Throughout history, residential architecture has taken on many faces. Mainly it has provided us with many creative solutions to homes’ entrances. One of the most exciting and sought-after entryways is nowadays bifold doors. However, bifold doors are new, so they can sometimes be confusing. Homeowners wonder how they work and what bifold configuration best suits their homes. In this article, we’re answering one very common and very important question: Do bifold doors open in or out?
We’ll also review a few other bifold questions we’ve been asked recently:
- What are Bifold Doors?
- Do Bifold Doors Open In or Out?
- What Are Additional Bifold Door Configurations Available?
- How to Choose the Right Bifold Door?
What is a Bifold Door?
No other modern home improvement trend possesses such a WOW Factor as bifold doors. They do not function like a typical sliding or hinged door, and so they draw your immediate attention to the patio entrance as you approach it. Bifold doors are quite a bit more practical than any conventional patio door.
If you have never seen a bifold door, imagine bifolding closet doors and room dividers. Exterior bifold doors look similar to those, but they’re more beautiful, heavier, and bigger. In residential applications, this style has grown in popularity among homeowners who want to create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living areas and those who value outdoor entertaining. You have probably seen this entrance at restaurants, bars, cafes, and stores, and now bifold doors have made their way to residential homes.
So Do Bifold Doors Open In or Out?
From the first glance, it can be unclear which way the bifold doors will open since they work differently from typical sliding doors or hinged doors. Also, bifold doors operate on a track, which is very similar to sliding patio doors. When the bifold doors are opened, the panels fold against each other. When bifold doors are completely open at the end of the track, they collapse on each other and form a stack.
The bottom line is that manufacturers can construct the door to operate either way. The “inswing” bifold doors fold to the inside of the track, and when they are open, they will rest on the inside of the house. They can also fold and stack to the outside of the house, and they will be called “outswing” doors. Keep in mind is that the bifold doors only stick out by the length of one panel, not the entire length of the door. Also, don’t forget that some space will be taken by the width of all the panels stacked together on either side. And you can have your bifold door configured in different ways. Usually, the bifold door opens from one end, and all the panels stack to one side. Another option is to have the door open from the center, and the panels equally stack to the left and right.
What Are Additional Bifold Door Configurations Available?
The configurations will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and usually include inswing, outswing, and center pivot options.
Inswing Bifold Door
In this case, the door panels live inside the house when folding.
Outswing Bifold Door
If the door has the “outswing” configuration, the door panels live outside the house when folding.
Center Pivot Bifold Door
In this case, the door panels are equally spaced between the inside and outside of the house when they are folding.
Deciding on the Right Door Configuration for Your Home
You always need to consider how the configurations for bifold doors will affect your home, even though they vary based on the manufacturing company. The construction of your porch or stairs and the entire exterior portion of your home might be affected by the configuration of your bifold door. For example, if you choose an inswing bifold door, you will have to be aware of furniture, home accessories, or spaces such as closets that need to be accessible.
When it comes to the replacement windows and doors for your home, making choices from the wide selection of aesthetic styles and products can feel overwhelming. If you are having issues visualizing how a bifold door would function in your home, contact us today or call (562) 464-0684.