what are bifold windows

What is a Bi-Fold Window?

what are bifold windows

Bifold Windows

Bi-fold windows provide the wonderful function of connecting your interior spaces with your exterior spaces. This combination not only allows for a free-flowing entertainment space, it also provides unobstructed views. This allows your entire space to become one large area.

Function

Bi-fold windows are functional and stylish. They consist of a number of hinged framed window panels that fold into each other simply and elegantly, to open up any space.

Why Bi-Fold?

Bi-fold windows have the ability to transform your house. They provide a clear and unobstructed view, but they also ensure good ventilation and natural light. The lack of obstructive beams, columns, or panels, ensures that the connection between the interior and exterior is seamless.

But the seamlessness doesn’t end there. Their smooth and simple-to-operate sliding system comes with a clean exterior finish that complements and suits the design of almost any home.

Usage

Not all windows are created equally, or for the same purpose. The functionality of the bi-fold window means that they connect your interior spaces with your exterior spaces. It also means that they can connect the spaces inside your house. For instance, a bi-fold window is perfectly designed to bring together your kitchen and your dining area.

This created space could be used as a breakfast or afternoon tea counter or as a functional space to prepare a snack. This same function can be used to serve food from the kitchen to the living area or your outdoor entertainment area.

Visibility

With superior security and precisely hinged frames, bi-fold windows block out noise perfectly. At the same time, they provide unobstructed views so that you can look out to the pool or garden and watch the kids play while enjoying the calmness of your interior living areas.

The discrete and unobtrusive design means that any opening can be turned into a relaxing window seat to overlook your spectacular Gold Coast ocean views.

Preference

Aluminium bi-fold windows are powder-coated, which means they have a high durability. Because of this, they don’t require huge amounts of upkeep and are easy to clean. Bi-fold windows are available in a wide range of colours and designs, meaning you can style your home however you want.

Bi-fold windows are the perfect addition to your home. They can transform any room or living area into a multi-functional, free-flowing space that you won’t know how you lived without. For an obligation-free quote on your windows, contact Southern Cross Windows today.

woman coloring an aluminum window with paint brush

Colouring Aluminium Windows and Doors

Colouring Aluminium Windows and Doors

Colouring Aluminium Windows and Doors

You might be looking to invest in new doors and windows for your home, but perhaps you’re unsure of which material to go with. Aluminium, as you have probably already gleaned, is an incredibly durable and versatile material that can withstand even the toughest Gold Coast weather. It is low maintenance and easy to manipulate into a range of designs. Did you also know that you can get aluminium doors and windows in a variety of colours through the process of powder coating?

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is very similar to painting in that it allows you to choose your colour for a clean, bright finish. The process involves preparing the aluminium surface, applying the paint electronically, and then placing it in the oven to bake and finish. Like porcelain, you will find a hard, durable finish that is applied evenly and even offers an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Other Colouring Options

Another means of colouring aluminium that is a bit less popular is called aluminium anodising. This involves an electrochemical process whereby the coating is actually added to the material. The end result is a thicker layer over the metal, a more durable surface and corrosion-resistant aluminium.

You’ve Got The Colour, Now What About the Style?

One of the best things about using aluminium to frame your windows and doors is its incredible versatility in style. You can completely change the look and feel of many rooms in your house through the strategic use of windows and doors. Aluminium windows and doors come in a range of shapes and styles that can be cut to your exact specifications. Combine that ability with whatever colour you choose and you have a match made in heaven!

Try going white for a clean, modern look with floor-to-ceiling bi-fold doors that will give you incredible unobstructed access in and out of the house when opened fully. Or add a touch of sophistication with large sliding doors, outlined in sleek black aluminium. Give your home traditional and controlled light and airflow with soft off-white awning windows.

Don’t underestimate the power and appeal of a splash of colour. A bit of bright blue or turquoise along your sliding window frames will really draw the eye to the shape of the window and what lies beyond. If you are thinking of playing around with an interesting fixed light window, try outlining it with a dark blue or black to make the look seem even more dramatic.

With aluminium windows and doors, the options are endless. If you have a vision, you can rest assured that you can see it through by using this versatile material to your liking.

