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Bifold Garage Doors (Types & Materials)

Find out all about bifold garage doors including what they are, the different types, materials, prices, hardware, door tracks, and openers to consider.
House exterior with wall cladding, driveway, and bifold garage doors A garage needs to have a strong and secured door in order to make sure that all belongings inside are well-protected. This means that it takes more than just installing any spare material you have lying around just to have something to close the space. Structure and style are crucial factors in your choice. 

The best garage door you can go for is a sturdy and easy-to-use one because what good will a rigid and sturdy garage door be if you can’t operate it? Worse, you might just leave it open because of how cumbersome opening and closing it is. And this can be a very dangerous situation for you and your family. 

One of the best options you can choose for your garage door is a bifold one, which has been a popular choice for many homeowners. But make sure you know what this choice means before actually installing one at home.

What Are Bifold Garage Doors?

House exterior with wooden bifold garage doors, driveway, and stone wall cladding Compared to the traditional garage doors that open outwards towards the sky, bifold garage doors open up by folding into four different sections. Both types of garage doors though are solid and can help you protect everything inside your garage. 

A bifold garage door is a highly functional and stylish addition to your home that is widely popular for its accordion-style construction. This offers your garage a more luxurious look to it, which is very different from the traditional appearance of a garage door. 

Bifold garage door design and construction offer many advantages, including the following:

 Ergonomically-designed: Bifold garage doors are integrated with modern ergonomic design and technology, which allows them to smoothly operate and only with minimal effort. It is also an energy-efficient option you can benefit from. 

 Easy to use: Because of how it’s designed, bifold garage doors are easier to operate compared to traditional garage doors. Since they slide sideways, you won’t have to put so much effort into pushing or pulling the doors in. This is particularly helpful during poor weather conditions where the doors can wrestle with rain and wind. 

 Practical Option: Bifold garage doors are designed with practicality in mind. They can easily be folded and stacked to one another whenever necessary. Compared to the standard garage door, a bifold one can help to keep the access open. 

 Can Be Custom-made: Traditional garage doors have a standard solid look while the bifold garage door offers enough room for customization and personalization. This will be great for compact and small homes since many standard garage doors don’t accommodate small garages and follow the same style and design. 

 Space-efficient: Choosing a bi-fold garage door means that you get to save a lot of space, especially with how the door is configured to open. Bi-fold garage doors are innovated to fully open with an aperture of 90% of the opening, giving more opportunities for storage and workspace.  

 Weatherproof: Bifold garage doors are designed to be weatherproof and withstand hard weather conditions and while standard garage doors rust over time and in the end get damaged and crack. 

 Versatile & Flexible: With the seamless integration between the inside and outside, the bifold garage door freely moves in the opening. It can be set and open halfway when necessary or all the way to let the sun inside the garage. It’s a one-size-fits-all in the sense that you can use them in small to large garages. 

 Contemporary & Stunning Aesthetics: Bifold garage doors have this innovative and modern look that looks aesthetically pleasing. If you want this contemporary look for your garage, this door might be a great option to look at. 

 Low Maintenance: A practical choice you can install, a bifold garage door easily adds value to a space by requiring minimal maintenance. While it may require more consideration compared to materials like PVC and aluminum, taking care of and maintaining this garage door is still minimal. Cleaning only requires you to get a warm, wet cloth and wipe the frames with it. 

 Easy to Secure: Bifold garage doors are easier to operate, including opening and securing them. Since garages are usually targeted by burglars, it is ideal if your garage door can easily be secured well to make sure that everything inside is well-protected at all times. 

Types Of Residential Bifold Garage Doors 

Detached garage with siding and bifold garage doors If you’re considering getting your residential bifold garage door, you need to take into account a few factors before making a choice. Before actually exploring the different types of residential bifold garage doors, consider the following factors first:

 The capacity of your home: Before you make a decision on the type of bifold garage door to choose, make sure you take into account the support and foundation of the building. Not all types of garages can take in the weight of the bifold garage door.

It’s better to make sure that the bifold door won’t stress the structure of your garage so much that it falls down. Consider the weight of the bifold garage door and if your building’s structure can handle the load. 

 Type of door: When choosing the ideal residential bifold garage door for your home, decide if you want to go for the horizontal or vertical one. Both are flexible enough and can either fold upwards or sideways, depending on your choice.

Of course, more support is needed for the bifold garage door that folds upwards than the one that closes sideways. If you’re set on a bifold garage door, check out the following types and explore what they can offer you. 

Vertical Bifold Garage Doors 

Residential garage with vertical bifold garage doors and paved driveway A vertical bifold garage door operates in a way where the door is folded upwards to open and then folds upon itself to close. It is a popular option for both industrial and commercial applications and can be seen as the security door for many shops and restaurants.

