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My basement utility room, housing a gas powered hot water tank and a gas powered furnace, has a bi-fold louvered door. The opening is, 36” wide and, unfortunately, 76” tall. Earlier owners cut the standard size (and seems only available size) 80” tall door. Eventually, the glue got weak and the thing is just falling apart.

So, what are my options?

The best I’ve come up with so far is “buy another door and cut it, accept that you’ll do this again”. I’ve called a couple places and no one can find a 76” tall door like this. I guess a screen would do the ventilation, but it wouldn’t block much view which is the point of the door.

Bifold is probably needed. It’s tight down there and we have a few desks for WorkFromHome.

Anything else? Or any way to secure the base of the door to not have it come apart in a week?

Bottom, notice square that was glued, no screw/nail or other support

drop ceiling shown, no options to change opening

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    Pictures will help, but those doors are usually just glued together anyway. A good glue job needs clean flat surfaces and enough clamping/holding time to last. If there is dust/dirt on surfaces, the glue will only bond/hold onto the dust/dirt instead of the wood. Use a decent wood glue/adhesive.
    – crip659
    Jun 24, 2023 at 20:38
  • @crip659 added pics. The bottom was cut to where it was just maybe 1x1 inch, or even less, and just glued. Jun 24, 2023 at 20:47
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    Can add small steel reinforcing plates to the top/bottom and sides. Either the straight ones or the angle/corner ones.
    – crip659
    Jun 24, 2023 at 20:52

3 Answers 3

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Use a solid 36" wide door with a louvered (or otherwise visually blocked) vent (or vents top and bottom) to get ventilation + visual hiding. I'd go this way, I've come to hate bifolds since the hardware is almost always terrible and they don't operate smoothly as a result.

Or, (if you need the bifold thing due to space) trim the new door top and bottom (don't take it all off one end) and then reinforce it before it starts falling apart. Fiberglass cloth tape and epoxy would be one example of a way to reenforce it (primarily at the corners of what frame it has left.)

Or, fix the door frame and opening.

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  • Door frame is fixed at 76” its a drop ceiling basement, about to post a pic in the question above as an edit. Bifold needed, yeah it’s tight down there. Jun 24, 2023 at 20:45
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Look for a door manufacturer near you. Call them and tell them the size you need is 76" tall. (Don't order a custom door!) Just ask if the rails are deep enough to cut 2 inches off both top and bottom.

Many small shop door companies build their doors so they can be cut to less than standard sizes.

Order a bifold, they may be nice enough to make the cuts for you.

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Another option could be a vinyl accordion door. Depending on the hinge situation, you might be able to just cut 4" off the bottom. This one is available at Home Depot, so you might be able to lay eyes on it in the store before buying (and it's only $42 anyway).

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Spectrum-Via-36-in-x-80-in-White-Vinyl-Accordion-Door-with-Hardware-HVS3280H/100066294

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