How much do bi-fold windows cost?
Bifold windows invite a huge amount of natural light into your property and can be used either as a window or full-height door. The average cost is around £1,200 for a small bi-fold feature or £2,000 and above for a larger opening. These windows are popular in conservatories and sunrooms or as patio doors that provide a wider glazed area, sliding completely to one side for an unrestricted view.
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Average Bifold Windows Cost
Window fitters will price every home improvement project slightly differently, but we've collated some indicative prices to give you an idea.
Installation tends to cost around £350 to £500 (although more for a complex structure), so it's wise to ensure any prices you compare are like-for-like, especially if they are for supply only.
Bifold windows or doors can be anything from two to seven panels, interlocking when opened to create an open walk-through space - the materials and the size of the panels you choose will be the biggest price factors.
|Window size||Material||Average costs|
|Three panels||Aluminium||£1,700 - £2,300|
|Four panels||Aluminium||£2,150 - £2,750|
|Five panels||Aluminium||£4,000 - £5,500|
|Three panels||Timber||£1,400 - £1,750|
|Four panels||Timber||£2,250 - £2,750|
|Five panels||Timber||£3,150 - £5,500|
|Three panels||UPVC||£1,200 - £2,000|
|Four panels||UPVC||£1,500 - £2,300|
|Five panels||UPVC||£2,500 - £4,250|
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Cost Factors in Bifold Window Installation
There are many variables, and a window fitter will need a few details, such as the size of your windows and where you'd like them installed, before they can offer a quotation.
Cost elements include:
- The number of panels (usually between three and five).
- How large your bifold windows need to be.
- Whether you require internal or exterior installation.
- The material you choose - UPVC is normally the cheapest.
- Which glazing you want, usually double or triple-glazing.
- Locking mechanisms with higher-grade security locks advisable for external bifold windows.
- Where you live - contractor prices are almost always higher in London and the southeast.
Inevitably, the larger your bifold windows, or the more windows you are replacing, the higher your budget will need to be.
If the windows are on an upper level, your contractor will normally need to hire scaffolding, so it's important to include this cost in your budget or make sure it is part of the price quoted.
Waste removal and skip hire will also add to the overall costs since any old windows and frames being removed will need to be disposed of.
You should also consider any repair works, painting or decorating.
Widening an existing opening to allow for larger glazing may require preparatory work before a tradesperson can remove the old frames. You will probably need some touch-ups to the paintwork inside to achieve the right finish.
We'll run through each of the common material choices below so you can make an informed decision about which windows are right for your home.
UPVC Bifold Windows
UPVC is the most affordable material and comes in a standard white, but can also be in various colours and styles, including wood grain to replicate timber.
Aluminium Bifold Windows
Aluminium is a modern and sophisticated window material - it's more expensive than UPVC but can be relatively low maintenance, provided the metal frames have been correctly treated to avoid rust.
Timber Bifold Windows
Classic wood is suited to traditional or period properties and can look stunning. The downside is that timber requires more maintenance, as it'll start to warp over time if not kept in good condition.
Composite Bifold Windows
If you're stuck for choice, you can go for composite bifold windows, which blend aluminium and timber to create a durable, strong and long-lasting frame.
Picking a Style of Bifold Window
If you're looking at bifold window costs, you might notice that fitters often display three numbers, such as 5-4-1 next to each type of frame.
Those numbers indicate how the bifold windows work, with the first number indicating the number of doors that interlock to slide away when opened.
The second number shows the number of panels opening to the left, and the third is how many open to the right.
It's worth having a fitter attend your property to measure up and discuss the functionality you'd like from your bifold windows if you're unsure which style or structure would work nicely.
Benefits of Fitting Bifold Windows
We'll focus on UPVC as the most typical bifold window material, but you can also look into the other window frame types as discussed above.
There are several reasons UPVC bifold windows are so popular:
- Affordable cost - UPVC bifolds are reasonably priced and widely available, which helps keep the costs fairly stable.
- Availability - most window fitters will offer UPVC bifold windows, so you can usually organise your work faster with a local contractor than having any specialist frames made.
- Durability - UPVC lasts for many years and requires almost no maintenance. It isn't vulnerable to temperature changes or pollutants, so it won't easily fade, crack or shift.
- Efficiency - energy efficiency is an important element if you sell a property or want to minimise your utility costs. UPVC bifolds have a simple structure and provide natural insulative properties.
- Security - a bifold window with a UPVC frame is reinforced with galvanised steel in the centre, which means the frames remain incredibly robust.
- Design options - although white is the most standard UPVC, you can select many different colourways and finishes.
In terms of glazing, you'll normally find that most UPVC bifold windows are double-glazed.
Other options include solar control glass, triple-glazing or laminated glass - although full-length bifold doors will come with tempered glass as a security measure.
Checkout this video which talks you through what to look when selecting your bi-fold window:
Frequently asked questions
Next, we'll look at some of the frequently asked questions about the cost of bifold windows and the pros and cons of this type of sliding window or door.
What Material is Best for a Bifold Window Frame?
Bifold windows can be made with any frame material you prefer - timber, UPVC, and aluminium are the typical options.
Still, you can also buy composite bifold doors or commission a window fitter to create a custom-made frame.
All of the materials have advantages and pitfalls in terms of appearance and performance, but if you're looking for the least costly bifold window, UPVC is the most widely available and lowest priced.
Some homeowners prefer aluminium as a sleek, strong window material, so a lot depends on your budget and the aesthetic you're after.
How Can Bifold Windows Be Hung to Save Space?
Again, it's up to you!
Bifold windows can open inwards or outwards, with the frames stacked to the side - you can decide whether you'd like the panels to hang inside or outside, so it's all about identifying how this would look and where you have the most room.
The space-saving nature of bifold windows is one of the key selling points, and you can decide how you'd like your frames to be configured before work begins.
Can I Get a Bifold Window in a Colour Other Than White?
You can indeed - most bifold windows or doors are white UPVC, but there are multiple colour options.
Timber bifolds can be treated or stained to any finish you'd like, and aluminium is available in several colourways, not solely in a silver shade.
Powder-coated aluminium bifolds use a bonding process to create a distinct colour or tone, and you can buy UPVC bifold doors in block colours, timber effects and bright hues.
Do Bifold Windows Add to the Value of a House?
While a lot depends on your property and the average market values in the area, bifold doors or windows can add around 5-10% to the value of a home.
The big benefit is that large-scale opening, so you can use bifold windows to open a space, or doors to create a grand entrance into your garden.
Most bifold windows will come with a guarantee or warranty period, which is another plus point if you decide to sell, and a modern double or triple-glazed window will boost your energy-efficiency rating and make your home cheaper to run.
If you live close to a busy road or airport, you could request glass with enhanced soundproofing properties.
Which is Better - Bifold Doors or Sliding Doors?
The difference between sliding and bifold doors is that a bifold window or door folds into itself at one end of the opening, thereby maximising the space available.
Sliding doors work on static runners, opening to half the width since one fixed panel must remain in position.
Bifold and sliding doors cost very similar prices, so most homeowners opt for a bifold closure system since it's superior in natural light, ventilation and accessibility.
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