Converting a Bi-Fold Door

published Jul 21, 2010
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(Image credit: Anik Polo)

I’ve never been a fan of the bi-fold doors on our bedroom closet. My biggest complaint is that when the doors are open, as you see in the second photo, portions of the closet are almost inaccessible. And with two vain men sharing one small closet, we need all the space we can get! Rather than install new doors I decided to convert these bi-fold doors into swing-out doors.

The only supplies I needed to convert the doors were a 1″ x 3″ x 4′ board, 2 packages of 3″ mending braces, and 2 packages of magnetic catches. These few supplies came to a total of $9.30.

To convert the door, I removed the top roller from the door and opened it out. Then, with the door open, I screwed three mending braces on each door – one brace at the top of the door, one in the middle, and one near the bottom (photos 3 and 4). These mending braces have effectively turned the two panels that would normally fold together into one solid door.

Now that I have a solid door, the next step is to create a new closure for it. This is where the magnetic catches and the 1″ x 3″ board come in. I screwed the magnetic catch to the top, inside corner of the door (photo 5). Then I installed the 1″ x 3″ board to the top of the door frame (photo 7). After lining up the exact placement, I installed the “L” strike plate for the magnetic catch to the bottom of the board (photo 6). Now, when the door closes, the magnet meets the strike plate!