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HomeFixHow To Install French Patio Doors

How To Install French Patio Doors

Install The New Doors

Installing ReliaBilt Double Door Sliding Patio Door and Removing French Doors from Lowes

Regardless of the type and size of the door and what materials its made from, each set of doors will come with its own instructions. To prepare for the installation work, the window fitter will use string to ensure that the opening is straight and plumb both in a vertical and horizontal direction.

On each side of the frame, the string should be attached to all corners. A perfect X shape should be achieved with the strings crossing over one other, proving that the opening is just right. Lastly, its time to ensure that the floor is level. Shims and packers can be used if its not.

In order to seal rough parts of the opening, outdoor calk or a similar water-resistant sealant must be applied. The opening should be given time to dry before moving onto the next phase of the installation.

Once the opening has dried, the doors should be slid into the bottom threshold, and a rubber mallet may be used to gently tap them into position. If the doors are pre-hung in the frame, then a second set of hands will certainly be needed to put them into place. Shims/packers can be used to make the doors level if needed.

At this point, the installers will test the doors to check that they open and close smoothly. Now, its time to fix the frame into position. Per the manufacturers instructions, nails or screws can be employed to achieve this.

Remove The Existing Structure

On the day of the installation work, the first practical step will be to remove what is currently present. This might mean removing existing doors, an existing window, or making a new opening by knocking down part of a wall.

Assuming that, more than likely, existing doors are being removed, this will start with the removal of the hinges. Next, the frame should be removed before the opening is checked to ensure that it is clean and smooth.

If its not, then some old elements like rotting timber should be replaced.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Patio Door

There are a range of patio door ideas to choose from, depending on desired aesthetics, thermal performance and security.

‘The most obvious factor is how the doors look and perform,’ says Edward from IDSystems.

‘Looking at the system in person is vital, so you get an understanding of exactly what it is youre ordering. There are lots of systems on the market that might look similar in pictures, but its only when you get up-close and see how the doors operate that youll be able to get a feel for the quality and usability.’

The desired functionality of the doors comes into play, too. ‘Within the same opening, you can get more of a clear opening with French or folding doors.

On the other hand, you can achieve a greater viewing area in a sliding door due to the typically thinner profiles that allow for more glass,’ says Brent Wright, doors product manager at Milgard.

Dont forget to consider the interior layout of the space, either. ‘For instance, a sliding door doesnt require any space beyond the opening, whereas a swinging door needs space to open into,’ continues Brent.

Before setting your heart on a product, establish what kind of threshold you want. For example, if youre keen to create a sleek, flush transition from inside to out, this needs to be factored in at the start of the project, before the doors are ordered. This allows for the adequate preparation of the aperture.

Always check the systems weather rating with your supplier before placing your order.

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Patio Door Replacement Costs

The desire for upgrades or need to repair damage may lead you to consider replacing all or part of your existing patio door. Start by determining the scope of the problem and the items to be replaced. All costs below include a price between $100 and $300 for disposal of waste and existing materials, typically quoted as part of the overall replacement cost.

Securing And Installing Trim

French Patio Door Installation  Hamilton, Indiana ...

After ensuring that the door is sitting level to the frame, secure them in place. Using three fastening nails into each of the jambs should be enough to properly secure them. If you used shims, make sure to nail them into the frame or jambs accordingly.

Now, its time to place insulation to fill in the cracks that exist along the jambs. The best insulation should fill in those spaces without having to be forced to do so and will ensure that your French doors are efficient.

Finally, install the trim kits or the old trim over the frame. The trim will cover the insulation and provide a more pleasant aesthetic, bringing your project to completion.

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Insert Bottom Of Door First

Insert Bottom of Door First

Use the long level and carpenter’s square to make sure the inside of the opening is square and true.

Bring the door up to the opening for installation, sliding the bottom of the door in first. To check square, measure diagonally from corner to corner of the frame. Also check for plumb with a level.

Remove The Stationary Panel

  • Pry the stationary panel free of the frame at the top and bottom, slitting caulk or paint as necessary with a utility knife.
  • Tip it inward and lift it free.
  • Pry off the exterior trim.
  • Use a reciprocating saw with a longer bimetal blade to cut between the framing and the door jamb.
  • You will cut through the insulation, fasteners and shims.
  • With the head and side jambs cut free, tip the frame from the top to the outside.
  • Pro tip: Most likely, the threshold will be glued to the floor with beads of sealant, and it may take substantial prying with a flat bar to free it.
  • Once the frame is out of the opening, cut it into chunks for disposal.
    • Begin flashing at the bottom.
    • Apply flexible flashing directly under the doorsill and two inches up the sides.
    • Flexible flashing comes in 4- to 6-in.-wide rolls and has a sticky side so it adheres to the underlying surfaces.
  • It’s imperative that the flashing laps well over any or weather barrier below the door.
  • You may have to overlap two rows to get the necessary coverage.
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    How To Fit French Doors

    Whilst fitting French doors isn’t as complex or involved as installing other external or internal doors. But it’s a task you’ll want to undertake with a little help. Also, it’s definitely not for DIY newbies. If you feel like this is you, it would pay to look for an experienced professional or asking the manufacturers themselves for advice. Whether you’re installing interior or exterior French doors, you’ll need a decent set of tools. Also, don’t forget your safety goggles!

