Large Sliding Patio Doors Installation: DIY or Not?

sliding patio doors

Ahhhh! The Texas Lifestyle! Even though our seasons can have hot and humid weather, we still love outdoor living! Having a pool and comfortable seating to enjoy the outdoors while watching our family members or local wildlife play is very enjoyable. Firing up the BBQ and inviting friends and neighbors over for some delicious grilled food is a Southern tradition. Houston Window Experts can add large sliding patio doors to fulfill your open space living room ideas.

Having a beautiful backyard is much more functional and enjoyable when there is easy access to the space. Whether you have an existing door or not, adding a large sliding patio door, garden door or French door adds significant value and benefits to a home, enhancing both its functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Here are some of the Key Advantages of Large Sliding Patio Doors:

1. Increased Natural Light
Large sliding patio doors typically have big glass panels that allow more natural light to enter the home. This can make the interior spaces appear larger and more welcoming.

2. Improved Access to Outdoor Areas
These doors provide seamless access to outdoor spaces like patios, gardens, or backyards, making it easier to enjoy and utilize these areas.

3. Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal
Modern sliding doors come in a range of styles and finishes that can enhance the architectural beauty of a home. They can serve as a focal point in a room or complement the existing decor.

4. Energy Efficiency
Many modern sliding patio doors are designed with energy efficiency in mind, featuring double or triple-pane glass that reduces heat transfer. This can help in maintaining consistent indoor temperatures and reducing energy costs.

5. Space Saving
Unlike traditional hinged doors, sliding doors do not require swing space. They open and close within the same plane, which is particularly beneficial in homes where space is at a premium.

6. Increased Property Value
Installing a high-quality sliding patio door can increase the market value of a home. Potential buyers often view such upgrades as a desirable feature that enhances both the functionality and aesthetic of the property.

7. Improved Indoor/Outdoor Flow
They can help in creating a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, which is ideal for entertaining guests or enjoying a cohesive living environment.

8. Safety and Security
Modern sliding doors often come equipped with advanced locking mechanisms that can improve the security of a home. Additionally, the use of toughened or laminated glass can enhance safety.

9. Customization Options
Homeowners can choose from a variety of materials, colors, and glass options to customize their doors according to their specific preferences and needs.

10. Ease of Use
Sliding doors operate smoothly and are easy to open and close, which is convenient for all users, including those with limited mobility.

By adding or replacing a sliding patio door, homeowners not only enhance the livability and appeal of their property but also potentially increase its resale value.

sliding patio door

Can I install a patio door myself?
Installing a patio door can be a DIY project, but it requires a moderate level of skill in carpentry and home improvement. If you have experience with similar projects, the right tools, and a good understanding of the steps involved, you can consider doing it yourself. However, here are a few considerations:

  • Skill Level: Ensure you are comfortable with tasks such as measuring, leveling, and handling large frames. Mistakes in installation can lead to issues like drafts, leaks, or operational problems.
  • Tools and Materials: You will need specific tools such as a level, drill, hammer, caulking gun, and a circular saw. Also, consider the cost of these tools if you don’t already own them.
  • Help: It’s advisable to have at least one strong helper due to the size and weight of the patio doors.
  • Time Commitment: The process can take anywhere from 5 to 11 hours. Make sure you have enough time to dedicate to this project.
  • Safety: Handling glass and heavy frames can be hazardous. Proper safety gear and precautions are necessary.

If you’re not confident in your ability to install a sliding patio door or if the installation involves complex adjustments to your home’s structure, it might be safer and more efficient to hire the professionals at Houston Window Experts. This ensures the job is done correctly and can help avoid any potential issues with the installation.

large patio doors houston

How long does it take to remove and install a patio door?
The time it takes to remove and install a patio door can vary depending on several factors including the type of door, the condition of the existing frame, the need for structural modifications, and the skill level of the installer. Other considerations are the weather forecast; domestic pet and family safety; and wildlife access. Here’s a general breakdown:

