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Has anyone installed a long set of folding/sliding doors in their house

(242 Posts)
SpaceTrain Sat 07-Mar-09 22:04:21

For our extension we are planning to have the whole wall that leads to the garden (approx 6 m) kitted out with folding doors.

Our architect has recommended Solarlux doors, which do seem to be good but also seem to be the most expensive.

Has anyone had any experience with these, or with any other makes?

We've had a quote from Sunflex, and another make we are looking at is Express Bi-folding doors, which are quite a bit cheaper. However I don't want to skimp on this purchase if we are going to face significant quality issues by buying cheaper.

Another question I have is what have you done for screening the doors? Express offer integrated blinds, which seems a better option that having trailing vertical blinds on the inside.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Bifolddoorslimited Mon 10-Jun-13 00:51:56


Aliplast is a system my sons company provide and is used by many well known manufacturers across the UK and European market and has been seen in many home designer magazines on many high quality projects can work on corner-less with only some folding sliding & patio door companies confident enough to take on such as dd installations being one of them which I had installed by my sons company on my own property.

They look modern and were finish flush inside and out these can also work with not only sliding doors but also bi folding doors also.

Integrated Electric blinds work well with the aliplast system but solar blinds seem to be preferred for bi folding with manual as a option also on both systems.

DD Installations supply this system and there many other options such as electrical external blinds with over 50 fabric designs also to choose from which we had on our project and was a great feature to the patio doors and can work on the moving corner on bifolding and sliding patio

dulwichdad Wed 12-Jun-13 23:22:25

We went with SunFold bifold doors. They are fantastic - blow the others out of the water. Great things is they are so secure and solid. No handles on the outside so no way to get in the house.

We had the integrated blinds which are brilliant for shade and security. We have seen friends skimp on doors and you can tell. 5 years later and they work like new.

Bought a new house and going for SunFold again. You get what you pay for. If they seem cheap - then they are.

chocolateshoes Sat 29-Jun-13 08:31:25

so glad I found this thread. Need to re-read & write notes as I go....but Sunfold seem to get the most votes. We're hoping to swap our lounge and kitchen and put the doors in the new kitchen. Where did you all start? Do we get a builder to do the whole lot and would they be able to do the doors too? or do we get a builder to do all the rest and Sunfold do the doors? Would be glad of any advice.

Allo Sun 14-Jul-13 19:10:21

What a great thread! I have a few questions about our plan to replace our kitchen wall with bifolding doors...

Does anyone have any experience of any good firms in the south east - south coast in particular - that they would recommend?

What do you think about the door arrangement? It sounds like a good idea to have one door that you can open independently, so you can take the washing out etc. without having to open all the doors (the doors will be 3.5m wide in total) but does this spoil the line of the doors when open, as one will be on one end of the opening and all the others at the other end?

I'm a bit worried about security - is it best to go for laminate covered glass?

The total height of my wall is about 3m, but lots of doors are max 2.5m, do you think it will be ok to go for a 2.5m door, or is it worth paying the extra to get the full height?

Thanks v much for all your help - I am very much a beginner at all this!

Ealing74 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:00:14

I'm trying to decide between using sun paradise sliding doors bali60 which seemed to have a better gliding system lift or slide the Sunflex sv99/155 through IDS or SKG. They both are similar price.

From this thread, It appears that sun paradise aren't great on customer service if there is a problem with the installation or follow up service. Can't decide as I really liked the lift and slide floating mechanism.

Any further comments on sun paradise and experiences dealing with them?

carlozcat Fri 02-Aug-13 08:59:32

I have read through this thread and found all the advice really useful. I am now at the stage that I have got the decision down to two makes but finding it difficult to choose as there are pros and cons with both -
Solar Lux - Same company supplies and installs also free site survey prior to order to ensure correct measurements. But only covered by a five year guarantee which is issued by the company. I have concerns about the length of the guarantee and what would happen if the company went into administration.
Sunflex - Company Olsen supplies the windows and a specified contractor installs. So covered by two different guarantee. I preferred to have the same company supplying and installing as I have heard of several cases where things have gone wrong and the manufacturer blamed the installer and the installer blamed the manufacturer. This system is covered by a ten year guarantee which is also insurance backed.
They are both similar price. Any advice would be great!!

kristoff Mon 05-Aug-13 19:27:07

Thanks for lots of helpful information and reviews.No one has really mention 2 companies that seems to give a good price for their bi-fold doors.they are ukbifold and (Origin Bi fold Doors) I think they both UK manufactured.Any comments ?

Munger Wed 14-Aug-13 22:18:31

I have recently been looking at bifolds for a rear extension - 5 panel 4700mm. We looked at lots at Grand designs and particularly liked Reynaers cf77. These doors are sold by UKbifolds (amongst others). UKbifolds have given a very competitive quote, particularly compared to other makes such as the XP View – ASS 70 FD Schuco system from Express Bifolding doors.

Ukbifolds indicate that they will check the installed doors every year for 10 years - which is reassuring - particularly if it is true....

