Folding doors, bifold doors, sliding doors, concertina doors… what’s the difference?

Folding doors, bifold doors, concertina doors, patio doors… there seem to be so many names for these glazed doors that open out to your garden but essentially they mean the same thing! Fully glazed doors have become incredibly popular and are a bit of a staple now for any modern house extension.

Sliding folding doors allow you to completely open up the back of your house to the garden. This can be great in the summer to expand your living area outdoors, but also create an excellent visual link to your garden the whole year round.

Just because folding/sliding doors have become popular, doesn’t mean your extension has to end up up looking the same as everyone else on the street. There are 100s of different products out there which can be used in different ways to end up with your ideal kitchen or living space.

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Sliding/folding door design inspiration

We’ve rounded up some of the most inspiring extensions using external sliding and folding doors from the architects on Design for Me. Click on the images to view the architects’ full profiles and shortlist them for your home extension project.


Corner sliding doors by Jake, architect in Islington, London, on Design for Me

We love how this external glazing wraps right around the corner with a wide sliding door out to the garden. You can see the track for the sliding door is neatly recessed into the ceiling.

bi fold doors


Exterior pocket sliding door by Pereen, architect on Design for Me

Another fantastic example of how you can open up your room on two sides to make your garden feel like part of your kitchen. Here the architect has designed a pocket sliding external door, so the door disappears into the wall!

Corner sliding doors


Corner glazed extension with casement door by Mark, architect in Haringey on Design for Me

The ultimate ‘picture window’ using large format fixed glazing to two sides. Access is via a casement door to the new side extension.

Corner external glazing


Large format sliding doors by Alan, architect in Sheffield on Design for Me

We love this combination of timber cladding and the light grey aluminium frames. These wide sliding doors provide a view that isn’t interrupted by lots of glazing bars. Continuing the timber flooring outside creates an even stronger connection to the garden.

Large sliding doors

Timber sliding doors


How much do external sliding/folding doors cost?

We estimate budgeting around £1,500-£2,000 per linear metre for external folding doors. This includes the supply and installation, but not any structural work needed to the wall they’ll go in, e.g. steel lintel and associated labour costs involved with opening up an existing wall. We wrote a review of the most popular external sliding doors on the market – see it here.


Finding the right architect

Design for Me is a free platform to help you quickly find the right design professional for your home project. My name is Emily Barnes and as a residential architect myself, I started Design for Me after finding that talented and innovative smaller firms and individuals, who are perfectly placed to design new homes, extensions and/or renovations, can often get buried under the online profiles of large commercial companies.

Before Design for Me, the right architect was very difficult to find!

Once you register your project, we’ll match it with 100s of top architects for extension project, and you can see who may be available and eager to work on your project straight away.


Emily  Design for Me


Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…



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