Bi-folding Panels vs. Single Hinge Panels

Yasmeen 2/21/2020 1:52:00 PM Ask Yasmeen
When designing your custom shutters, you will be asked to choose the number of panels for each shutter and how the panels open. While much is based on your personal preference, our website will present you with options based on the overall width. So, should you choose to have separately hinged panels or have bi-fold panels?   
Wider, single-hinged panels offer a more modern look in these Designer Collection shutters.

Bi-fold panels have a more traditional style and take up less space when fully opened.

What looks best?

If you plan to keep your shutter panels closed most of the time, less panels will look nicer. There will be less solid material with fewer moving panels in each window opening. You can open and close the slats to control the level of privacy and how much light enters the room.

One left and one right panel is just right for this window. 4 panels may look cramped and block too much of the light when the panels are closed.

If you plan to swing the panels open frequently, a bi-fold panel will look neater tucked in at the sides of the window opening. Bi-fold window shutters take up less space in the room when the panels are open.

Because this customer mainly keeps their panels opened, they chose to have 3 small panels all folding to one side.

Or, if you have a wall or obstruction on one side of your window, it may be best to have the panels bi-fold in the opposite direction as opposed to having them hinged on each side to open out from the middle.

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What is easiest to install? 

The simple answer is that the less moving parts you have, the easier it is to install! Single side hinged panels simply attach to the shutter frame by inserting a hinge pin to lock it in place.


With bi-fold panels, you will also receive a larger hinge pin meant to connect the folding panel to the outer panel. More moving parts can mean more adjustments over time to keep the hinges aligned and keep the panels closing properly.


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Based on the width of your window opening however, a bi-fold panel may be advised to prevent a single panel from being so large that it will warp or sag over time. A single panel should be no less than 10” and no more than 30” to 35” depending on the material you choose. Wider window openings can have 4-6 panels with the panels folding out to each side to split up the weight for longevity of your investment.

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Bi-fold panels are recommended for wide windows and patio doors.

Design Double-Check

We may flag up anything that seems problematic during your confirmation call before we send your order into production. Because we are not on commission, we have nothing to gain by upselling or steering you toward a design that we think you may not love. This includes preventing a design with panels that are too small or too large to be practical.


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As with any questions you may encounter, our shutter experts are on standby to help you choose the perfect panel configuration for your window.


This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Contact our team today for advice on your shutters. We're here to help!