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Planning for bi-folding doors

If you’re planning to update your home to accommodate a new set of bi-folding doors then the following guidance should help.

Changing or adding doors to your home is usually considered a permitted development so you should not need to seek planning permission. However, in rare instances such as being in a conservation area it might be worth checking with the local authority first. Having established that you don’t need planning permission the following process should help you guide you through.

Replacement doors

  • If you’re replacing an old set of patio doors in an existing aperture where the width and height is not going to change you must ensure that the lintels over the opening are adequate, a competent builder should be able to establish this by inspection.
  • If you’re planning to remove a set of doors and increase the size of an opening which involves making a structural alteration you may well need to comply with building regulation. This can be simply achieved by submitting a building notice to your local authority building control department. You may also require the services of a structural engineer.
  • Viva’s bi-folding doors distribute the majority of the weight of the doors downward, they are not top hung.
  • If you’re going to the trouble of replacing your doors it is worth spending a little time working out how the new doors will work in with your existing floor levels. Rather than sit the door track onto the existing floor you can alter the height of the external brickwork so that the top of the track sits pretty much flush with the floor.
  • See the following replacing patio doors guide for all the options available. Here’s a small set of bifolds we did recently in black.

New Build

With the luxury of a new build you can plan your doors exactly how you want them. Here’s some things to consider:

  • It is normal to leave the finish and decoration until the doors are installed. Viva recommend that you plaster up to the frame after it is fitted and sealed. Flooring is usually laid after installation and butted up to the lower track. Our measuring up guide shows the door track dimensions.
  • Bi-folding doors can open either inward or outward. The most popular choice is to opt for the doors that open outward where the doors do not impede on your internal space.
  • You might opt for one large set of bi-folding doors running the complete length. Installing a large beam can often prove expensive an impractical and in this instance you could choose to go for several sets in one wall as the above example shows. Alternatively two sets of bi-folding doors on a corner might work as in this example.
  • Viva offer a low threshold alternative for those looking to match the ground level outside with your internal floor level. In this instance the installation of an aco drain is essential. This modern barn extension has an acodrain installed. In every instant it is recommended that the floor level slopes away from the doors. Naturally our advice would always be to opt for Viva’s weather rated cill.

Other things worth knowing:

  • The maximum height of Viva’s bifolding doors is 2600mm.
  • Lead time from confirmation of aperture size to order is usually around 3 weeks.
  • We’re open 9 til 5 every weekday so feel free to call us on 0161 342 8298. Alternatively there’s a contact us form here, we are here to help.