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How to Install Patio Doors without Nailing flange

How to Install Patio Doors without Nailing flange

While sliding patio doors are widespread, modern versions provide a variety of upgrades. Improved lock hardware, tinted windows, and window coverings installed in the space between panes of glass are just the beginning of the privacy-enhancing measures that may be installed. Whatever it is that you want in a house, you can find it. 

​​The Patio Door’s Construction Materials and Operation 

  • Before installing, check that the control panel is properly fastened. 
  • Respect the application and handling guidelines provided by the product’s manufacturer. 
  • Please keep dirt, moisture, sunlight, and any in-folding from damaging the adhesive surfaces. 
  • Always hold the handle at a vertical angle and do not drag it. 
  • Joints, edges, and frames shouldn’t be strained in any way. 
  • Patio doors should be kept in a dry, well-ventilated location, tilting vertically to facilitate air flow instead of stacked horizontally. 
  • Keep out of direct sunlight when storing. 
  • Never install horizontally, and make sure the sheathing is dry before you start. 
  • Using a sealer that contains a solvent is not recommended for vinyl.


Steps on How to Install Patio Doors

Following are the fundamental procedures for removing the old door and installing the new one securely, ensuring that it will be airtight, look excellent, and survive for years to come.


Step 1: Take off the old inside molding

The surrounding trim around the current patio door unit must be removed prior to its removal. The caulk and paint may be easily removed with a utility knife. Wallboard might be torn if you try to remove the trim by pulling on it instead of cutting it. Use a firm putty knife to loosen the trim, and then pry it off. 


Step 2: Begin taking the door apart

Considering the door unit’s weight, it’s best to disassemble it into as many parts as possible before working on it. Before you can remove the sliding panel, you’ll need to take off any stops or decorative trim that are keeping it in place. 

If you’ve completed this step, you may proceed outdoors to begin removing the external trim. Carefully cut through the paint and caulk here as you did on the inside sections to avoid damaging the rest of the home. 


Step 3: Consider potential external challenges 

Getting a pry bar underneath the wood to pry it away from the house and remove the external trim is a common challenge. If this is the case, you’ll need a magnet and a tool called a tiger’s paw to get to the nail heads hidden under the filler and paint.


Step 4: Take Away the Last of the Bolts From the Outdated Patio Door 

Take off the nails and screws that are holding the old door panel in place. Finding one of them that has been driven through the jamb might be a challenge. Check behind the strike plates and/or beneath the door track.

To remove the old unit, make sure all of the screws and nails have been removed, and then tap it out of the hole with a hammer. Don’t forget to make some room by pressing against the house’s exterior. 


Step 5: Get the new patio door’s rough opening ready

When the old door has been taken out of the way, you should get the space ready for the new one. It is important to use a level to ensure that the sill and the sides of the aperture are flush with one another. If you think the hole is too huge, you may fill it up with plywood strips. 


Step 6: Make sure the opening is watertight 

A new sliding patio door requires that the rough opening be sealed up from the elements before installation. Apply foil-backed tape along the sill and continue it up the side jamb for a distance of approximately 6 inches. 

Trim the corners and rewind the tape as if you were wrapping a gift. Seal the threshold with a second piece of tape, and make sure the sides and header are also sealed. Put back the sill molding you took off to remove the previous unit after the foil tape is completely sealed. 


Step 7: Install the Replacement Door 

You should apply three parallel beads of silicone sealant along the sill of the new patio door unit before installing it. Caulk may be preserved if the door unit is placed in its final location with its bottom edge touching the floor first. 

When the base has been properly anchored, you may lift the unit into place by angling it upward. A nailing flange, often made of metal, must be opened up before use on most models. 

Step 8: Lock the New Door 

Make a rough aperture by nailing roofing nails through the aluminum fin and into the frame studs. Start by just fully inserting one or two nails, since modifications may be necessary. When they are hammered into place, make sure the device is level and plumb. 

After you’ve got your measurements down pat, you can start screwing the door into position, leaving just enough space between the studs and the frame. Beginning on the latch side, screw through the side jambs.


Step 9: Secure the Door to the Frame with Screws 

Installing the door’s latch side jamb and nailing flange allows you to proceed with the remainder of the job. Before driving a screw through the sill, fill the hole with silicone. This will aid in the unit’s resistance to water damage. When the cap has been screwed in, the working door panel may be installed into the frame


Step 10: put in the outside moldings

It’s important to leave a little space between the external trim and the wall to account for seasonal wood movement. A foam backer rod may be used to fill the little crack while still allowing the wood to move and expand as it should. Fill the void with the backer rod, and then seal it with a silicone bead. 


Step 11: Install Exterior Trim 

To begin, remove any surplus from the shims you placed in Step 8. Spray-insulating foam with low expansion rates should be used to fill the cracks outside the frame. You should choose low-expansion foam since the high-expansion kind might make the door jambs bend and the doors hard to open and lock properly. When the openings have been sealed, the inside door casings may be mounted. 


Step 12: Attach the Last Details 

Now that the door’s framework is finished, you may attach the locking mechanism and any accompanying blinds, shades, or grilles in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs

Do nailing flanges exist on external doors? 

The brick mold or other molding on many outside doors serves as the transition to the flashing in place of nailing flanges. 


To what extent do contemporary patio doors provide safety? 

Historically, sliding doors—and other types of glass patio doors—have been targeted by burglars because they are an easy entry point. But, today’s sliding doors are far more secure and come with a variety of safety mechanisms to protect your property. 


Is a door frame necessary to hang a door? 

Slab doors don’t have any additional hardware like a frame or hinges, but they do come with a pre-drilled hole for the knob. Hanging the door in its frame is the first step; then it just needs to be finished up with paint or stain and handles. You may buy them brand new, have a carpenter make them, or find them at antique shops. 


What’s placed beneath an outside door? 

A door’s sill is the lowest frame section. Door sills are a great way to keep the weather and air out of your house. A door’s vertical part, located on the edge of the door panel, is called a stile. They serve as an essential door panel frame. 


What kind of fastener is best for a door frame, nails, or screws? 

Instead of nails, use screws. The screws will be concealed by the hinges and will grip more securely than nails. Since nails eventually loosen and fall out, screws are preferable for fastening the hinge jamb.


Final Words

Nevertheless, not all varieties of patio doors can be fitted into each given wall configuration in any given location. To learn about the rules and regulations that apply to construction in your area, contact the appropriate agency. Installation recommendations take a back seat to compliance with regional building codes. 

Also, one must constantly do their homework and seek advice from others, particularly in the outset if they are a newbie, to reduce the likelihood of injury. If you believe that installing a patio door without nail flanges would be difficult, you may want to consider hiring a professional. 

Or, you could also check out these related articles for your reference:

How to measure Sliding Glass Door? 

How to Build Steps Off Sliding Glass Door

Written By: Trisha Mae Raymundo 


Trisha Mae Raymundo
Trisha Mae Raymundo

Senior Writer and Editor of The Home Spot.