In the process of inspecting homes in Minnesota I often come across bi-fold door installations lacking adequate forethought. While I’m not providing an in-depth tutorial on bi-fold door installs, I’ll include tips below that may help you in the process of renovating your Midwest Home. As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and you’ll find it difficult to go wrong. Here’s a short video of me installing a bi-fold, still have the trims to install, but you get the idea.
• Ensure your opening is square, if not, and you’re working with an existing opening, shim the track to square it to the hinge side jamb.
• When trimming a door, I use painters tape, which helps prevent any splits while sawing. I then use a hand plane, or block plane to chamfer the edges. Sand paper also works.
• You may have seen me spritzing the door, any dents in soft woods such as pine can usually be easily removed, or reduced by wetting the area. This causes the wood to expand, usually to its original position.
• Knob location. This is often where I see people go wrong. I recommend, as well as most manufacturers, that you locate the knob somewhere near the center of the guide panel (panel furthest from the jamb hinge). I often see knobs placed on the hinged panel, although this will be fine for opening the bi-fold, it’ll make it difficult to close. Do not place the knob near where the doors fold, although this makes it easy to open, again, it makes it difficult to close, and also makes it likely you’ll pinch your knuckles sooner or later.
For instructions on installing your particular bi-fold door, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, or by reaching out to me by email.