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Home: How to Articles from Remodeling to General Fix It's: How to Repair Your Sliding Glass Door

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How to Repair Your Sliding Glass Door

Written by; Carter Harris / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Tue Aug 25 2009


Sliding glass doors are the most common home gateway to the backyard, deck, or patio. But sometimes as a house settles, the sliding glass door goes a little off true and becomes harder to operate. But there are many basic repairs you can do yourself.

You'll need:

A screwdriver
A helper

If your sliding glass door becomes difficult to open and shut, the first thing to do is to see if it is no longer square with the frame. Telltale signs of this include a slight crack at the top or bottom where you can see a little daylight as you attempt to move the door back and forth.

If this is the case with your door, adjusting the rolling wheels will sometimes help. Normally there are two roller wheels under the door to make it roll easily in its track. First look for little holes in the face of the bottom part of the frame. They may be plugged holes, with removable caps. You can put a screwdriver into the holes to move the wheels higher or lower by turning the adjustment screws.

Sometimes the latch and handle mechanism becomes worn. But replacing a sliding glass door handle is easy once you have the correct hardware for the job. You may have to search online at TCCN for one of these. Home improvement or hardware stores don't always have them. To make sure you have the right handle, you may have to remove the old handle, measure it, and use those measurements to come up with the right replacements. You'll need a measure of the door's thickness, style and strike of the jamb, and the distance between the holes drilled in the door where the handle attaches. If you buy a new handle, it is a good idea to go ahead and upgrade to a better lock. Old style sliding glass doors were amazingly easy to break into.

Hopefully it won't come to this, but you can shim the door. You'll have to remove the interior trim, where you'll see how the frame was originally shimmed and installed. You'll probably find out that it is not in perfect alignment. If you loosen the screws that secure the door frame, then re-align the door, shimming it as needed, you can get it back in square. Once you've done this, screw the frame back in place, then reattach trim molding. A bonus of having your sliding glass door aligned properly is that it works more smoothly and is more energy efficient, reducing drafts.

Home maintenance involves keeping your sliding glass door operating properly. A sliding glass door that's out of true is difficult to open and close and can create drafts that increase your energy costs. But some of the most common repairs to sliding glass doors can be accomplished if you have the time to do them.


Copyright: 2009

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