  1. Preparation: Before the actual installation, the area needs to be prepared. This includes removing curtains, blinds, or any furniture near the door area to make room for the work. This can take about 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Removal of the Old Door: The removal of the existing patio door can take about 1 to 2 hours. This involves taking out the old door frame and clearing any sealants or fixatives used.
  3. Preparation of the Opening: Once the old door is removed, the opening needs to be prepared for the new door. This might involve cleaning the area, making minor repairs to the surrounding wall, and ensuring that the opening is level and square. This step can take 1 to 2 hours, depending on the condition after removing the old door.
  4. Installation of the New Door: Installing the new patio door involves setting it into place, ensuring it is level, plumb, and square, securing it with screws or nails, and then sealing it to prevent drafts and water leakage. This step can take 2 to 4 hours.
  5. Finishing Touches: After the door is installed, additional tasks such as installing trim, applying caulk around the door frame, and reinstalling any blinds or curtains are necessary. This can take about 1 to 2 hours.

Overall, the entire process of removing an old patio door and installing a new one typically ranges from 5 to 11 hours. You will always need two strong people, minimum. This can be spread over one or two days, depending on the complexity of the job and the working conditions.

For a professional installation team, like our crews at Houston Window Experts, the process will be faster due to their experience and efficiency. For a DIY project, additional time might be required, especially if the person is not experienced with such tasks. Always consider having at least one helper for safety and efficiency reasons.

What are rough openings for patio doors?
Standard sizes for sliding patio doors, garden doors, and French doors vary, but here are some common dimensions:

Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors come in a variety of sizes and configurations:

  • Width: Standard widths for sliding patio doors are typically 60 inches (5 feet), 72 inches (6 feet), or 96 inches (8 feet).
  • Height: The standard height is usually 80 inches (6 feet 8 inches).

Garden Doors
Garden doors resemble French doors but often have one door fixed. They come in similar sizes:

  • Width: Common total widths are the same as French doors, ranging from 48 inches (4 feet) to 72 inches (6 feet).
  • Height: Standard heights are usually 80 inches (6 feet 8 inches).

French Doors
French doors give a wider opening due to both doors are on hinges. One door is typically used for in and out access while the second door is anchored. Release the anchor and you have a double-wide opening:

  • Width: Each door in a pair of French doors typically measures 24 inches to 36 inches wide, leading to total openings of 48 inches (4 feet), 60 inches (5 feet), or 72 inches (6 feet).
  • Height: The standard height for French doors is also 80 inches (6 feet 8 inches).

These are the most typical sizes. Custom sizes can be made to fit specific openings. It’s important to measure the existing door or opening accurately before purchasing a new door to ensure it will fit properly. You remember the rule “measure twice, cut once”, right? Ending up with the wrong sized door can be an expensive and time-consuming nightmare.

Should patio doors slide inside or outside?
In a typical sliding patio door setup, one panel is fixed and does not move, while the other panel is operable and slides open. The sliding panel can either be on the left or right side, depending on the design and installation preferences.

Some sliding patio doors have more than just the standard two panels. Doors can be configured with two sliding panels with each side having a fixed panel. These are really wide and heavy and left to professional installation crews.

As for whether the sliding panel moves on the inside or outside, most residential sliding patio doors are designed to slide on the inside track. This design helps protect the sliding mechanism from the elements and reduces exposure to rain, dirt, and potential damage from the outside environment. This setup also enhances security, as the operating mechanism is not easily accessible from the outside.

Schedule a patio door installation today!

Houston Window Experts truck on a job

Contact us today for an appointment with one of our low-pressure window and door consultants. You’ll get a realistic pricing proposal as well as a timeline for your project. Houston Window Experts guarantees your satisfaction. Our selection of manufacturers, styles and sizes are second to none!

We are the Houston Window Experts! Contact us today for a Free Consultation on how we can help with your window needs. You may also call us directly by dialing 832-900-7024.

Our Services include: Replacement Windows Houston, TX metro area. Houston Window Experts is a privately owned and operated company in Houston TX. For more information about us, please write to info [at] or call our Houston office at (832)900-7024. All material is copyright of Houston Window Experts. Houston, TX.