Thoughtful details like bi-folding doors transform this house into a *home.* During the day, the owners can open the doors to sunlight and fresh air, while at night, they can extend their entertaining space into the driveway.
In a southern climate, this outdoor living room is a wonderful retreat year round. The custom bi-fold doors open to create a sense of bringing the outdoors in. Conversely, softening accessories, like the pillows, throws and flowers help bring the indoors out.
Bi-folding doors open right to the backyard, creating an effortless transition from the kitchen to an outdoor dining area. Here, a large blue umbrella offers shade from the sun, while five chairs and a cushioned bench make room for everyone at the table.
Enclosing an area with sliding or folding windows allows you flexibility in how you use and experience the space depending on the season, the occasion, or just your mood. When choosing a large-opening door, your choices are virtually limitless. Here, folding doors open an intimate dining area to a much more expansive space. “Keep in mind that folding panels can be configured in numerous ways, from folding all to one side to splitting in the middle and folding to both sides. This unit also has the unique available option of a swing door within the folding door system. This means that the user can operate the user-friendly single door like any other door without having to open all of the panels,” says Lance Premeau, LEED® Green Associate Product & Market Manager, Kolbe Windows & Doors.
"Some of the best garage conversions are those that take long-term uses and versatility into account," says Ron Cohen, CEO of Garage Conversions. "By creating a space that is updated, modern and yet leaves plenty of room for changes, you really can't lose." One essential, says Cohen: glass doors to let in plenty of natural light.
Moving glass wall systems can maximize your living space, opening interior rooms to decks and patios. But don’t forget to account for the floor or deck space taken up by folding doors themselves when in the open position. “Folding door units are always stacked perpendicular to the opening. The amount of space that the folding doors will take away from the opening is dependent on the number of panels, panel width, height and thickness,” says Ximena Rojas, Marketing Director for Panda Windows & Doors.
When choosing the products for any expanse of glass, it’s essential to consider energy efficiency — otherwise you could end up with higher energy bills and rooms that are too hot or cold. Fortunately, many manufacturers offer doors and windows that pair timeless looks with high-tech energy efficiency. LaCantina’s Wood System, for example, features the organic aesthetic of wood while providing excellent thermal performance.
This home's kitchen opens to a beautiful courtyard area with wood decking. A nearly 12-foot expanse of architectural outswing folding patio doors, constructed of high-performance, Low-E4 glass, ensure energy efficiency throughout the year.
Folding glass doors are ideal for opening an interior space to an outdoor living area — creating flow between a living room and deck, for example. “A folding system allows the panels to neatly fold accordion-style and remain 90 degrees to the opening for a wide-open, unobstructed view,” say the pros at LaCantina Doors.
The type of door you choose depends in part on the size of the opening. Many manufacturers offer a range of options for larger and taller openings. For example, LaCantina’s Aluminum Wood System is a unique design innovation based on the same styling as a traditional wood-clad door and engineered for large openings requiring oversized door panels.
Outdoor living spaces are an economical (and enjoyable!) way to make your home feel more expansive, without an expensive room addition. “During warmer seasons, wall systems like the JELD-WEN® IWP® exterior folding door system are an incredible way to bring the outdoors inside and create an expansive space for entertaining or relaxing. Consider the layout of your home and where you might benefit from this additional flow of space,” says Jim Parello, Vice President of Marketing for JELD-WEN.