    Interior If you’re installing internal French doors, first, remove the old frame with your hammer and pry bar. As you’re doing so, be careful not to damage the trim. This is not a job you want to rush. You’ll need to use a fair amount of force, but if you overdo it you’ll need to redo the trim, which will be pricey. Next, make sure your opening is perfectly square using your square and level. If it’s not 100% square, but is workable, get your sanding paper out.

    If it’s wonky, you might want to consider calling in a professional to even it out. Next, using the instructions supplied with the kit, install it in the opening using shims to keep it held securely in place. Before you screw the frame in, pick up the doors and place them gently in the frame, making sure they both fit and open smoothly. You’ll want a helper for this part!

    How To Install Self Adjusting Spring Hinges

    MIWD French Rail Patio Door Handle Removal and Installation

    Every screen door NEEDS to slam, or at least self close. So I learned there are hinges with springs inside them. Better yet, you can even pick up adjustable spring hinges, meaning, you can adjust how tight you want the springs for the right slamming effect. SOLD!

    I googled on the right placement for the hinges, and penciled them in at 6 down from the top of the door and 9 from the bottom of the door.

    The brackets were held at the right placements, then I made pencil marks through the holes.

    Each hole was predrilled. This saves your wood from splitting, plus makes building easier.

    If you have a Makita tool kit like THIS, you will have everything you need. Get this kit!

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    Upvc French Doors Cost

    Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride or uPVC tends to be the cheapest option when it comes to French doors with an average supply cost of £700 to £900. uPVC French doors are still a great way of insulating your home.

    uPVC is a durable and long-lasting material, and if you already have plenty of uPVC windows throughout your home, uPVC French doors would be a good fit. That said, they lack some of the aesthetic qualities that other materials can offer.


    Cheapest material for French doors


    Fits well with uPVC windows


    Not the most aesthetically pleasing

    Unit Costs: How Pros Price

    Unlike websites which blend pricing from dissimilar jobs, Homewyse creates custom estimates from Unit Costs. The Unit Cost method is based on job specific detail and current costs. Contracting, trade, design and maintenance businesses rely on the Unit Cost method for transparency, accuracy and fair profits.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Install French Doors

    It costs about £1765 to £2165 to replace existing French doors. However, if youd like to turn an existing window into new uPVC French doors, expect a total cost of £2365 to £2665. To create a new opening and install these types of doors would set you back roughly £3100 to £3400.

    For stationary French patio doors, they would cost about £1000 to £1700 to fit. Sliding patio French doors would probably cost between £1440 and £1600 to install.

    In general, the cost to fit French doors that are made of uPVC will land about £1000 to £1200. Should you wish for them to be triple glazed, expect an installation cost of about £1500 to £1700. If youd like to have aluminium French doors installed, expect to pay around £1300 to £1500.

    The French door installation costs land about £2100 to £2400 for solid oak laminate French doors and £1350 to £1750 for softwood French doors.

    Depending on the material chosen, installing 1200 x 2100 French doors will probably cost between £1000 and £1500. The cost would rise to approximately £1000 to 1600 for 1500 x 2100 French doors or £1100 to £1700 for 1800 x 2100 French doors.

    Additional cost factors are the type of door opening, the state of the installation area, ease of access and where your property is located .

    How To Hang Pre Hung French Doors

    How to Install a Patio Door

    Pre-hung French doors consist of a door that’s hinged in a wooden door frame, which eliminates mortising and installing hinges. In addition, the doors are pre-drilled and mortised for a handle and lock. Pre-hung French door units are manufactured in a variety of sizes to fit standard door openings and all have temporary stops to prevent the door from swinging during installation. A novice installer should enlist the help of an assistant when installing the pre-hung French door unit.


    Lean the pre-hung door unit against the wall inside the room where it will swing open, with the barrels of the hinges facing into the room. If the hinges are on the right-hand side of the door, the trimmer at the right side of the rough door opening must be shimmed so it is plumb, or exactly vertical. The trimmer at the left side of opening is shimmed if the hinges are on the left-hand side of the door.


