July 10, 2014

Install a New Sliding Glass Door

Now that the beautiful summer weather is upon us, it's getting more difficult to ignore a long time problem we've had at the house- the terribly old sliding glass door to our Master Bedroom Deck.  The seal on the left side is broken, which made half the view cloudy and dirty looking.

This slider is original to the house, 30+ years, so the wood frame has seen much better days as well.  The wood is rotting along the bottom and a friendly little group of ants seems to have made a cozy little home there.

Please ignore the unmade bed that the kiddos were rolling around in.

Three years into this home owning experience- (Whoa- can three years be right?) it was time to correct this major wrong.  We planned on a Saturday and Sunday to get the job done.  The hardest part was actually undocumented, as it was the Hubs and I trying to carry the new, huge, heavy and awkward door up our thousands of tight steps.

View from the top looking all the way down to the Family Room Wet Bar

There was cursing, there was dinging of the walls, and there was a very brief, obviously misguided moment when we wondered if hoisting it up from the Living Room Deck via a garden hose was a good idea.

Once the new door was successfully upstairs, we removed the molding on the old door and stared at it until we figured out how to take it out.  That's a pro tip for you right there.  

Since the old door was rotten and nailed with 30 year old nails, there was no easy way to take this guy out.  Just a couple of pry bars and a lot of me yelling "careful!" at the Hubs.  But after about an hour, we had a huge gaping hole in the side of our house to the outside.

Which marks our second large gapping hole in the side of a house in as many months.  We really need to quit doing this to ourselves.

Looking back into our bedroom at nearly the entire wall missing.  It's all fun and games until it gets dark and the mosquitoes and bats come out.


Which is why you'll have to forgive me that I don't have any in progress shots of getting the door back in.  Things got a little chaotic when we realized that we only had a few hours until dark.  Our biggest problem is that the new door size wasn't an exact match.  Even though we measured a bunch, sometimes it's really hard to know what your rough opening is until you actually demo out the old one.  And once the old one is out, you can't wait 3-4 weeks for the special ordered door.  But we adjusted by adding a bit more framing to the door that would have to be covered with molding.  (More on that in a bit.)  The good news is we placed the new door in our adjusted rough opening, shimmed for even spacing and drilled into the framework per the included instructions just in time.  We closed the door just as it got dark.

We weren't done, but at least we could go to sleep without a flying invasion.  And after the day we had of shopping, hauling, demoing and installing, we were glad to leave the finishing for the next day. 


  1. Really love the work you have done so far on the house. My husband and I are currently renovating our holiday home and it is really inspiring to see all the hard work of your labour has payed off. Thank you so very much for sharing this with us. My husband said it inspired him to work on it more.

    Lynne Hollaran @ Suburban Glass Service, Inc.

  2. This has got to be the funniest picture to me with the door out. 25 years ago I was a housewife who worked on the house constantly. In the newspaper there was a ad for a free patio door. I called the lady said her husband ordered it before he died and it had sat in the garage for several years. I could not borrow a truck for a couple hours so the lady read me the instructions over the phone. I cut the hole in the wall roughed in the frame.the kids came home from school and we picked up the truck and drove to get the new door. When I got home my husband was sitting on the bed looking out the hole at the backyard. He looked at me and said you better have a good explanation for this. It turned out OK . a few shims a couple srews and the door went right in. The next day put up the molding. But look on his face is burned into my memory.

  3. I could only imagine the look on your husband's face when he realized the awkwardness of having to lug the materials up that staircase. He must really aim to please you to have agreed to do that! It looks like your efforts were well worth it by the looks of the final pictures, although I am certain it was not an easy feat to accomplish by any means.

    Earl Mark @ Eastway Lock

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