Karl Andrews, head of product at Benchmarx Kitchens, provides some advice on choosing patio doors:

“Patio doors are a great investment for your home, as not only can they open up the space to create a lighter, brighter living area, but also create a more functional and versatile room.

“Whether located in a kitchen, living space, dining area, or even a home office, there is more flexibility than ever before, so you shouldn’t rule a design or style out before you’ve decided exactly what it is you need from your doors.

Bi-fold doors, also known as folding doors, are very much in vogue at the moment and thanks to their stylish form and seamless functionality, it doesn’t look like this trend will go anywhere. The major benefit of opting for this design is the ability to fold the doors back to create a seamless indoor/outdoor area that can transform a living space all year round.

 Bi-fold designs are made up of a number of glazed doors, typically a configuration of three or four depending on the size of the opening, and can incorporate a single master door for everyday use – meaning you can easily access outdoor space without opening the whole set of doors.

“The larger bi-fold configurations undoubtedly have the greatest impact, as they truly blur the lines between indoor and outdoor space. However, they are just as functional in smaller openings too, enabling you to make the most of every inch available.

“I’d always recommend opting for a top-hung bi-fold design with no bottom rollers, as this avoids the possibility of any clogging with debris and reduces the chance of doors becoming stuck, whilst also allowing for a seamless transition between floor finishes.

“A more traditional alternative to bi-fold doors and one of the most recognisable patio door designs, French doors can offer a solution to suit any home. The French door is particularly suitable for small openings, although there is a range of different sizes that can lend it to different applications.

Its two-door design is particularly simple to operate and offers versatility to open up one or both doors, depending on how you are using the space. This flexibility also makes the doors suitable for non-patio applications, such as replacing the space where a large window was once installed, or even an office/playroom at the side of the house.

If you are planning on extending your home, then you have the opportunity to consider how you would like to use the space and which door solution is the best for you, enabling you to change the dynamic of your living space for the better. Consider patio doors early on in your design, as this can help you plan your interior layout for maximum functionality.

When it comes to selecting your door design, opt for a door set that has slim sightlines around the glass, such as those shown from Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, to maximise outdoor views and increase light exposure.

“Aluminium has grown in popularity amongst those wanting clean, sleek lines, however wood options offer warmth and will bring their own timeless appeal. Both options offer thermal efficiency and can be selected to extend the style of your interior living space to the outdoors.”

For further information about Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery and to download a brochure, please visit www.benchmarxkitchens.co.uk/