The Folding Sliding Door Company has been singular in its philosophy, focusing on the manufacture of bifolding doors.
“Specialism has been key to our strategy,” Kehinde Jolaoso, managing director of The Folding Sliding Door Company, said.
“Back in 2001 there were very few bifold doors on the market and many people were not giving bifolds the attention they deserved mainly producing french doors and patios – there was no real pedigree. We saw opportunities across the trade, retail and commercial sectors by becoming a specialist manufacturer.”
The Bradford-based business has gone from start-up in 2001 to manufacturing more than 300 bifold panels each week. These are fabricated in aluminium, timber, PVCU, glass composite and ali-clad – the novelty being that in this case the systems are its own.
“Strategically, we have always wanted to own the whole manufacturing process from the systems to hardware because that way we own the whole process and we can guarantee the quality of the products that we manufacture,” Kehinde said.
The business was founded by owner Paul Shearman, whose apprenticeship as a joiner and engineer in the German door industry, was important in defining The Folding Sliding Door Company’s future philosophy.
Developing its first door in timber, he then went on to further develop the UK’s first PVCU in-line bifolding door with no face-fixed hardware and concealed running gear in 2003.
“It sounds so mainstream now but we were the first bifold manufacturer to develop a PVCU system with concealed running gear,” Kehinde said. “It looked so much better, it improved the reliability and the operation of the door and most importantly the security. This is why our original idea has been copied and adopted by so many other systems.”
The company’s own designed and branded Fold ‘N’ Slide hardware offering is adedicated universal hardware system, compatible with all materials. The Part Q accredited system features easily adjustable rollers, security hardware and flush threshold options.
Fold ‘N’ Slide hardware is suitable for use across leading PVCU and aluminium systems plus timber and timber/aluminium and aluminium/PVCU composites.
“We supply Fold ‘N’ Slide hardware to systems companies, other fabricators – we work with almost everyone,” Kehinde said.
This focus on detail has driven its partnership with Extrudaseal. As another specialist manufacturer it extruded more than 20,000km of gaskets in the last year, tapping into economies of scale to offer its customers on average savings of 30%-40% on gasket costs compared to buying-in from systems companies.
“Price is an important part of it but we don’t buy from Extrudaseal just because of price, it’s about service, support and relationships,”Kehinde said.
“We use Extrudaseal push-in and wedge gaskets across our systems. They’re also universal. Plus weatherseals on panels.
“Where we have really seen value is in their R&D process. They have their own teams in house, who we’ve worked with to develop and refine solutions and they have always been very responsive.”
As well as offering reduced costs, Extrudaseal has pioneered a number of solutions to deliver installation efficiencies and enhanced through-life performance.
This includes its new aluminium bifold door threshold gasket. Compatible with leading aluminium systems, it uses a specially extruded semi-rigid PVC foot, to deliver an enhanced fit and better weather sealing, also significantly reducing the risk of call backs.
It’s also recently announced the launch of AeroSeal, its new through-colour aluminium bifold door foam gasket.
Ideally suited to dynamic applications, high performance foam, provides greater memory than traditional gasket systems. This is combined with a co-extruded rigid foot, which prevents the foam from being stretched during installation. This is simplified further through either click-and-fit or slide-in options.
Its gasket range is also available in more than 1,000 RAL colours including RAL 9007 metallic silver gasket, which has been designed to provide a match to contemporary silver powder coated installations.