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Replacing external wall with Bifolds.

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Vacant, 12th Dec, 2015.

  1. Vacant

    Vacant Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone replaced an external wall with bifold doors? I'm looking to do this in the new year and hoping to get some insight on it. I won't attempt this by myself but hoping to get a builder that's friends with the family to do it, time permitting.

    Will I need a structural engineer, draftsman or anyone other than a builder to have this done? The house is steel framed with a brick veneer, we plan on knocking out about 5m and putting in a 5 panel bi-fold leading into a deck. Obviously we'll need to shore up the wall to support the roof, I'm not familiar with steel frames but I'm assuming a big steel beam is in order here?

    I've got very little clue when it comes to structural renovations so I'm hoping to learn how to approach this project.
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    A steel frame will add some complexity to what is generally considered straightforward - so an engineer would be in order to confirm the support required.
     
  3. Vacant

    Vacant Well-Known Member

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    I suspected this might be the case. Hopefully it's fairly straight forward.
     
  4. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    Bifolds increase issues with water, noise and air leakage. Also if you have pets (dogs / cats) consider them being kind enough to scratch the crap out of them and even piss on the new doors. After all they can now see you....

    Also carefully consider and plan the adjoining room. The access through bifolds will utilise much space currently taken by a wall and suitable for fixed furniture etc. When we looked at this we lost around 30% of the available space which made it difficult. Bifolds especially suit a larger room and a large external outdoor area and small spaces may be impractical.

    These were the issue friends bought to our attention when we considered doing same. The structural issues themselves were very simple with most bifold systems using a steel frame. Carefully check how the install would suit your floor heights as our friends weren't happy with the raised "step" etc Places like doors plus etc have good showrooms where you can explore the options.

    Oh and think of bugs....The very use of a outdoor room attracts heap of bugs.
     
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  5. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Well-Known Member

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    We have bifolds. We have bugs :(

    Bifolds are hardly ever fully opened. I do love em for the light; but sliding/French doors could've maybe done the same for cheaper? I suppose bifolds add a lot of value on resale?
     
  6. Joshwaaaa

    Joshwaaaa Well-Known Member

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    Adelaide
    stackers > bi-fold
     
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    We've got no issues with bugs or water penetration unless they're open &/or it's raining. We have a roof over the opening to cut down on direct rain and direct sun (provides summer shade/winter sun, floor fade).

    We open them infrequently :(

    Can't get flyscreens for them.
     
  8. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    I put bi-folds in my DIY kitchen - see my profile pic.
    The opening is about 4 metres - 4 leaf doors.
    Steel posts either side (architectural detail) and a decent steel beam as a head because it holds up a brick wall above and because the doors are top hung i.e. all the weight is carried above and at ground level there is just a recessed aluminium channel that guides the doors.
    They are commercial quality doors made by a shopfitting company because I wanted them to last.
    In the winter, they are rarely all open. In the summer, they are often open.
    Scott