Picture of Home Hub Sliding Doors

Believe it or not, bifold doors don’t have a dedicated Wikipedia page. We thought we’d check, purely because we were keen to find out when the first bifold door came to market. What we did find out is that folding doors were very much present in Roman times, and this was revealed by excavations in Pompeii. Scholar of the ancient world, Peter Connolly, noted that Romans disliked single-leaf doors, and instead, favoured double or even folding doors wherever possible. Nice one, Romans.

A little closer to modern day, Google Trends tells us that interest in bifold doors, at least as a search term, began to climb noticeably in 2010, and more rapidly so from around 2016. It’s safe to say that these wonderful folding doors are a true marvel of modern fenestration, vastly improving homes new and old throughout the UK. But let’s not let the humble bifold hog the limelight. There are several other types of window that are a worthy addition to a building project, whether you’re building from the ground up or renovating. Let’s take a look at those today…

Roof lights and roof lanterns

Remember those old camper vans with the ‘pop tops’? They were a great way to extend the ceiling height of the van and let in more light. Now, unless you’re over two metres tall, we don’t think you’ll benefit from the extra space that a roof lantern brings, but you’ll certainly notice the extra light.

Like folding doors, roof lanterns have a rich history, dating as far back as the 6th century. Found on Buddhist buildings in eastern Asia and renaissance architecture in Florence and Seville, open or glazed lanterns served the same purpose that they do today. They were also used for protecting citrus trees in the cooler months (although we don’t recommend this today).

Roof lights or lanterns are a superb addition to a flat roof extension, and are particularly useful in areas that don’t receive a lot of natural light. This might be a flat roof section of a building that is between two rooms, such as a hallway. Or perhaps a room where the wall windows are in constant shadow from an adjacent building, wall or hedge.

A roof light can be flat or with a pointed apex design, often with a shallow incline. In all configurations, the roof bars (the hardware between the glass panes) are slimline, and the glazing itself is toughened to protect against any falling debris such as branches or a wayward squirrel.

Worried about keeping it clean? We’ve got that covered too. All of our roof light glazing comes with a self-cleaning coating, and in addition, you can also opt for solar control, which protects you from UV and heat – incredibly beneficial during our increasingly hot summers where you don’t want to be cooking whilst you’re, well, cooking.

There are several other options that we can offer, including glass rafters and ‘up and overs’. Our versatile selection means that we have something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a discrete window that simply lets in more light, or a statement piece that tops off your impressive extension or renovation. Take a look for yourself here.

Sliding doors

We’re not going to make the Gwyneth Paltrow reference, because we already made that quip in our recent blog, Understanding French doors, sliding doors and bifold doors, which is certainly worth a read.

Sliding doors are what you may have grown up knowing as patio doors. They’re simply several framed doors (two or more), that slide behind one another to create an opening. A huge benefit of a sliding door is that it doesn’t require a footprint outside of its frame in the way that a bifold door does. In short, when you open a bifold door, the doors need to have somewhere to sit.

The downside here is that there’ll always be a part of the doorway that’ll be occupied by the door panels themselves. With a bifold door, you can have up to 98% of the entryway completely clear. A way around this with a more traditional door would be to create a pocket door, which is a sliding door that opens fully, and then tucks itself away into the wallspace, but this generally isn’t used on external doors unless it’s a bespoke product.

Read more about sliding doors.

Single doors

Why should the back of your house have all the fun? The front of your house is the face to the neighbourhood, an aspect of your house that you’ll be looking at almost every day of the week. We sell a wide range of products, from composite doors to stable doors, and even bespoke timber doors in a more traditional style.

When building our range, we felt that variety is important. The slim and low profile nature of bifold doors and roof lights mean that they can fit within a property of any style and age. Front doors, on the other hand, are a lot more subjective and a little more care and attention needs to be made to ensure that the style of the door fits with the style of the property. That’s why we cater for modern and traditional styles, from the way the doors are moulded to the colours we have on offer.

We also offer a number of internal doors, which are great for partitioning your home. Perhaps you’re renovating an HMO, or you need a clear division between home and home office. Our steel look doors are attractive and secure (with 3 star Ultion locks), and come in a range of styles.

Our fully glazed rear doors are popular too. If you’re renovating or building an extension with bifold or sliding doors, it might be a good time to replace your single back door or side door to bring security and consistency to your new space.

See our versatile range of single doors here.

Anything else?

Actually, yes. We also carry an enviable range of windows. Whether you’re looking for aluminium, uPVC, traditional or modern, we have something for every budget. Whilst bifold doors are great, perhaps you don’t want your entire opening as a door. We’ve seen some beautiful extensions and renovations that make use of impressive floor to ceiling windows.

If you live in a traditional or period home, we carry bay windows and heritage look windows. If you live in an area that’s exposed to the elements, we carry stormproof casements. And if you’re lucky enough to have a stunning view from anywhere in your home, we carry frameless glass box windows, which are a perfect place to integrate a window seat.

So if you have a renovation project or big build coming up soon, think beyond the bifold. If there’s anything you need to know about our doors, windows and roof lights, then please do get in touch.