Lift and Slide Doors vs. Folding Doors: Repost from VueLite
The market for Bi-fold doors lost 7% last year, does this signal the way of things to come? Has the shift to lift and slide doors begun?
For some time now discerning homeowners have looked to the bi-fold to open up their home to outdoor spaces, light and views. However there has been a shift towards Lift and Slide doors. Firstly let’s be clear Lift and Slide doors are different to traditional sliding doors.
Standard sliding patio doors (often called straight slide) run on tracks in the bottom rail and rely on the user pushing the full weight of the door and glass to open with little mechanical assistance. As a consequence, larger doors can be noisy as weather-strips rub at the bottom and are difficult to manoeuvre for some users.
Lift Slide doors operate differently, as turning the handle downwards lifts the door panel up from the bottom rail and free of the weather stripping, and its heavy duty wheels allow the user to move large, heavy units, often up to 300KG, with minimal effort.
Furthermore, the lift/slide opening door panel can be “dropped” back down at any point on its travel, and with the handle locked with the key, it’s almost un-movable, offering incremental ventilation along the length of the track
When deciding between the bi-fold and lift and slide there are pros and cons on both sides…
Bi-folds allow you to almost completely open up an aperture and over a considerable distance up to 7000mm. This is great if you have a patio or love to entertain in the garden. You are truly able to let the outside in. The lift and slide will inevitably still have a portion of the aperture closed as other panels slide on top (the exception of this of course is when it is hidden within a wall pocket!)
For bold architectural statements cornerless opening is also available in both bi-folds and Lift and Slides. Opening up an entire corner of your home to nature, without a post getting in the way.
However ask yourselves in the UK, how often would you want to open an entire aperture? The downside of a bi-fold of course is that you cannot open just a few inches or just a few feet, save using the slave door. With a Lift and Slide you can open a small amount for ventilation, let the cat out or children in.
Let’s now consider the space, Lift and Slides do not require any additional opening space, the bi-fold by comparison needs space to fold inwards or outwards and be stacked there. This can be required on both or just one side. For many this is not an issue but in a small area this is of course a consideration.
In terms of efficiency the lift and slide with its larger glass panels tend to have better U values than its bi-folding counterpart. With suppliers now offering a diverse range of Aluminium and composite doors with either double or triple glazed options gone are the days of the door being cold.
The biggest downfall of the bi fold is the way it chops a stunning view into sections.
Don’t get me wrong if you have a fantastic view a bi-fold makes more of this than a standard sized window but consider in a 5000mm by 2500mm opening you could be looking at 5 panels for a bi-fold, with a lift and slide you could have only 1 minimal sightline in the centre.
If you are considering either a bi-fold or a lift and slide door then you will fall one side of the fence or the other. It will come down to price, style, performance and space, and either will allow you to add a contemporary edge to your home.
If you have questions about Folding or Lift and Slide Doors – Contact HighQ Today: 604-931-2124
Four Considerations You Should Make When Choosing New Patio Doors
Summer is Upon Us and There’s No Better Time to Upgrade Your Patio with New European Windows and Doors
It’s exciting when you deiced to replace your current, or add patio doors to your home. While you know you want to improve or add an entryway, there are a few factors you must take into consideration.
What Is The Design Aesthetic Of Your Home?
The first thing you must consider is what style of door best suits your preferred design aesthetic. While all of our doors are modern, you may prefer the more contemporary look of our tilt and turn doors—or a mix of modern and classic of our floor to ceiling HighQ French doors. Also consider if the door will be a focal point of the room, and how a double vs. a single door will affect furniture placement.
How Will You Use Your Door?
Patios, outdoor kitchens, and furnished outdoor living spaces are now considered a fully-functioning extension of your home. This means that how you plan to use your outdoor space, will influence the type of door you require. If you will have a lot of traffic in and out of your home, or plan to move large furniture in and out seasonally—double French doors may be the best way to go. If you are only in need of an additional exit or entrance, or your room is small—our tilt and turn doors may be the better fit.
How Much Light Do You Want To Let In?
Any new glass patio door added to a room will improve natural lighting, but you must consider how much light you prefer. Tilt and turn doors are an excellent way to create a wall of light, with some doors that you plan only to tilt—and some you use as an entryway. While French double doors won’t cover an entire wall, you may be able to line them with decorative windows to allow in more light. Either way, the structure of your home may limit your options.
What Are Your Needs For Security, Airflow, & Insulation?
