Bi-fold Doors - UPVC versus Aluminium

Bi-fold doors are an extremely popular choice when it comes to home new-build projects, or when replacing existing traditional patio windows.  But should you opt for UPVC or aluminium frames?  Here's a brief comparison to help you decide.

Aluminium frames

A major consideration when choosing window frames is how long they will last before they require replacement.  When it comes to lasting looks, aluminium generally fares better in the longevity stakes than UPVC. 

Where stability and functionality is concerned, aluminium is not affected by exposure to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as its composition makes it very resistant to contraction and expansion.  Therefore, aluminium-framed bi-fold doors are not prone to bending or warping, which could affect their smooth operation.

In addition to the traditional metallic silvery finish, aluminium frames now come in a range of colours, allowing you to choose something that best complements your décor scheme.

Aluminium is not the cheapest option for frame material; however it does retain its looks and functionality very well, making it an economical choice in the long-term.

UPVC frames

UPVC frames are usually supplied with a white finish that looks great to begin with, but can suffer from yellowing over time.  Another potential issue with UPVC as it ages is that can be prone to warping or bending, especially if the doors have suffered from prolonged periods of exposure to direct sunlight or intense heat.  This means that the doors will not operate as smoothly, making them difficult to open and shut.

Even the most expensive UPVC bi-fold door frames are generally cheaper than aluminium, although it's worth taking into consideration the likelihood that they will need to be replaced sooner.

Both UPVC and aluminium frames are comparable in their cleaning and maintenance requirements, although a white UPVC finish is inclined to show the effects of dust and dirt more quickly than aluminium.  This could mean that you may have to clean UPVC frames more often than aluminium ones, which could be a problem in a busy household where spare time is at a premium. 

In conclusion

Although both UPVC and aluminium frames look great to begin with, aluminium is probably the better choice when it comes to longevity of aesthetics and operation.  If you have a limited budget, UPVC might be the best way to go, as long as you are prepared for an earlier replacement than if you opt for aluminium.  Have a chat with your local supplier for more advice on the best choice for you.