How to Replace Sliding Doors and Windows

How to Replace Sliding Doors and Windows

If there’s one thing that dates a home more than anything else, it’s its doors and windows. While walls can be re-painted and floors can be re-tiled to modernise a home, it much more challenging to replace or even improve the look of old doors and windows.

Doors and windows are usually only replaced in a full home renovation. This is because, while the task of replacing them isn’t all that difficult, to do so, a lot of a home’s interior is affected. Architraves, plasterboard, and tiles will all receive damage. A home’s exterior is also likely to be affected; render, brickwork and cladding are prone to receive damage in the replacement process. Thus, it’s easy to see why the task of replacing sliding doors and windows is often pushed aside to the  ‘too hard basket’.

Although replacing sliding doors and windows is indeed a process, it’s a process well worth the effort. It’s been said, “new sliding doors and windows have a way of making an old home appear like new”, and I have to agree with this statement.

If you’re looking to replace your doors and windows, then left this article act as the defining guide on how to replace them. Continue reading to discover how to remove and install new doors and windows, along with a few important considerations to make in the process.

And of course, when it is time to choose your sliding doors and windows, head into our showroom in Guildford, Perth to check out our new doors and windows display!

Reasons for Replacing Sliding Doors and Windows

First, let’s look at some of the most common reasons to want to replace doors and windows, starting with the most common of all, home renovation.

Replacing doors and windows during a home renovation makes a considerable difference to the overall look of a home, especially if you’re doing a full home renovation. You don’t want to invest $100,000 + into a renovation only to have dated door frames and window frames letting you down. By replacing doors and windows, you will improve the overall appearance of your home, along with its energy efficiency.

Damaged or irreparable doors and windows present another good reason to have them replaced, as too is burglary. If replacing like for like, meaning replacing the old doors and windows for new, which are of the same size, this is relatively quick and straightforward, taking around 1-2 hours to replace each.

Replacement Considerations

First thing’s first. Before removing architraves, before looking at new replacement options, there are more than a few considerations to make.

Changing size or location

If you’re replacing like for like, then the process will be reasonably straightforward. However, if you cannot find the same size or you’re looking to make some bigger or smaller, then you need to consider the consequential effects of creating new openings and blocking up old openings. If you have a brick home, you will need to hire a concrete cutter to create new openings, and you will also have to hire a bricklayer to brick up the existing openings. If your home is rendered, you will also need to hire a renderer. If you have a cladded home, the task is much easier; simply replace old openings with new cladding and create new openings.

Structural Integrity

If you plan on changing the size or location of some or all doors and windows, etc., your home’s structural integrity may be compromised. In this case, a structural engineer may need to be engaged to ensure the new components can hold under a load.  In most cases, this isn’t too big of a problem to cover come – you may just need to add heads above the doors and larger windows to support the load. A structural engineer can advise on the requirements. However, development plans should be submitted to the Council for approval before such works commence.

Replacement Instructions

The first step to replacing existing sliding doors and windows is to be prepaid. Ensure you have the right tools and safety equipment for the job.

Required tools will include the likes of:

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Screwdriver
  • Power Drill with 3mm bit
  • Pry Bar
  • Tape Measure
  • Spirit Level
  • Fixing Nails or Screws
  • Packers
  • Staple Gun & Nails

It’s important to note that sliding doors and windows should be fitted as per the manufactures instructions. This article is a general guide only.

How to replace sliding doors

Before you can install new sliding doors, you must first remove the existing sliding door, so let’s start by doing that.

Remove existing sliding door

  1. Start by removing the architraves that surround the door frame by using a hammer and chisel to reveal the door frame.
  2. Next, you need to remove the sliding door panels.
    1. Locate the cap at the bottom vertical edge of the sliding just above the rollers.
    2. Remove the cap to reveal access to the adjusting screw.
    3. Use a screwdriver to adjust the screw to lower the door.
    4. Repeat this action for the cap at the other end of the sliding door panel.
    5. You should now be able to lift the panel off the rollers and from the tracks and remove the panel.
  3. Next, remove the flyscreen – you should be able to just lift this right off the track.
  4. Remove the fixed panel next.
    1. Locate the cap at the top of the fixed panel which fixes the panel in place. Use a chisel to get under this and lift it from the track.
    2. Removing the cap will reveal a screw or fastening. Remove this next, along with any other visible screws or fixings around the frame. The panel should now be able to slide along the track.
    3. Move the panel across the track to where the opening used to be. Doing so will move the panel off the block it sits on.
    4. You should now be able to lift the panel from the tracks and remove the panel.
  5. Remove the sliding door frame and jamb
    1. Use a power drill to remove all screws connecting the frame to the door jamb.
    2. Use a pry bar and hammer to pry the jamb away from the stud.
    3. Move to the exterior of the door and remove any cladding or framework holding the door in place.
    4. You should be able to then give the door a push from the inside to remove the door frame and jamb from the studs ready for the new door.

