Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Buying / Investing during the Credit Crunch

Leading industry analysts, Plimsoll, have told us that a new industry report shows that
Sunseeker Doors Limited has maintained its performance levels much better than others operating in the difficult UK French Door Suppliers industry. The report also reveals that the number of competitors in real financial difficulty is rising.

The last thing you need when choosing your patio doors is to lose your hard-earned cash in a black hole.

At SunSeeker Doors, we can turn an order into an installation within 2 or 3 weeks*. We measure up then manufacture our bifolding patio doors in-house, including the powder-coating process. As soon as the unit has been checked by the QA manager, we despatch our installation team to your property, where you can be enjoying the view and the access within a few short hours.

For full details and to submit a quotation request, visit our web site: - or for a faster response, call us on
01582 492730

*Applies to white frames, K-glass and standard options. We regret that some options, such as integral blinds, may add 2 to 4 weeks to the installation date.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Designing Rooms With a View And Easier Access

A country house, a penthouse apartment, a modest home with a pretty garden - wherever you live, your doors and windows are a lifestyle choice that, if given careful consideration, can bring lasting pleasure.

French Doors.

Wood-framed French doors will enhance a cottage in keeping with its origins and are loved by traditionalists. Styles vary from plain glass or half-glazed to Georgian panes, Victorian decorative glass panels and leaded-light. The wood itself can be softwood, such as pine, or hardwood, such as oak. Wood-framed French doors are available 'off the shelf' for d.i.y or professional installation. They are usually unfinished, which means that they can be stained or painted to suit.

In the UK, French doors usually open outwards, away from the house. Whilst this helps rainwater run off rather than run in, it makes the use of outside shutters very difficult. In France, for example, the doors open inwards so that shutters can then be accessed from the inside to open outwards. Shutters are better at keeping out hot sun and bright light than curtains, they can even be kept securely closed on hot nights with the doors wide open on the inside, allowing air to circulate. The downside of this arrangement is that on dull winter days, the doors have to be opened despite the cold, in order to open and close the shutters each morning and evening.

French doors need not be quaint and made of wood. There are modern 20th Century PVC versions, usually in white, often with a choice of plain or paneled glazing, which are still popular today because they can be produced very cheaply and are seen to require less maintenance than wood. There used to a 'Crittal' style metal version of French doors, popular in the 1960s but, though sturdy, these were very bad insulators with single glazing and appalling condensation problems.

During the late 20th Century, a better solution emerged, using powder-coated aluminium. Today's 'metal' French doors are manufactured using thermally broken architectural aluminium and K-glass double-glazed units for with high insulation properties. The powder-coating comes in a range of more than 40 colour options although white is the general standard. In addition to the tradtional centre opening French doors, these can be ordered as bi-folding doors with a side opening to the right or left and folding inwards or outwards.

This begins to open up possibilities of having much wider openings for French doors. For example, a single door of a standard pair would be straining the hinges at three feet wide but a pair of bi-folding doors could easily be in excess of twelve feet wide. And why stop there?

Patio Doors.

The 1970s saw the popularity of sliding patio doors. A great idea at the time but the eventual wrestling match to slide the doors open or closed dampened the thrill of having so much light flooding into the room. Improvements were made to the sliding or gliding mechanism over time but for every three feet of open doorway there was another three feet of double-double-glazed barrier as half the patio door became a patio window.

Bifolding Doors.

Very popular today, bifolding doors are available with wooden, plastic or metal frames. Bifolding doors combine the best of French doors with the best of patio doors to create a product that is better than the sum of its parts. A metal-framed bifolding door can span an opening of six or seven metres, most of it totally accessible when all the doors are open.

Think of bifolding doors as a set of multiple-fold French doors. When open, there is nothing obstructing the view or the access from inside to outside. When closed, the door panels form a virtual glass wall. Aluminium frames give the best view because the strength of the metal enables the frame width and profile to be considerably slimmer than either plastic or wooden frames, therefore allowing a higher percentage of glass for your viewing pleasure and, of course, for maximum natural light flow. Each of the aluminium door panels can be up to one metre wide.

Whilst an abundance of natural light is wonderful most of the time, consideration needs to be given to those times when curtains, shutters or blinds are desirable. Externally, traditional wooden shutters are not feasible for wide spans of bifolding doors but it may be possible to have roller (security) shutters fitted to the outside wall above the doors. These would be effective against light (and vandalism) but could be considered ugly and put off prospective future buyers.

Inside the home, seven metres of curtain material can be very heavy to hang and to open fully to the sides. Alternatives may include vertical blinds on custom-made long tracks for wide openings, a series of Venetian, pleated or roller blinds on the ceiling or wall above the doors, or sliding blinds. Sliding blinds are panels of celing-to-floor fabric blinds that are fixed to a ceiling-mounted channel. Typically, a pack of sliding blinds has a maximum total width of 4.5 metres, half of which may be blocked by the stacked blinds so there could be considerable access problems.

