Rough Opening Measurements For Bifold Doors ? (Find Out Now!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Bifold doors can be an excellent alternative to sliding or French doors. They are increasing in popularity since they are sleek, stylish, and provide space-saving capabilities. If you plan on doing the installation yourself, you will need to know how big the rough opening should be.

When determining the rough opening for bifold doors, there is a good rule of thumb to follow. The rough opening should generally be at least 2 inches higher and 2 inches wider than the size of the door itself. This guide will help you better understand determining rough opening size, how to install bifold doors, and basically anything you need to know on the matter.

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What are Bifold Doors and How Do They Work?

Bifold doors have multiple leaves that fold in on themselves. This process works to up an aperture. The doors get fitted to runners, folding at the same time as the door is opened for a seamless operation. That means less space taken up to open the door than a normal hinged door would take.

Though there is a bit of confusion between bifold and sliding doors, the latter does not fold. Since bifold doors can both slide and open, you could almost open the entire aperture. That means greater accessibility and space saved versus traditional French and sliding doors.

Sizing the Rough Opening for Bifold Doors

Should you plan on doing the installation yourself, it is important to know what size to make the rough opening. After all, if the opening is too big or too small, the door won’t be able to sit properly within.

A good rule of thumb when determining the rough opening for a bifold door is to take the door size and add 2 inches to both the height and width. No matter what size the bifold door, adding 2 inches should give you the adequate clearance needed for installation.

So, if you have a bifold door that is 48” wide by 80” high, the rough opening would be 50” wide by 82” high. The space allows for one of two things. You can either go with a doorjamb kit or a 3/4’” select lumber to create the finished doorjamb.

Most bifold door assemblies won’t come with the doorjamb kit. That is why you may choose to go with a ¾” thick lumber doorjamb instead. It is all dependent on your tastes and how you want to install the bifold doors.

Sizing the Rough Opening for Bifold Doors with a Sheetrocked Wrapped Opening

Should the bifold door be installed into a sheetrock opening, there is a different rule to follow. Instead of adding 2 inches to the height and width, you would simply add 3/4”.

The ¾” guidelines are based on typical framing standards in most home construction businesses. Check with the manufacturer for any product specifications to ensure that the opening requirements are accurate. That will save you the trouble of installing it into an opening that is too big or small.

The Pros and Cons of Bifold Doors

Just like any other product out there, you will notice pros and cons to implementing bifold doors. Some of the benefits can vary based on your home and living situation. They can also vary based on your own personal needs and design aesthetic.

The Pros

  • More open space. Perhaps the biggest benefit of bifold doors is that you can access almost 90% of the entranceway. Other doorways are limited in how much open space you have access to. Moreover, bifold doors are better for larger openings than, say, French doors.
  • Less space needed. Moreover, they don’t require nearly as much space around them as something like French doors. That’s because they aren’t meant to be swung open. The only space required is to allow the leaves to stack up when opened.
  • Natural light. Perhaps one of the best advantages is that it can allow for more natural light. Moreover, it can create a sense of a more open floor plan. Sliding doors can offer a lot of natural light, but bifold doors can prevent the feeling of a more open space.
  • Flexibility. Bifold doors are great because they offer a ton of flexibility. You choose how many leaves there are and the size of each. You can also decide which way it opens and even include a traffic door should you choose to do so. With a ton of colors and finishes to choose from, bifold doors give you more options to work with than some of the other types of doors out there.

The Cons

  • Too open. While you may want to create a more “open” feel for your home, bifold doors can leave things a little too open. Sliding doors may be a better fit if you want some of the aperture blocked rather than being nearly completely open.
  • Direction makes a difference. When choosing a bifold door versus a sliding door, it is important to know which direction you are installing it in. Installing bifold doors in the wrong direction can be inconvenient or may not provide quite the fit that you were hoping to have.

What Do Bifold Doors Cost?

The cost of bifold doors can vary depending on a number of factors. The manufacturer, the style of the door, and the size of the aperture all play a role in the costs of bifold doors.

Generally speaking, aluminum doors tend to be more expensive than the traditional uPVC. That is, of course, because aluminum bifold doors provide a longer lifespan, making them a much more cost-effective choice in the long-term.

If you expect to have insulation or security features involved, that only ups the cost even further. The best way to determine the cost is to set up a consultation with either the installer or the manufacturer directly. They can measure the opening, talk about requirements with you, and help determine what will be in budget for you.

Are Bifold Doors a Good Idea?

Depending on your needs, there are plenty of reasons why bifold doors can be a good idea. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Blend indoor and outdoor spaces. If you want to open up your space and create a more open feel, bifold doors are the way to do it. Even when closed, having glass bifold doors can give you all the views you need. If you are big on hosting, bifold doors can allow for seamless flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • More natural light. Want to incorporate more natural light into your home? Bifold doors are a great way to make that happen. Even when closed, the glass doors allow more light in, brightening the space and helping you save on electricity costs.

When you implement aluminum bifold doors, which have slimmer frames than others, you can even minimize the shadows that get cast by the frame.

  • Flexible options. Bifold doors provide you with the most options for opening. You can use as much of the aperture as you want, which can also provide easy access whenever you need it.
  • Seamless. The modern bifold door systems have a better running system that has less sticking and doesn’t require a lot of force. That equates to a seamless opening experience that is easier to use than some of the other options out there.
  • Safety features. Some of the higher-end bifold doors also come with child-safety features. That means keeping small fingers from getting trapped when the doors are opened. That provides peace of mind for those with young children.

Are Bifold Doors More Expensive Than Sliding Doors?

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay more for bifold doors than sliding doors. The cost can vary based on size and material, but they will cost more due to the advanced engineering needed to perform the installation.

These bifold doors require greater engineering and hardware to provide a more durable, weatherproof installation. Combined with their versatility, it only makes sense that bifold doors would be at least slightly more expensive than sliding.

Can Adding Bifold Doors to Your Home Increase the Value?

Another major benefit of bifold doors is that they can actually improve the value of your home. In fact, it is one of the home improvements that can add the most value to your home. They not only enhance quality of life in the short term, but can deliver a return on investment should you opt to sell your home.

Going with traditional aluminum bifold doors is probably the best move. They are a fairly standard, popular option of bifold door, and they are quite durable as well.

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Are Bifold Doors Easy to Break Into?

There is a common misconception about bifold doors. That being that they are easier targets for burglars. Bifold doors are actually more difficult to crack than traditional sliding or French doors are.

More importantly, modern bifold doors come with enhanced safety features. Those features are great for keeping your home safe as well as keeping children in the home safe from accidents.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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