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Can You Replace Sliding Glass Doors Without Replacing the Frame

Can You Replace Sliding Glass Doors Without Replacing the Frame

Image Source: Milgard Windows

Updating your sliding glass door may do more than just make your patio seem nicer; it can also improve your home’s energy efficiency and let more natural light inside. 

Do-it-yourselfers with prior building expertise will have the best success with this involved task. Here’s how you tackle the task of removing a sliding glass door and installing a new one of the same size.

You could, however, replace the sliding door without worrying about the frame. The vast majority of sliding doors may be opened by simply lifting them off of the track. In the case of those that have a retention device, this must be done first. It’s likely that you’ll have to use the door’s built-in adjusters to get them to sit flush inside the frame, and you’ll also want to double-check that the latch hardware is still in good working order.


Needed Equipment:

  • Square 4 ft. 
  • Screwdriver with four different uses 
  • Clamps 
  • Wireless drill/driver 
  • Nipper for finishing off 
  • Hammer 
  • Crosscut saw 
  • A pry bar 
  • Circular saw 
  • Saw table 
  • A measuring tape 
  • Blade that may be used for several purposes 


Materials to be used: 

  • Flexible lighting
  • New Sliding Door 
  • PVC Cement 
  • PVC eaves trough 
  • Wooden spacers 
  • Silicone Caulk 


Here are some steps on how to replace a patio door without replacing the frame: 


Step 1: Measure the Patio Door 

Get the dimensions of the current patio door and use them to order a new one. 


Step 2:  Remove the Existing Door 

Detach the patio door that is currently installed. You may reuse the existing holes in the door frame for the new hinges if they are a good fit. If you follow their instructions, putting in the new hinges should be a breeze. 


Step 3: Patch up the holes

Wood putty may be used to fill up the old frame holes if the new hinges don’t fit properly. After that, you’ll need to make new holes to accommodate the new hinges. 


Step 4: Attach the Hinges

Connect the bottom, top, and middle hinges on the new door. The top and bottom hinges should just be barely attached to the door frame. 


Step 4: Modify the New Patio Door Fittings

Use a level to ensure the new door is hung straight. Tighten the hinge screws and make any required adjustments. The new patio door will work correctly after the center hinge is tightened.


Here are some steps on how to replace an interior sliding door without replacing the frame: 


Step 1: Remove the old door 

Therefore, you have to start by taking off the old door. To remove the pins, you must stand on the side of the door opposite the hinges. The lowest hinge must be installed first, followed by the others. Removing all the pins might be dangerous, so you may want to have someone assist you to hold the door while you do it. If a pin won’t budge, try tapping it out with a screwdriver or hammer. 


Step 2: Prepare the New Door

Take the measurements of the old door and use them to determine the size of the new door. Use a pencil to make a tracing around the old door on the new one to show where the new door needs to be cut. Take careful note of the assembly of the vintage hardware before putting it to use. 

Score and mark the perimeters of the new door using the straightedge once it is ready. Cut the replacement door to size using a circular saw. Clearance space must be considered. Standard door clearances are 1/8 inch at the top and sides, and 5/8 inch at the base. 


Step 3: Install the Hinges

When the new door has been cut to size, you may use the old door as a template for where to mount the hinges. The mortises may be transferred to the replacement door using a combination square. 

Now, turn the door upside down so that the hinge patterns are facing up. Chisel out the incisions until they are as deep as the thickness of the hinge, then tap the chisel to trace the contour of the mortise. To avoid going too deep, hold the chisel at a shallow angle on its flat side. Tap the unwanted wood away gently. 

Use a hinge test fit to determine the correct depth of the mortise. Just chip away at the wood carefully until it fits perfectly. After ensuring proper fit, hinges may be screwed on using a drill. 


Step Four: Mount the Door Pull 

Doorknob and latch placement must be marked using a door knob template, which must be positioned at the point where the strike plate hole meets the door edge. Get dimensions from the outgoing door if you plan on utilizing the existing door handle. 

If you need to replace a handle, the instructions will tell you what size drill to use. A 2 1/8-inch hole saw and a 7/8-inch spade bit for cutting the edge of the latch will do the trick if the handle doesn’t specify otherwise. 

The door should be stained or painted now if you plan on doing so. The doorknob and latch set shouldn’t be installed until it has dried completely. The latch set installation will be the initial step. You should first attach the latch to the door with screws and then attach the knobs.


Good Reasons to Replace Sliding Glass Doors but Keep the Existing Frame 

The door and its frame for sliding glass doors are often fitted at the same time. Thus, it is common for individuals to also replace the frame at the same time as the doors. Nevertheless, just the doors need to be replaced, and the frame may remain untouched. 

There are a few instances when replacing the glass without the frame is necessary. 


Shattered glass 

To avoid this, many homeowners choose to replace their glass doors. When the glass in a door is shattered or cracked, the whole door must be replaced. There are a number of potential causes of your glass door shattering, including natural disasters and extreme weather. 

Little damage, like a scratch or break, may set off this cycle. If you see anything like this, don’t wait for it to become worse; fixing it immediately will save you from having to replace the whole pane of glass. In the event that the glass is broken, however, a new door will need to be installed. 

If the structure is in good shape, you may skip replacing it and just swap out the glass doors. 


Opening and Closing Problems

If you have trouble opening and closing your sliding door, it probably needs to be replaced. It’s probably time to get a new door if opening and closing it becomes more difficult. The door or panel should be replaced if the damage is too extensive for a simple repair. 


Aberrant Entrances 

Sliding glass doors that have been twisted or warped might be difficult to open and close. It will be difficult to open and shut the door because of its faulty mechanism. Losing or loosening a screw might cause this issue. It may be necessary to replace the door, though, if the problem goes deeper than a missing screw. 

Again, the door may be swapped out without the frame being replaced if it turns out to be in excellent form. 


Revamped Appearance and Enhanced Functionality 

Sliding glass doors are often replaced for reasons related to both aesthetics and functionality. These doors are an easy way to upgrade the appearance and feel of any room. 

Yet new doors with fresh designs are on the market every day, and you may wish to acquire a more practical door. The structure of the door may still be usable, thus in this case you should keep it around. 

As glass doors lose their insulation properties, homeowners replace them as well. The glass’s ability to insulate your home will be greatly reduced if it has chips or breaks along its edges. So, you may replace the door yet keep the existing frame.


What Is the Average Time Required to Replace Sliding Glass Doors? 

Sliding glass door replacement may need a full day’s commitment. 

The speed with which a new door may be installed depends, in part, on the expertise and efficiency of the person doing the work. 


How Much Does It Typically Cost to Replace a Sliding Glass Door? 

Glass sliding door replacement is between $500 and $2,000. 

Glass quality, size, material, glass type, number of panels, brand, and features are all factors in deciding the final pricing.


Final Words

It’s possible to replace only the doors without touching the frame if the frame is in excellent condition. 

When a glass door breaks, it usually isn’t necessary to replace the whole unit unless the problem spreads to the door’s frame. But, you should get a new device if you find significant damage, such as dents, fractures, or rust, to the frame.

Here are also some of the articles that may come in handy:

how to stop sliding doors from rattling?…om-freezing-shut/

how to block a sliding door from opening?


Written By: Trisha Mae Raymundo 


Trisha Mae Raymundo
Trisha Mae Raymundo

Senior Writer and Editor of The Home Spot.