How to Install a Sliding Glass Door
Installing a sliding glass door yourself helps save on the costs of a professional installation. If you are replacing an old one with a new one, you will have to remove the old door and prepare the opening for installation. If you are installing a new door, you should cut out the opening. You will need the help of a professional carpenter for this.
Step 1 - Get Some Help
If your door has been shipped in parts, assemble the unit near the opening. If you have purchased the entire unit as a whole, lifting and moving the unit will be difficult. In either case, it is best to ask a friend or family member for help when installing a door. Choosing to do it alone will make the task extremely difficult.
Step 2 - Prepare the Opening
If you need to cut out an opening in the wall, you should check with local authorities if you are required to get a permit for this. Apart from cutting the opening, you need to place a header above the opening; this header supports the load. While installing a header is not a hard task, it requires careful calculations and measurements. You might also need to submit sketches of your plans to the permit office. Asking a professional to help with this phase is always advisable.
If you are replacing an old door with a new one, all should be well, unless the foundation of your house has shifted. Check for problems using a framing square. If there is any misalignment, use levels to correct it. Make sure to leave some extra space for shimming. Also, check for wet or dry rot and repair the area before installing the new door. Finally, check for old nail heads and bent screws, remove all old shims, and clean the area.
Step 3 - Install the Frame
Lay the frame down on the ground in front of the opening and apply lots of silicone caulk at the bottom of the frame as well as to the nailing flanges. Now slowly lift the frame and set it into the opening. Once in place, use a nail on the top right side of the frame to secure the door. Before you drive in the second nail, check the plumb of the frame using a level. Your second nail should be positioned on the bottom left side of the frame. Once you are sure of the plumb and square of frame, nail the flanges. You can make adjustments by pushing the bottom flange to the left or right to ensure squareness. Begin pushing in the wood shims, and keep a level handy.
Step 4 - Install the Door
Once the frame has been installed, installing the rest of the door is relatively simple. Check the side jambs, and if it is all good, hammer in all the nails. Do remember to apply caulk on any holes that you drill, especially on the underside, to ensure that your door remains waterproof. Fit in the rollers and insert the doors into the frame on the rollers. Do check if the doors are moving freely and correctly. If not, the height of the rollers may have to be adjusted. Lastly, install the locking mechanism.