You’ve finally come to the point where you’re trying to remove the sliding glass door. Luckily, you don’t need a contractor to do it for you.
There are plenty of reasons that can make you want to remove your sliding doors. You can clean them up, or you can clean their track for better functionality.
You can also replace the rollers, or you’re looking to get a full renovation.
For any of those cases, you’ll find all the steps you need on how to remove glass sliding door. So without any further delay, let’s get this job done.
How to Remove a Glass Sliding Door: Step by Step
Removing a glass door is a fairly easy job but before we get into that you’ll need some tools.
For the record, this whole process can be done without any power tools. But we’ll include them in our list just for your convenience.
Tools and materials:
-Flathead or Phillips head screwdriver
-Scraper tool or putty knife
-Hammer with claw
Let’s get to the sliding door removal process.
Step One: Remove the Sliding Panel
Start by partially opening the sliding door to reveal the holes on both sides of the door. Usually, they’ll be covered by a small plastic cap.
Inside those holes there is the roller adjustment screw that you need to unscrew to loosen the rollers, this will give you more leverage to remove the sliding door from its track.
To loosen the screw, turn it counterclockwise and never forget; righty tighty, lefty loosey. Just
make sure you don’t fully remove the screw, you’re only loosening it.
Don’t use a screw gun or any sort of power tool with the adjustment screw. These tools can strip down the screw which will cause unnecessary work to remove the broken screw. Which is not what you’re looking for. Flathead or Phillips head screwdrivers will safely do the job.
Be careful that the glass doesn’t fall out at any point as this can make it break!
Step Two: Remove the Fixed Panel
In some cases, you might have a fixed glass panel, removing it can be a little different than the sliding door panel.
To remove it you’ll have to start by removing the parts that are blocking it from sliding. If you look at the upper tracks you should see a long plastic cap that’s covering it. This cap starts from the end of the fixed panel and goes all the way to the end of the tracks.
To remove the plastic cover, wiggle a scraper in and push it up. This should pop the plastic cover out right away.
Underneath that cover, there will either be a screw, a wood block, or any sort of object to block the panel from sliding. Remove that as well.
You’ll be now left with a couple of screws holding the panel directly to the frame, they should go away too.
Finally, slowly slide the panel all the way to the empty end of the frame, gently lift it up and pull it towards you and it should pop out.
Step Three: Remove the Screen Door
Removing the screen door is the easiest step in this project, no tools are required for this part. Screen doors usually have a spring-loaded clip on the top. This is what fixes it to the frame.
To remove it, simply hold the screen door from both sides for better handling.
Now comes the rocket science part. Lift the screen up to push the spring-loaded clips into the screen door.
With the screen door held up, pull the bottom part of the door towards you until the door is out of the bottom tracks.
Slowly pull the door down to release the pressure from the clips and pull the door off of the top tracks. And at this point, the screen door will be completely taken off.
Step Four: Prepping the Frame
At this point, you can call it a day. If you’re removing the sliding doors to clean them up or for any other reason and planning to put them back on, this step will not be necessary.
However, if you’re planning to do a full renovation and looking to remove the whole doors and tracks, then this step is for you.
Removing the frame is the part where you’ll need some power tools. So gear up, put your safety glasses on, and let’s get this over with.
If you look around the inside of the tracks, you’ll find screws going all the way around the whole frame. With the screw gun, remove those screws carefully until they’re all out.
Now you’ll have to step outside to remove the metal flange or some call it a nailing flange. This is what attaches the frame to the house.
Usually, the flange will be hiding under the exterior door case. Sometimes it can be found underneath the siding. But don’t worry we’ve got you covered in case you find either of those.
Exterior Door Case
To remove the case, slide up a pry bar behind the casing. Slowly and carefully wiggle it out until the nails holding the case start to come loose. Repeat the same process on all sides.
Dealing with siding can be a little tricky since removing it is not an option. So you’re only left with cutting it.
With a circular saw cut the siding about an inch and a half. This would be enough to expose the flanges. You’ll do this all around the whole of the frame.
If you replace the frame in the future, you’ll be left with a gap between the siding and the metal frame. But this can be easily fixed with brick moulding.
Step Five: Removing the Frame
You’ve finally exposed the metal flanges around the door frame. All you have to do is pry off the nails holding it and you’ll feel it come loose.
To finish up this project you need to wiggle the metal frame until it comes off. If it doesn’t, check again for any screws you might have missed in the previous step.
Adhesive caulking can also cause the frame to remain stuck to the floor. To remove it, slide a pry bar underneath the frame and slowly pry it up along the length of the bottom frame.
Cleaning sliding door tracks can help as well.
Can you replace sliding glass doors without replacing the frame?
Yes, this is possible. You have to find doors that fit in the frame. Check the brand and model number on your sliding door. This is typically printed on the slider.
Once you have found this, you can reach out to the brand and see if they offer the same or a similar model.
In most instances, it is quite easy to install a new door if you can keep the frame. You will have to remove a few screws and the door (see above). Installing the new door involves adding a few screws and getting the door back in place.
This whole process should only take a few hours.
Keep in mind that wooden frames only last about a decade. Aluminum frames can last several decades but they are more expensive.
Removing a glass sliding door is not a difficult job but it’ll take a little bit of time and preparation to get it done.
If you divide the whole process into sections. You’ll be dealing with a list of four tasks. The sliding panel, the fixed panel, the screen door, and finally the frame.
This will make it easier to access your patio and porch.
With the proper tools and a little bit of elbow grease, you can easily take down this project on your own.