It’s almost impossible to purchase a modern door that isn’t energy-efficient. This helps to reduce energy costs, and even to protect your interior furniture and accessories from sun fading. However, you must also consider airflow and security. If you are adding a double French door to improve airflow, consider how comfortable you are leaving one or both doors open screen-free. If security is of greater concern, or to increase airflow when you aren’t home—the “tilt” of a tilt and turn door may be the better way to go.
How to Extend the Lifetime of Your European Windows and Doors?
Here’s How to Ensure Your HighQ Windows and Doors Can Last You a Lifetime
HighQ windows and doors are already designed with the highest quality and most durable uPVC materials. At HighQ we understand that windows and doors are an investment and they have an important job to do. If you’re constructing a new home, installing new windows and doors will add value to the home that will enable you to sell the home for top dollar. If you own an older home and are looking to give your exiting home an immediate face-lift, new windows and doors will achieve just that. Of course, spending a little more on higher quality windows and doors will help ensure you don’t have to afford costly repairs and replacements in the future. Most of our customers are interested in hearing about how they can help their windows and doors last longer, therefore, we’ve put together this post to summarize the easiest ways to extend their lifetime:
Regularly Clean Your HighQ Windows and Doors
It may sound like a chore but in order to keep your European windows and doors in top condition for the longest period of time, you need to regularly clean them. The right way of doing that is by taking a standard all-purpose sponge, that is small enough to fit into the small crevasses of your windows and doors. Be careful not to use a sponge that will scratch, we typically recommend microfiber sponges on HighQ windows and doors. If your windows and doors are heavily soiled, use warm soapy water to wash them clean. Doing this regularly will prevent build up of organic materials and spotting from calcium deposits. Sometimes the joints and hinges of windows are neglected as it’s easier to clean the interior and exterior parts of the window, therefore, before you clean the window, make sure that it is opened so that all its parts can be cleaned properly. Lastly, please keep in mind is the fact that windows are prone to rust and you need to dry the windows as soon as possible to avoid it.
* If your HighQ Windows and Doors have just been installed make sure all stickers are removed from the glass. Stickers that are left on the windows can leave permanent residue.
Use Your Windows and Doors as They Were Designed to Be Used
European windows and doors are popular because a single product can be used in so many different ways. With that being said, it’s important to only use your windows and doors as they were designed to be used. Try not to get creative with their usability and be mindful of which parts of your windows are likely to get the most wear. For example, our popular folding doors shouldn’t be left in the ‘folded’ position permanently as the compression of this position could take a toll on the hardware if done repeatedly over an extended period of time. Casement windows should be left hanging open for too-long because this will strain the hinges if done repeatedly over a long period of time. Along those same lines be proactive about inspecting your windows and doors from time to time to make sure that there are no cracks, scratches or abrasions. Dealing with small issues immediately will prevent them from growing into larger issues.
Lubricate Your Windows and Doors
Casement and awning operator hinges and locks should be lubricated every 2 years. Use white Lithium grease on the hardware gears and silicone spray on hinge tracks and locks. Be sure to clean the areas needing lubricant prior to applying the lubricant.
Sliding and lift & slide door hardware should be lubricated on a yearly basis. This includes the lock mechanism and door roller wheels and track. Use silicone spray. Clean track before applying lubricate.
If You Have any Questions About Making Your HighQ Windows and Doors Last Longer Please Call Us
How to Prepare for a Whole-Home Window and Door Installation
More Homeowners are Purchasing New European Windows
Window replacement is on the rise in Canada as more people are replacing old windows in their homes with new, more secure and energy-efficient windows. New windows are an easy way to alleviate environmental sustainability concerns while giving both new construction and holder homes an instant boost in curb-appeal. We have found it can help the process if homeowners have a clear understanding of the window and door installation process so that the installation can go smoothly and efficiently. Helping our customers understand the logistics of a whole-home window and door installation can help get the job done quickly and could potentially help you save money on labor costs.
Ask Questions Before Installation Day
Before your professional HighQ contractor arrives, feel free to ask as many questions about the installation-day as you need to. Asking questions before the work begins will relieve you of any concerns and will ensure your contractor can get straight to work on installation day. HighQ offers window and door installation services to homeowners as well as land developers who have tight deadlines to meet and can’t afford any complications. Our process for installing windows and doors throughout a home has proven to be fast and as clean as possible. We have years of experience successfully executing whole-home window and door installations for land developers and homeowners throughout Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
Clear Up Any Obstacles or Accessibility Challenges
Once you’ve asked all the questions you need to feel comfortable with the project it can be helpful to anticipate the mess that can be created during the installation and the areas the crew will need to get access to. New home construction projects are often a cleaner procedure as there’s no windows that need to be ripped out, however, if you’re a homeowner and you’re replacing all the windows and doors on your home – definitely expect some mess from dust, drywall, paint, and general mobility in the workspace. It’s perfectly normal for things to look a little chaotic in the middle of an installation and our team will be sure to clean after they’re done and restore everything to the way they found it. However, if you’d like to save on the cost of labor you can anticipate the mess by putting down drop cloths and plastic sheets in the areas you know work will be done or areas that are likely to get a lot of foot traffic. Your HighQ installation crew will make sure this is done if you can’t but it’s an easy way to save a few bucks and control the mess at the same time. Additionally, make sure that if there’s any areas of the home that are hard to (or dangerous) to access that this is remedied before the crew arrives. Remember that the crew will be carrying heavy new windows and doors and ripping out old, heavy windows and doors – they will need stable and clear ground to do this safely.