I would be keen to know anyone's experience with them. Currently they are my 1st choice - particularly as they do a slim line CF77SL version that you can get triple glazed (at a reasonable price).

gymnasticrobotics Sat 17-Aug-13 08:44:22

Hi Munger I am in the process of getting some cf77 slimlines ones from ukbifold. we haven't have them installed yet but the survey gone OK and the surveyor seems knowledgable. The slimline doors takes a bit longer so hopefully I can update in a few weeks time on how it went! Pricewise certainly the best of the lot and service is good up to this point.

Dingus123 Tue 20-Aug-13 17:10:21

I recently purchased a set of Sunflex SF55 folding doors from a local company in Devon called Sunshine Door Systems. The installation was completed a couple of weeks ago and my wife and I are delighted with the doors.

They were very helpful and I would highly recommend!

pootlebug Wed 21-Aug-13 13:55:21

Ealing74 - not sure if you've already decided now and only just seen your question.

We have Sunparadise doors, installed last year. We have the Monoslide 60 system.

The doors have been great so far (been there for 9 months). The process was sometimes fairly difficult going. Their customer service was slow to respond etc. But everything did get fitted and problems resolved reasonably quickly. I was glad I paid my builder a premium to procure the doors though - meant everything was between him and Sunparadise and I didn't end up stuck in the middle.

jackol Fri 06-Sep-13 10:57:34

Hi ILovemondays and anyone else out there who can give me some advice on what glass to go for in bifolding doors.

I'm looking into getting a 4.5 m, 5 door set of aluminium bifolds for our south east facing kitchen/ diner. How important would you say it is to invest the extra to get glass that prevents the full heat of the sun coming into the room? I'm sort of thinking that in the winter, the extra warmth will be welcome, and in the summer you just open the doors? We will also have roof veluxes put in that we could open to make it a bit cooler if necessary. Would be great to hear what everyone else has gone for. ILovemondays - as someone in the trade, what would you advise going for?

If we were to go down that route, we've been recommended to use ST150 reflection glass, which we've looked at and doesn't seem to have any tint at all. However when talking to UK bifolds, all their reflection glass has a tint. Has anyone else gone for reflection glass and has the tint affected the light in the room?

Also, I've asked about getting laminated glass and apparently that means that you can't then get the soft coat on the inside glass panel, and also isn't seen as necessary in a household environment - is used more for schools etc. Any thoughts on this would be great.

Finally if anyone has any feedback on UK Bifolds I'd be very grateful to hear it - their customer service so far has been good and, as it's manufactured in the UK, there's a lead time of only 4 weeks.

Thanks very much in advance everyone

sunshade Wed 18-Sep-13 12:18:52

has anyone used Rationel window and doors

djmama Sun 22-Sep-13 10:04:07

Hi all, really useful reading through the posts. We're considering Sunseeker and about to pay the deposit, but having a bit of a wobble. Can anyone recommend them? ILoveMondays - do you have any thoughts? Thank you!

Dingus123 Fri 08-Nov-13 09:37:27

Hi Jackol,

When I ordered my doors I spent a lot of time looking into all sort of glass varieties... Make-up, thickness etc.

After seeing the "Pam & Fern" Planitherm advert I contacted them and they suggested Planitherm 4 Seasons as this somehow keeps your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

jon12905 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:45:27

I'm probably a bit late for this thread, however I went with Express Bi Folding Doors, as I liked their product, I saw them at three different grand designs shows, and when I saw their showroom in Leeds it was a long journey for me (I live in Liverpool).

Couldn't be happier with the quality of the installation, or the end product. I went for solar blinds in a three and a half metre three dor system.

They were helpful throughout, I couldn't recommend them more!

berno Thu 14-Nov-13 16:00:34

A friend whose dad is a builder has just had Schuco doors (German) fitted. They were not cheap, they waited ages for delivery and switched suppliers because the first ones were useless.

But the bifolds have been installed for a few weeks now and they are incredibly smooth. Typical good quality German engineering for those with a higher budget.

Turak Thu 14-Nov-13 19:51:54

SUNSEEKERS. Hi, how did you get on with your battle with SUNSEEKERS? They are currently causing me months of grief and frustration. It seems by looking on review sites I am not solitary.
I have been to the office of fair trading and they would be happy to provide help if there is anyone else out there to validate the discrepancies shown in there poor workmanship and efforts.
I've even made other steps which would really embarrass them!
They do not answer the phone so you spend ages exploring alternative companies to try to fix their work then suddenly tony the rep! will call friendly as pie and say they will fix it. Then.... Never turn up, never call.. Never ending. Several repeat experiences of this has made me give up the ghost and decide to haunt them instead.
The situation has cost me a huge amount of money and time, and your story from January is exactly like mine with the builders walking out as I arranged the windows and got completely embarrassed. Please help out with any info. Ireally need a Sunseekers employee t fix their handles which are not locking. Quite a simple job but no locksmith or engineer can do it as Sunseeker have their own system.

jon12905 Fri 15-Nov-13 09:58:22

Berno my doors are also Schuco!

I enquired through them originally and it turns out they have different people based in the UK who also make their products. Express were the people that made my doors, and installed them, but they are Schuco doors.

