Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Doors, Skylights and Windows
Reload this Page >

Vinyl Patio Door installation - Nailing Fin Only??

Vinyl Patio Door installation - Nailing Fin Only??

Old 10-10-05, 09:21 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Vinyl Patio Door installation - Nailing Fin Only??

We had a small addition built and our contractor put in our patio doors, used the nailing fin and sided over the exterior. But the inside he didn't shim and screw into the 2X4 frame at all. When I asked him he said you wouldn't want the whole door to be subject to expanding and contracting with those 2X4's in our Wisconsin weather. The door has a lot of play and won't slide right even after adjusting the rollers. The manufacturer suggests shimming and screwing it in. Shouldn't I have him take this step in the installation?
Old 10-10-05, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 8,670
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I'm with the contractor -- secure it with JUST the nailing fin, and leave space between the frame and the studs on each side, and the frame and the header on top -- 1/4" on all 3 sides. It should sit FULLY on the floor across the bottom. No shims, and no screws.

There shouldn't any play in the frame. If there is, it wasn't installed properly.

The weatherstripping will create friction, so the sash will take some effort to move. But it should move smoothly (no binding) as you open or close it. You WON'T be able to start it rolling, take you hand off of it and have it keep moving.
Old 10-10-05, 06:17 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 26,416
Received 1,749 Upvotes on 1,573 Posts
If I would have installed the door, I would have shimmed and screwed the frame as per the manufacturer's instructions. I've installed hundreds of vinyl patio doors and I've shimmed and screwed the frames in them all, with no call-backs. The winters/summers here are similar to yours in Wisconsin. Vinyl patio doors have little rigidity on their own, which is likely why the manufacturer suggests shimming them to the rough opening.

When the sides and top of vinyl patio doors aren't shimmed, they usually bow and flex, and won't even be straight unless you shim them straight- even if the nailing fin side of the door is, it doesn't necessarily mean the inside of the patio door will be.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: