Last week I told you how to remove your old sliding glass door in preparation for the vinyl replacement door installation. Let’s go over the installation procedure for both the retrofit style and replacement style frames.
Let’s start with the update framework. Like the retrofit window, the door will have a 2 “edge flush with the outside edge of the frame. The difference between the retrofit window frame and the retrofit door frame is the absence of the edge at the bottom of the frame. the door due to the threshold. Your door will have the trim on both sides and on the top. Most of the installation process is the same, be it a retrofit frame or a replacement frame. The first thing you need to do is check if the floor is level. If the base is not level, add shims to create a level base. This step is very important, because if you have a sloped bottom, the entire frame will come out of square. You will have trouble locking the door and the air infiltration problems. Therefore, use shims to level the base. If possible, use a long shim to create a solid base for the weight of the door. Before setting the door in place, place a drop of e liquid nails From one end to the other, place the shims on top of the liquid nails and run a long bead of putty on the outer face of the opening where the modernization lip will make contact with the outer surface. Caulk the sides and top.
Now snap the door into place, taking care to lift the door and place the bottom rail on top of the shims, rather than dragging the bottom. Obviously this requires two people, one on each side. Angle the top away from the opening as you snap the bottom into place. Then lift the top up until the edge of the mod contacts the outer surface where you put the putty on. The reason I use liquid bottom nails instead of putty is because I don’t like putting screws on the bottom, and the liquid nail product is only as good as screws when dry. Have your helper hold the frame in place while you plumb in and secure the door. Place a level on the jamb where the slider will lock. Plumb the jamb and install shims where you placed the screws. You should place one about 6 inches from the top and another 6 inches from the bottom. A good quality door will have long screws shipped with the door that are replacements for the small screws that hold the locking hardware to the jamb. Be sure to wedge where these screws are installed. Now if you leveled the bottom and plumbed the side, the top and opposite side should automatically be square. Shim the opposite jamb and insert the installation screws. Install 3 to 4 screws in the jamb. Next, run your tape measure from the upper right corner to the lower left corner. Make a note of that measurement. Measure from opposite corners, and the measurement should be the same if your frame is square. Finally, put a screw in the top center. You don’t really need more than one. It is not necessary to use shims, since there will be no load or torsion on the upper head. Just don’t over-tighten the screw, otherwise the frame will bow.
At this point you should have the frame installed in the opening with the fixed panel already glazed from the factory. This is where you want to install the sliding panel. Enter from inside the house. Set it aside and spray a generous amount of lubricant on the steel rollers to help them rotate freely. Wipe off excess before placing panel. Remember to lift the upper part on the header as much as possible, then flip the lower part over the edge and place it on the rail. If the bottom does not go over the bottom lip, you will need to adjust the bottom rollers to fit the frame. You should see a hole in the side rail to insert a screwdriver and turn the adjusting screw counterclockwise to lift the rollers out of the way. After placing the rollers on the rail, be sure to re-adjust them before sliding the door. Ask your helper to lift the side up as you turn the adjusting screw clockwise. Do both sides, then slide the door closed and check that the daylight is the same from top to bottom. If there is more daylight at the top or bottom, adjust the rollers so that the door panel is flush with the jamb. Adjust the lock. Each door should come with lock adjustment instructions. Install the screen door outside. Now seal the crack between the adapter lip and the outer surface. Enter and fill the space between the frame and the wall studs with R-13 insulation. The last step is to trim the interior. We sell vinyl trim designed to trim the interior without painting, staining, or nailing. You can view trim samples and prices on the website’s purchase page.
Now, the replacement frame installation process is the same, except there is no adaptive trim. Therefore, when placing the frame in the opening, you must plumb the side jambs from two places instead of one. In addition to installing the jamb from left to right in the opening, you must also install it from the inside out because you don’t have the matching edge to keep your frame flush with the outside wall. Also, you need to apply trim both outside and inside. You can use a basic vinyl flat edge for the exterior, which is also available on the purchase page. Be sure to caulk the exterior trim where it meets the surrounding surface. I’ll be on vacation next week, but next week’s article will be about the best and safest way to install replacement windows on the second floor.