They got them to me in about 6 weeks, because I had solar blinds in the glass, but my original quote said something about them turning things around in 2 - 3 weeks if someone else was fitting them.

dan45 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:57:52

I also went for Express.

Liked the showroom, the staff were pretty friendly and helpful too.

I had quoted from all over the place (Rational, Everest, Sunseeker to name a few), and preferred the less pushy sales staff from Express.

I ended up having them come to survey once my builder had finished, we had quotes on around 9 metre patio doors (we wanted lots of glass), didn't have any blinds or anything in there, and we have 4 really nice big size glass panels.

I honestly couldn't recommend Express more, I am very happy with everything.

LEJM Thu 12-Dec-13 21:53:26

Hi Turak. I too would like to go to trading standards re Sunseeker doors so please get in contact with me.

To any others considering this company - please don't until you read my experience.....

We have had the ultra slim doors installed. In our experience the sales techniques have been misleading, the installation has been terrible and the after sales service is appalling.

The first attempt at installing the doors just used expanding foam. Unsurprisingly they leaked along the bottom when it rained.

I had to chase for a remedial visit whereupon the next guy criticised the use of expanding foam and his solution was to inject a load of silicon on top. Yet again the doors leaked when it rained.

Again I had to chase to get a (third) remedial visit. A sure-fire solution (using lead) was suggested but the owner, Paul, basically wouldn't allow the installation guy to arrange this so we had yet another bodge job - he removed the expanding foam and silicon and filled the gap with cement.

Days later a section of the new cement fell out. We also noticed a new issue of daylight showing at the top right corner where there was still expanding foam used.

The company has chosen at this point to ignore us completely, clearly unwilling (probably unable!) to install the doors properly. I too am now being ignored by the sales guy Tony and the office has never once rang me to proactively address my issues.

I have an email from them stating the u value is 1.2. After they've been installed they then tell me that only the glass is 1.2, the whole system is 1.8. I was told the guarantee is 5 years but the T&Cs on the website says it's actually 5 on the glass components and 2 on the rest.

The door handle is poorly designed - a man's hand can barely fit round it once the plasterboard is next to the door system.

I read some scathing reviews on the company before we chose the doors and was told that basically these reviews were malicious attempts from competitors to discredit the company. I very much doubt that now as my experience is alarmingly similar to what I read about.

We loved the look of the doors but the installation and service from the company is so poor the doors really aren’t worth the hassle and we so wish we had gone with another company. We are having to weigh up going down a legal route to get the doors removed and refunded versus being unable to move into our home on 1st Feb when our current rental lease runs out.

I have videos showing some of the above issues so am contemplating uploading them to youtube or something.

CellyG Thu 19-Dec-13 11:59:47

Was looking at bifolds advice - very helpful - but some not so helpful customer service! Suggest the following to all those fighting bad installs (and any other big purchases which go wrong!).
If you have used a credit card to pay for at least £100 of the cost, you are entitled to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (makes the card company jointly and severally liable for any breaches committed by the retailer). Even if you have only paid for a small amount e.g. the deposit - if you can prove the product provided was not as contractually agreed or fit for purpose, and that you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve the dispute, you should be able to claim the full amount back - up to £30k (I think).
You do not need a solicitor - suggest check advice on - rules & regs - template letters, etc.
And do not get put off by the card company trying to slip out of it - When I tried to claim for a faulty gazebo (long story!), Barclaycard tried to get me to use their internal claims (Chargeback) which meant I would have only got back the amount I had spent on the credit card (the small deposit) - the helpline staff were 'dumb' to Section 75 (possibly a corporate tactic!) and only after several phone calls did they suggest I log a formal complaint, prompting the immediate sending of the correct Section 75 claim form. Also make sure to use 'proof of posting' when sending related documents/copies to the card company - Barclaycard tried to say they hadn't received my claim (approx 15 pages!) - Royal Mail website had a scan of the receiving signature and time delivered - boy did Barclaycard look silly!! And so success - finally!
Good Luck!

CellyG Thu 19-Dec-13 12:02:31

PS/ Should have said use 'Registered Mail' not 'Proof of Posting' - no signature on the receiving end of PoP.

CellyG Thu 19-Dec-13 12:10:33

PPS/ You do not have to return the goods to claim - Barclaycard tried to get me to prove I had sent the gazebo back but I would have been charged the postage plus it was personalised so it made no sense. The credit card company have the right to subsequently put their own claim on the retailer - although rarely do (not usually worth their time ) - so suggest the outcome would be that you get your money back and the dodgy doors remain in-situ until you replace them with your new & improved option!

herethereandeverywhere Mon 13-Jan-14 18:42:27

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread. Thought it important to add that I tried to claim against my Sunparadise warranty today as our side return glass roof has developed a leak. Only to find the are 'going into administration' so it isn't worth the paper it's written on!

I cannot believe we spent in excess of £30k with them and I now have no cover if it fails. Be warned guys - look for an insurance backed guarantee or pay over £100 on a credit card and the Consumer Credit Act will cover you. I'm kicking myself.

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