'Good to know' information before installing bifold doors
Posted by Josh Tuck on 10/5/2022 to News
Bifold door installation is a momentous occasion for any homeowner. The end result is a beautiful new feature point in your home, but at what cost? Is the installation process disruptive? Messy? Frustrating? Well, we don’t think so. It’s actually pretty straightforward.
That said, it still helps to be prepared and to know what to expect before you commit. In this short article we’ll share some ‘good to knows’ when it comes to purchasing and installing bifold doors in your property, no matter how big or small.
Starting the conversation
Whatever your project, and however experienced you may be (it could be your first foray into bifolds, or perhaps you’ve had the fitted before), it really does help to start off with a consultation. This allows us to assess your space and help with any design decisions that need making early on. This also means we can show you a choice of frames, frame sizes and so on.
Check planning permission – just to be safe
It’s highly likely that you won’t need to apply for planning permission, as bifold doors are classed as ‘permitted development’. It doesn’t take long to double-check, as sometimes there can be restrictions that you don’t know about.
Get a structural survey – again, just to be safe
Once again, it’s a situation where you’re probably okay. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a structural surveyor or building surveyor check over the area where you’re installing the doors. This will flag any weak points or damp areas, and will give you peace of mind when it comes to understanding the structural integrity around your window’s proposed aperture.
Don’t forget your lintel
There’s a strong chance that you’re replacing an existing window, so you may already have a suitable lintel in place. But, if you’re creating a new opening, or widening an existing opening, your current lintel may not be large enough to span the gap.
It’s the lintel’s job to take the weight of the floors and roof above, and distribute it onto the walls either side of the opening. Without a correctly-sized lintel, the weight would essentially be transferred to the bifold door, and whilst our doors are strong and sturdy, they’re not intended to hold up houses!
Speak to us, your surveyor or a building professional to assess if you need to add or modify a lintel. Modern lintels are generally rolled steel joists (commonly known as RSJs). Think ‘steel girder’ from the cartoons of yesteryear.
Depending on the size of the RSJ that you require, you’ll need to be able to provide adequate access to this area of your property.
Prepping the space for the installers
We’re pretty low maintenance. Whilst we won’t say no to a cup of tea and a biccie, we generally only need a few things in place before we arrive.
First and foremost, please ensure that the area is clear of things like internal or external furniture. Also make sure there’s good access to the area and also plenty of space for the installers to work. We’d also love to be able to park as close to your property as possible. As you can imagine, the doors are big and heavy! And finally, protect your personal belongings. We’re incredibly careful, but there may be dust and debris from the installation process.
We feel that these are the essentials, but if you have any specific questions that relate to your particular plans or ideas, or if you feel we’ve missed something, then please do get in touch. We’d be happy to help.