How Much Weight Can One Screw Hold In A Stud Installing Vinyl Replacement Sliding Glass Doors

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Installing Vinyl Replacement Sliding Glass Doors

Last week I told you how to remove the old sliding glass doors in preparation for the installation of vinyl replacement doors. Let’s take a look at the installation procedure for Retrofit style and replacement style frames.

Let’s start with the retrofit frame. Like the retrofit window, the door will have a lip flush 2″ with the outer edge of the frame. The difference between a retrofit window frame and a retrofit door frame is that there is no lip at the bottom of the door because of the sill. track. Your door will have a lip on both sides and at the top. The majority of the installation process is the same whether it is a retrofit frame or a replacement frame. Answer: The first thing you want to do is check the floor for level conditions. If the base is not level, add shims to make the base level. This step is very important, because if you have a sloping bottom , the whole frame will be thrown out of the box. You will have problems locking the door as well as air infiltration problems. So, put a shim to make the base level. If possible, use one long shim to make a solid base for the weight of the door. Before setting the door, install the liquid nail bead from end to end, set the shims on top of the liquid nail, and open ge a nervous bead of caulk on the outer face of the opening, where the retrofit lip will contact the outer surface. Caulk the sides and top.

Now set the door in place, be careful to lift the door and set the bottom track on top of the shims, instead of dragging the bottom. Obviously, this requires two people, one on each side. Tilt the top away from the opening as you set the bottom in place. Then, lift the top until the lip of the retrofit is in contact with the exterior surface to which the caulk is applied. The reason I use liquid nails underneath instead of caulk is because I don’t like putting screws underneath, and liquid nail products are just as good as screws when they dry. Have your assistant hold the frame while you enter the pipe and secure the door. Put a level on the frame where the slider will lock. Plumb the jamb and install shims where you put the screws. You should put one about 6 inches from the top and one 6 inches from the bottom. A good quality door will have long screws sent with the door as a replacement for the small screws holding the locking hardware to the jamb. Be sure to shim where the screws are installed. Now, if you leveled the bottom and plumbed the side, the top and opposite side should be automatically square. Put shims on the opposite jamb, and drive in the installation screws. Put 3 to 4 screws in the jamb. Then, run the measuring tape from the upper right corner to the lower left corner. Write down these measurements. Measure from the opposite corner, and the measurement should be the same if the frame is square. Finally, put one screw in the top center You really don’t need more than one. You don’t need to use shims because there will be no load or torque on the upper header. Just don’t over tighten the screws, otherwise the frame will bow.

At this point you have to install the frame in the opening with the fixed panel already glazed from the factory. This is where you want to install the sliding panel. It entered from inside the house. Set it on its side and spray a generous amount of grease onto the steel rollers to allow them to rotate freely. Wipe off the excess before inserting the panel. Remember to raise the top to the header as far as it will go, then swing the bottom on the lip and set it down on the track. If the bottom can not pass the bottom lip, you need to adjust the bottom rollers to bring it up to the frame. You should see a hole in the side groove to insert a screwdriver and turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to bring the rollers up and out of the way. After you set the rollers on the track, be sure to set them back down before sliding the door. Have your helper lift the side up while you turn the adjustment screw clockwise. Do both, then slide the door closed and make sure it’s daylight from top to bottom. If there is another light above or below, set the rollers to bring the door panel plumb with the jamb. Set the lock. Each door must come with lock adjustment instructions. Install the screen door outside. Now seal the crack between the retrofit lip and the exterior surface. Go inside and fill the space between the frame and the wall with R-13 insulation. The last step is trimming the inside. We sell vinyl trim that is designed for interior trim without the need to paint, stain, or nail. You can see samples and crop prices on the shopping page of the website.

Now, the replacement frame installation process is the same, except there is no retrofit lip. Therefore, when you put the frame into the opening, you have to plumb the side jambs from two places instead of one. In addition to plumbing the jamb from left to right in the opening, you also have to plumb the outside because you don’t have a retrofit lip to keep the frame aligned with the outside wall. In addition, you need to apply trim to the exterior and interior. You can use basic flat vinyl trim for the exterior, and it’s available on the shopping page as well. Be sure to caulk the exterior trim where it meets the surrounding surface.You just install vinyl sliding glass doors. I will be on vacation next week, but next week’s article will deal with the best and safest way to install replacement windows on the second floor.

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