Bifold doors are among the most popular door types among UK homeowners as they are of good value, lightweight and easily installed. This is a guide to installing bi-fold doors yourself.
Bifold doors are one of the most popular door types among UK homeowners because they are inexpensive, lightweight, easily installed, and require little to no maintenance. Both external and internal bifold doors are pleasing to the eye and very convenient. They also add a good level of beauty and character to homes they are like other types of doors but unique in their own way because they are connected in pairs with hinges and hung on a track.
Bifold doors can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to install depending on various elements. These include the amount of preparation work required and the kind of finish desired. It will also depend on your level of DIY experience.
What You Will Need
- Drill bits
- Bifold doors
- Door hardware
- Door track kit
The installation of bifold doors is not complicated but care must be taken in order to fit them correctly. One of the most important things to remember is that the threshold, sill, head, and jambs must be fitted level and square, otherwise, the doors will not operate correctly. Additionally, the frame must not be bowed or pulled out of shape by the fixings or unsupported weight from above the doors.
Before you begin the installation, check the deeds for your home and with the local council to see if you will need planning permission. Also, be sure to check the door opening (aperture) for any form of wear and tear and ensure it’s in a good condition before proceeding. If the door opening isn’t in a good condition, it’ll be difficult to fit it with a new frame. Although most bifold doors come with their frame, you could use the existing frame if it’s the right size you’re looking for. In such a case, you’d just need to remove the old bifold doors from their tracks and hang the new one.
Remember also not to skip measurements, or your door installation work will be ruined. Understand that when it comes to measurements, you must count for the hardware that comes with the doors to allow them to move. The aperture should be roughly 16 to 32 inches higher than the doors in general. There are two types of bifold doors: external and internal bifold doors, and in the remaining part of this guide, we’ll be discussing the steps to take to install them.
How to install external bifold doors
Here are the steps to take to install a bifold door:
- Although the tools needed usually come with the kit and the frame, you must have other tools such as the drill and sealer available.
- The door sill might arrive pre-assembled, but if this is not the case you should use silicon or gap sealer to attach the disparate parts of the sill, then drill your pilot holes where necessary.
- Using the spirit level to check that everything is straight and parallel, take your frame and guide it into the aperture until your markings line up. When everything fits right and plumb, use small packing to hold the frame in place, and prepare to make the permanent fixings.
- Starting at 8mm in depth, drill holes through your frame and make sure they align with your measurements. Do the same for the fixing bolts you’re inserting, then tighten to see if the result is good enough.
- Fix the sill and head now that the frame is ready. While fixing everything, make gradual minor adjustments to make sure everything is perfectly level. Tighten everything except for where the lintel nearly touches the head of the frame as it will be the anchor point for the hinges.
- If they are not already attached, attach the hinges using the instructions included with your set as a guide. The hinges and how they are attached will differ depending on whether your doors are hung from the top, use a bottom track, or utilise both.
- With the hinges in place, proceed to hang the doors. Connect the doors with hinges pins, ensuring they match up with the hinges. With that done, attach the rollers to the patio door hinges in the right places.
- You should be all set once your bifold doors have been fitted with some weather sealant to keep things sealed. When planning to paint your door, always do it before hanging it and give it time to dry completely.
How to install internal bifold doors
Take the following steps to install your internal bifold doors:
- Before installation, the doors must be varnished or painted, and each must be labelled according to which side faces out when they’re installed and where they go in the finished order. Then mark 11 inches up from the bottom and 7 inches up from the top of the door jamb.
- Align the lower half of the hinge with the bottom mark and make sure it’s sitting flush with the edge of the door. Next, drill some guide holes through the holes in the hinge and screw on the hinge plate itself. Do the same with the top and middle hinges. Now, get the inner door and place it back-to-back with the first door. Align the two doors with the set square and screw the hinges together. Repeat the above steps on the second set of doors.
- Get the pins on the jamb side doors to the top and bottom of the door frames with the pivot plates (floor brackets and pins). Afterwards, fasten the locking arms to the top sides of the inner doors. These hooks will slide along the track.
- Cut the track so it will fit in the closet. Use your hacksaw for the job. To set up your track, attach it to the door header with screws provided. Slide the track hardware into the tracks. To prevent interference with the door, put the track about 1 inch away from the front edge of the header.
- Measure the area of the door jamb and place the floor bracket where it will be attached. After hanging the plumb bob on the centre of the track, check that the bracket’s pin holes align and that the doors fit properly. Mark the location of the bracket with a pencil and then screw it in. Afterwards, unplug the bracket and screws and put them in a safe place.
- Bring your doors over to the track and lift the jamb side into the pin of the top pivot plate, pushing the level on the socket to hold it in place. Next, slot the track hanger pin into the locking arm of the inner door and twist the arm to lock it. Close the doors and swing them forward so that they catch the floor bracket in the bottom pivot pin.
- Ensure that the floor bracket is aligned with the marks you made earlier. Then, slide the doors into position. Use your extender bit to attach the bracket unless you can get in close enough to do it manually. Hang both doors and close them, adjusting until each door feels “correct.” Lastly, you should tighten the pivot sockets with a wrench.
- Finally, attach the door alignment brackets and door handles. To begin, mount the aligners six inches off the ground between the interior doors. The aligners should catch when the doors closed. Mark a 36-inch mark on each door. Drill a hole through each mark and use a door pull to go from the outside of the house to the inside. Screw in your door pulls, and you have installed fully installed your interior bifold doors!