With the existing sliding door now removed, you are all set to install your new sliding door. Installing sliding doors is a two-person job, so before you start, make sure you have a mate on hand to help.

Install new sliding doors

  1. If using flashing, it first needs to be fixed to the face of the wall stud. Do this with a staple gun.
  2. Next, take a spirit level to ensure the floor surface is level and use packers to level the surface if required.
  3. Place a mark on the reveal jambs 100mm from the top, 100mm from the bottom and in the centre.
  4. Predrill these marks with a 3mm drill bit.
  5. Place the door into the opening from the outside.
  6. Overhang the reveal back into the house by 10mm (to allow for plasterboard).
  7. Fix nails into the six predrilled holes to fix the reveals to the studs, but don’t nail them in all the way.
  8. Now, using a spirit level, check that the door is plumb and square. Make any adjustments if required. Slide open the door to make sure it’s operating correctly.
  9. If you’re happy with the position, you can now add packers above the fixing nails and hammer them in all the way.
  10. Complete the installation by framing the door with new architraves.

How to replace sliding windows

Before a new sliding window can be installed, the existing sliding window must first be removed. So let’s start by doing that.

Remove existing sliding window

  1. Start by removing the architraves that surround the window frame by using a hammer and chisel to reveal the frame. Do the same for exterior trim.
  2. Next, remove the sliding glass window panel. Simply lift the panel to the top of the track and tilt the bottom inwards to free the panel from the track.
  3. Next, remove the flyscreen – you should be able to just lift this right off the track.
  4. Finally, removal of the window frame and reveal.
    1. Use a pry bar and hammer to pry the reveal away from the stud. If you have trouble doing this, get a reciprocating saw with a metal blade and slide between the stud and reveal to cut through the fixing nails.
    2. You should be able to then give the window a push from the inside to remove the window frame and reveal from the studs ready for the new door.

With the existing sliding window now removed, you are all set to install your new sliding window. Installing large sliding windows is a two-person job, so if you have large windows to install, make sure you have a mate on hand to help.

Install new sliding window

  1. If using flashing, it first needs to be fixed to the face of the wall stud. Do this with a staple gun.
  2. Next, take a spirit level to ensure the frame surface is level and use packers to level the surface if required.
  3. Place a mark on the reveal jambs 100mm from the top, 100mm from the bottom and in the centre.
  4. Predrill these marks with a 3mm drill bit.
  5. Place the window into the opening from the outside.
  6. Overhang the reveal back into the house by 10mm (to allow for plasterboard).
  7. Fix nails into the six predrilled holes to fix the reveals to the studs, but don’t nail them in all the way.
  8. Now, using a spirit level, check that the window is plumb and square. Make any adjustments if required. Slide open window door to make sure it’s operating correctly.
  9. If you’re happy with the position, you can now add packers above the fixing nails and hammer them in all the way.
  10. Complete the installation by framing the window with new architraves.

Conclusion

One sure way to rejuvenate a home, and take up to 20-30 years off its age is to replace old sliding doors and windows with new. For this reason, home renovations are the most common reason for having them replaced; however, damages and burglaries are also common reasons.

When looking to have sliding windows and doors replaced in Perth, there are some considerations to make before jumping into the process. For instance, are you looking to change the location and or size of the windows? In which case, the structural integrity of your home may be compromised, and it is best to consult a structural engineer.

The process of removing existing doors and windows is more complicated than the installation process; therefore, more care should be taken to prevent damage to existing brickwork or cladding. Various tools are also required to remove and install windows. However, with the right tools, and by following the manufactures installation guidelines, the process of removing existing sliding doors and windows, along with installing the new is relatively straightforward.

If you are shopping for sliding doors and windows in Perth, be sure to request a quote from Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We stock a wide range of sliding doors and windows in an array of sizes and configurations, and we can take Special Orders for other types. We also have a brand new doors and windows display at our Guildford showroom, which we welcome you to visit before placing an order.

View our range online or visit us in-store.