But when they are installed in homes, the vertical garage doors offer a modern appearance to your garage with their contemporary style. Vertical bifold garage doors use hydraulic cylinders that allow them to operate seamlessly but if not, they could also use cables, pulleys, and springs to make the system work.

The doors can operate either using a seamless manual system or through an electrical operation, which both have optional motors so that it’s possible for soft closing and opening of the doors. 

Horizontal Bifold Garage Door 

House exterior with horizontal bifold garage doors and hanging plants A horizontal bifold garage door is another residential garage door option that opens horizontally or side-to-side. The benefit of using this type of bifold garage door is more than just the visual appeal but also the practicality of its usage.

Opening and closing it requires less effort compared to the vertical bifold garage door, and if you’re on the shorter size so you won’t have difficulty with that giving full overhead clearance. 

These horizontal garage doors usually have two slats that are bent outwards and can easily slide along a designated track. The doors are tucked and parked on one side of the room or either side when fully unlocked to offer an unobstructed view of the garage. The view is not as wide-angled as the view you get with vertical bifold garage doors though.

Horizontal garage doors can be made from either timber or aluminum, which are both durable and aesthetically appealing. This modern and contemporary bifold garage door has several colors and designs to explore but it can be expensive to acquire. 

DIY Bifold Garage Door 

DIY bifold garage doors made of wood for residential properties If you choose to have a bifold garage door, you can build it on your own and DIY the entire task. This is an absolutely easy task, especially if you know a thing or two about engineering and how systems and configurations work. If you don’t know anything about it, the fixture can be difficult and confusing.

If you’re up to the challenge though, you just need to understand a straightforward principle, which involves linking the two hinges installed on each of the garage door ends. This can close the garage door in a bi-fold manner. You can purchase the pieces and build the garage doors yourself if you are great with your hands. 

Bifold Garage Door Kit 

Wood bifold garage door kit for residential properties If you’re serious about doing the task yourself but don’t know where to start, one of the things that can make it very easy for you is to use a bifold garage door kit.

You can decide whether you want to go for a horizontal garage door kit or a vertical one and look for a corresponding kit that can help you with your choice.

Many of these kits can come with the small parts and some of them don’t come with the garage doors and are sold separately. Just make sure you have the parts you can work with from the start. 

Hangar Style Bifold Garage Door 

Hangar style bifold garage door for residential properties A hangar-style bifold garage door offers an unobstructed view of your garage whenever you need them to stay up. This is because it is a type of vertical bifold garage door that’s easy to operate, features a modern touch to the home, and delivers improved security in the process. The downside though is that it tends to be heavy and expensive. 

It can work similarly with aircraft hangar doors in the sense that when in the open position, it serves as an awning. This characteristic makes it ideal for garages that also serve as a showroom, whether you’re collecting luxury vehicles or rare coins. It’s because the hangar-style bifold garage door allows full visual appeal to be seen because of its broad view and maximum ventilation.

Automatic Bifold Garage Door 

House exterior with automatic bifold garage doors, wood siding, and driveway An automatic bifold garage door is an electrically operated garage door option made possible with the use of heavy motors and remote control. And there are two ways you can get this garage door since you can either install it new or upgrade the one you have if you are currently using a traditional bifold garage door. And yes, you can install or upgrade this yourself by purchasing a kit to help you. 

Automatic bifold garage doors are durable and sturdy, as well as hassle-free. This type of bifold garage door helps improve the overall look of your garage.

The downside though is that when the system or motor is damaged, you will have safety-related issues and leave your garage vulnerable, so as a result leave all belongings inside vulnerable.

Manual Bifold Garage Door 

House exterior with brick wall and manual bifold garage doors You can also choose a manual bifold garage door for your home but this means that you will have to open and close your garage doors with your own hands and without help from any electrical system.

The notable advantage to this is that this option is usually more affordable to avail and you won’t have to worry about the motors acting up and leaving your garage stuck open for everyone to see. 

Manual bifold garage doors can be customized and designed however you want them to be. And yes, you can either go ask help from the pros for the building and installation or you can buy a kit to do it yourself.

The major drawback though is that you will have to put in the effort when using this garage door. And if you value convenience, it might not be the best option for you. 

Bifold Carriage Garage Door 

House exterior with carriage bifold garage doors, driveway, and siding Another type of bifold garage door you can consider is the bifold carriage garage door. This is a type of horizontal bifold garage door. Its configuration is impressive and quite bold, but it might only work if your garage is big. For compact and small garages, this door might look forced and unsightly. 

Bifold carriage garage doors are flexible and can seamlessly work with a wide selection of garage designs. They are easy to use since you only need to slide the doors sideways, requiring less effort in the process.

The downside though is that you might need extra strength in case of poor weather where you have to wrestle because of the wind. 

Bifold Garage Door Materials

House exterior with blue bifold garage doors and driveway When working with building and installing a new bifold garage door for your home, one of the key elements you have to consider is the material that the door is made of.

