Bifold, French and sliding doors undoubtedly offer a better view of the garden when compared to windows, so these are often the most popular choice. After deciding on having new doors installed, the next step is to choose which type of doors you want. The three options are:

  • Bi-folding doors – These doors feature multiple leaves which concertina back to fully open up the aperture.
  • Sliding doors – Sliding doors tend to be made up of two or more large panes of glass, one of which slides behind the other.
  • French doors – Traditional patio doors often found in older properties, these usually comprise two doors which both open out.

Below, we take a look at what each of these doors offer as well as assessing the pros and cons of each.

The view

Bi-fold doors Sliding doors French doors
  • Can replace an entire wall in your home, offering wider outdoor views
  • When closed, the frames break up the view, even though they are slim
  • When folded back, bi-fold doors open up your house for a full and uninterrupted view outdoors
  • Can replace an entire wall in your home, offering the best widescreen views
  • When closed, sliding doors offer a slim frame between two panes of glass ranging between 20mm and 100mm depending on profile choice.
  • Traditional door frames mean whole wall can’t be replaced
  • Views are not as wide as sliding or bi-folding doors, but they still offer a much better view than a single door or windows
Second best view to sliding doors when closed, but offers the best view when opened. Offers a great view when closed however, the view is slightly compromised by the door being unable to open completely. French doors can’t open as wide as sliding or bi-folding doors, so tend to offer a less expansive, more restricted view.


Bi-fold doors Sliding doors French doors
  • Generally speaking, bi-folds are more expensive than sliding doors and French doors
  • Price varies according to the quantity of door leaves required and the size of the aperture
  • Sliding doors are a mid-range product depending on size.
  • Large panes of glass over 1.3m wide will increase the cost
  • Most affordable option as much smaller than bi-fold or sliding doors

Property suitability

Bi-fold doors Sliding doors French doors
  • Often associated with contemporary properties, but used increasingly in traditional homes
  • Can be powder coated to offer a variation of styles, including wood-grain finishes
  • Better suited for modern properties
  • Offer an excellent widescreen view
  • Best suited to older-style properties
  • Offer greater variation in styles of frame and glass
  • Can be adapted to work with traditional features such as sash windows and plate glass windows


Bi-fold doors Sliding doors French doors
  • Very flexible in terms of possible configurations
  • Multiple door leaves can be used that open in one direction, open in the middle or in various configurations to suit your preference
  • Can be installed into bays
  • One door can slide over the other, or you can use two doors that open in the centre and slide out over fixed panels
  • Triple track option allowing two doors to slide over to one side or from the middle opening either side
  • Can’t be installed into bays
  • Can be installed into bays
  • Normal configuration involves two doors hung to open outwards or inwards
Most flexible in terms of different configurations. Multiple configuration options. Fewer options as doors tend to work like traditional doors.


Bi-fold doors Sliding doors French doors
  • Rebated frame as standard for optimal weather tight seal
  • A level threshold removes trip hazards and creates a seamless transition between inside and outside
  • Correct drainage can be installed to prevent pooling in front of doors
  • A weathered threshold creating a weather tight seal for optimum protection against the elements.
  • Can also achieve a flush, level threshold
  • Only available on traditional door frames, which create a small lip between inside and outside that must be stepped over.
  • Low threshold option available but not recommended
Can achieve a level threshold, producing a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors. Can achieve a level threshold, producing a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors.. Normal door frame will separate outside from inside.