Bi-fold patio doors

We're considering replacing existing uPVC French doors and we're looking at bi-fold doors. The gap is about 2.25m wide so three panels of about 0.75m would seem to be the right size.
What are the team's views on the various technologies: aluminium, uPVC, hardwood, etc.
What features to specify or avoid?
Built-in blinds?
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On Wed, 15 May 2013 19:40:32 +0100, R.G. Bargy wrote:

Aluminium in preference to uPVC as allegedly they are less likely to distort and jam in the heat.
Internal blinds are good if you are south facing - much easier to use than fitting curtains or blinds external to the doors which then need moving out of the way when you open the doors.
We have five panels of aluminium doors with internal blinds and are very pleased so far.
Oh, and if possible get a reputable local firm to fit them because it is an art.
I know this is a DIY forum, but unless you are very precise and experienced in fitting double glazing and folding doors then best leave it to the experts.
Our windows guys had to come back three times to get the exact set up (mainly due to poor assembly by the manufacturer and faults in the glass) but once they had it set up it was fine, and has been since.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 15/05/2013 20:06, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

My experience of our new DG seems to say the glass that cleverly reflects the heat of the room back in in winter also cleverly reflects the heat of the sun out. You may not need blinds.
Andy
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On Wed, 15 May 2013 20:46:03 +0100, Andy Champ wrote:

We have needed the blinds - full blast of mid-day sun through a 5 section bi-fold into a very well insulated open area gets the temperature up very quickly.
Come to that, we get a lot of thermal gain through the obscure glass in the bathroom window.
Also, not something that is easy to retro fit if you find you do need it.
Also, gives you privacy (if you want/need it) without curtains or external blinds.
So loads of reasons for us to have them.
YMMV
Cheers
Dave R
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On 15/05/2013 19:40, R.G. Bargy wrote:

I'm very happy with the doors we installed from timberwindows.com which came with a 30 year guarantee. They are an engineered laminate, so softwood vs. hardwood has far less impact. They also came with an optimistic 10 year guarantee on the paint finish, though this has held true.
Jon
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