Graphical Construction Glossary >> Doors. >> Door types >> Folding Doors

bifold doorFolding Doors Doors with multiple leaves hinged to each other to fold flat against the side of the opening when they are open Multifold Door A door with many panels hinged to each other, the weight of which are mainly carried on rollers in a top track. Bifold Door Doors having two pairs of leaves, the inner leaf is fixed to the jamb and the outer leaf is hinged to the inner leaf, and is further supported on a roller in a top track.

Not previously used much in residential construction these doors used be mostly seen in commercial buildings.
Not any more.
Today architects are more and more using one of the many types of folding doors around ordinary homes. The reason being that they can create large door opening with modern materials that for years have been too expensive for ordinary jobs.

An ordinary folder and a Bifold Door

multifolding doorsThe basic folder at the top illustrates a few important points.

  • One leaf is hinged in the normal way to the door frame.
  • The other leaf is hinged to the free edge of the first leaf.
  • This leaf is further fixed to a supporting track and roller at the top of the frame and in addition it has a roller pin at the bottom that fits into a channel track at the bottom.
  • A specific type of multiform door is the Bi folding Door which has parts attached to each side of the framed opening.

Multi folding Doors

centre hung doorsMulti folding Doors. It is possible to increase the width of the opening and to add more leaves as shown above. So in certain conditions it is quite feasible to open up large sections of wall without the hassles of fixed panels or mullions.

Centre hung doors.

Above is a sketch of a different layout. This is an option when heavier doors or wider openings are used. The centre support position means that the whole of the weight of the leaves are held by the track, rather than just one side.

Aluminium Folder.

aluminium folding doorsThe photo above shows a modern aluminium set up at the top hanger. In this case the hardware is a combined butt hinge and roller hanger. At the bottom of the same pair of leaves is a combination hinge and roller pin. The pin at the bottom is not carrying and weight, is there to keep the door located in the correct position and for security when the doors are closed.

Here's a photo of a common way of sealing the gap between two folders. The aluminium ones above use rubber or neoprene inserts to do the same job.

In the sketch above one version shows the last leaf still open. This is a typical position in a lot of cases. I did a verandah - patio door like this a few years back. When the doors are closed and bolted, the last one becomes an ordinary day to day entrance door. In effect it is the live leaf. Entry is gained from the live leaf and then all the remaining doors are unbolted from the inside.

Quite often on commercial work the stack of leaves that are in the open position, are fitted into a special recess, pocket or as it is sometimes called, a docking bay in the wall.


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Dear all
my key got jammed and broke off inside the deadbolt - so how do i fix it ?
FWiW i have 3 dead bolt locks installed in my hse but for some reason two of them which are installed on wooden doors have been practically unusable.
The one installed on the metal door works fine and has never given me any problems - they were all bought together and are made by Schlage
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  • Avatar DT I am looking for an internal door, which operates like a shutter - are these available?
    Jul 01, 2007 by DT | Posted in Cameras
    • They make bi-fold doors. Most people use these for closets, but I have seen people use them on their laundry room doors and such as well.

      I found this site that has aluminum ones for outdoor use...
      site has nothing but bi-fold doors--both inside and outside...