Correct Operation of Odd Panel Bifold Doors

Bifold doors create an awesome transition between outdoor and indoor areas in homes and commercial buildings. It is common in bifold doors to have an access panel for easy passage when the doors are closed. These access panels can be located on any panel however, it is a common requirement that all the doors stack to one side, leaving the other end completely clear. Thus, it is common to have an access panel at the clear end of a three, five and seven panel bifold door when the doors are closed.

In these situations, there is a correct method to opening the doors. If the method is not used these odd panelled doors can cause the end of the access panel (panel one below) to ‘drop’ and potentially drag as the bifold is opened and closed (particularly when the other panels are near their fully opened position). This ‘drop’ is caused by the twisting of the other panels which cause the top of the access panel to pull out and the bottom to push in. More the number of odd panels, the more noticeable will be the drop. This characteristic is symptomatic of all-weather sealed folding doors. It is not a product flaw – it is merely a quirk of the laws of physics. It is easy to prevent this phenomenon from happening.

For trouble free operation, the access door panel should always be fully opened back against the next panel (panel two in the image below) when the bifold doors are being operated. If this is done the ‘drop’ will not occur. Hopefully the picture below demonstrates clearly the correct procedure for opening an odd panelled bifold.