Aluminium bifold doors can add substantial aesthetic appeal to a property and never more so than when the colour is just right.
There was a time when homeowners preferred a neutral grey that would show that the door or window was made of aluminium.
With their stylish contemporary lines, greys and blacks are still the most popular colour schemes on modern buildings.
But with the vast colour palette now available for aluminium bifold doors and window fittings, there is almost sure to be the perfect match for any property.
The great thing is that colours can now be combined with textures to add that distinctive sheen that comes with top quality products.
The textured finish to many aluminium door colours gives a 'shimmer' effect in certain light conditions, something that can not be reproduced in a catalogue.
And window colours will often come with a 25-year guarantee against peeling, powdering or blistering, as well as fading or any loss of that all-important sheen.
The aluminium used in bi-fold door production these days is coated in electrically charged powder paint. The coloured coating is applied as a free-flowing, dry, electrically charged powder.
It 'sticks' to the aluminium, which has an opposite charge and then baked and cured in special ovens.
Powder coating can be made much thicker than liquid paint because it won't sag or run when applied.
And the finish can be much more even and more robust than conventional liquid paint.
It is much more environmentally friendly, too, as there is no carrier fluid to evaporate, so it emits fewer volatile organic compounds.
When the powder coating is oven heated, it melts and cures in a chemical reaction that creates a smooth, tough finish.
There are several points to consider when choosing the colour for your aluminium bi-fold doors or windows.
The first is to choose a colour that blends in well with the existing scheme. Combinations that clash is rarely a good choice. The colours should complement each other and bring out the best in the style of the property.
A glance at the existing brickwork, roof tiles or other property furniture such as downpipes and guttering can help decide which colour to choose.
For a more relaxing colour scheme, choose neutral tones, while dark or intense colours can often enhance a modern, contemporary building.
Neutral tones can often be an advantage if you decide to sell the property, as strong or loud colours may put off more potential buyers.
Some aluminium door colours are more popular than others, and manufacturer's rates tend to vary accordingly.
If can often be cheaper to choose the door you want from a standard range of fashionable colours, such as creamy white, anthracite grey and jet black.
The more popular colours can look sophisticated and stylish in almost any setting and fit well with neutral tones. They can usually be delivered more quickly as they are often in stock at the time of ordering.
Large panel sliding doors or bi-fold windows are a significant design feature in any room, and colour choice should be aimed at enhancing the look.
Fortunately, these days aluminium window products are not only robust, durable and low maintenance, but they come with a variety of colour choices.
Fashion is ordinarily fickle, but most stay with the traditional options for choosing shades for patios windows and folding doors.
The trend has always been for dark grey or anthracite. It is probably because these neutral shades can give a modern feel to any home, traditional or contemporary.
It's not so with standard windows or doors where it is crucial to match the colour's window style. Georgian style windows, for example, do not look good in dark colours, while large paned glass panels that maximise the light do need an intense or dark colour to give a classy edge.
Those who opt for bold colours should do so in the knowledge that fashions can change, and you cannot adapt with brightly painted aluminium folding doors if you change your mind at a later date.
Patio and bi-folding doors often look better in dark colours. They enhance the sleek finish and complement the vast expanses of glass needed to improve views, particularly when the doors are open and sit one behind the other.