Understand that Window and Door Installations are Hard Work
Installing new windows and doors into a home is a complex process best left to the professionals. Especially when it comes to installing European windows and doors – which can be a little different than traditional North American products. Even seasoned “handymen” often leave this particular job to certified installers. Our crews are used to the process and we know how to get the job done on time and without the risk of complication. Regardless of who’s doing the installation it’s helpful to understand that installing windows and doors into a new or existing home is hard and very technical work. Be patient with your crew and appreciate their skill in executing the project on your behalf while completely mitigating the risk of complication. A comfortable and friendly work environment will help your HighQ team get the job done right and will set the stage for a positive ongoing relationship should your homes windows and doors require any repair or replacement work in the future.
Speak to a HighQ Representative About Outfitting Your Home with New European Windows and Doors: 604-931-2124
How to Choose the Right Windows and Doors for Your Project
Tips for Homeowners and Land Developers
Many of our customers (whether homeowners or commercial land developers) find choosing the right windows and doors for their project to be the hardest part of the development. European windows and doors are a little different from North American windows and doors in terms of both style and function so it’s helpful to have a healthy understanding of the differences before making your selection. We’ve put together this list of tips to help you out in the process:
Rightly chosen windows and doors give a timeless appeal, elegance and class to your home. Available in a wide variety of materials, designs and styles, windows and doors add a classy touch to the room and provide a special cozy and comfy ambiance. However, the key is to find an attractive yet functional solution that blends with the interiors of your home.
Here are some of the tips to narrow down the choices and make the right selection:
1. Start by Selecting the Right Function-Type
By far the most important component of choosing new windows and doors needs to be the function you’re looking for. Your project will no doubt be limited by space and purpose. Your first priority should always be finding the appropriate windows and doors for the space your project allows for and the products that are going to make using the space the easiest. Entrance doors come in two types- slide and swing. HighQ also offers an extensive variety of European windows including tilt and turn windows, pivoting windows and casement windows. We recommend homeowners and land developers keep the following two questions in mind when making their selection; these are often the two questions we ask customers when helping them make their choice:
- What is the purpose of the room the windows and doors will be installed in? (i.e. kitchen, bathroom, living room, conference room, office etc.)
- What size is the space you’re looking to fill with a window or door? Further, how large is the room or space the window will be installed in? Is there room for a large in-ward swinging window or door?
2. Next, prioritize the Size and Materials
Once you’ve established which type of windows or doors will function best for your project, focus on the materials you need these products made of. Again, depending on the purpose of the space you may require more durable materials. Outward-facing doors and windows will need to be made of materials that are safer, more secure and that can withstand different types of weather. In general, windows and doors are available in a variety of materials such as wood, vinyl, aluminum, glass and metal filled plastic. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. For example, wooden windows offer aesthetic appeal but are quite sensitive to humidity and heat. Vinyl offers a practical choice as they are durable and easy to clean. Maintenance, durability and ease of installation are some of the features that you need to consider before making the final decision. Choose the one that offers protection, beauty and functionality to your home. HighQ windows and doors are built from the finest materials and are designed to last decades. For more information about the materials our windows are made of please contact us.
3. Keep the Structure of Your Entire Project in Mind
The next thing that you need to consider is the architectural uniqueness of your project or home. Windows and doors will have a tremendous impact on the aesthetic and resale value of your home. Before you commit to a specific type of window or door make sure that your choices will work cohesively in the home. This step often saves customers from making choices that may suit the needs of one particular space in a home but which overall may not be the best fit for the project. It’s wise to use a similar style of window and door throughout your project so the aesthetic and functionality are consistent. If you’re looking to increase the value of your home or project keep in mind that you need windows and doors that show off or highlight the best features of the building. For example, if your house has ornate columns, dormers or wood trims will add elegance to the existing features. Again, we often find that developers thing they’ve made the best selection for a room but upon reflection realize that another choice will suit the structure better overall from an investment standpoint.
