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How To Remove Sliding Patio Door

Advice

How To Remove Sliding Patio Door

Myles Robinson
Written by Myles Robinson
Updated on 21st February 2024
Posted on 27th July 2023

How A Sliding Patio Door Works

Let’s first understand the mechanics, as it makes things a bit easier to understand when you remove sliding glass doors.

Sliding patio doors have two doors. One that remains in place (stationary door) and a door that moves (sliding door).

Sliding Patio Door

Both these doors fit within a door frame. Within that frame, you’ll see a track at the top to hold them in place - as opposed to the bottom track where the sliding door panel slides along rollers that carry the weight.

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Now that we’ve got the basic mechanics let’s get into how you remove sliding glass doors yourself with our easy-to-understand DIY tips.

 

How To Remove A Sliding Patio Door—Step by Step

What you’ll need: 

  • Screwdriver
  • Flat pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Foam sheets or blankets

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Sliding Doors

1. Set up your workspace

This job can get a little messy when removing a sliding patio door, so it’s best to lay down some foam sheets or blankets to protect your flooring.

It’s also a good idea to keep your tools within reach so you don’t have to wander off in search of them when you’re halfway through.

2. Inspect the sliding panel

Before you can remove anything, take a look at the sliding panel to see how the rollers and tracks work. You can simply observe as you open and close the door.

Most sliding doors work in the same way, but some may be different. We’re talking about standard glass sliding patio doors.

When you open the glass door, look at the bottom outside edges of the door panel. You should notice a cap or a hole. If there’s a cap, simply pry it up using a flathead screwdriver.

Once the cap is off, look inside the hole to see what type of screw is holding the door in place. Most of the time it’s a flathead screw.

3. Disconnect the door from its tracks

Insert the screwdriver into the hole of the door panel and adjust it (turning counterclockwise). Do the same for the back end of the door panel. This should lower the door, meaning the rollers are now inside the door and not on the bottom track.

4. Remove the door

Grab each side of the sliding door and lift it so that the top of the door moves into the top track. Pull the bottom of the door outwards. This might take a little bit of a jiggle, but the aim is to get the bottom of the door off the bottom track.

Move the door out of the way. These panels can be heavy, so be careful where you put them down.

5. Remove the stationary panel

In the top track where the sliding panel was, there is a piece of plastic along the track to prevent the fixed panel from sliding. Remove this plastic using a flat pry bar.

Insert the bar into the top corner nearest the stationary panel and pry the plastic piece off. Once the corner lifts you can simply pull the rest of the plastic down as it comes off in a single long piece.

Once the plastic is out, you’ll notice a screw in the top track where you pried the corner up. Remove the screw. It may be attached to some sort of small wood block, so be prepared with your other hand to grab it.

Now move towards the back end of the stationary door. Look along the edge where the side connects to the frame and remove the screws along the border.

The stationary panel should now be able to slide across the track, but it might be quite tight, so put some muscle into it.

Once it reaches the opposite side, it will fall off the block it’s on, meaning you can tilt the bottom out and the pane will come out. Like the other panel, you might need to jiggle it a bit to get it loose.

6. Take out the door frame

Look around the entire frame and remove any screws holding the frame in place.

Depending on whether you’re doing a total renovation or replacing the door, you may need to cut around the side of the door frame where the sliding door was attached to expose the aluminium frame.

If you want to save the area surrounding the door you can use the reciprocating saw to cut about 5 cm around the side of the door jamb (where the sliding glass door fits). Remove the nails around the front of the frame. Keep in mind, you will need to replace the pieces you cut off.

If the door is fixed into a wall you’ll need to use a reciprocating saw to cut any cover that's concealing the fasteners attaching the frame to the opening. Then remove the fasteners.

Now, moving around the door frame, take the flat prying bar and insert it between the door frame and whatever it's attached to (wall or wood screen).

Pull outwards, making sure there is movement and that the frame is coming loose from the door jamb. If there are parts that aren't coming up, check for screws or possible caulking.

Once everything is off and the frame is free, push it forward on each side. This is going to take some work, but the frame should move when you push it.

You can begin to lean the door outward, feeling if any places in the frame won’t move. If so, you’ll probably need to remove more screws or pry the bottom if there is caulking.

Move the frame off to the side and remove any insulation or screws from the sides.

Safety First

Before you get going with your glass sliding door you need to ensure you are safe throughout the removal process. Here are some tips:

  • Wear safety goggles.
  • Keep the glass sliding doors in a safe place where they can’t be knocked over.
  • Read the instructions when working with power tools.
  • Keep your work area clutter-free to avoid accidents.

 

FAQ

Is it difficult to remove a sliding glass door? 

It depends on a few things like the fittings and products used. Generally, if you follow the above steps and take some time, removing patio doors shouldn’t be an issue.

How long do sliding glass doors last? 

If you look after your sliding patio doors and do the proper maintenance, most can last over 25 years, which can make the cost of patio doors very much worth it.

Do I need to take my sliding glass door off to replace the rollers? 

Yes, one of the main reasons for removing patio doors is to maintain the rollers. They can easily get stuck or start becoming harder to roll.

Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors

Wrap Up

Removing sliding glass doors can be a little tough. There are a lot of steps to follow and you need the correct tools on hand.

Still, if you follow our step-by-step guide, removing your sliding glass patio doors shouldn’t be a problem. Just be sure to follow each step correctly and always remember, safety first! Get the sliding glass door panels up and out of the way to prevent injury and wear safety goggles throughout.

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Written by
Myles Robinson
Myles Robinson Managing Director
Posted on: 27th July 2023
Topic: Advice

Myles is one of our esteemed directors at Value Doors, dedicated to sourcing and fitting the best composite doors and windows. His mission is to offer our customers exceptional deals on energy-efficient composite doors, focusing on reducing costs while making sure the most advanced technology is readily available for installation. This commitment is what motivates Myles in the door industry.

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