Bi-fold doors are probably going to be our next project. And that's quite a scary thing to write down. Because somehow writing it down - or typing it - makes it a bit more real. It's something we've been thinking about for a while, and it's coming to the point where we need to start thinking about it properly, getting quotes and getting builder's advice too, to see what's possible and what we can afford.
We've seen all sorts of bi-fold doors and we know the ones we settle on eventually will have as slim sightlines that matches our budget, because we want to see our garden through those doors, not block it out. So that will most likely mean lots more researching on luxury aluminium bifold doors.
We've been through many iterations of what we want, and I still don't think we're there.
We know that our large oak doors will go. They still look good, but aren't as energy efficient as newer, more modern doors would be. And in any conservatory, this has to be a consideration.
We already know we want a single door that opens independently without sliding, to make nipping up the garden either to empty the compost or to water the greenhouse as easy as possible. We want the sliding part of the doors to finish on the right hand side of our opening, so that they're out of the way and we (most probably me) won't walk into them.
We even know what colour we're after. We started by wanting to match the doors to the British Racing Green steels of the roof, but have since settled on a steel grey colour. It's a more modern look than the green and is likely to help the frames blend in and give the illusion of an unobstructed view.
Our conservatory has a slightly unusual design; one wall is brick, two sides are doors and the final side is windows. The roof is strengthened glass supported by RSJs. It's quirky and a great space, and it deserves to continue to add its personality to our house. One of the windows has misted and needs replacing. We've considered having a double set of bi-fold doors and replace the run of windows with another set of sliding doors. We no longer think that's a go-er though, as we don't think the benefits will outweigh the costs. If we had more space around our patio, it'd be worth it, but we don't so now it's more likely we'll replace the windows that tilt to provide ventilation, which will be an improvement on the current design.
We're a fair bit away from hanging out the fairy lights on our patio, but it's good to have something to aspire to!
So we know there'll be bi-fold doors and replacement windows, but there seems to be little sense to spend money on these unless we look at the roof, which is over twenty years old, and the pointing in the brick wall. The floor too, could do with some attention. And it quite quickly all adds up into a much larger project doesn't it?
A while back at Grand Designs Live at Excel we saw some innovative plasterboard, which was one of Kevin's Green Heroes. I'd be very tempted to look at something like that for any conservatory, let alone our north facing one as in our house it's the room that needs the most help. Quite recently we've ruled out the sunken wine cellar as a viable option - it had been a serious consideration - and well, we've ruled it out in this house, but not forever. So maybe one day, who knows.
And if all the potential building work isn't enough, an almost as big a challenge is finding somewhere to store my lovely dresser! And all the other junk we have in the conservatory says MOH. But well, you know I like a project and voicing this project here, as you know, is part of how I start to think about them. So this is a watch this space, but don't watch for too long as it might take a while for things to start happening.
I'm keen to know if you have bi-fold doors if you love them or not, and what advice would you give if you were putting them in now? Leave a comment and let me know, I'm at the listening to all views of my project so open to ideas.
This is a collaborative post but all views are my own.