Exterior bifold doors are a great way to open up a room and maximise the natural light coming into the house, especially if they’re installed leading onto a patio. You can even install exterior bifold doors in a corner of your house!
Of course, you might want to DIY and install the bifold doors yourself, but how feasible is it? How big of an undertaking is it to fit external bifold doors? While installing bifold doors is fairly easy, especially if you can follow instructions, it’s still something for a slightly more experienced do-it-yourselfer.
It shouldn’t take more than an hour, even without a set of helping hands!
Things to Consider
Before you run out and buy new external bifold doors, there are a few things that you need to be aware of that might change your decision to fit external bifold doors yourself.
This is the first thing to take into consideration when fitting your own external bifold doors. You should contact your local council to find out if you need planning permission depending on your specific circumstances. You should also find out what the building regulations are so that you can ensure you meet them when you self-install bifold doors.
If your external bifold doors are replacing an already existing door, you might not need planning permission. If you plan to widen an existing door opening to install the bifold doors, then you might need planning permission.
Now, if you have to create an entirely new opening to install your bifold doors, you’ll most likely need planning permission. This is especially true if you live in a conservation area or listed building; you’ll need planning permission to replace an external door.
You must check the door opening and make sure that all the brickwork is level, especially if you’re just using an existing opening. In this case, it’s also important to make sure that the opening is able to support the weight of your new bifold doors.
If you need to increase, or perhaps decrease, the size of the opening, you’ll need the help of a structural engineer to get that part done before you can get to installing your doors.
Take a look at the room and figure out how the doors are going to look or how you want them to look so you can get a better idea of the installation.
You need to take exact measurements of your new bifold doors and the opening you’re wanting to fit them into. As a general rule of thumb, the opening you want to use for the doors should be in the range of a foot and a half to two feet higher than the doors.
When taking these measurements, you have to take the frame and number of panels you want to install into account.
If you want to know more on how to measure for bifold doors, you can check out our article here.
A lintel is a horizontal support beam across the top of a window or door. Lintels can be made out of concrete, stone, timber and steel.
You must check the lintels above your chosen opening and make sure that they are in good condition before moving forward. If you’re unsure about their condition, it’s advised to seek help from a structural engineer.
If you don’t have to knock a hole into one of the walls in your house, this can be quite a simple installation to do yourself. If you have to create a bigger opening to fit the entire door, you might want to just consider getting the whole job done by professionals.
If you’ve read the previous section and still feel up to the task, then we have an easy guide for you to follow. Don’t disregard the instructions that come with the doors!
You will need a few tools to help you successfully install your new bifold doors:
- A tape measure
- A drill
- A screwdriver
- A spirit level
- An Allen key
- A step ladder
So first, gather everything that you’ll need to install bifold doors; have the tools ready, have your detailed fitting instructions in front of you and anything else you might need or that came with the doors, like screws and drill bits. Everything should be within reach for ease.
Double-check that you have the right measurements, make sure the dimensions are correct and that the lintels are secure, and that the brickwork is all level.
If the door sill is not assembled, apply silicone sealant where necessary and push the two parts together. Then drill some pilot holes through the fixing holes on the underside of the newly assembled sill.
Now it’s time to put the door frame together. Attach the head to the jambs with the provided screws or sealant. Attach the sill to the jambs. Check the measurements of the frame to make sure that it’s perfectly square.
Check the corners to be sure and make sure that the frame seems sturdy and stable. This is the time to pull out your spirit level to be sure that it’s all square and straight. Secure your top track to the frame head.
Insert the door frame into the opening, with the sill facing outwards, and ensure that the frame is sitting plumb against the opening. Use packing to hold the door frame in place while you prepare the permanent fixings.
Once you have the doors lined up, drill into the lintel using the prepared holes in the top track to guide you. Insert the fixing bolts or screws into the holes and tighten them enough to make sure it’s secure. Do the same for the sill and use your level as you go to make sure that the head and sill don’t warp in any way.
Drill holes into the opening structure through the prepared holes in the door jambs. Insert the fixing bolts or screws into the holes and tighten them enough to make sure it’s secure.
Now you’ll need to attach the hinges to the frame if they’re not already attached. Where the hinges go depends on the set of bifold doors that you purchased. Consult the instructions on your specific hinges.
Ideally, the carrier hinges and pivots go in the top track. The order they need to be put in should be in the instructions that come for the hinges. The top and bottom of the pivot hinges should be placed in a way that allows the adjustment screws to be accessible after the bifold doors have been put up.
If the hinges are misplaced, then hinge adjustment for your bifold doors will be necessary, but shouldn’t cause too many issues.
Now it’s time to install the actual bifold doors! First, make sure your pivot hinges are fitted to the bi-folding doors using the pre-drilled pilot holes.
You might need assistance with this part; you’ll need to lift your bifold door onto the bottom pivot and then adjust it so that it straightens and can be attached to the top pivot. Repeat the steps to install the rest of the bifold doors.
Remember to make sure that your previously installed bifold door is vertical by adjusting the top and bottom pivot before moving on and attempting to hang the next bifold door. Use the Allen key to adjust the doors as necessary.
Fit your locks and door handles according to your instructions.
Consider finding your successful bifold door installation by using a weatherproof seal on the frame and head to ensure weatherproof doors.
Our Range of Aluminium Bifold Doors
Our range of aluminium bifold doors will make your home look great while still keeping you safe and secure!
Our customisable aluminium bifold doors come in four bespoke colours, with the option to have dual colours. There are optional extras like integrated blinds as well as a great variety of door handles to complement your style.
You can get a set up of 3-panel bifold doors up to a 7-panel bifold door set-up that can be up to 3m tall, with each panel measuring up to 120mm wide!
Our bifold doors have U values of 1.4 (tripled glazed) and 1.6 (doubled glazed) and come with a 10-year warranty. All of our bifold doors come with a built-in 3-star diamond locking system and are up to PAS 24 standards for your security and peace of mind.
Choose us and customise the perfect bifold doors for your home with just a few clicks. Our aluminium doors are high-quality, made to measure and ready to ship across the UK in 3 – 5 weeks!