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Quattro 10-10-2006 10:27 AM

Replace sliding patio door
Me again! Kitchen remodel. The old sliding glass door has to go, so a new one must be ordered. The subfloor under the door in the corner has had water damage, and will need a chunk cut-out and replaced...maybe 1 square foot worth.

The real questions are: without breaking the bank, what is a good replacement? I'm looking to spend less than $1000 if possible. It's a standard width door, 6-feet I believe, and 82" tall rough opening. It opens to a deck, from the kitchen.

Also, can I get a door that is designed to replace an existing door? meaning, I don't want to have to deal with the exterior "nail-strip", etc. Is this a possibility?


Square Eye 10-10-2006 11:30 AM

There are 2 routes you can go now.
1. Replace with another slider.
2. Replace with a french or 'atrium' style door.

I almost always recommend the atruim style because I feel that the design is stronger than a french door. One swinging panel compared to both. Plus the latch is on the wall side instead of the center of the doors.

Lowe's has an atrium door sized to fit your application, it's a very common swap around here for a slider replacement. The best part is that it compares in price to a slider very closely, in the $350.00 range. I like it also because sliders always eventually fail, Atrium doors, when installed properly, will last much longer, are more secure, have fewer parts to fail, are easier to maintain.

You will almost certainly have to cut the siding to fit an atrium door. At the very least, you will have to remove the old J-channel, nailer strip and scrape up the old caulking around the door and across the bottom. The nailer strip on replacement sliders is actually a good thing. It gives you plenty of opportunity to shed water away from the door, and/or to seal the j to the frame.. and the door flange to the house walls. It is a pain to work it in behind the siding though. And if you have brick veneer, it may be impossible to get it in. There is a replacement slider available with a removable flange (nailer strip). I still recommend the atrium. Tear off the brick moulding that comes installed on the frame, install the door and then trim it with something that fits. Rip the brick moulding if you want.

A few options that I can see.
Let us know what you do!

Quattro 10-10-2006 12:00 PM

Interesting. We looked at "center-swing" style doors as well, but they were generally priced higher than comparable sliders. But only $350? Seems like even the "cheapie" sliders we were looking at were about $600.

I don't have a Lowe's nearby...but I do have Home Depot & Menards.

I see your point about the nail strip. The siding is ~4" steel (or aluminum, not sure) lap. I can't remember if there is brickmould or not...I bet there is. If I tear that out, will that usually gain me enough real estate for the new door's nail strip? I just don't want to deal with the siding or J-channel at all.


I can get a screen on a door like the one you pictured, correct? That's a must-have!

Thanks for the ideas!

Quattro 10-10-2006 08:09 PM

Well, I bought a new door tonight. An Andersen vinyl-clad solid wood glider with a screen. Got it home, started bringing individual pieces inside, then realized I hadn't *really* measured the rough opening. I did a quick check with the tape measure last week, and thought for sure it was 6 feet. Upon closer inspection, it is 5' 10 3/8". DANG IT!

A custom door will cost a few hundred more, and the one I got was "on sale" and came to $800 as it is (hardware and screen included).

Here's the thing. I need to move the left jack stud in order to make room for this door. How do I do that, while still offering the support the header needs? I really only need about 1/2" or so, so can I replace that stud with a long piece of 3/4" plywood? This happens to be at an inside corner of the house, so there is another exterior wall adjoining very near this location (within a few inches), so I think it's pretty strong. And it's sitting over the foundation, since it's an exterior wall.

What are my options here? I'm really bummed that the door is too wide. I *could* bring it back, but it has been opened, and I'd rather not spend the extra several hundred for a custom-order door that is 1" narrower. WHY DON'T WE HAVE STANDARDS! Arrrrrgh!

Thanks for hearing me out.

Quattro 10-10-2006 08:32 PM

Just thinking out loud here...don't everyone jump in at once! :)

This might be the ticket for saving me a lot of pain and anguish:

I could use this in conjunction with the 3/4" plywood (or 1x3 hardwood). Looks like it's designed just for this purpose. I *could* also double the king stud in this case...which would just require a larger hole in the drywall...but I'll do it if it means a stronger support.


Square Eye 10-10-2006 09:17 PM

The strong-ties are fine, but the plywood under would be kind of iffy...
3/4" Hardwood would be the best choice, but you will need to predrill every nail or screw that penetrates it.

Keep your eyes open for cracking in the corner over this narrow board, I have seen a header crush on it's cripple stud. Going from 1 1/2" bearing to 3/4" bearing will make a difference.

Snoonyb 10-11-2006 05:40 AM

Is your house a single or multi-story?

Quattro 10-11-2006 06:37 AM

Hey there,

it is a single story with a full-size basement. This is on the main floor. The house is mainly shaped like an "L", and this is very near the inside corner of the "L".

My plan is this: rip out enough drywall to get to the other side of the king stud. Mate another stud to the king stud, remove the old door, put up a temporary header support centered in the R.O., remove the jack stud (this could be difficult), add the 3/4" plywood strip where the jack stud was, place the Header Hanger over everything (could also be a problem if the sheathing on the exterior of the wall is in the way!), remove temporary support, and then begin the new door install.


Square Eye 10-11-2006 09:46 AM

Replacing the jack stud with plywood may not work. Obviuosly, an exterior wall at the inside of an 'L' is in a load bearing wall. The jack stud holds the weight of the header, in a 6ft span, you'd be surprised how much weight the header is supporting. I'd much rather use 3/4" Oak or Maybe Yellow pine for the new jack stud. Plywood can shear apart in the situation you are describing. Your temporary support needs to be within 6"-12" of the jack stud that you are replacing. Placing the temporary support too far away from the original load point can lead to problems by changing the point of load on the header. There is no reason to put another stud in the wall. Save your drywall and those headaches.You wil have to cut the exterior sheathing for the new space and the siding will have to be cut to match the new offset of the door opening.

bethany14 10-11-2006 01:29 PM

*note* this is from a rookie...

Could you use a metal hangar/bracket attaching the header to the king stud, thus alleviating the the weight on the mini-jack stud? Or at least to add strength to the weakened support?

repeat disclaimer: this is merely an idea from someone with only slight experience!!!

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