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Affordable folding and accordion doors systems, Do they even exist?

Hi I'm building a simple modern home and been getting all architects to tell me that the folding doors systems are very expensive.

I'm wondering if anyone know of an affordable brand that still good and looks decent.

Example attached is the style I'm looking for.


 
Feb 22, 21 8:08 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Yeah, even if you use something other than Nanawall, it's still pricey as hell. The structure is a beast, so it's not just the doors.

Feb 22, 21 8:12 pm  · 
3  · 
t a z

I believe typically the whole folding system is hung (because of the weight of the doors) so the header beam, in addition to spanning, also has to be sized for very little LL deflection to keep the doors operational.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

ditto b3ta’s comment. We have some “money is no issue” type clients and even then these types of system causes them to have second thoughts.   If they can’t afford it, find a clever workaround that gets you similar effect but it’s a little more complicated than just picking out a product in a glossy catalogue. 

Feb 22, 21 8:30 pm  · 
1  · 
t a z

6 sets of french doors?

Feb 22, 21 9:59 pm  · 
4  · 
atelier nobody

That's about what I've ended up doing in similar situations. Also alternated pairs of French doors with fixed lites to cut the cost a little more while still getting the "mostly" open feel.

1  · 
proto

@OP, the architects here agree with the architects you’ve been talking to

Feb 22, 21 10:18 pm  · 
6  · 
bowling_ball

Yeah, "folding doors" and "affordable" have never been uttered in the same sentence, for a reason. Best of luck.

Feb 23, 21 12:31 am  · 
1  · 

Yes @t a z

Feb 23, 21 3:38 am  · 
1  · 
baker

A few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the price point, construction quality, and aesthetics of Eclipse C3 aluminum accordion folding door systems in a civic project.  These doors were installed as a CM-initiated VE suggestion from Nanawall.  My (hazy) recollection is they cost about one-third less than Nanawall.  I also preferred their more slender sightlines as well, as they do not have the unappealing middle astragal that were part of commercial Nanawall systems.  

https://www.eclipsearchitectur...

Eclipse is near Vancouver B.C., and has residential systems as well.  My recollection is they are gravity loaded, but regardless, as mentioned above, they need a stiff header (usually hot rolled steel) to meet defection criteria.

Good luck!

Feb 23, 21 5:46 am  · 
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t a z

Yeah, to clarify my gross generalization above, if the door height is short enough they can be floor loaded. Probably a more likely residential scenario.

 · 
proto

+1 to Eclipse, but I believe they don't sell direct - you go through a custom door builder...(& not sure I believe 1/3 less than Nana as a general rule, just my $.02).

Bottom loaded is avail from Western Window Systems too, but the local reseller steered me away from those for any exterior installation.

Series 9500 Folding door [click on pdf under folding door section] - https://www.westernwindowsyste...

 · 
Wood Guy

I've priced out La Cantina folding doors and they're usually a bit less than Nanawall. Marvin and other brands now offer folding door systems as well. Plan on roughly $5-8K per slab. 

Feb 23, 21 11:27 am  · 
2  · 
t a z

To add to the list (for future reference): 

Panda Wall markets themselves as the "affordable" folding wall option but I'm not sure about domestic availability.

https://www.panda-windows.com/

Feb 23, 21 11:38 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

One potential alternative: bi-parting pocket doors. I'm designing a project now that will have a 14' exterior opening with 4 panels that disappear into the walls. My client originally wanted folding panels but they take up a lot of space and require frequent adjustment. The sliding doors cost a bit less. We will probably go with a Loewen unit but possibly La Cantina.

Feb 23, 21 12:02 pm  · 
3  · 
mightyaa

Sierra Pacific also has multi-slide, bi-fold walls, and large pivot door systems. No idea about cost.

edit; it who I'd use in upper tier residential since they can also handle the entire window package as well which means a single source warranty. I've also been happy with their tech support services mixing and matching systems as well as integrating custom features like solar shade devices and fins.


Feb 23, 21 3:07 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I just installed my first Sierra Pacific windows and was impressed. Their H3 line. When possible I like to use the products I spec and these passed all of my tests.

 · 
whistler

Depending on where you live the structural design for the opening can be a substantial part of the cost.  We did one home where the window / door unit was approx $75,000.00 for a 28' wide unit but the additional engineering and structure to create the opening was another $60,000.0 ( footings, concrete, steel beam and associated framing )

Feb 23, 21 4:28 pm  · 
1  · 
mightyaa

That's insane. For most, it is more like the cost of double garage door header (16'-18' wide) if you don't do anything fancy like a column-less 90 degree corner.

 · 
whistler

Well we have a snow load of 250 lbs / sf so the overall structural costs are always higher here. The price of steel beams increases exponentially as you go from 16' to 28' as most systems require minimal deflection so the tolerance for the steel beam is significant. Also was on a site with some dodgy soils so the footings were up sized massively.

1  · 
mightyaa

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as condescending. Most residential ones I've seen or dealt with aren't that wide. Commercial, like restaurant/bar with curbside seating I've done similar and it is expensive to open up that much wall. And you touched on something else; deflection matters. On a commercial one I did for a rooftop amenity 'ballroom', I cheated... two headers; one to hold the building structural loads up high, the other was just to hang the collapsible wall set lower. The building load one could deflect independently, so the wall one was designed with very minimal deflection and only the nanawall loading on it. With shorter spans, like residential scale, its less of issue.

 · 
mightyaa

One of the trickier details is the floor track drainage. It's basically like a gutter trough with weeps, but if you have a flush patio slab, you need a underdrain collector and structural accommodation similar to a trench drain. Even when top hung, that bottom rail has a pin and rollers to resist lateral wind. I sort of prefer the pivot door style since it is simpler if you can live with the floor space loss in the open position.  

Also surprised no one has mentioned glass overhead doors. There are variations on that as well.  I sort of like the single panel that lift and tilt creating a canopy.  

Feb 23, 21 4:53 pm  · 
1  · 
Jay1122

Reminds me of the hydraulic lift door we tried to use on a school project. The manufacturer said around 60K per door. Got chopped off during rebid VE. The door can be single panel or bi-fold. Very good for retail if you ask me.

https://www.crowndoors.com/

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