To help you compare products and choose which best suits you we have put together some of the main points. Although there may be drawbacks for some of the manufacturers there are also a lot of positive points to be considered. If you would like to read more about each of the doors we have a range of pages to explore.
Out of the materials we deal with we have found that Aluminium by far has the least expansion, and is designed perfectly for an easy adjustment if any alteration is needed. The timber products we supply are all engineered for minimal expansion, however you need to remember as a natural product there will be a small amount of expansion or contraction each year. With a precision product such as a Bifold door there is little tolerance for expansion or shrinkage before the door may appear to ‘stick’ or needs adjustment.
All of the Aluminium bifold doors we supply have a maximum pane size of 1.2m, the HBD Timber bifold range has a slightly smaller Bifold door size of 1m.
Our Manufacturers are constantly improving their products and bring out new doors to meet the needs of their customers. Currently the Schuco Bifold door and Origin have the slimmest sightline of our doors.
As a stable product Aluminium is less likely to expand and cause issues with the working of your bifold doors. The high quality parts used on each of our doors will also aid the smooth running for the doors lifetime. Compared to Timber which is a lovely product but is easily affected by the weather and because of this there is a shorter guarantee on the doors.
As the table indicates, the more stars a door has the higher the price range is. We believe each of the doors are competitively priced and their quality is reflected.
Each of our sliding door manufacturers are unique in the accessories they offer. AIR offer a large handle range with a standard and purity selection. Origin on the other hand currently have a limited range to offer. On another side of the spectrum Centor offer screens and shades which are integrated into the frame of the door. These do not obscure the view from your doors whilst remaining easy to use.
Sliding doors maximum sizes are calculated differently to bifold doors. Here they are worked out by the weight of glass a door can hold and operate with. The Glide-S system can hold a 400kg glass unit! They can make the largest doors and offer the most flexibility for sizes. AIR are able to manufacture sashes up to 2.5m wide and 2.7m high weighing 300kg. If you are worried about our poor installers carrying that glass do not fear, these larger installations are crane assisted, a spider crane will come and do majority of the heavy lifting.
We have seen the market for sliding doors grow rapidly over the last year or so, as such it has become a war of the slim sight lines. Origin’s new slider has a tiny 21mm sight line, while the AIR 500/600LS has fuller sight lines of 48mm but has the advantage of being lift and slide giving it a lot more options for ventilation positions. All of the products we supply and install are of a top quality and it will be down to you the customer to look at the small variations between them and decide which one works better for you and is more practical for you application.
As we have mentioned with our bifold doors, Aluminium is a stable product and a lot less likely to expand. UPVC may be fine for a small sliding door but once the doors get bigger there is more need for a precision product and material. For example AIR believe in their product so much they offer a 25 year guarantee. You may also know that Centor offer a timber cloaked sliding door; this is where the main bulk of the doors are Aluminium and the timber wraps. Giving the door a more traditional finish without being susceptible to expansion or shrinking issues you may find with a natural material.
For the large pane sliding doors the price may also include a crane assisted installation. Where required to assist with lifting the large heavy glass safely and carefully into place. You can see one of these crane assisted installs in our case studies
Origin has an extensive accessories ranges when it comes to windows, they offer both beautiful stainless handles colour coded options. The Origin blinds range is also suitable for the windows to add your own personality to the styling. If you’re looking for something traditional R9 have a range of monkey tail handles and window stays for period styling.
Majority of window systems can support a sash size of 0.6 wide. Origin have pushed this boundary and developed sashes and hinges which are able to support much bigger! A side hung sash can be manufactured 1m wide x 1.8m high and top hung can be made 1.5m square! The Lumi window has an advanced hinge system which allows it to go to comparable large sizes.
The slimmest sight line of all our windows is the ALUK window. However the glass fronted Lumi window has no frame to speak of and is in a league of its own. Lumi’s wall to wall glass means there no raised, mounted frame, painted surface or exposed joints.
As with other products, Aluminium and UPVC are the more superior products when it comes to maintenance. As they are almost maintenance free and only require cleaning down and the odd adjustment over time. Timber will always need more maintenance – it is more of a lifestyle choice.
For a contemporary look with economical pricing Aluk is on top. If you are looking for a specific U-value Origin also offer upgrades such as Aerogel to meet values as low as 0.9. Each of the products have optional upgrades which are priced on an individual basis.
By far Solidor has the largest range of accessories; you can customise every aspect of the door. You are able to visit their website and design your door from start to finish. Forward your desired door to us and we can give you a custom price. The other ranges all still have a variety of options available from handles, bar handles and letterboxes.
Dutemann offers the Haus door which is similar to the Origin front door, the width goes up to 1.2m wide. Origin can also meet a large 1.2m wide as with their front door panels. These large doors also come with optional upgrades for electronic operation and locking. As for the extensive Solidor range, the width depends on the panel option you choose.
When it comes to security there are a number of options and upgrades available; each product has its own upgrades. Origin offer 5 or 8 point locking, Haus meets PAS24 certification and HBD Timber products can be secured by design.
There seems to be a theme as far as the durability and maintenance of a product is concerned. This is dependant on the material that the product is made from. Powder coated Aluminium is a superior finish and its longevity far outperforms the other materials. However we would never offer a product which is not up to the job.
If you are looking for value for money on your door the best choice would be the Solidor which is a composite product. Obviously everyone has different tastes and budgets, we want to be able to offer you a door to suit every customer and every project.
Fingers crossed given you more insight into products on offer and how they compare! We hope it help with your product choices. As we mention throughout our webpage if you have anything else to ask please do not hesitate to contact us.
We are extremely proud of our award winning showroom and would like to invite you to visit. Whether you have a build in motion or are simply doing some research we would love the opportunity to share our knowledge and skills with you. There is no need to book an appointment, simply pop in at your convenience. Find our opening times here.
Our sales team are also available by both phone and email. All the team at HBD will be happy to hear from you!
Phone: 01727 845600