17 Feb Top garden access trends for 2020 – do you bifold, slide or French?
The year 2020 has been a difficult one for many, but one thing that lockdowns have given us is more time at home with family and more time to consider whether the home we’re in is everything we would wish for our family. Throughout both lockdowns the government has allowed building firms to carry on working, enabling building and refurbishment projects to continue. So, if you were to extend your home, refurbish it or even build a new one, what style of garden access would you choose to make your perfect plans into the perfect home for your family – slide, French or bifold?
The easy answer is, well it depends, as each one could be best suited to your home depending on its architectural style and your preferences. However, there are some clear benefits and issues with each, so let’s discuss them.
Sliding Garden Doors
Popular in the 1960s and ’70s, the sliding door has two fundamental advantages over the other two, it can be the cheapest of the three and you don’t need to worry about swing-space as the doors slide behind one another. So if space or budget are paramount (and you happen to live in a 1960s or ’70s home, then a sliding garden door may be the answer. One further advantage (if you can call it that) is that the sliding garden door is as style-neutral as they come. So, if you want your garden door to blend into the interior design background, to not be a feature, but merely a function of the house, then sliding is the way to go. Most sliding doors are double glazed so this helps with thermal matters and security. However, the sliding garden door is the least aesthetically pleasing of the three (generally speaking) and then there is the problem of the structure of the door as it only allows a maximum of half the available opening to be open (because the doors slide behind one another).
French Garden Doors
The French door became popular on the continent in the 1600s at the height of the Renaissance. Since the 1980s the French garden door has seen something of a resurgence in line with the renewed popularity of Britain’s Victorian and Edwardian property stocks which had previously been shunned in favour of more modern builds or had their architectural guts ripped out or covered up. If you want to add a touch of classic charm and character to a property, add some French garden doors – there are slim, traditional, multi-paned wooden ones and mammoth aluminium double-glazed doors that open up the entire rear of your lounge or kitchen-diner. They often cost a little more than the sliding garden door alternative and you will need to spend a little more time considering the style you’d like (as it actually has style), but if you choose a French door to the garden you’re in good company as it’s been the most popular style of garden access for decades.
Bifold Garden Doors
Enter the youngster of the pack – the bifold. Bifold garden doors are relatively new to the domestic market and are a system of folding doors that concertina into an almost flat open position. They are the pinnacle of style as they slide effortlessly back to open up either an entire room or the full width of the rear of a property to the garden. Of course, just like anything that’s on-trend, this comes at a price and bifold garden doors are still the most expensive of the three, often by quite some way.
Personally, I enjoy the mix of character with contemporary, so my ideal would be a beautiful Victorian home with a modern open-plan lounge-dining-kitchen extension with bifolds that open up the entire rear of the house to the garden so inside and out can run seamlessly into one another… what about you?