Choosing a sturdy and durable material to guard all your important valuables inside the garage is to be expected but this should not be the only factor you prioritize with your choice. 

Other factors that are worth considering before choosing the material to work on are cost and convenience. Can you actually afford the bifold garage door you’ve chosen, and will it make your life easier when accessing your garage?

These are important questions that need answering before you decide. And when it comes to options, the two most common types of bifold garage doors based on materials are glass and aluminum. 

Bifold Glass Garage Door: Glass is a stunning and stylish material you can choose for your bifold garage door and no, it’s not as fragile as you might believe it is.

Bifold glass garage doors operate horizontally where you can seamlessly slide the doors open and close. They operate smoothly and require less maintenance compared to other types of bifold garage doors. 

Bifold glass garage doors are aesthetically pleasing to look at, providing your garage with a modern and stylish look. The doors allow natural light to come in and can save space compared to standard garage doors. 

The downside with this option is while it may be elegant to look at, it might be tempting for intruders especially if there’s a clear view of all your valuables found inside the garage.

A curtain might be considered just to make sure that your garage has privacy and remains out of sight. You may also consider a garage door with frosted glass windows to obscure visibility. Compared to other contemporary garage doors, bifold glass is also more expensive. 

Aluminium Bifold Garage Doors: Aluminium is a standard material considered for many things at home and includes a bifold garage door. When you choose an aluminum bifold garage door, you get an option that’s durable and at the same time lightweight. And since the material is resistant to rust, you can expect it to last for a long time. 

Aluminum bifold garage doors have become popular because of their slim sightlines. They also allow more natural light inside the garage and require less maintenance compared to other types of bifold garage doors.

Their contemporary and stylish look also doesn’t hurt and the material is even considered environmentally friendly since it can be recycled. 

Bifold Garage Door Price 

Green bifold garage doors with handles and white wood sidingOne of the top factors that can influence your choice of the type of bifold garage door to install at home is the cost it comes in. And with bifold garage doors, there are three types of costs you will need to consider:

 Bifold Garage Door: When working on your bifold garage door, the actual door is the most expensive of all the parts you have to take into account. While the cost relies heavily on the material you choose to use, expect to spend around $600 to $1,500 per linear foot. 

 Structural Support: This refers to all the other components that will help you bifold garage door function. This can include the sturdy support beam on top of the garage and the cables and pulleys that come with the entire system. The cost depends on the type of bifold garage door you choose. 

 Maintenance: The cost for the upkeep of bifold garage doors is quite high since you would have to take care of every panel you’re using. Choose the type that requires the least maintenance if you want the most cost-effective option. 

Bifold Garage Door Hardware 

House exterior with driveway and beige bifold garage doors A bifold garage door consists of pieces of hardware that allow it to be functional and seamlessly operate. Depending on the type of bifold garage door you choose, there are different numbers of pieces of hardware required for them. 

For example, automatic bifold garage doors may require less because of the addition of a motor to help them function smoothly. Meanwhile, manual bifold garage doors will require cables, pulleys, and springs to be able to operate. 

The common hardware that all types of bifold garage doors have is the actual solid door, which often comes in several panels to make it possible to be folded and work like an accordion. The sizes of these panels can range from 7×7 feet to 24×24 feet, depending on your garage dimensions.

They also need a door track with screws to properly mount the track, a pivot guide, and spring loaded stop.

Bifold Garage Door Track 

Garage with ceiling lights, epoxy flooring, cabinets, countertop, bifold garage doors, and ceiling lights A bifold garage door track is a must-have for a horizontal bifold garage door, whether you’re working for a bifold glass or a bifold wooden carriage garage door. 

Bifold garage doors can be made of 2 to 6-door panels, depending on your preference and the type you’re chosen. And these hinged panels are set and carried by a track system (usually an overhead one). This system allows the panels to glide smoothly from one end to the other and be folded and stacked against the wall. 

A faulty bifold garage door track can leave your garage and valuables vulnerable so make sure you clean the track and oil it so that it can seamlessly operate daily. 

Bifold Garage Door Opener

Garage door opener for bifold garage doors A garage door opener is a system that allows you to seamlessly operate your bifold garage door in a smoother and quieter manner. Many can last as long as 10 years but it will be up to the type you chose and matches your garage door. The most common bifold types of garage door openers are the following:

 Drive Type: This refers to the combination of a long rail, screw, chain, and belt that the trolley guides your bifold garage door to open and close. 

 Motor Type: The two types of motors for bifold garage door openers are AC and DC power, where the former is the traditional choice that features soft start and stop options while the latter is larger, heavier, and louder which also requires more components to be used. The latter is the product of years of innovation and wants to stray away from all the noise of opening and closing the garage.

When choosing the opener you can use for your bifold garage door, you will have to consider the entire system that makes it operational and the convenience of settling on loud motors or soft and quiet functions.

See more related content in our article about hidden garage door ideas on this page.

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