With powder coating, there is no end to the custom options you can design so that your aluminium windows and doors match your home’s décor. Contact an expert at Southern Cross Windows on the Gold Coast to learn more.

Girl cleaning aluminium windows with cloth

How to Maintain your Aluminium Doors and Windows

aluminium window maintenenace

There are a wide range of benefits that come with investing in aluminium doors and windows. For example, no other material can beat the incredible durability in the face of even the harshest Gold Coast weather conditions. In addition, they are versatile, energy efficient and can be made to fit many sizes and designs. They are also powder-coated to many different colours. Overall, aluminium doors and windows are rather low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo taking care of them at all.

The Importance of Maintenance

The fact of the matter is that while aluminium is a great material to use, it can corrode. Once the corrosion process starts, it spirals and can be hard to stop. Gold Coast residents are especially at risk if they do not take the time to properly care for their aluminium doors and windows, sills, tracks and frames. The closer you get to the salty ocean air, the more apparent corrosion can be.

You should also not forget about things like locks, latches, drop bolts and rollers. Your aluminium hinges can become very stiff over time, making them more and more difficult to open.

Check out our tips below on maintenance.

Clean the Glass

The first thing you should do is to make sure the glass parts of the doors are clean and free from dirt or debris. The most effective way to clean this glass is just with a bit of detergent and clean water. Anything too harsh may scratch the surface.

Unclog the Tracks

It is important to make sure that roller tracks, drain holes, and other elements are all cleaned and unclogged of debris. If these areas are clogged, they are even more likely to experience corrosion. Try using a vacuum to suck up any hard debris or set-in dirt. You should only use mild, soapy water with a soft sponge or cloth. Don’t use anything sharp to get debris out of the tracks as it can damage them as well as the powder coating.

Wash the Frame

The frame should be washed the same way as the tracks, with a soft cloth or sponge and minimal detergent use. Do not use any harsh soap. When you rinse the soap off, do so lightly but make sure you get all of the soap off. When you are done, make sure to dry everything with a clean, dry cloth to prevent further corrosion or damage from the dried water.

Lubricate Hardware Components

Use a straw applicator to lubricate anything like locks, handles and roller assemblies, with a wet silicone spray. It is also a good idea to apply lubrication to joints and hinges to keep them moving smoothly.

How Often Should I Maintain?

If you live within 8 km from the coast, you should clean and inspect your aluminium doors and windows monthly. You should have a professional inspect and maintain your windows about once a year for optimum results and extended life.

You’ll know it’s time to replace your windows or doors if they have corroded beyond repair.

For more expert advice on maintaining your aluminium doors and windows, don’t hesitate to contact Southern Cross Windows on the Gold Coast.

woman standing at open window

How the Right Windows Impact Rooms Visually

You’d be surprised about the difference you can make to the aesthetics and feel of a room just by changing out the windows. Everything from the placement to the design and materials, when used correctly and with intention, can add a positive impact to your home, both visually and functionally.

Choose Aluminium Windows

While there are many common materials to use in your window applications, such as PVC and timber, the best on the market is definitely aluminium. Aluminium is a material that is not only incredibly durable and weather resistant, but it is also easily manipulated. You can have it fit to your exact specifications, and you can usually obtain it in a variety of designer colours to suit your home. Both an accessory and a functional piece of your home, aluminium windows are cost-effective, environmentally friendly and incredibly versatile.

Bi-Fold Windows For A Classic Look

While aluminium bi-fold windows look great in both traditional and modern settings, the effect they have on your room is purely classic. Whether they are fully opened and stacked to the side of the frame, they provide unobstructed views of your outside area. In addition, bi-fold windows provide much needed ventilation and natural light, opening and brightening up your space in an incredibly simple way. You can make bi-folds as high or wide as you want. Get a truly dramatic effect with larger windows, or create a second function out of them by adding a kitchen bench. The window rail can be hung from the top and you can use the bottom bench as a half-in-half-out breakfast bar.

Sliding Windows For Clean Modernity

If you would like to characterise your home with the big open spaces and clean, sophisticated lines, try installing simple aluminium sliding doors. Modern living is all about finding the function of an item in its form. Sliding doors are easy to use, secure, durable and attractive. They allow for clear views outside and can fit to large openings, and they let in plenty of airflow and sunlight.

