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The Benefits of External Pocket Doors

Why you Should Specify External Pocket Doors

The glazing market today is bigger than it’s ever been, with many companies offering a wide range of external glass doors systems including external pocket doors, aluminium bifolds, steel casement doors and slim pivot doors 

Specifying pocket doors has many benefits such as saving space, flexible designs and the ability to easily create an indoor-outdoor living space.

Pocket doors work by creating a cavity within the external wall that the door slides into, completely concealing the door when open

With the choice being almost overwhelming it can be difficult to decide which system is right for your project. We have outlined the benefits of specifying a hidden pocket door and what It can achieve to help you decide if it’s the right solution for your project.

The best example to glass pocket doors is our project in the conservation area in Richmond Borough, Waldegrave. A modern extension is added on the back garden elevation and a bespoke zinc cladding designed to create a hidden point for minimal windows® sliding glass doors.

benefits of external pocket doors
triple glazed external pocket door

Saving Space & Making Full Use of a Structural Opening

If a project has a smaller structural opening, some people may opt for bifold as when open this tends to give you use of around 80-90% of the opening, ideal for merging two spaces.  

However, there are many disadvantages to specifying bifold doors such as the thicker sightlines when closed, obstructing views of the outdoors and the flow of natural light into the internal spaces 

Secondly, the head and base frames of bifold doors cannot be concealed within the building finishes, whereas minimal windows sliding door systems can be designed this way. 

This means that when closed, again more frames are visible and means you must compromise on a modern and minimal design. However, ultra-slim sliding glass doors have only 21mm sightliness and allow bigger glass panels. A contemporary extension into the brick house in Totteridge completed with minimally framed glass exterior pocket doors to provide a wider transition and more uninterrupted views when closed.

Bifold doors also have more restrictions on the size than sliding doors. Although the ultra slim aluminium bifold doors from IQ Glass, the minimal windows UK supplier, can reach heights if up to 5m and widths of up to 1.5m per sash, this still does not match the possible sizes that can be achieved with sliding doors.  

The only advantage bifold doors have is that it gives you use of majority of the opening. By specifying sliding doors as external pocket doors, this is overcome and allows you to have all the benefits of a bespoke sliding glass door including full us of the structural opening.  

open corner slim sliding doors in home extension
floor to ceiling open corner sliding glass doors from minimal windows with slim aluminium frames

Creating Indoor-Outdoor Spaces with External Pocket Doors

The first major benefit of hidden external pocket doors is that they can allow an entire face of a building to be open. This can help create the perfect indoor-outdoor living spaces by preventing any obstruction to views and allowing easy access to the garden or patio area. The award-winning a new build house in Rutland, East Midlands gained a smooth access point on the upper floor terrace with our pocket configuration sliding glass door which is hidden in the timber walls.

This is enhanced why the fact all minimal windows slim framed sliding door system have a completely flush threshold, with our minimal windows Sliding Door being certified for barrier free access, DIN 18040-1, DIN 18040-2 

As the weather in the UK doesn’t always allow for homeowners to have their doors open, external pocket doors have the added benefit of still maintaining an indoor-outdoor living atmosphere when closed thanks to the panoramic views of the outdoors and the vast amount of natural light. 

open corner sliding pocket doors in home extension
a guise to the maintenance of sliding doors

Bespoke External Pocket Doors with Flexible Designs

minimal windows® sliding glass doors can provide you with a single cavity pocket door for much smaller openings whilst still creating a similar design appearance when this door is either open or closed. 

Our sliding glass doors can be designed to slide into hidden pockets within external walls or over the internal or external face of buildings to help open a larger area. These external pocket doors can either be a single pane, multiple panels or biparting, sliding into opposite pockets. 

These external pocket doors can also be incorporated into an open corner sliding door, providing you with a corner connection that the doors part from and enter the hidden pockets within the walls.

Our Malbrook Road and Carlstone Lodge projects are two notable examples of this, both using corner pocket doors to allow the extended living space to be completely merged with the outdoors for an indoor-outdoor style of living.  

Whether you want a single-track external pocket door or a large three-pane sliding glass pocket door, we manufacture this system completely bespoke to fit any design requirements, both aesthetic and technical.  

The external pocket doors can also be specified with a wide range of glazing solutions such as solar control glass or low maintenance glass, and minimal windows sliding doors can be designed with a wide range of unique frame finishing options, allowing the external pocket door system to be manufactured to meet specific project requirements.

burnt timber cladding and local stone exterior of luxury coastal home
minimal windows three pane sliding glass pocket door partially open

How do external pocket doors work?

A cavity is created within the wall, and the sliding door track continues into this cavity. When the doors are slid open then slide into the wall, hiding the slim framed glass door and giving full use of the open aperture. 

As the cavity needs to be designed and built into the external wall of the building, it needs to be decided early in the project process.  

There are certain considerations needed for this and it may not be possible for all projects. For example, if the door is being fitted to an existing building in a renovation project, the existing wall may not be able to accommodate the cavity.

For more information on external pocket doors, contact the minimal windows team today.