Installing and Replacing External Bifold Door Furniture
If you’re experiencing issues with your external bifold door, before you pay a large bill to have a new door fitted, you need to consider whether the issue actually lies in the hardware. Due to harsh weather conditions, the hardware on your external bifold doors can become worn, damaged or broken. Having damaged hardware results in many door issues: the door sticking in the frame, the door dropping on one side, the handle becoming loose etc.
Before looking to replace your entire door and frame, take a closer look at the hinges, handles, and locks to ensure that they’re not the problem. If they’re the issue, replacing these pieces of door furniture is very inexpensive and requires no professional help.
What is Bifold Door Furniture?
So, what is external bifold door furniture? Bifold door furniture or hardware is anything that gets added to your door and frame which improves its functionality.
External bifold door hardware consists of door handles, hinges, tracks, locks and latches. For those that like to jazz up their external doors, door accessories that are used to improve its appearance, also fall under the bifold door furniture category.
How to Install or Replace External Bifold Door Handles
Whether you’re installing or replacing external bifold door handles, placement is key. Incorrectly placed handles result in added pressure to the area surrounding the handle. It’s likely that your door will crack, bow or break if your handle is positioned wrongly.
If you’re replacing a handle that was originally in the correct position, a quick swap to your new handle is all that is needed. However, you need to measure the ‘backset’ of your door and the hole that has been uncovered from removing your old handle. You must ensure that your new handle is equally matched in size to the old one in order for a smooth transition.
How to Install External Bifold Door Handles
Firstly, you must decipher the placement of your handle. The handle should always go on the leading door. For doors with panels, the handle must be in the vertical centre of the middle panel. For doors without panels, the handle will go in the horizontal centre of the door, which is 41 inches from the floor.
Next, you’ll need to use your door handle as a guide to determine where you need to drill holes. A lot of door handles come with a template to make this easier. If yours doesn’t, place the door handle in the desired position and mark the entry holes onto the door with a pencil.
When you have marked the correct spots for your holes, use a drill with a 2mm drill bit to create small holes in the door. These act as a more definitive guide and will help you to drill the bigger, and final, holes when you’re ready.
To make this process as easy as possible, use a doorstop on the other side of the door to prevent the door from moving away from you.
When you’re ready to create your final holes, use a larger drill bit. The size of this drill bit will be given on the instructions that came with the handle. When drilling, keep the drill level to the ground to avoid damaging the door. You also need to be careful when drilling through the door as you don’t want to go all the way through the door.
Using a 25mm spade bit, you need to drill spindle holes. The two-spindle hole locations are on the front and back of the door. These will be highlighted in your door handle instructions.
For the locking mechanism, use the 25mm spade bit to drill a hole into the width of your door. Again, measured correctly to ensure accuracy.
Your next steps for installing bifold door handles are to measure and mark the latch of the handle. You then need to chisel out the entire marked area. Keep your chisel at a 45-degree angle and chisel to the depth marked on the instruction sheet. Place the latch into the chiseled area and screw it into place.
You need precision for the faceplate. The faceplate needs to match exactly to the latch to ensure the locking mechanism can slide in and out. Once measured, screw the faceplate into the width of the door.
Once everything is secured, screw the handles onto the front and back of the door.
Installing Locks on External Bifold Doors
One of the main reasons that people ask for professional help, when it comes to issues with their external door, is because they’re having difficulty closing the door. In most cases, this is down to the locking system.
General wear and tear, broken or faulty latch and misalignment, are all common problems that make closing your door a task. If you think you’re experiencing something similar, it may be time to replace the locks on your external bifold door.
External bifold doors are extremely secure. But if your locking mechanism isn’t working to its full potential then your safety is being sacrificed. There are a number of different options to choose from when installing locks on external bifold doors:
Drop Bolt lock
How to Install a Lock on an External Bifold Door
Before you do anything else, you need to decide which locking system is best for your home and for the door. Our most popular bifold doors come with drop bolt locks and keyed locks - these are the easiest to install, too.
Once you’ve decided on a lock, follow the instructions for installation. In most cases, the steps are pretty similar to installing a handle. Ensure you have measured the width of the door correctly and the lock will fit snugly in the door without causing any damage.
You need to mark the spot on the door where the lock will be, along with marking any screw holes. You should then drill out the hole, along with the screw holes until the lock fits in the hole securely. Use mounting screws to secure the lock.
Similarly to installing a handle, you then need to fit a latch plate to the door frame. Align the latch plate with the door latch and lightly mark the frame. You should then be able to place the latch plate into position and screw into the door frame.
How to Install or Adjust External Bifold Door Hinges
If you’re experiencing difficulty in keeping your door closed, it’s likely that you’ve got a problem with the hinges.
If your door is refusing to close, it may be that, over time, the hinges have become loose and the top of the door is connecting with the door frame.
For issues with keeping your door closed, adjusting external bifold door hinges is incredibly easy - odds are that they just need a tighten.
With a screwdriver, tighten each screw that is used to stabilise the hinge. If this doesn’t work, remove the middle screws and replace with new ones. And, if this doesn’t work, remove the screws that sit in the door itself and purchase longer screws - approx 3-inches. The longer screw will create a much tighter fixture.
After completing the steps above, your door should close correctly.
External bifold doors are open to the elements and can experience some general wear and tear over its lifetime. If your door is in good shape, but you’re having issues with locks, hinges, latches or handles, it’s about time you gave your door a little bit of TLC. To find out more about what a bifold door is read our guide.
If you have recently purchased a new door, take a look at our guide on withstanding the elements to find out how you can improve the longevity of your external door.