Old School Meets Efficiency With Louvre Windows

You can usually choose between glass, wood or aluminium for louvre windows, but no matter which one you go with, you can be guaranteed to achieve an old-school look without sacrificing efficiency. Louvre windows are made of multiple slats that you can open and close as you like. When they’re open, louvre windows provide easy ventilation and controlled light, and when they’re closed, the joints seal effectively to keep out the elements, perfect for boiling Gold Coast summers and harsh, elemental winters.

Find out how else choosing the right window can change the dynamic of your home. For general design advice or questions about aluminium windows, contact Southern Cross Windows on the Gold Coast today.

Angular view of timber balcony opening into living space

Choosing bi-fold doors and windows for your balcony

patio doors

Aluminium Windows and Doors for Gold Coast Balconies

Whether your apartment or multi story house has a balcony, veranda, patio or terrace, you can easily enhance your stunning Gold Coast views without the need for a full renovation. Increase the amount of light entering your home and easily move between your indoor and outdoor space by installing bi-fold glass doors and windows. But what style should you choose to enhance your space, and should you choose windows, doors or both? It all depends on whether you have a large or small space to work with, so here’s our top tips for Gold Coast balconies.

Doors For Balconies

Bi-fold doors

Best for larger balconies, patios and verandas, bi-fold doors easily fold back into a discreet stack, leaving an opening that is unobstructed by frames. This means a bi-fold door can provide excellent ventilation and the flexibility to turn your entire balcony into a doorway to the outdoors with just a simple push. The main consideration here is to ensure that the doors are configured and installed in such a way that they fold away safely and efficiently within your space.

Sliding doors

Sliding doors are one of the most popular design options for a large or small balcony, as they can be easily adjusted to suit your specific individual access or entertaining requirements. Unlike bi-fold doors, sliding doors won’t swing open and impede on your precious outdoor space. Sliding doors have the flexibility to be configured in such a way as to create a doorway for the entire opening of the balcony on their own, letting you create an expansive indoor/outdoor entertainment area by simply sliding the doors across.

Windows For Balconies

Sliding windows

A space-efficient and convenient window style that’s great for both small and larger outdoor areas, sliding windows can be combined with a fixed panel of glass underneath to create the idea of a wall of glass. Sliding windows can also be installed with fly screens, providing the option of leaving the windows open for extra ventilation without letting all the bugs inside.

Louvre windows

Louvre windows are also a great option for larger balconies, offering the ultimate in uninterrupted views and ventilation. Suitable for small balconies, multiple sections of Louvre windows can be placed side-by-side and spanning from ceiling to floor, their tilt-adjustable blades allowing you to control the flow of air from the balcony throughout your living space.

Combining Doors and Windows

For stunning floor to ceiling glass in between your balcony and living space, combine your bi-fold doors or sliding doors with adjacent windows. This minimalist approach allows your view to take centre stage and make a living area feel bigger overall. When choosing doors and windows, ensure they sit flush with the wall when open, to avoid injuries and taking up unnecessary space you could otherwise utilise for outdoor furniture or plants.

Speak to an expert at Southern Cross Windows on 07 5610 5293 for more advice on maximising the potential of your balcony.

cleaning window

Top Glass Window Cleaning Tips

cleaning window

Glass doors and windows elegantly frame the views of your outdoor surroundings and let beautiful, natural light into your home – that is; they do when they’re clean. So how do you properly clean glass windows and doors without leaving behind nasty streaks and lint? What products should you use to achieve the best shine? And how often should you be cleaning them? We’ve compiled our best glass window and door cleaning tips to help you get the most out of your glass at home.

Where do I start?

Before washing glass windows and doors, thoroughly vacuum the sill and frames with the brush attachment to remove any spider webs or other debris. When cleaning a glass door or window, you should always begin at the top of the pane and continue downwards. This will minimise the likelihood of leaving cleaning residue on the lower levels of the glass.

What should I use?

