Are you thinking about installing a sliding patio door? It can definitely add a new look to your home and even increase the value in some cases. It is a project however that is very time-consuming. Not only will it take a great deal of time but it is also a project you will want extra helping hands for. If this is your first do-it-yourself project then you need someone with experience who will be able to assist. This project is not at all for newbies. When you have your helper committed to the project you just need to order your sliding door and gather the tools to get started.
Ordering The Door
The first thing that you need to do is order the door. If you will be replacing one sliding door with another then you can measure the height and width of your current door to ensure that you get one that fits. If you will be installing sliding doors where there are not currently any then you can choose the size of the door that you want because you will be cutting out an area to place the doors anyway.
When measuring measure the height in three different places as well as the width in three places. This will help you to ensure that the measurements that you are taking are correct. You don't want to get your old sliding door out only to find out that you have to make major changes because you didn't take the appropriate steps to ensure proper size.
Removing The Old Door
If you already have a sliding door in place you need to start by removing it. To do this you should take your utility knife and score around the molding where the caulk is. Once the caulk has been removed you can use the pry bar and remove the molding gently. You also need to remove the outside molding.
For the exterior molding, you will likely not be able to slide the crowbar in between the siding and the molding. There is a tool called a Tigris bar. To use this tool you will first take a magnet and run it along the molding until it sticks. Once the magnet sticks you will know there is a screw behind it. Use the Tigris bar and a hammer in the area right where the nail is located. You will break through the molding and reach the nail. Once the nail has been exposed you should pry it out.
You should repeat this step until all the nails in the molding are out. You will then be able to remove the molding. Do this for all three pieces. Once you had removed the molding you will want to take the screen and door off the track. Then use the Tigris bar or drill to remove any screws or nails that are holding the frame of the doors to the frame of the house. After all the nails have been removed you should be able to lift out the frame.
Cutting The House For The Doors
If you didn't already have sliding doors you will now be creating the appropriate size opening. Depending on where doors and windows are currently placed, you may have to cut more space out than you need. If this is the case you can frame it in to make it the correct size and center the door just right into the new opening you have created.
You should remove any doors that are currently in the area where you will be placing the new sliding patio door. If there are windows in the way then you will need to remove them as well. Once everything is out of the way you can measure. You want to use a straight edge and you want to make sure that you cut the correct height and width for the door. Use a pencil to draw a guideline all the way around. Once the guideline has been drawn you can use the saw and start removing the wall. You may want to do this is smaller sections instead of trying to remove it all at one time. You are also likely going to need an extra set of hands here.
Before cutting remember the importance of wear safety goggles, as you don't want to accidentally damage your eyes. You also need to be aware of where the electrical wiring is ran in your walls, you don't want to accidently cut threw wiring. Some people might even want to wear a dust mask to prevent the inhalation of any dust particles that results from cutting.
Flat And Level
Before installing the sliding door you need to make sure everything is level and flat. If you had to cut the opening then this might mean a few extra steps for you. You can use a 2X4 and mix up concrete to fill in and level it out. You should secure the 2X4 into place by drilling a pilot hole and then inserting the screws until it is secured. Now you can fill the concrete mixture up to the top of the board making sure to scrape and level it off. Make sure that the concrete dries completely before you continue. Also, check after the cement has dried to ensure that it is level and flat just as it should be.
This is also the time to build the frame out. Measure the width of the opening and the width of your door. Now check to make sure the door will fit and be centered. If there is a gap then you will need to frame up more so that the door sits flush.
Getting Ready To Install The Door
Now you need to use foil tape, you will run the foil all the way across the bottom to help seal. Also, allow it to go up the sides of the house frame about six inches. You want to cover all the area with it to help ensure that no water gets through and into your house. Once the foil take has been placed it is time to caulk. Caulk the bottom where you placed the tape. You should make three beads that are the full widths.
After the caulk beading is in place it is time to insert the jamb of the door. Make sure to caulk along the top of the door jamb for extra seal right before you install it. Now all you need to do is lean the top of the jamb back and then slide it up and into place. You may need some help with this, so hopefully, you kept your extra set of hands around.
Once the door jamb is setting into place you need to check that it is plumb. You can use your tape measure and measure from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Now measure from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. These two numbers should be the same, and if they are then it is squared and you are ready to continue.
Securing The Jamb
First, you need to insert the shims. Once the shims are in place use your drill to place screws in the holes that are in the door jamb and run the screws into the frame of the house. This shouldn't take long, especially if you are using a power drill. Do be sure to tighten the screws but avoid over tightening them.
Inserting The Sliding Doors
Finally, you are ready to place the sliding doors into the jamb. You will lean it back, place the top where it will go into the top track and then lean the bottom of the door in to get it into the bottom track. You will need to do this for both of the doors.
The stationary door will have two screws that you will place holding it to the jamb so that it doesn't move. There will be a spot at the top of the stationary door as well as one at the bottom.
If you want you can use some foam insulation spray in the rough opening to keep your unit air tight. Check once both doors are in place to make sure that the door is able to freely and easily slide open and closed.
If everything works like it should then you are now finished. If you are having trouble with the door then you will need to look at where you may have gone wrong during the repair and fix the issue at hand. Once the door is functioning properly all you have left do is clean up.
If you did end up having to build onto the frame to get the door centered you will need to do something with the area to make it look uniform with the rest of the house. So that the section which you added will match the rest of the house as well. You don't want to make this look like a quick unprofessional patch job. This means you should take your time and make sure to do it right the first time around.