i dont envy you, i hate bifold doors. i admit im not good at it. in fact if i were doing it, i would try to find 2 doors that were as wide as the 4 and hinge them and add catches. maybe even use magnetic catches even if i had to buy stronger magnets.
level has never been my problem , Deb. the problem i have is if you get them to fit when closed all the way, you have to have them so tight that you need to drive a 4 wheel drive truck into them to get them closed, lol lol.
I have hung many and the best advice I can give is take the extra time to make sure the opening is first the correct size for the bi-fold. Secondly make sure the opening is plum and square.
Have lots of shims on hand to help in pluming the jamb when you install it. Hanging doors is one project that can not be rushed. Take your time and I am sure you will be happy with the outcome.
After the pieces are cut for the jamb I like to use a pin nailer to hold the pieces in place while I use a counter sink bit with drill to drill the holes for the sides. Taking the time to dado the top will make for a stronger joint as well. I like to glue my joints pin nail and then drill them with a combination bit (counter sink and drill bit). I like to work on a flat surface and have everything laid out so I am not searching for things when I need them. A set of quick clamps works well to hold too if you are doing this by yourself.
Choice of material also makes a difference. MDF splits very easily while plywood is much stronger. Finger jointed pine is great but very costly.
Try to get one side flush to the wall and worry about the other side. If the wall is not flat you can always scrap down some drywall to ensure a good fit for the door trim. With pine you can use a block plane to help plane off the high points.
Don't lose or misplace the little tool/wrench that comes with the bifolds. Even years later, you'll want/need it.
Bifolds seem especially sensitive to the placement of the door-stops.
I have three different bifold doors in my house which I installed when I built the house. I regret all three. One was impossible to avoid; the other two could have been avoided with special-sized conventional doors.
Bifolds lack a solid, satisfying feeling. They seem like they're going to come crashing down in a pile---but unfortunately, never do. They just keep on nagging you to tear them out and do something better. :bad:
Our house was built in 1972 and steel bi-folds with louvers were installed. Over the years they have shown some rust, and were a pain to keep the louvers clean. So, out with the old, and in with the new.
This is for double doors. Single doors are the same.
Start by taking the old doors off, and removing the tracks.
Our new doors are 1 3/8" thick, so I cut a piece of scrap 1 7/8" wide. I use this to draw center lines on the top and bottom where the tracks and hinges go. It allows a little room between the doors and molding. With the block against the molding, strike end and center lines for the top rails. Use the screw holes in the rails to center them on the lines, and drive 1 1/4" screws into the header.
Since we had carpet down already, I ripped 2 30" pieces to lay on the floor where the old bottom track was. For a new installation these aren't needed. Use the measuring block to make a center line at both ends like you did for the upper rails. The bottom hinges are centered and screwed down to the floor and walls. You may need anchors if there is nothing behind the walls.
I had to trim the wall molding to allow the doors to close. I used my handy HF multitool to cut it back 2 1/2" from the front trim.
You need 3 pivot points for the doors. The top pivot, top slider wheel, and bottom pivot. Tap these into the doors with a hammer. With the door folded insert the bottom pivot in the hinge, depress the top pivot with your finger, and with the wheel in the track insert the pivot in the upper hinge. Adjust the positions to allow 1/4" to 3/8" between the door and the side molding. Do this with the door fully open. Close the door and check height position. You may have to screw the bottom pivot in or out to get the height where you want it. Repeat with the other door, and check that they close with 1/8" to 3/16" clearance between them. Adjust the top and bottom pivot points to get them aligned when closed.
The bottom of the doors are kept aligned with 2 clips like you would see on dining table leafs. 2 screws hold them in place.
For new installations, the doors are 1/2" narrower than the size you buy. A 24" door set is 23 1/2", 30" are 29 1/2", etc. The openings should be made to the size you buy. 24" for 24" doors, etc. This allows room for the door edges to swing without hitting the walls.
I had a couple problems installing the single set doors. They hit the walls, so I took a plane and shaved off as much as I needed to on the outside edges.
After the first doors are installed, the rest are easy to do.
If you haven't actually bought the doors yet, I can tell you that I wish I had been more particular when I bought mine. The outside edge of the outside panel on one side was cut from a piece of mahogany that just skirted a knot, as there is quite a swirl of grain visible. This is the piece that has a guide at the top, but no support at all at the bottom. It fit fine when I bought it, but over time it has developed quite a curl so that it no longer shuts properly. Bifolds are hellspawn.
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