Quickslide guides you through an installation of its bi-fold doors.
The popularity of bi-folding doors continues, and they are likely to be on the shopping list of many homeowners for whom you build garden-facing extensions. Popularised by TV ‘starchitects’ such as Kevin McCloud, bi-folds really do open up the indoors to the outdoors with their wide, unrestricted openings and slick, smooth sliding action.
The choice is almost endless, and prices have toppled. However, don’t go cheap or you may pay the price with constant call-backs. Aluminium is best as the sections are inherently rigid and won’t bow or warp and, as always, make sure you buy from a reputable fabricator who will ensure you’ve measured right and include all of the best options.
This handy, step-by-step guide will allow you to handle the fitting yourself rather than call in a specialist installer. It’s simple once you know how:
Make sure you fully clean the aperture before fitting the frame. Where the frame is going to sit on the base, the sill or the brickwork, you can bed the base of the frame onto some silicone for a much more adequate seal. Packers can be used for expansion when fitting the frame.
A good tip is to use a laser to measure the height from the bottom of the bi-fold to the laser point to ensure the frame is levelled. You will need to check that the frame is level, square and plumb at every 600mm in both width and height before proceeding. When you initially measured the opening you should’ve measured the opening to its narrowest point. If there is a discrepancy you should deduct 5mm off from the narrowest point, otherwise you may be struggling to level the door.
When the frame is levelled, you should drill at least 4 fixing points on each side, top and bottom of the outer frame to fit it to the aperture. The fixing points should be no closer than 100mm to the top and bottom corners, and 600mm in between one another.
Start with one panel at the time. Often, the manufacturer will write on the security tape so you know which panel goes where.
Fix the panels to one another one by one. It’s important not to forget the final fixing screws on the hinges when all door panels have been fitted. Ensure that all of the heads of the door panels are ‘line-through’ with each other. This step is often forgotten by even the most experienced builders.
Throughout the entire installation process you should slide, fold and open the doors to make sure they operate smoothly and don’t catch.
When the doors have been fitted and operate as they should, it’s time to glaze the panels. You must not forget to toe and heel each panel. To ensure the glass stays in place, glazing packers should be used on all hinged sided bottom corners and on top corners diagonal from the bottom corner.