Adjusting Bifold Doors
Bifold doors can have a huge impact on your quality of life, from increased natural light to their seamless transition of interior and exterior living spaces. Their neat, fold-away style is what drew you to choose them in the first place, right?
Now you've spent the cash - and a decent amount of it - for your brand-new bi-folding doors, only to find there's a problem. They have fallen out of alignment and need adjusting.
But how on earth do you do that?
It's not as hard as you may think and could be as simple as having to shift your bi-fold door either up, down, left, or right.
In this article, we have compiled a list of how to adjust your bi-folding doors. We also cover why they need adjusting in the first place and general maintenance tips.
Why Would Bifold Doors Need Adjusting?
In a nutshell, continuous use of your bifold doors can cause the doors to fall out of alignment or not lock correctly.
Here are three common causes of why your bi-folding doors may not function properly.
Wear and tear
Even though bi-folding doors are extremely low maintenance for the most part, there will come a time when they need minor adjustments or replacements from general wear and tear. These components could be hinges, pivots, screws, locks, handles and rollers.
Lock mechanism faults
If your lead bifold door won't lock or close, check the actual lock mechanism for any faults. If there is no visible damage to the lock, then your door may need to be realigned with the tracking hardware.
This could likely happen if the area you live in is inclined to encounter harsh weather. Homes in fluctuating climates are more likely to have bifold doors that move.
The contracting and relaxing of the timber or aluminium frames can shift in and out with hot and cold temperatures, causing alignment issues. Since these are external doors, they are exposed to the elements which are prone to natural deterioration over time.
Read more here about more common bifold door problems in out guide.
How To Adjust Your Bifold Door
Important note: If your bifold doors are practically falling off their tracking hardware, it might be time to consider replacing them entirely. But if this is not the case, it's quite easy to adjust the doors by following these steps.
What you need
- Screwdriver or
- Allen key
- An old towel
What to do
How to make horizontal adjustments to bi-folding doors
- This would be the case if your doors are not closing correctly.
- Use the door handle to open and close the bifold doors as wide as possible to locate the problem area. Start with the lead door and move down the other doors.
- Make sure you have the right tools, such as an Allen key or screwdriver, to adjust the hinges fixed to the sill or threshold.
- You can also adjust the hinges in the track if necessary.
- Play around with these until the bifold doors fit flush with one another and are set properly.
How to make vertical adjustments to bi-folding doors
- This would be the case if your doors seem to be 'dragging' or have dropped out of their track. Follow these steps to adjust the height of your doors.
- Begin by locating the hinge bolt or top pivot on the doors themselves.
- The method can vary depending on which bifold door system you have.
- For top pivots - use an Allen key and turn clockwise to raise the door.
- Or, for hinge bolts - extend the bolt to raise the door.
- For top pivots - use an Allen key and turn anti-clockwise to lower the door.
- Or, for hinge bolts - push the bolt inwards and pull slightly to lower the door.
- Use an old towel, if needed, to wedge underneath the doorframe whilst you make the adjustments.
- Experiment with the bolts and/or pivots until you reach the desired height and balance of your bifold door.
How To Fix Locking Issues On Your Bifold Door
To save yourself the headache, first check that the problem doesn't lie with the lock mechanism itself.
A quick way to check is by opening the lead door and pulling the handle upwards. If the key turns, then the lock is functioning correctly and the problem is most likely caused by incorrect alignment.
Top tip: Spray your bifold door lock mechanism and key with a non-corrosive lubricant spray every few months to prevent your locking system from becoming jammed.
What you need
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Screwdriver or
- Allen key
What to do
- Begin by checking that the lock point and hole line up and are in the correct position.
- If not, lift or lower the door height until your bifold doors are aligned (as explained before).
- Next, use a measuring tape or ruler, to check that the framing jamb and lead door have the proper gap of +- 4 - 5mm.
- If not, you will have to move the doors horizontally (as explained before).
- Locate the large adjustor 'pin' on the lock mechanism and rotate the adjustors in and out. This will adjust the compression from inside to outside.
- Test the vertical or horizontal movement methods on your bifold doors until the lock slots back into position and is working correctly again.
- If still no luck, the latch may not be aligned with the hole in the strike plate and you may need to call a professional to repair or replace it.
How To Remove Bifold Doors
If the problem is more than a straightforward realignment, then you may have to completely remove your bifold door from its track. Removing your doors once a year for maintenance and cleaning purposes is always a good idea.
It's best to get in touch with the manufacturer beforehand, or check the manufactory booklet, to find out how to safely remove your bifold doors for maintenance reasons. But generally, the process is quite simple.
Top tip: It's best to have two people present when removing your bifold door.
What you need
- Preferably two people
- Lubricant spray
- Clean soapy water
What to do
- Locate the spring-loaded pin at the edge of the frame.
- Use a fair amount of force (but not too much) to push the pin down.
- The bifold door will 'pop' right out, so be ready to grab it!
- Once the door is free, thoroughly clean the tracks, hinges, and frame. Also, remove any built-up debris along the other doors and track.
- Before reinstalling the door, give it a good wash with soapy water, ensuring the glass is cleaned too.
- It's a good idea to spray the track with a lubricant spray, to make the reinstalling process easier.
- Rehanging the doors should be easy. By sliding the doors onto the tracking hardware (making sure they are aligned!) and giving the spring-loaded pin the reverse treatment, your bifold doors will slot back perfectly.
Why is my bifold door hard to open?
If your bifold door is hard to open, check the tightness of the hinges. Over time, these can become loose causing issues when opening or closing the doors. Tightening the hinges with a screwdriver can be a simple and effective fix.
It's worth mentioning that doors may become harder to open if your bifolds are fitted next to other surfaces. For example, newly laid carpets can interfere with the height of the doors, making them harder to open.
Which bifold door is best for exterior living spaces?
Bifold doors are a great way to transition between your indoor living room and garden areas. Choosing the right style of bifold door for your home is a matter of preference and matching the overall aesthetic.
However, aluminium bifold doors tend to be the best choice for exterior areas, like summer house bifolds or extension bifolds. Aluminium framed bifold doors are corrosion-resistant and durable, making them a smart choice for long-term use and hassle-free maintenance.
How long are bifold doors meant to last?
This depends on many factors, such as the type and quality of the materials used, frequency of use, weather conditions and general maintenance.
As a guideline, aluminium frames have a good balance of malleability and strength. These types are expected to last for some 40 years, given regular maintenance and care are taken. Wooden or uPVC frames are expected to last for roughly 20 years in comparison.
Adjusting bi-folding doors can be a simple task for anyone with basic DIY skills. The process involves identifying the problem and making the relevant adjustments to the hinges or rollers.
It's important to make regular adjustments and routine maintenance for each door to ensure its longevity over time. With the correct tools and a little patience, anyone can adjust their bi-folding doors and continue to enjoy them for years to come.
If there are further questions relating to your bifold doors, we advise you to contact the manufacturer directly or seek professional help.