Extending your home to include a panoramic view through patio doors is an exciting project that can cost a considerable sum. You’ve included budgets for the architect and surveyors, planning approval and building regulations, builders estimate for materials, labour and cartage (skip hire is currently around £200) plus finishing and decorating. No matter what your budget is, the cost always seems to exceed expectation and a cost-cutting exercise towards the end of the project is almost inevitable.
Budget. The estimate for a single storey extension might be between £30,000 and £60,000. Whether the builder is charging time-and-materials or a fixed-price-job, there may still be extras to pay. For example, is there a contingency for unforeseen problems, such as uncovering rotting timbers or damaged pipe-work?
Have you checked any ‘PC’ items in the builder’s quote/estimate? These are Provisional Costings and therefore subject to change. Examples here might include doors, windows, floor tiles, etc. PCs are often priced for basic options and most home-owners tend to be a bit more choosy. If you haven’t already sourced and priced specific items, these extras can add up to a significant amount.
If you are living in the home or regularly visiting the site, on-the-job changes to the original specification are common, which will usually add to the cost.
It becomes a challenge, often unavoidable, to balance the budget towards the end of the project by deferring some of the work, resorting to diy decorating or buying cheaper materials, such as doors. The secret is to only cut costs on non-essentials, inexpensive and short life-span consumables. You don’t want to have to replace patio doors within a couple of years.
Research. You will have researched the type of patio door that will enhance your home: sliding or bi-folding doors, wood or pvc frames. Some home-owners will have short-listed suppliers by product features, quality, benefits, price, delivery time and reputation while some will have left it to the builder to supply and fit.
Many builders are good sources of information when it comes to sourcing quality materials and getting value for money from reliable suppliers but sometimes following that advice can lead to disappointment.
Bi-folding-sliding patio doors supplied by the builder from an unknown source, rather than companies that specialise in bi-folding doors has, unfortunately, left some home-owners with patio doors that are difficult to use. At the end of the job the doors were working but after a while, when they became problematic, it transpired that they came with no further guarantee nor warranty. Who is responsible? The supplier, the builder or the home-owner? In the end, it’s the home-owner who has paid the money and has to live with the problem or the hassle of resolving it.
Two of the main reasons for choosing bi-folding doors, apart from the ‘WOW’ factor, are: to achieve maximum light and panoramic views when the doors are closed and to have virtually seamless maximum access between the home and garden (or conservatory) when the doors are open. Another reason may be the optional integral blinds, encapsulated between the double-glazing, looking great and not getting dusty!
Most common are wooden or pvc frames. A third option, powder-coated aluminium frames, look similar to pvc but is stronger, has narrower frames (therefore more glass to look through), will not need to be painted or varnished, will not warp in hot, cold, dry or damp conditions, can be supplied in a variety of colours and are strong enough to open and close smoothly for openings as wide as 7.2 metres. Aluminium bi-folding door prices are very competitive for the quality and anticipated life of a virtually maintenance-free product that will continue to perform for years, in terms of both functionality and thermal efficiency.
Powder-coated aluminium bi-folding patio doors, manufactured by specialist companies such as SunSeeker Doors, can offer warranties on their products and installations because the products have been tried and tested in thousands of homes over the years, measured and fitted by experienced professionals.
More information. Features, current installation dates, warranties, testimonials and an obligation-free quotation can be found on the web site and you can also click on the News and Views link for client case-studies before making your final decision.