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Details Détails

Install a sliding patio door

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 1 Day

It may become necessary to replace a sliding patio door if the glass is broken, the casing is damaged, or if the structure is leaking or letting in drafts. Otherwise, new patio doors are often installed at the same time as building a deck, by opening up an exterior wall.

Several steps are involved in this process, which is relatively simple but requires care and precision. Accurate measuring and adjusting are the keys to a successful installation.

A helper is also required for this job, as the doors are big and heavy and therefore difficult to handle alone.


Tools and materials required


  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pry bar
  • Caulking gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Snips
  • Stapler
  • Driver drill
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Square
  • Tenon saw (or dovetail, flush-cutting or back saw)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife


  • Patio door (in its frame)
  • Flexible self-adhesive flashing
  • Drip edge
  • PVC trim (if standard door)
  • Building paper or roofing felt
  • Cedar shims, 1 ½" wide
  • 3" No. 8 screws
  • Insulation (wool or foam)
  • Interior trim (the old trim can be reused)
  • Finishing nails
  • Exterior caulk

Before Assembly

This project describes how to replace a patio door, of which there are two types: custom or standard. Some of the steps may not apply to your installation. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

A custom patio door is made to fit the size and thickness of a specific wall opening. It therefore has to be made to order. Custom doors are used mainly with new builds, where the exterior siding does not generally come right up to the rough opening. These doors come with brick moulding (or brick mould) – the trim that covers the gap between the rough opening and the exterior siding (which may or may not be made of brick).

A standard patio door comes with a simple box frame. This type of door, available in-store, is used mainly for installations where a new opening is cut in an existing wall. Standard doors do not require brick moulding because the exterior siding comes right up to the wall opening.

When replacing a patio door, choose the same type as the old one. It is possible to replace a standard door with a custom door, but since the new custom door will be framed with brick moulding, you will need to cut away the exterior siding around the opening, and this can be tricky if the siding is made of brick.

Brick moulding sometimes comes with a strip at the back that forms a channel into which the vinyl siding slots. This strip is only used when installing new vinyl siding and must be removed if the siding is made of brick or if the old vinyl siding is to be reused.

In the case of a new installation, keep some plywood boards handy to cover the opening if the project is not completed the same day. Another way to avoid leaving an open hole in the wall is to remove the siding at the last minute.


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climatisation, ossature-du-sous-sol, beton-jointement, beton-escaliers, beton-surface, chauffage, longueur, capacite-liquide, ventilation, volume, poids

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