Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors
Industry: “[More people are turning toward] larger sizes, slimmer panel designs, window applications of folding windows, performance ratings, concealed hardware,” says Brian Hedlund, product marketing manager, Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors.
Product offering: “Jeld-Wen offers folding door products that are part of our Custom Clad Wood Window & Patio Door, Custom Wood Exterior Door and Custom Aurora Exterior Door product lines,” Hedlund says.
Where it’s going: “Wall systems in general — folding, multislide, lift and slide — are going more mainstream and becoming available in more mid-level categories as opposed to being only a high-end product,” Hedlund says. “Replacement-friendly versions of the product are starting to become more prevalent and designs that were largely dated for the last few years are starting to be revised to be more streamlined, low-profile and less obtrusive.”
Kolbe Windows and Doors
Industry: “Homeowners are opening their walls both visually, with wide expanses of glass, and physically, with doors that allow for large connections between the outdoors and indoors. Many homes featuring Kolbe’s products are located in areas with views that the doors help accentuate the beauty of their surroundings,” says Cindy Bremer, vice president of marketing, Kolbe Windows and Doors.
Product offering: “Kolbe’s Folding Door systems are offered as part of the Ultra Series and Heritage Series in numerous panel configurations and other accessories to coordinate with nearly any décor. With a maximum of eight panels per side, units can offer up to 45 ft. of unobstructed views,” Bremer says. “Four basic operations are available: panels being folded all to one side; split and then folded on either side of the opening; floating configuration, allows panels to be put on either side of the opening; and access door configuration, intended to allow easy exit/entry.
Where it’s going: “Homeowners want to create spaces that are as individual as they are,” Bremer says. “We expect homes will continue to be designed with folding doors, as long as the outdoor views and outdoor living areas are important”
La Cantina Doors
Industry: “Americans who are looking to remodel their homes are seeking alternatives to a traditional slider in order to maximize their space and incorporate a lifestyle that a folding door will provide. Many companies are offering folding doors based on their existing panel options, but there are only a few companies that have demonstrated an ability to develop a broad range of folding door product options and capabilities at a leading value to the consumer,” says Matt Power, president and co-founder, La Cantina Doors.
Products offering: “We offer a broad range of different options – systems that range from small windows to large openings up to 52-ft wide and 10-ft tall. Our product range continues to evolve as we innovate to meet the demands of the market. LaCantina Doors’ latest door — the aluminum thermally-broken — has maximum design flexibility and performance for virtually any environment,” Power says.
“With a need to accommodate colder climates, LaCantina Doors has taken the Aluminum Doors system and given it thermal properties. As the aluminum door is favored for its sleek design with thin 2 ¾ in. stile and rail, the new thermally broken Aluminum Door will suit a DP55 test and impact ratings. Manufactured to any design specification this door can suite large openings up to 52 ft. wide and 10 ft. tall with eight doors opening in each direction. The aluminum system comes standard with our complete hardware system, featuring Interlock concealed locking throughout. Suitable for both residential and commercial projects, the aluminum system comes available in a clear or dark bronze anodized finish, and can also be custom color matched,” Power adds. Other offerings include the aluminum, aluminum-wood, wood and clad-wood.
Where it’s going: “Folding doors will continue to gain consumer awareness and popularity for many different types of applications both commercial and residential ,” Power adds. “A consumer will be familiar with their choice of either folding or sliding doors.”
Industry: “We’re seeing requests for larger openings, bigger lengths and widths, even replacing an entire wall with a glazed element. People are extending their living spaces into the outdoors. They’re moving to a three-season exterior space, with covered decks, outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. Extensions of living spaces are also being designed in the northern climates; people want to keep a connection to the outside, and this is a great way to do it,” says Jon Sawatzky, channel and brand marketing manager, Loewen.
Product offering: “Our bifold doors operate with a chassis based on a swinging door panel to provide complementary aesthetics. We can supply doors that are up to 16 panels and fold to the outside so you don’t lose that interior space to functionality,” Sawatzky says. “Our standard sill includes a drainage system for water management. They can operate from left or right, or the middle, from inside or outside.”
Where it’s going: “[Folding doors] are fairly new to North America, within the last five years or so, and it’s spreading from the high-end market into the mid-range. A request for the folding door is becoming more common in smaller projects. Historically, people had a two-panel sliding door, but you can cover 52 ft. on this type of door system. You can really change the status and feel of a home,” Sawatzky says.
