Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Summer's coming ... need patio doors with integral blinds and no dusting!

There are several issues to be covered here. First, planning ahead. Summer is coming and bifolding-sliding doors that open across the whole wall, either to the conservatory or the garden, would be brilliant! You could feel like you were on holiday in the Mediterranean with an
al fresco lifestyle. Furniture can easily be carried onto the patio through the wide opening and the balmy breeze can waft into the room, carrying with it the scent of garden flowers.

Secondly, if you make that decision early to catch the Spring sunshine, it may be a little nippy to keep the doors fully open all day but with a south-facing aspect the house will be warm all day. However, if the house is empty during hot summer days, you may want a contingency plan to keep the temperature down a little - maybe curtains or vertical blinds to stop the sun's penetrating rays from making the room too stuffy.

Here's a great idea ... order your patio doors with integral blinds! You can choose pleated or slatted, fitted inside the double glazing cavity and operated from within the room, either manually (using magnets) or with a remote control. The blinds will never need dusting or cleaning, they are not subjected to heavy-handedness so they are unlikely to need repair. Integral blinds are available in a range of colours, as are the powder-coated door frames. Match them or contrast to establish your style.

If you want integral blinds, you will need to order your bifolding doors at least a month before installation (maybe longer, depending on work schedules) but if you just want a fabulous range of up to 7.2 metres of folding glass wall between your home and the great outdoors, current timescales are from two to four weeks between order and installation.

SunSeeker Doors are made to order in their factory near the M1 in Bedfordshire, fitted by their experienced installation team and carry a two-year warranty. Client testimonials are included amongst the blog posts; further information plus a photograph gallery and a quotation request form are on the web site:


Monday, 9 March 2009

BiFolding Doors - Builders' Cheaper Alternatives

No matter what the budget for home improvement, it always seems to escalate and cost-cutting becomes essential.

A single storey extension might be priced by the builder at around £40,000. Whether the builder is charging time-and-materials or a fixed-price-job, there will almost always be extras to pay for. For example, is there a percentage allowed for unforeseen problems such as uncovering rotting timbers or discovering damaged pipework?

Have you checked any 'PC' items in the builders quote/estimate? These are Provisional Costings and therefore subject to change. Examples here might include doors, windows, sanitaryware, taps, floor tiles, etc. These PCs are often for basic options and most home-owners tend to be a bit more choosy. If you haven't already sourced and priced specific items, these extras can add up to a significant amount.

Not to mention how many changes to the original specification happen during the process!

Many builders are good sources of information when it comes to suggesting suppliers and best value for money but, even with the best intentions, following that advice can sometimes be detrimental.

During the past week, here at SunSeeker Doors, two cases have come to our attention. In each entirely separate case, a builder had suggested that costs of bifolding doors could be reduced if sourced elsewhere through the trade. In both cases, the doors were supplied by companies that do not specialise in bifolding doors and, unfortunately, the doors soon became difficult to operate.

At the end of the job
the doors were working but it transpired that they came with no further guarantee nor warranty. Who is responsible? The supplier, the builder or the home-owner? In the end, it's the home-owner who has paid the money and has to sort out any problems.

Bifolding doors, manufactured by specialist companies such as SunSeeker Doors, can offer warranties on their products and installations because the products have been tried and tested in thousands of homes over the years, measured and fitted by experienced professionals.

Typical pitfalls with bifolding doors are: (1) materials used (2) tension calculations.

Wood, particularly softwood but including unseasoned hardwood, can warp and can expand in hot or wet weather. Once this happens, there could be problems with opening, closing and sliding. More importantly, this means that the doors may not be keeping the heat in or the draught out.
The weight of the doors needs to be distributed correctly to enable the doors to slide smoothly in the runners for the full length of the opening, particularly as the openings can be 5, 6 or 7 metres in length.

SunSeeker BiFolding Doors are made from aluminium. It's strength, compared with pvc or wood, enables a much narrower frame around each glass door panel and a slimmer profile for maximum access when doors are fully opened. A real benefit of the powder-coated finish is that it doesn't require painting or varnishing.
And, though a major objective is to see as little door-frame as possible, what you can see will remain looking good just wiped with a damp cloth occasionally.

SunSeeker Door prices are very competitive for the quality and anticipated life of the product, they will continue to perform for years, in terms of both functionality and thermal efficiency.

Please take a look at our web site before making your final decision:

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