We all know that glass exterior folding doors and sliding doors offer a great, functional way to gain natural light and easy access to the outdoor areas of any building. The trend has lately been for super minimal looks, leaving the doors completely free of any traditional coverings. While this may look great in architectural magazines, adding coverings will to my mind enhance the overall quality of living by offering privacy, better energy efficiency and protection for the glass. Read on to find out the best options for all sliding and folding door hardware.
Drapes are a great solution for any type of sliding door or French door with the draperies mounted above the door hardware. They have the effect of creating a heavy fabric border that can be opened from the center out or from one side to cover the whole door area. But be careful not to encroach on the ease of using the doors, so make sure that the draperies can stack on the wall and are not overhanging the door as this can cause all sorts of headaches. Heavy fabric also has the effect of keeping warm air inside the dwelling at night or hot summer sun out during the day, to keep the building cool and lowering your energy bills significantly.
For a clean contemporary look to cover sliding door hardware nothing beats sliding solar screens. These are very good at blocking extreme UV rays from the sun and stopping glare entering the house. These are a very elegant and functional solution as they mirror the style and function of the sliding doors themselves. There are now a huge range of colours and styles available to suit all types of sliding door hardware and architectural looks. Make sure whatever option you decide upon, uses quality sliding door tracks. They can also be combined with a pleated insect screen to stop those pesky winged invaders from ruining your tranquil evening entertaining.
Roman shades are another option and can be used if there is sufficient space above the door frame. These will fold up completely when not in use and can cover the entire sliding doors or window effectively at night. The great thing about roman shades is that you can mount a single covering on each door panel to enable you to individually adjust each shade.
With many of us spending more time at bars and restaurants with edgy design features such as LED lighting, commercial finishes and bifold doors, our home interiors are becoming influenced by what we see and increasingly reflect a hospitality vibe.
Restaurants and bars with larger budgets are today vying for a competitive edge when it comes to design with many design firms eager to accommodate the insatiable appetite for the latest hip look. People are walking into a venue and asking the proprietors where they can buy the stools or table and wanting to replicate certain design features such as exterior folding doors opening out onto an enclosed courtyard. Our homes are increasingly becoming a “showroom” to wow our guests rather than a simply a place to live and feel comfortable.
Indeed our living spaces are becoming more like restaurants or bars with large open spaces, free standing plinth type bars and architecturally designed large volume seating integrated into the interior. Furthermore, residential homes are employing tricks learnt from the hospitality trade such as dividing a large open room with sliding and folding door hardware which can be either opened when entertaining or closed to create smaller more intimate spaces. There is a huge selection of hardware folding and sliding doors to suit most interiors and budgets from sharp and modern to more rustic in appearance.
Lighting is also an area where trends from hospitality are filtering down. There has been a massive increase in the demand for replica designer lights as home owners search for ways to mimic what they see at their favourite bar. LED lighting effects used in bars such as concealed lights illuminating a ceiling or bar top to give a 3D look are also becoming popular as the costs continue to reduce.
Energy efficient homes are not a passing fad – they are the new normal. With ongoing energy supply and costs becoming harder to predict, making sure your new home is harnessing all the natural energy available is key.
If you are building a new home from scratch and have the ability to determine the orientation of the building, you should position the house facing south in the northern hemisphere and north in the in the southern. Position rooms that get the most use such as the living/dining or home office at the front of the house to take full advantage of sunlight and rooms such are laundry, toilet or other utility rooms at the back of the house. Eaves on the house should be designed in such a way as to let sunlight in during winter and shade the rooms in summer.
Insulation of course plays a major role in heating and cooling a house. Wall cavities and roof spaces should have substantial high quality insulation included in the build. What is sometimes overlooked however is the quality of the glass used in the windows and door hardware. This is of particular importance because of the current trend towards larger open plan spaces incorporating exterior folding or sliding doors with large expanses of glass. For maximum energy efficiency, glass used in these should be double or even triple glazed. There are also a number of very high tech glass options available now that reflect heat but allow sunlight in.
When choosing your hardware for folding doors, window materials or sliding door hardware, timber is far superior to aluminium in terms of its thermal properties. It also adds natural materials to your home and visually compliments glass very well. Choose the best you can afford when it comes to door hardware as quality bottom rolling door hardware and sliding door tracks will make a huge difference to the long term functionality and ease of operation of these often heavy sliding doors. The initial costs can sometimes be quite high, but it always money is well spent in the long run as heating and cooling costs are reduced significantly.
Nothing is quite like it, stainless steel is a very desirable material for all sorts of applications around a dwelling or commercial building. Its luster, finish, and general hard wearing qualities, see it being the material of choice for everything from kitchen bench tops, fittings, Hardware For Folding Doors, Sliding Door Hardware and even light switches. If you have any sort of stainless steel in your home you’ll know that it can sometimes be quite hard to keep it looking shiny and clean. Read on and I’ll go over some of the do’s and don’ts of stainless steel care – particularly related to Exterior Folding Doors and associated Door Hardware.
As a general rule, stainless steel is very resistant to rust and corrosion, however it is not completely impervious to it. The most common problem with stainless steel is so called “Tea Staining” which is a visually brown discolouration on the surface of the stainless steel that is a more common occurrence in areas close to the sea or in areas with high chloride levels. Sea spray and salt deposits, high temperatures will all affect external fittings such as those found in Exterior Sliding Door Hardware and can cause this staining. Whilst visually this is not pleasing to the eye, this staining does not affect the actual integrity or lifespan of the materials used in Sliding and Folding Hardware.
There are various other things that may cause corrosion in stainless steel. Avoid using cleaners that contain Chloride including bleach, Muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid), or that will leave concentrated soap residue. Any contact with iron materials should be avoided also, such as water that is high in iron dripping continuously onto the Door Hardware or even using steel wool to clean can do more harm than good. To clean stainless steel and avoid discolouration, always use a gentle cleaning agent such as Ajax powder or a specialist stainless steel cleaner such as Goddards or CRC Xtra Shine and a scotchbrite pad. In marine environments its best to also apply some corrosion prevention such as CRC Marine 66 or Inox to the exposed surfaces.
As a rough guide in general household environments, external stainless steel Door Hardware should be cleaned every six months. In marine or industrial areas, most manufacturers recommend a minimum of three months per cleaning cycle and the ongoing application of light corrosion prevention mentioned above. In summary, although most people believe stainless steel to be virtually indestructible, while close to the truth, in order to keep your stainless steel looking and functioning as new, some maintenance is required to be carried out on a regular basis.
This site gives you the latest news, trends and opinions on interior architecture and design.