestrained are susceptible to sudden gusts of wind, especially if the wind is coming along the same direction as the door’s track. And as with any type of door, a hard enough slam might damage the door or its frame.

To avoid the danger, always latch your folding patio door securely when in the open position, even if there’s no wind in the forecast. If strong wind is expected, close and lock the doors to prevent possible damage. Don’t worry; you’ll still be able to enjoy an unobstructed view of the great outdoors, even if uncooperative weather means you need to keep your doors shut. That’s the beauty of folding patio doors – they remove the visual boundaries between your home’s interior and the gorgeous views outside your windows.

Your exterior folding doors are your gateway between the great outdoors and your living room. Simply push them open, and there’s nothing between you and that gorgeous view of the city lights or your beautiful garden. Or how about the sheer enjoyment of a cool evening breeze on a perfect summer night, washing away the heat and stale air inside your home? There’s only one problem with an open door; not only is it open to you and your family, it’s also open to any passing insect and her “family.” Nothing can spoil the pleasure of the outdoors faster than the sudden buzz and hum of a bee or mosquito, or the unpleasant sight of a beetle scurrying across your door’s threshold and right into your living room. If you’ve been keeping your exterior folding doors closed because you’re worried about insect invaders, fear no more. Now there’s a solution that allows you to keep bugs where they belong – outside – while still letting you savor that lovely view or perfect breeze. And it doesn’t matter if you have an exceptionally wide doorway; as long as it’s 24 feet or less, we have your problem solved.

The answer is a Centor Eco-Screen. The world’s first horizontally retractable screen for doors as wide as 24 feet, the Centor S1E Eco-Screen slides right into the doorframe when not in use. It’s perfectly balanced, so you literally can open it with just the tip of your finger; no more struggles with a sticky or balky screen door. And there’s a configuration to suit your home: single, with one panel that slides from left to right, or double, with two panels that open from the middle. Either way, you’ll enjoy an unobtrusive screen that blocks just the pests – not your view, not the breeze, not the convenience of an easy-entry door to your home’s exterior. Plus, the screen’s tough PVC-coated polyester mesh stands up to weather, pets, and even hard-playing kids.

So whether you need a screen that works perfectly with a folding patio door, or are looking for a way to exclude insect pests from entering through a more traditional sliding glass door, we have your answer. Give The Folding Door Store a call today, and one of our expert installers will be glad to help you choose the right screen for your needs.

Open up your folding patio doors, and you open your room to an unobstructed, gorgeous vista that almost seems to be a continuation of your home’s interior. That’s the beauty of a folding door: no distracting frame or stationary pane of glass between you and the great outdoors. Of course, a door without a screen means that there’s nothing to keep out flying insects – definitely not a nuisance you want to deal with on a glorious sunny day. A retractable screen that works with your glass folding doors is a solution to the buggy problem of pests, but if the screen itself becomes dusty or grimy, there goes your view. The solution? Give your screen door an occasional cleaning. It’s not difficult or time-consuming, and you’ll love the results.

First off, never clean your doors’ screens with anything rough, sharp, or hard. While the screen fabric is durable, it will tear if treated too roughly. Instead, clean your screens with a soft cloth, cleaning brush or the softest brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If your screens are simply dusty, a good wipe-down with the soft brush or cloth might be all they need to restore their good looks. If the screens are actually dirty, however, or have accumulated grunge worked into the mesh, you’ll need a little more cleaning muscle-power.

For very dirty screens, mix a teaspoon or two of gentle dishwashing soap into a bucket of warm water. Wet a soft cloth, sponge, or a soft scrub brush in the soapy water, then scrub down your screens, working from top to bottom and left to right. Wipe gently, focusing on any excessively dirty spots. Pay special attention to the bottom of the screens, where dirt, dust, or pollen tends to accumulate. Rinse your sponge or cloth frequently in the cleaning solution while you work.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the screens, you can let them air dry on a clear, warm day; or wipe them off with a soft towel if the weather isn’t cooperative or you are in a hurry to use the doors.  Voila! Your screens are clean and your clear view of the glorious outdoors is restored.

Whether you do a lot of outdoor entertaining, have children that love dashing between the house and the backyard, or simply love the fresh air and the sight of the great outdoors, glass folding doors break down the barriers between you and the open sky. With a simple push, they fold out of the way, turning your outdoor living area and your indoor space into one conjoined room, ready for relaxing, partying, or even getting work done in a far more energizing spot than the typical office space.

But like anything else in your home, your patio folding doors need occasional attention. Exposed to the outdoors, they pick up pollen, dust, and fingerprints that mar their simple beauty. Don’t worry, though: there’s no need for complicated cleaning routines or expensive products to maintain your doors – just common household products and a few minutes of your time.

If the frame surrounding your folding door screen needs attention, here’s how to clean it.

  • For an aluminum frame: mix a couple of teaspoons of gentle dishwashing soap in a bucket of water. Dip a soft cloth or towel into the soap solution, and then gently wipe the frame, working from top to bottom.
  • If the frame is wood veneer, use a slightly dampened microfiber cleaning cloth to buff away fingerprints, dust, and general grime. Make sure not to soak the wood, as this might cause water stains.

Once your screen frame is clean, wipe it dry with a soft towel or cloth. Now it’s back to its original good looks, adding value and elegant beauty to your home. Just a few minutes of care periodically will keep your patio folding doors, their screens, and their frames in peak condition for years of enjoyment.

Contact us if you want to know more about patio doors

For us it's not just a door; it's a lifestyle!

We are passionate about beautiful living spaces, and folding glass patio doors are our specialty! Let us help you to create your own inside-outside patio area in a way that fits your lifestyle.

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  • 1350 Reynolds Ave. Suite 115, Irvine, CA 92614
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The Folding Door Store
1350 Reynolds Ave #115, Irvine, CA 92614
Phone (949) 242-9710


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