Sleek sliding doors have been a favourable addition in Wolverhampton homes as far back as we can remember, delivering the perfect door style for smaller households that don’t have the space for hinged doors. However, when patio sliders come to the end of their lifespan, they need replacing immediately to keep you and your family safe and warm.

Can you change patio doors to bifold?

As the trend for open plan living continues, so does the popularity of innovative bifold doors. With this in mind, we’re often asked whether it’s possible to replace sliding patio doors with bi-folding doors – and the short answer is yes, you can!

Timber bi-folding doors.

Timber bi-folding doors

Is it hard to replace a sliding door with a bi-folding system?

Replacing sliding doors with bifold doors is relatively straightforward for competent and experienced double glazing specialists (like us!). Even if your home improvement plans involve widening the doorway, to go from a 2-pane sliding door to an extensive 7 panelled bifold door for example, as long as you’re not building an extension, planning permission isn’t usually required. It will require building regulation approval, but as FENSA approved installers we will take care of this for you.

Our slender aluminium bifold doors can achieve impressive entrances up to 2.5m high and 7m wide, so you will need to make sure you have enough space (internally and externally) for the bifold panels to stack to the side. For example, our aluminium bifolds feature slim sight lines of just 131mm, so with 7 leaves you would need at least 917mm free for a comfortable fit.

Do I need planning permission to replace sliding doors with bifold doors?

As long as your new bifold doors are fitted at the rear or the side of your home, and not facing onto a road, planning permission won’t usually apply. However, you may need to seek planning permission if you answer yes to any of these key points:

☐ Is it a listed building?

☐ Is it in a conservation area?

☐ Is it in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

☐ Are they for a large glazed conservatory or orangery that exceeds 6m? (terraced/semi-detached houses in England)

☐ Are they for a large glazed extension that exceeds 8m? (detached houses in England)

☐ Is it a new build property?

☐ Are you changing the building use? E.g. from commercial to residential.

If any of these apply, contact us for expert local planning permission advice and support.

When should I replace my sliding doors?

Dedicated to delivering home improvements that are both ethical and sustainable, it’s always advisable to repair before replacing. If you’re unsure, here are 8 signs it could be time to replace your sliding doors:

  • The door keeps jamming or won’t move
  • Gaps between the doors
  • Cracks between the doors and the frame
  • The glazing is cracked, chipped or has condensation in between the panes of glass
  • Noticeable drafts or heat transfer
  • Visible cosmetic damage e.g. warping, pest infestation
  • Outdated locking mechanisms
  • Water ingress, e.g. moisture, leaks
White bifolds

White bifolds

Sliding doors vs bifold doors

To make it as clear as possible, we’ve put together this handy comparison table for you.

Features Sliding Doors Bifold Doors
Material uPVC, aluminium & timber Aluminium & timber
Opening mechanism Sideways opening Concertina stacking opening
Number of panels 2, 3 or 4 2-7
Security Multi-point locking / PAS 24 Multi-point locking / PAS 24
Energy efficiency A+ A+ / 0.9 U-Value
Glazing Double glazing Double glazing
Suitability Smaller spaces with panoramic views Modern open plan living

Beautiful bifold doors & striking sliding doors in Wolverhampton & beyond

Whether your home improvement dreams involve framing the view with striking sliding doors or letting the outside in with beautiful bifolds, Wolverhampton Glass can help you every step of the way – from design right through to installation and aftercare. Get a quote, visit our showroom, check out our latest finance offers, or contact us online to discuss your options further with our knowledgeable team of experts.

Related to this post:

Which are the best patio doors?

Which is better for outside living, bifold doors or sliding doors?


Part of the Sustainium Group

The Sustainium Group is a collection of forward-thinking home improvement companies who are dedicated to delivering home improvements that are both ethical and sustainable. As a company who has sustainability at the core of every process in our business, we’re a valued member of the Sustainium Group. Our products are energy-efficient and sustainable, helping both you and us to reduce our carbon footprint.

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45 years as a local home improvements installer

With over 45 years of industry experience, you can trust that your home is in good hands when you choose Wolverhampton Glass. We are proud to have completed over 25,000 projects across the Midlands in areas like Sutton Coldfield, Stourbridge, Hagley and Lye, so it’s likely that we have installed windows, doors and conservatory roofs on a home down your road.

Our dedication to our customers is at the heart of everything we do. Our committed customer services team and fully-trained installers work together to deliver high quality and custom-designed installations combined with exceptional levels of customer services that meet the exact requirements of each and every homeowner.

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Had new Windows, and doors fitted by Sam & Dean, they were very professional, and did an excellent job, did exactly what they said they would do.

Glyn Williams

With the professional help of Wolverhampton Glass staff we decided to replace our patio door with an updated model seen in their showroom. The surveyor arrived on time and approved the installation. We were kept in contact throughout the process. Fitting date and time were arranged. Fitters, Ashley and Dave arrived at the appointed time, did a brilliant job and left everywhere clean and tidy.

D Lees

From start to finish the entire team at Wolverhampton Glass have been very helpful, reliable and conducted work to a very high standard. New lean to warm roof looks great compared to old Edwardian styled conservatory. The teams on the job were all polite, clean and made sure the work was completed in stated time frame. The third party contractors (plasterer, electricians) also very good.


Excellent service from start to finish. Great friendly instillation team Ash and Dave were clean, tidy and professional 10/10. Would highly recommend the company.

Mr and Mrs Mitchell

We’re a fully accredited and locally reputable company

At Wolverhampton Glass, you’ve got complete peace of mind as we are fully accredited by all the relevant regulatory bodies. We are a FENSA registered company and are also proud to offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee on every installation as standard.

Over our 45 years, we’ve built up quite the local reputation too. Take a look at some of our recent customer reviews from homeowners across the Midlands.


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