For the best results when cleaning glass, natural solutions provide a better finish and are less damaging both to the glass and the environment. Try using a homemade mix of either 1 part vinegar to 10 parts clean water or 1 part isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to 1 part clean water. Drench the glass with clean water first to remove surface dirt, and then spray one of these solutions all over the glass. Once you’ve done this, dry the glass with a lint-free microfibre cloth. Don’t use paper towel as this will leave lint behind.

Cleaning Sliding or Stacker Doors

Sliding and slacker doors may become difficult to open if their tracks accumulate a lot of dirt and debris. Luckily, our tracks can be easily vacuumed to clean out any dirt. Avoid scraping the tracks with sharp objects such as screwdrivers, as this can remove the powder coating and damage your doors.

How Often Should I Clean?

If your home or property is in a rural or suburban environment, cleaning should take place at least every 6 months. If you reside in a coastal or industrial area, more frequent cleaning is necessary. The maximum period between cleaning here should be no more than 3 months. For areas that receive extreme weather conditions, monthly cleaning is necessary and highly recommended to prevent deterioration.

Things To Remember

Many people are unaware that improperly cleaning their glass window and doors can permanently damage the surface of glazing products. Glass should only be cleaned when it is cool to the touch and should never be cleaned whilst in direct sunlight as it causes the cleaning solution to dry before you wipe it off, leaving you with unsightly streaks. Also, don’t even think about using newspaper. Despite what you’ve heard in the past, the latex-based inks in today’s newspapers will probably leave you with a streaky mess. If you need more advice on taking care of your glass windows or doors, call the experts at Southern Cross Windows on 07 5610 5293.

White bi fold windows over a sink in a modular kitchen

How to make your kitchen look bigger

Having a small kitchen doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all the fun of current design trends or entertaining. There are many ways to update your kitchen and get it ready for summer entertaining without having to extend. With our simple renovation and stylish tips, you can flawlessly fake a larger kitchen to create the illusion of space when you don’t have the luxury of adding that real extra footage.

Let There Be Light

The first tip to creating the illusion of a larger room is to flood the space with light. Whether your kitchen is painted in pale or darker shades, having light beaming in will help it to feel as large as possible. To allow it as much light as possible from the sun, keep window treatments or dressing minimal or non-existent. Painting cabinets the same colour as the walls can also help to erase visual boundaries and ensures that the kitchen does not look overcrowded. Paint them white for best results, as the combination of this single hue and the natural light will make the room feel even larger.

kitchen windows

Open Up with Bi-Fold Windows

Function and attractive, bi-fold windows provide the best of both worlds for your home. Bi-fold windows can create a moving glass walls that literally opens up your home to the outside world. Enjoy the benefits of fresh air, natural light and beautiful views with no barriers in sight. Bi-fold windows are easy to open, even easier to clean and provide superior security for the home.

Double Up with Bi-fold Doors

Instantly increase the space of your kitchen by using bi-fold doors along an exterior wall. As with bi-fold windows windows, these will combine the indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces to create an expansive kitchen space, rather than 2 individual spaces. Not only do bi-fold doors add an abundance of natural light to the space, they create a great social, spacious entertainment area for the host or chef to enjoy those summer barbecues and Christmas gatherings while preparing food in the kitchen.

Smarter Storage

In order to make your kitchen appear larger, you need to include plenty of vertical storage space. This will allow things to be removed from the counters and stored out of sight to prevent the kitchen appearing visually cluttered and small. Increase available shelf space, overall kitchen space and add depth by building cabinets or shelving into the wall between studs. You can even enhance the perception of depth by painting the carved space a deeper shade of the wall.

If carving into the wall isn’t an option, replace existing cabinets with taller versions that reach the ceiling. This will subtly draw the eye upwards and make the overall room appear more spacious. You can also incorporate open or glass shelving into furnishings, which further reduce visual weight and lend to the illusion of a more expansive kitchen.

Get In Touch

Need more ideas or advice on how to create a bigger kitchen without a full renovation? Contact us today.

Open bi-fold doors opening into large living room with dining area

How to create an indoor/outdoor living space/alfresco

alfresco living

Australians love alfresco dining and with its idyllic climate, there’s no better place for it than in Queensland. Creating the perfect indoor/outdoor living and Entertainment space in the comfort of your own home can be easily achieved through some simple renovations. Sliding, stacker, hinged and bifold doors provide scope for design projects that create a seamless transition from your homes interior through to the outdoors, opening up your existing space to become the ultimate alfresco area for dining and relaxing all year round.

