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What is a composite door?

Composite doors are a popular choice for homeowners when replacing their front doors, but what is a composite door? As an increasingly popular option for any type of property, what they actually are is less than obvious to most. Knowing what your door is and what it’s made of is an important factor to consider when choosing a new front door. So we have given you a breakdown of what a composite door, to help you make the right decision for your home.

What are composite doors made of?

Secure Solidor composite entrance door Lewes

As the name implies, a composite door is made from a variety of materials. Typically, a composite front door has a glass reinforced plastic (GRP) skin which can be moulded to allow a variety of styles and designs. This enables the door to be extremely tough, rigid and waterproof, so it will last for many years to come. The base of the door is typically steel or metal with a polyurethane foam core, and they can have either an extra insulating double rebate or a more simple single rebate. A rebate is the groove in the vertical edge of the door, which creates a snug fit between the door and the frame, enhancing the thermal efficiency.

What are the benefits of a composite door?

Coloured composite doors Bowalker Doors Hove

Composite doors are a great, practical choice for replacing your front door, as they are extremely durable and weatherproof. They’re also very low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry too much about the up-keep of your front door. A quick wipe down every now and then will leave your door looking as good as new. Thermal efficiency is also an impressive feature of composite doors, thanks to their high energy ratings. Your safety and security is paramount, so our composite doors are manufactured with the PAS 24 accredited multipoint locking system and have achieved Secured by Design accreditation, making them the police preferred choice and complaint with Document Q.

Composite doors vs. PVCu doors

PVCu doors are secure, but composite doors offer the highest levels of security thanks to a super strong structural frame combined with glass reinforced plastic. The laminated safety glass will also not fall out of the door if broken, it will shatter but stay in place. PVCu doors do have some variety in styles, but composite doors have far more options available. You can choose from a wide range of colours including Chartwell green, sleek black, oak and classic white.

Composite doors from Bowalker Doors

Clean and crisp composite doors Bowalker Doors Hove

Lead the way into your home with a beautiful Bowalker composite door. Our doors offer timeless styles that are known and loved by homeowners, which is what makes them such a popular choice, offering cutting edge, contemporary options that feature modern aesthetics and classic design. We have experience in installing beautiful bifold doors throughout Brighton, Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex. So you can have full peace of mind that we can create the perfect home improvement.

Is it time to update your front door? Get in touch with us to replace your current entrance with a composite door. Let us know the specifics of your project on our website and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

December 11, 2021

Posted In: Uncategorized

Do I need planning permission for bifold doors?

It’s very unlikely that you will need planning permission for installing bi-fold doors in your home. However, if your new doors are part of a home renovation or remodelling, you’re having an extension built or adding a new room for extra space, it’s a good idea to double check before you get started, just to be on the safe side.

Permitted development rights

Bowalker bifold door

The planning permission process can be avoided if your extension or home improvement falls within permitted development rights.

Under permitted development rights, a single storey extension can be built up to 6m from the original rear wall of an attached house, or 8m if you live in a detached house, and up to 4m in height. If you’re looking for a two storey extension, then it cannot be taller than your existing roof, it can’t extend beyond your existing rear wall by more than 3m and it must be at least 7m from your boundary.

Combining your living space and widespan bi-fold doors, you can create an incredible open plan space for the whole family to enjoy. Make the most of the extra space by using it as a dining area or place to relax after a long day. Bowalker bi-fold doors can seamlessly lead you onto your decking area, patio or garden, which is perfect for gatherings in the summer.

Planning permission for bi-fold doors in an extension

Bowalker Air 800 Bifold With Alitherm 300 Windows

If your bi-fold doors are being installed as part of your new extension, you will only need to look into planning permission if your extension size and design are not covered by permitted development rights.

If you want to add much more extra space to your home, then you will need to apply for planning permission. At Bowalker, we work closely with you on larger glazed extensions like this which require planning permission, so you can have peace of mind that your project will run smoothly from start to finish.

Planning permission for a heritage or listed building

When it comes to listed and heritage buildings, planning laws are very different. Laws are also different for properties on ‘designated land’, in protected areas, or if your home is located in a conservation area, National Park, or an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Planning permission can sometimes be complicated, especially with listed buildings, as they can require material, design and colour choices to be warranted. To make sure that all requirements and permissions are met, we work closely with you on your glazed extension from design to installation. Our bi-fold doors can be chosen with these requirements in mind, so that you can tailor your bi-fold doors to your project exactly.

Planning permission for balconies

Balconies are a great place to have your bi-fold doors installed, as they frame your view through the large expanses of glass and slimline frames, bringing the outside one step closer to you.

If you would like a new balcony added to your property however, this is a special case, as your new feature is likely overlooking someone else’s home or garden. You need to be sure to have planning permission for something like this, as you want to make the most of your view and available space, without upsetting your neighbours!

Building regulations

All houses that are undergoing home improvements such as extensions need to comply with building regulations. When starting projects with our customers, we always check if approval is needed before altering your home in any way so that your bi-fold doors can be expertly installed with no interruptions or set-backs.

For glazed extensions which are merged with your existing space, we may need to seek building regulation approval. For most conservatories and orangeries, building regulation approval isn’t required if the design falls within permitted development rights.

Bowalker Doors bi-fold door options

Bifold or Sliding Doors Surrey Sussex

We stock two impressive bi-fold door ranges for you to choose from including aluminium bi-folds and our state-of-the-art aïr 800 range. Both are the perfect addition to your home, no matter what style of property you have.

Our aluminium bi-fold doors offer your property a stunning feature wall of glass, with sightlines as slim as 132mm for uninterrupted views, whilst adding natural light and space to your project.

The aïr 800 range is the Rolls Royce of bi-folding doors, creating extreme design possibilities for any project, making them ideal for property transformations. They create a maximum amount of space by folding away completely to reveal spacious areas in your home, making them the perfect choice if your house has large external walls that you want to make the most of.

Start your project with Bowalker Doors today

So, when you ask yourself, do I need planning permission for bifold doors? Don’t worry! We have got you covered. Planning permission doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when your home improvement project falls within permitted development rights. So whether you’re replacing existing doors or starting a new project from scratch, we’re on hand to offer advice. If you would like to find out more get in touch with us or request a quote to get your project started today. Look out for our bi-fold installations in and around Sussex, Brighton and Surrey for inspiration.

December 10, 2021

Posted In: Uncategorized

Doors you can trust

You can trust us with your transformation plans as we’re members of Checkatrade, FENSA and the Plastics Window Federation.


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