Improving Access With Bifold Doors

Create space and increase accessibility with bifold doors
Bifolding doors are often installed in domestic properties, but they’ve surged in popularity in business premises too. Clients love the wide open space they offer, as well as the modern good looks.
Another benefit of bifolds is one that able-bodied adults may rarely consider, and that’s easier accessibility. This is an issue that affects people with mobility and visual impairments, as well as people with young children who may use pushchairs and strollers.

Open Space

Bifold doors can be installed in different configurations, with different numbers of panes, and with the handle in differing places. This allows the venue to split the doors wherever they wish, giving people better access to the indoors, or easier access to get out.
A good example of this is a pool area in a hotel. It makes sense to use glass to let the light in, but the venue may want the option to completely remove the panes in the summer and allow fresh air to circulate through the room. This also means that access is improved at busy times, and guests don’t experience the bottleneck of a single or double door.

Wheelchair Access

Bifold doors make it much easier for venues to accommodate wheelchairs, since they can easily open widely, offering ample space to manoeuvre. For people who use wheelchairs, electric mobility scooters and walking aids, this can make the difference between an awkward entrance point and an easy route in and out.
Many wheelchair users also struggle with high thresholds, and bifolds offer two potential solutions. In areas that are not exposed to the rain, such as covered lobbies, the bottom rail of the bifold can be installed into the floor, offering a flush finish. In other situations, a small ramp installed around the cill helps people to navigate the threshold more comfortably.
Wherever possible, doors should be installed without ramps, since the existence of a ramp does not necessarily make access easier. The use of bifolds can be considered as part of a wider plan for flat access, which also means that the building is safer in wintry weather.

The Law

UK law says that new buildings must be suitable for all members of the workforce, including people with disabilities. That means bifolds offer a potential benefit for any new business premises.
There is no requirement for older buildings to offer disabled access, although it clearly makes good business sense to ensure everyone who wants to use the building can do so. If the building is historically significant, any modifications need to be made without prejudicing its character. Approached with the right architect, there are some cases where bifolds have been successfully used in older buildings of this type.

Specialist Advice

Your Price Bifolds has fitted scores of bifolding doors in homes, business premises in Vauxhall or nearby areas, hotels and stores. We have specific accessibility experience and can advise you on the best way to improve access to your building.
For more information, or a no-obligation survey, contact us today.

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