The most convenient option is to order integral blinds with the doors. A choice of pleated or Venetian blinds can be sealed inside the sealed double-glazed unit. Using an electronic remote control or the cheaper option of magnetic manual pull-string, the blinds are operated in the normal way. They can be fully retracted upwards for an open view or dropped down to a fully closed position. Integral Venetian blinds can also be slanted in any direction, as usual, so that the amount of sunlight can be controlled whilst retaining some of the view.

Glass Curtains.

And finally, another new product has been launched for the 21st Century, enabling even more glass-to-frame ratio and allowing more flexibility in terms of maximum width (theoretically, none) and where to open up the doors. Even with bifolding doors, there has to be an opening - a defined point where doors meet each other or the wall. With Glass Curtains, however, concepts have changed.

There are two categories of Glass Curtains. The original is a toughened glass, single-glazed, totally frameless option that is suitable as a room divider or as an enclosure for balconies or covered areas where thermal compliance is unnecessary. The latest version is double-glazed with a very small frame, necessary to hold the two panels of the glazed unit together. Both versions of the product operate in the same way.

Each glass panel can unlock, open, slide and turn individually. This means that they can all be stacked to one side of the aperture or spaced out with walk-through gaps wherever they are required. The effect can be stunning.


Which doors are right for your home?

  • French doors,
  • Patio doors,
  • Bifolding doors or
  • Glass curtains?

What frames are in or out of the shortlist?

  • Hardwood/softwood frames,
  • Plastic/PVC frames or
  • Metal/aluminium?

When making your decision, consider:

  • Your budget,
  • Total price of purchase, delivery, installation and any decorating
  • Availability/timescale,
  • Durability/longevity of the product,
  • Visual appeal and liveability,
  • Investment value/saleability,
  • Future maintenance (eg. re-varnishing wood)

Make the right choice for your lifestyle.

SunSeeker Doors manufactures aluminium-framed Bifolding doors and French doors, with optional integral blinds, can also supply patio doors and windows to complement, and is the sole UK distributor for Clear Glass Curtains.

Enquiries are welcome and may be followed up with a courtesy call if you have no objection. Further information is available on

Article Source:

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Modern Patio Doors on Traditional Properties

Not far from the office is a beautiful, 16th Century, Grade II listed, thatched Hall House. Its listing means that every external change - and some internal ones - have to be approved by the Heritage people as well as the local Planning Authority.

But not all cottages are listed. Owners of some have tastefully introduced new features to complement the original ones. For example, who amongst us would like to install a typical 18th Century farmworker's cottage kitchen or do away with bathrooms?

There are different degrees of modernisation to apply, depending on taste, budget and confidence. It is generally accepted that an old cottage facade should remain as true to its origins as possible, with wooden window frames, a solid wood front door and reclaimed or reproduction roof tiles, if needed. Inside or at the back of the house, particularly when extending the building, we are more adventurous.

Many attractive old cottages have beautiful gardens. SunSeeker Doors can offer three different styles of doors to enhance the experience of living in idyllic surroundings - all the doors facilitate maximum access between the house and garden when open and maximum viewing pleasure when closed.

Our classic bifolding doors have a narrow profile which takes up very little space when the doors are stacked to the side of the opening. The aluminium frames are also narrow (6 cm) which means that there is a greater percentage of glazed area to view through when doors are closed, compared with plastic frames. Bifolding doors have a traditionally opening main door which folds back to secure itself magnetically to the adjoining panel. If required, a larger opening can be made by easily sliding the panels, creating a concertina effect. All the panels can slide and fold to the side or sides of the opening for any aperture up to 7.2 metres (nearly 24 ft).

We also install Glass Curtains. Developed in Europe as frameless, single-glazed sliding panel enclosures for balconies and terraces, Glass Curtains have been installed in the UK as internal room dividers and commercially as frontages for caf├ęs and restaurants. As the sole UK official installer of Glass Curtains, SunSeeker Doors is working with the originators to develop a double-glazed version that will comply with British Standards building regulations on thermal insulation properties. Glass Curtains operate in a similar way to SunSeeker Slimline doors but are entirely frameless.

We are updating our web site with details of all our products. If, in the meantime, you would like more information, please feel free to telephone the office on 01582 492 730 for a no obligation chat with our staff who are technically conversant with our products. We do not employ dedicated sales professionals to pressure you into buying our products.

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Monday, 10 August 2009

Fully Glazed Bifolding Doors link to Google Knol article

UK Home Improvement 1

Fully Glazed Bifolding Doors

A brighter, happier home can be achieved with more natural light and easier access between house and garden, patio, balcony or conservatory. If you are considering building an extension or replacing patio doors, you may find this information on folding sliding doors useful.

Read the full article on Google Knol.