External Doors: What Are My Options?

When extending a property, there are certain features that must be given some extra thought and deliberation. We believe home extension companies in London must be knowledgeable on all matters associated with renovation projects, including door and window options. This is an important aspect to refurbishing the interior layout of a property, extending a ground floor, or undertaking a loft conversion in London.

When carrying out a ground floor extension, the type of external door you choose can greatly impact the overall look of the space. The external doors are a big and expensive aspect of the build, so it’s completely common for homeowners to surf the internet for inspiration on layouts and designs. In this post, we cover some of the most popular systems our clients often choose. Hopefully your days of scrolling end here!

Bi fold

Bi-fold doors are already incredibly popular amongst homeowners, so it’s no surprise that this is what most of our clients opt for. They are convenient, attractive, and offer a unique system. They can fully fold open in a concertina effect and are available in timber of aluminium frames, so they can easily be adjusted to suit your interior. Bi-fold doors are sleek and offer a smooth transition into your garden. This is perfect if you are after a strong inside-outside look, which is particularly prevalent today, as we are all spending more and more time at home.

Since the first lockdown, it seems those of us living in cities are realising the true value of having access to green spaces. Bi-fold doors enable you to create a large open space, perfect for hot Summer days or long nights of entertaining. These can even be stretched along 2 walls, including a corner, allowing for a completely unobstructed, large opening into the outdoor space. One downfall is the need for added ventilation. During the wintertime, you don’t want to keep opening the door to let fresh air in, so it is advisable to install an extra openable window or a vent to combat this.


Sliding doors have been around for decades, but 20 years ago they might have been labelled old-fashioned, cumbersome, and complicated. Updated versions of the sliding doors work to combat those issues, allowing the overall design to open smoothly and simply. We’ve found that they are great for highlighting an indoor-outdoor feel to a property, as they involve less framing when closed. However, they cannot open completely to reveal the full length of the door opening, unlike the bi-fold, French, and Crittall doors. Furthermore, it can be argued that sliding doors are perfect for homes in Britain, as the weather here means you won’t often find yourself opening your doors completely anyway.


A timeless and convenient option; not much beats the classic look of age-old French doors. We think this type of external door should not be overlooked, as French doors can suit both traditional and modern interiors. Like bi-fold doors, they can be designed to open in a concertina effect or have a standard swing system. It’s super convenient as you can quickly open and close the door, which is great when you’re trying to keep the heat in your property, or even keep the pesky bugs out. There’s literally less window of opportunity! These doors are more secure, as there is less glass and wider frames. This means less chance of shattering, and more sturdiness throughout.

Despite the practical benefits of a larger frame, it can greatly reduce the amount of light in. This may be perfect for you if you prefer a more private extension, but it is not ideal for those wishing to better connect their interior to the outdoor space. Due to its gaps and hinges, this is not the most energy efficient external door available on the market.


Last but definitely not least, Crittall doors has been around since the 1930s and for good reason. The original Crittall doors are constructed of an attractive thin black frame of steel with divided panes of glazing. These have only been provided by 1 company, Crittall, making the original product costly and more difficult to obtain. In response to the population’s love of the gridded look, manufacturers created a more affordable alternative to Crittall doors.

Crittall-style doors boast an edgy, minimalist look to them due to their thin black aluminium frames. These perfectly suit an extension with an industrial interior and compliments most modern interiors, beautifully surrounding the view of the outdoor space. A downfall would be, due to its structure, the lack of thermal efficiency compared to other mentioned doors.


Common options include UPVC, timber, or metal frames, so finding a door that best suits the look of your property should be pretty straightforward. UPVC is affordable, so it’s good if you’re looking for the most cost-efficient, value for money frame. Timber frames contribute to a rustic look and requires a moderate amount of maintenance but is much easier to repair compared to other materials. Metal frames are incredibly durable and require very little maintenance, however repairing/replacing them can become quite pricey.

Ultimately, the material you choose it is entirely up to preference of appearance, maintenance, and budget. We find it’s best to be consistent with the type of external doors you introduce to ensure a coherent overall design.

If you would like to discuss your home renovation project with us, our friendly team of knowledgeable professionals would love to hear from you. You can call us on 02070432378 or contact us via email at hello@hometales.co.uk. Alternatively, to schedule in a free telephone consultation for a time that best suits you, click here to book via our website.

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