Replacing Sliding Glass Doors

Posted on October 27, 2009
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If you are looking to replace your sliding glass doors, you might want to first verify that your reasons warrant such action.  It could be, depending on your reason(s), that you do not actually have to replace the whole unit, but could possibly get replacement parts.

Reasons For Replacing Sliding Glass Doors

Some reasons you might feel the need to replace sliding glass doors are:

  1. For better energy efficiency. Maybe your unit doesn’t provide sufficient insulation, so that in summer you feel extra hot, and in winter extra cold.
  2. Glass might be broken or scratched
  3. Concerns over lack of security
  4. Doors have become too difficult to slide

There are of course other reasons that you could have. Even something as simple as aesthetics can be a legitimate reason to replace your glass sliding doors. Perhaps you might have an old unit and want a more modern look. Maybe you just want to upgrade to a better quality unit. Or maybe you want to remodel your patio and require changing your doors to suit the look. (Incidentally, if you’re actually planning on installing a new patio, you might want to explore patio slabs to save on costs). Nothing is wrong with any of these motives. But let us look at the reasons listed above, and see what possible alternatives you have.

In the case of 1, better energy efficiency, the solution to your problem could be as simple as replacing the weather stripping of your sliding doors. You should first ensure the cause of the poor insulation.

In the case of 2, where your glass is broken, you might consider only replacing the glass. You should find out how much that would cost and compare with actually replacing the whole thing. If it is a case where your glass is scratched, you might be able to get it polished so that the scratches become inconspicuous, depending on how deep they are. Consult with an expert in glass to find out your options.

If it is that you are concerned with the security or lack thereof, you might want to check out the security tips for sliding glass doors. It is quite possible that there are things you could do to ease this concern, without having to replace the doors.

If your sliding doors have become too difficult to slide, you likely don’t have to go to such a drastic measure of replacing the glass sliding doors. Most likely you can simply replace the rollers for your sliding glass doors, for relatively little cost, especially if you do it yourself. But first check that it is not an even simpler solution of cleaning and adjusting the sliding glass door tracks and rollers.

Sliding Glass Door Replacement Costs

Now if you do decide that your reasons warrant replacing your unit, you might be concerned with the cost to replace sliding glass doors. It is hard to give a figure as factors which determine the price will vary. For eg. the size of doors needed, the type of glass used, whether you include installation costs, type of frame all play a part in determining what the cost will be. It is best to call a few places to get the different quotations, and then you will have a good idea of what to expect and what is reasonable. You can help reduce your expense however, if you do the replacing or at least the removing of the doors yourself. This is what we will look at now.

Removing Sliding Glass Doors

Whether you are replacing the doors sliding glass door unit, or just the rollers, you will need to remove the doors. Most such doors have the stationary section on the outer track. If this is so, then even if you only want to replace the glass door that slides, you will have to remove the stationary part first. Whether the moving part is on the inner or outer track, the outer door must be removed first.

Now to remove the fixed panel, you will need to remove the sill cap that runs from the fixed end to other end by the jamb where the sliding door would lock. You might need to use something like a screwdriver to help lift the sill cap. Once you get it off, you should see some screws at the bottom that fix the fixed panel in place. Unscrew these, and also check the top of the door to see if any screws are holding the fixed panel to the top of the frame. If so, then you must remove these too.

Once you have unscrewed the necessary screws, then you should be able to pull the fixed panel out. However, you might encounter some difficulty in doing this, as it can get somewhat stuck in place. Get some assistance, and find a lever that can be used to help lift or pry the door out of place so you can get some movement going. When you get the fixed panel out, then you’ve done the hard part. Removing the sliding door should just be a matter of lifting and swinging out. If the rollers are causing an obstruction in removing it, then you can adjust these, by turning the adjustment screws which are normally to the bottom corners of the sliding door.

After you have gotten the doors out, then you probably will want to remove the tracks and the side jambs. If they are screwed in as opposed to nailed in, then remove all the screws. You will need something to pry the tracks out. You should be able to remove the rest since the screws are no longer in place. If it is that they were nailed in, then you can still do this yourself, but it requires more effort which I will not cover in this article.

Hopefully these instructions will prove helpful in at least removing your sliding glass doors, so that you can cut down on your costs that you would have had to pay for the removal of the old even if you do decide to pay for the new installation.

If you do decide to do the removal yourself, make sure you have your replacement ready to be installed.


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