Here are our top tips on how to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living area, along with helpful design examples for great looking alfresco spaces that blend in with your existing indoor living rooms.

Pergolas

Pergolas create the feel of an outdoor room, blending all the fresh air and heat or cool breezes of the outdoors with stylish and comfortable furniture. Pergolas are an easy way to create an indoor/outdoor flow in your house, with its framework simply built as an extension to your home. Pergolas can either stand alone as a signature feature, or connect your indoor entertainment area with your outdoor space. Pergolas are popular for providing a shady spot for summer dining and have the potential to add great value to your home.

Bi-fold Doors

One of the most popular and striking methods of linking indoor and outdoor entertaining areas is to install bi-fold doors. These days, bi-fold doors are smooth and effortless operating systems that provide a stylish, reliable and functional statement for your home. Bi-fold doors with large windows frame the view of your outdoor surroundings and let in beautiful natural light when closed. They provide the flexibility to transform the flow of your entire house. Aluminium bi-fold doors can be specifically coated to integrate with timber decking outdoors or your home’s interior.

Stacker Doors

Similar to bi-fold doors, stacker doors are a great way to create an easy extension from your indoor kitchen or living space to an outdoor entertainment area. Stacker doors also provide maximum daylight with minimal vertical distraction. With stacker doors, you can either open just one portion of the glass door for day-to-day access, or all portions, to create a seamless flow from the inside, out.

Bi-fold Windows

Create a moving glass wall and open the interior of your home to the outdoors with aluminium bi-fold windows. Both functional and attractive, bi-fold windows provide unobstructed views of your surroundings, as well as natural light and ventilation. Their innovative design makes them a unique and ideal feature for use as a counter window from your kitchen to your outdoor entertaining and dining areas. Aluminium bi-fold windows can also be coated in a range of colours to perfectly suit the look of your home.

Expert Design Advice

Need help deciding on the right way to create an indoor/outdoor space in your home? Speak to an expert at Southern Cross Windows today for more design advice.

open bi-fold windows

Selecting Windows and Doors for your Home Renovation

3 Simple Solutions To Help You Decide on the right Window or Door for your Home!

It can be so frustrating and time consuming!

You know when you think you know what is right for your home renovation but then you see something spectacular and YOU JUST WANT IT!!

So what should you do when that happens?

You need to see what’s going to work for your home as windows and doors are a key part of a home’s character and atmosphere – they provide views, daylight, ventilation and a sense of spaciousness.

There are a range of factors to consider when choosing the right windows and doors…

1 – Function

Windows and doors by definition are expected to provide uninterrupted views and control airflow, whilst operating effortlessly. You need to ensure the window suits the area so for example you wouldn’t put a bifold in a toilet. But being on the Gold Coast and you love to entertain a bifold window would be great addition to your kitchen. A lot of homes now have the bifold window with no bottom sill if the kitchen bench top runs from the inside to the outside and you don’t want a break in the stone top (as seen below).

Bi-fold Window Design

2 – Design

You may have your heart set on a certain product mainly because you see them on TV or at a prize home. Now this is fantastic but these homes have been built to have this design incorporated and the structure is designed to suit the free flowing bifold doors onto a deck etc. Now if you are doing a full renovation to your home to have this than fantastic and we can offer free advise and the best time to have your new bifold doors installed so there minimal disruption to your renovation.

Our Last tip….

bifold doors

3 – Affordable Quality and Value

Windows and doors are expected to perform at peak levels for an extended period of time. Selection based solely on cost may be regretted over time. Consider factors such as maintenance and resale value. Your aim should be to get the quality you want and the options you desire, at a price you can afford.

We use Stainless steel components and heavy duty rollers and hardware on all doors giving our customers peace of mind that our doors are here to stay.

We work with you on your selection so you don’t have an off the shelf product; it’s precision cut to be 100% accurate each and every time and we have specifically trained a bifold door specialist to ensure your product is correct to meet your requirements.

If you are still interested in a bifold door or window or any other glass window or door for your home renovation contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you