Convert a Window into a Sliding Glass Door

a room with a sliding glass door
  • 24-48 hours
  • Advanced
  • 150-600
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Drill bits
Pry bar
Sliding glass door

If you’re looking to put a sliding glass door where a window is now, you can do it yourself with a little hard work. Depending on whether you have a brick home or a home with siding, you’ll be using different tools (masonry drill bits and saws for brick and wood drill bits and reciprocating saws for siding). The general idea is still the same.

Step 1- Preparing the Inside of the Wall

Using the directions that come with the sliding glass doors, mark your measurements for the rough frame as suggested. Make sure each of your measurements and lines you draw are level. It will be easier if at least one side of the window is along the lines you’re drawing, but this is not necessary. Before drawing the frame, consult your home's blueprints and repair history to see if there are any pipes or electrical wires in the wall. If you can't find out that information from previous records or blueprints, use a combination detector to check the wall for studs, wires or plumbing. If you have any pipes or electricity in the way, you should call in a professional before proceeding. If the coast is clear, drill the outside wall in the four corners of the rough frame.

WARNING: Try to pick a wall that is not load-bearing. Otherwise, you will need to reinforce the other walls to avoid compromising your home.

Step 2- Working on the Outside Wall

To properly install your sliding glass door, you need to have both the inside and outside match up. It might be easier for you when drilling holes to have a helper outside to make sure you don’t damage anything. Once you’ve drilled the holes, measure the area to make sure it matches the measurements on the inside.

Step 3- Remove the Window and Outer Wall

To have your sliding glass door work properly, you have to have openings on the inner and outer wall. Remove the caulk and trim of the window and begin pulling out nails to remove the window. Saw the outer wall with the proper saw for siding or brick, revealing the inside of the house.

Step 4- Remove Studs and Remaining Materials

Remove the rest of the drywall that is within the vicinity of the rough frame. Remove the studs and the framing that was around the window. Try to keep the wood in one piece, because you will probably be able to use some of the studs for the sliding glass door.

Step 5- Assemble the Sliding Glass Door Frame

Using two full length studs with a header in between and two studs that go from the header to the floor, create and build the frame for your sliding glass door to the rough frame measurements. You might have to cut away extra drywall to fit it in the proper position in the wall. Nail the frame into place after checking it from both the inside and outside.

Step 6- Installing the Sliding Glass Door

Using the sliding glass door instructions, install the door into the frame. Caulk the door and add trim on the inside and outside. Make sure the sliding glass door works properly.