4. Lastly, Look at Your Color Options
Although customers are often tempted to consider the color of their windows and doors first, it’s actually wise to make this the last consideration in the process. Often, the color of the window frame will have the least effect on the overall impact of the window. Often, customers forget to consider that the color of your windows and doors should suit both the interior and exterior of your home. As a rule, it’s wiser to opt for a more traditional color palette that will be timeless as oppose to trendy colors. HighQ also recommends selecting a color that blends in with the walls of your home as opposed to a contrasting color which many developers are tempted to do.
Don’t underestimate the significant impact that windows and doors will have on the “atmosphere” of your home. The way a home feels is greatly influenced by the windows and doors. Carefully chosen windows reflect your taste as well as personality.
If properly installed and maintained, windows and doors can offer good safety and security for your family. Choosing a reliable and educated vendor to help guide you through the process will ensure peace of mind. If you have any questions about which windows or doors to choose for your project please contact HighQ and we’ll be happy to help you with your selection.
European Windows vs. North American Windows
The Benefits of European Windows and Doors over North American Windows and Doors
European windows and doors are becoming quite popular among residential and commercial developers in North America. There are a few good reasons for this but it can often be confusing to anyone who isn’t familiar with what sets European windows and doors apart from their North American counterparts. HighQ is Vancouver’s leading supplier of European windows and doors so we felt it was high time we explained the merits of our products and why European windows and doors offer advantages that should not be overlooked.
Stylish and Versatile Designs
There is no skirting the fact that European windows offer an aesthetic that can’t be matched by North American windows. European window and door designs are largely unfamiliar to North Americans so they add an instant element of character, history and intrigue to any space they’re installed in as users marvel at their novelty. For example, one of HighQ’s most popular styles is “tilt & turn” which is available for both windows and doors. The tilt & turn style is effectively three styles in one: a secure top venting hopper in the tilt position, an inward opening casement in the turn position and a tightly-sealed window or door when closed. All three of these styles are attainable in one aesthetically pleasing product.
Improved Safety and Energy Efficiency
European windows are praised for their safety and energy efficient features. Because European windows can be opened in so many different ways, they feature multiple locking points and dual weather seals which provide optimal air and water tightness. These multiple locking points are a terrific extra safety measure and because they are tested to such high standards during manufacturing can be reliable for years after being installed. Furthermore, European windows and doors are designed to regulate the movement of air between the interior and exterior of a home. Where North American windows and doors are basically limited to ‘open’ or ‘closed’, European windows have been designed to allow filtered air into a home through the sides, while allowing warm air to escape out of the home through the top. The airflow and ventilation patterns created will vary between each window and door design so if you’re looking to achieve a certain effect please contact HighQ and we’ll be able to recommend the best products for your situation.
The Ability to Fill Large Spaces and Still Function
European windows and doors have a definite advantage when it comes to the versatility of spaces they’ll fit. Many of our customers first approach European designed windows and doors because they can’t find a design that will be functional while still filling a large space. The large chambers of European windows and doors accommodate the reinforcements required to be applied to large openings. In other words, European windows and doors have reinforcements that make them able to fill very large spaces without the functionality being compromised. This is an attractive feature, especially in homes (like many of the Vancouver homes featured in our portfolio) that have stunning views that developers want to capture. Often, a view is used as the focal point of the design and the window or door that’s chosen to showcase it can make or break the project. Where a blank pane of glass may suffice, the energy efficiency and functionality of a European design that offers and uninterrupted view and airflow will trump other products every time.
In Summary: European Windows and Doors Do Seem to Perform Better
There are a number of reasons why European windows seem to be a cut above what’s being produced in North America. Higher testing standards and pressure from policy and product demand have lead European window manufacturers to produce a product that’s of higher quality while still being aesthetically pleasing. One developer quoted on Green Building Advisor sums up his perspective on the issue: “We’d love to use [North American] windows and glass manufactured in North America for the PH [Passivhaus] houses we’re working on,” he says, “but no one seems willing to step up to the plate and produce what we can get from EU for cost, performance and quality. …In our research, the glass in North America isn’t quite up to par with what’s being produced in the EU”.
The Challenge of Switching from North American Windows and Doors to European:
If you’re a developer or a residential homeowner who wants to replace your windows and doors with European designs it can sometimes be a challenge to navigate the technical differences in design, testing standards and measuring systems used by European manufacturers as opposed to North American manufacturers. HighQ is an expert on European windows and doors and is more than happy to walk you through a demonstration of any of our products in our showroom or answer any questions you might have about European windows.