Marvin Windows and Doors
Industry: “Folding doors are becoming more popular and are a great way to get a fresh new look. They’re a modern twist on the sliding door look and can be a good way to save space in a door opening,” says John Kirchner, Public Relations Manager, Marvin Windows and Doors.
Product offering: “Marvin offers a bifold door, which opens accordion style. Elegant, contemporary Marvin bifold doors open wide to infuse a room with fresh air and spectacular views. Configured from two to eight panels, bifold doors use an extruded aluminum track to fold smoothly to one side, stylishly and effortlessly connecting your space to the outdoors or to another room,” Kirchner says.
“One of our newest doors is the Ultimate Lift and Slide, which is our largest door ever. Its large sizes and easy operation allow a seamless integration of indoors and out,” Kirchner adds. “Available in sizes up to 60 ft. wide, these doors allow a seamless transition from the exterior to the interior of your home. Marvin offers two options to get fresh air and sweeping views: pocket door panels slide into the wall, completely disappearing from view; and stacked panels slide and stack within the doorframe.”
Where it’s going: “Folding doors are still considered unique—most people only think of the traditional sliding and swinging doors,” Kirchner says. “Homeowners who are looking for something special, want to bring the outdoors in or want to let in lots of light would be well served to consider a folding-style door.”
Industry: “According to a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects, even as homeowners choose smaller homes and fewer specialty rooms, they are expanding living areas into the outdoors through outdoor living spaces and outdoor rooms,” says Ebrahim Nana, president, NanaWall Systems. “In particular, as homeowners choose to renovate rather than move, they are using the NanaWall folding glass walls and windows to connect living areas and kitchens to exterior patios, decks, porches and yards.”
“We are seeing this remodeling trend with the NanaWall in new and older homes – from LEED-Platinum homes to remodeled houses and bungalows. And this increasing use of flex space to make a living area work ‘for two or for 20,’ as one homeowner said, is being implemented across North America – Calgary, Alberta to San Francisco to Guilford, Conn,” Nana says.
Product offering: “The NanaWall is a custom-made operable glass panel system that opens wide to blur the line between indoors and outdoors. Easily opened, the panels stack or stow away out of sight, opening the room to the outside. When closed, the NanaWall provides a weather-resistant barrier protecting against wind, rain, snow, and cold temperatures,” Nana says.
“NanaWall folding systems offer a choice of top hung or floor mounted systems. The standard system is top hung, where the main weight is carried by the head track. The bottom track is a guide. The floor mounted system is recommended for applications where the load bearing capability of the header is a concern. The main weight is carried by the floor track. The upper track is merely a guide,” Nana says. “The lower running carriages ride on top of the sill track and lie above the water run-off level.”
Where it’s going: “[We are] seeing the folding door trend move north. The NanaWall is increasingly used to create outdoor rooms and entertaining areas from kitchens in New York to living rooms in Ohio, Michigan to the Canadian Rockies,” Nana says.
Weiland Sliding Doors and Windows
Industry: “The floor plans of today’s architecturally designed custom home frequently include moveable wall systems that expand lifestyles into [outdoor] spaces. The folding door is a great solution that allows the homeowner better views and flexibility in contrast to smaller conventional doors with less glass. Folding doors are gaining popularity in the service industry as well with conventional floor space at a premium price,” says Sue Weiland, owner, Weiland Sliding Doors and Windows.
Product offering: “Weiland was one of the first to introduce folding doors to the U.S. market in the 1980s and has developed and continued to improve a line of bifolds in aluminum, wood, and aluminum with a wood interior cladding. The Weiland Beefy Bifold can be built as tall as 13-½ ft. and panels as wide as 5 ft., depending on configurations chosen,” Weiland says. “Our product offering exceeds even the most discriminating customer’s expectations.”
Where it’s going: “Home design continues to improve as expectations of the homeowner increase. The desire to have access to the outdoors is changing the way we live. Site specific design, the use of light and ventilation and the maximum use of space created by eliminating traditional barriers are helping integrate our living areas to our surroundings,” Weiland says. “The folding door is an obvious choice to meet these expectations. We continue to see strong growth in all aspects of our business.”