    Install four wooden shims, evenly spaced from top to bottom, in the seam between the outer edge of the trimmer and the adjacent stud in the wall. Hold a 3-foot level vertically against the face of the trimmer. Tap the outer ends of the shims in equal increments with a hammer as you observe the uppermost bubble on the level. Stop when the bubble is at center between the bubble-lines.






    Attach the top of the jamb to the underside of the header in the rough opening with pairs of screws at 12-inch intervals from end to end.

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    Energy Efficient French Doors Exterior

    Window glass no longer transfers heat the way it used to. Choices now include doubled or tripled tempered panes , with air or a gas-like krypton providing insulation low-e coatings can also help prevent heat transfer.

    An Energy Star label means the door has been tested and certified to meet strict standards the lower the U-factor, the better. Energy Starcertified sliders installed before December 31, 2016, qualify for a federal tax credit find details at energystar.zendesk.com. But equally important is proper installation and maintenance. To conserve energy and cut down on drafts, the doors need to close tight and have weatherstripping in good shape.

    How To Install And Adjust The Frames Of French Doors

    The installation of window frames and doorframes must to be performed very precisely. It is essential to use a tape measure and the accompanying washers for this step.

    • Make sure that the selected sealing has been attached to the doorframe .
    • Now the frame of the French door needs to be carefully inserted in the wall opening .
    • Adjust the doorframe with a bubble level and the accompanying washers. Make sure it is in a perfect vertical and horizontal position. Incorrect adjustment can lead to problems with the opening and closing mechanism .

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    Can I Install French Doors

    You should only fit French doors yourself if you have a very clear idea of what the job entails and have previous joinery experience. If youre not particularly familiar with this type of work, then it is best to hire professionals, however. You will need a building regulations compliance certificate.

    If you fit them DIY, you should contact your local council in order to arrange for a professional to come by and sign it off. It is best to inform your local council before the work is undertaken.

    As with any DIY job, there are a range of risks and hazards involved. The most obvious issue is that you could make a mistake. At best, this will prove a waste of time, and youll need to start from scratch .

    At worst, you could damage the doors and possibly beyond repair, which would, of course, be a very expensive error.

    When working with sharp and heavy tools and heavy materials, you also risk injury to yourself. If you decide to fit French doors DIY, proceed with caution.

    French Door Installation Cost

    JELD-WEN: How to Install a Replacement Patio Door

    If the above section felt a little daunting, you’re probably considering getting your French doors installed by a professional. What puts many customers off using professionals is, of course, the cost. But it’s always better to pay a little extra for a professional who knows what they’re doing, than to take the risk of doing it yourself. When you’re not 100% comfortable with your skills or lack thereof as the case may be.

    In terms of cost, it will vary. But if you ask around reputable companies in your area, you should get a good idea regarding average price. What you’ll be paying for is not only the materials but the time of the workers. Typically, the job should cost on average around £400-£500 depending on the complexity plus whatever the doors may cost. This is, however, just an example.

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    Hiring Contractors To Install French Doors Checklist

    Here is the checklist youll need to find the right contractor to fit French doors:

  • Experience – The most important thing to consider is how experienced the labourer are. After all, if youre choosing not to fit the doors yourself due to a lack of experience, youll want to hire someone who has a good background in door fitting.
  • References – You should ask for references when hiring a door fitter. This is to ensure that their previous work was rated well by customers.
  • Accreditation and Qualifications – You might also want to ask about any accreditation and qualifications that they have. However, a door fitter does not need a qualification to be an experienced and skilled professional. Qualifications are more relevant to contractors like electricians and heat engineers.
  • Do French Doors Add Value To Your Home

    While it may not seem like it, adding the right door to your home can increase the value of the entire property. This goes for the back of the house openings where French doors are most commonly installed.

    The cool thing is that there are calculators out there that can tell you what type of door will add the most value. French doors wont necessarily increase the value of your home from an aesthetic standpoint, but there are ways that they will help improve the value.

    Light. The biggest impact that French doors have is that they infuse more natural light into a space. Natural light can be a great way to make a room brighter and even appear to be bigger. With homes that have a lack of natural lighting, French doors can make for a great addition.

    Style. Regardless of your stylistic choices, French doors tend to lend a little bit of elegance and style to a home. If youre looking to sell your home in the near future, installing French patio doors can be a great stylistic choice.

    Access. If there is one thing that French doors are good for, it is providing access. Should you need to move large items in or out of the home, going through French doors will likely always be the best option. Having large access areas can be a major selling point for a home.

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