After 7 year of complaining about them I finally fixed them. And it really wasn’t a big job! I was able to do it start to finish in about 4 hours (including 2 coats of paint).
First step is to connect the doors and make them two solid doors rather than 4 smaller doors. I first removed the hinges in between the doors (but kept the doors still hanging).Once the hinges are removed I found these brackets at Lowes and screwed them to the doors to connect them. I removed the hinges in the last step because if you attach the flat bracket with the hinges still in place it will leave a space in between the two smaller doors. Trust me I did this and then realized it looked funny and wouldn’t work.
I forgot to take a picture while I was attaching the plates, but here they are after I had painted the door. I added 3 plates. Top, middle and bottom.Now that we have two doors instead of four, it’s time to remove the doors and all the hardware that goes along with the bi-fold doors. I removed the track along the top and all the hardware on the top and bottom of the doors.Next step is to install the hinges. I used three hinges on each door. And don’t be like me and attach the hinges incorrectly the first time (see those holes-not smart). Now that the doors are re-hung. You need something to stop them. I found these magnetic latches at Lowes. They have longer ones and I would recommend using those ones but my local Lowes was out of them.
You should just be able to screw the latch to the top of the door frame. I ran into a problem where my door wasn’t quite high enough, so I had to attach a scrap piece of wood first and then the magnetic latch. You may not need to do this. My other option was rehanging the door a little higher. But that seemed like too much work, and I had a kid to pick up from preschool. So I went with the quick option.Next add the magnetic plate to the top of the door. These took me a couple of tries to get it in the right spot! That’s why I would recommend the larger magnetic latch.Now for my next problem. I was so excited until I was all done and closed the doors and had about 1/2″ gap in between the doors. This would have driven me crazy. So I used a 2.5″ wide piece of lattice (it’s a really flat, thin piece of wood that you can find in the trim aisle of Lowes). I used some wood glue and finishing nails to attach the board to one door edge. This isn’t ideal because now I have to close one door before the other. But this was the easiest, cheapest solution I could come up with.
I still need to paint that piece of scrap wood I had to attach inside the door (you may not need to do that). And whenever I find the time I’m going to add floor to ceiling board and batten in the hallway.
Yes I still have the builder beige flat paint on my walls. With two small boys the walls are looking terrible, but the thought of painting the hallway is just too much for me to tackle right now. I hate painting hallways!