Installing Vinyl Replacement Sliding Glass Doors

Last week I told you how to remove your old sliding glass door in preparation for installing your vinyl replacement door. Let’s go over the installation procedure for the retrofit style and replacement style frames.

Let’s start with the update framework. Like the retrofitted window, the door will have a 2″ lip flush with the outside edge of the frame. The difference between the retrofitted window frame and the retrofitted door frame is the absence of the lip at the bottom of the door. door due to sill.rail.Your door will have the trim on both sides and the top.Most of the installation process is the same whether it is a modified frame or a replacement frame.First things first All you need to do is check that the floor is level. If the base is not level, add shims to create a level base. This step is very important, because if you have a sloped bottom, the entire frame will be out of square. You will have trouble closing the door and air infiltration problem. Therefore, place shims to level the base. If possible, use a long shim to create a solid base for the weight of the door. Before putting the door in place, place a drop of liquid nails from an ex tremble to another At the end, place the shims on top of the liquid nails and run a bead of black sealant on the outside face of the opening where the refinished lip will contact the outside surface. Putty the sides and top.

Now set the door in place, being careful to lift the door up and place the bottom rail on the shims, rather than dragging the bottom. Obviously, this requires two people, one on each side. Tilt the top away from the opening while you snap the bottom into place. Then lift the top up until the modified lip contacts the outside surface where you applied the putty. The reason I use liquid nails on the bottom instead of putty is because I don’t like putting screws on the bottom, and the liquid nail product is just as good as the screws when dry. Have your helper hold the frame in place while you go in to plumb and secure the door. Place a level on the leg where the slider will lock. Plumb the leg and install shims where you place the screws. You should place one about 6 inches from the top and one 6 inches from the bottom. A good quality door will have long screws shipped with the door that replace the small screws that hold the locking hardware to the jamb. Be sure to shim where these screws are installed. Now, if you leveled the bottom and plumb the side, the top and opposite side should automatically be square. Shim opposite leg and insert mounting screws. Put 3-4 screws into the leg. Then run your tape measure from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Write down that measurement. Measure from opposite corners, and the measurement should be the same if your frame is square. Finally, place a screw in the top center. You really don’t need more than one. You do not need to use shims as there will be no load or torque on the top head. Just don’t over-tighten the screw, otherwise the frame will bow.

At this point you should have the frame installed in the opening with the fixed panel already factory glazed. This is where you want to install the sliding panel. Enter from inside the house. Set it aside and spray a generous amount of lubricant on the steel rollers to help them spin freely. Wipe off excess before attaching panel. Remember to lift the top toward the header as far as it will go, then swing the bottom over the rim and lay it on the rail. If the bottom does not go over the bottom edge, you will need to adjust the bottom rollers to bring them into the frame. You should see a hole in the side rail to insert a screwdriver and turn the adjusting screw counterclockwise to lift the rollers up and remove them. After placing the rollers on the track, be sure to readjust them before sliding the door. Have your helper lift up the side as you turn the adjusting screw clockwise. Do both sides, then slide the door closed and check that the daylight is equal from top to bottom. If more daylight is visible at the top or bottom, adjust the rollers so the door panel is flush with the jamb. Set the lock. Each door should come with lock fitting instructions. Install the screen door outside. Now seal the crack between the modified lip and the outer surface. Go inside and fill the space between the frame and the wall studs with R-13 insulation. The last step is to cut out the inside. We sell vinyl trim pieces that are designed for interior trim without having to paint, stain, or nail. You can see samples and prices of the molding on the shopping page of the website.

Now, the replacement frame installation process is the same, except there is no upgrade border. Therefore, when you place the frame in the opening, you must plumb the side legs from two places instead of one. In addition to plumbing the jamb from left to right in the opening, you must also plumb from the inside out because you don’t have the modified lip to keep the frame flush with the exterior wall. Also, you need to apply trim both on the outside and inside. You can use a basic vinyl flat edging for the outside, and that’s also available on the shop page. Be sure to caulk the exterior trim where it meets the surrounding surface. I’ll be on vacation next week, but next week’s article will be about the best and safest way to install second story replacement windows.

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