How to Measure for Replacement Sliding Glass Patio Doors

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Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife

  • Crowbars

  • Hammer

  • Cordless drill

  • Screw bits

  • Measuring tape


Wear eye protection, gloves and a dust mask.

Measure twice, buy once. Measure more than once before you purchase or order your door. If the door is too big, it can't be installed. If it's too small, additional work will be needed to make it fit.

Use a new blade in the utility knife for cutting away paint and silicone.

Remove the trim on the inside of the door. There will probably be less paint and silicone buildup, so you won't have to spend as much time removing the trim on the outside.

If your old patio slider needs replacement, the most important thing is to measure correctly so that your new door will fit properly. Patio sliders generally come in standard sizes, so it should not be a problem finding a new door that will fit. Custom-size doors can be ordered too, based on your careful measurements.

Step 1

Insert a utility knife around the door frame and break the silicone seal. Cut away all the old silicone and paint attached to the door trim. There may be several layers, so this part of the job may take some time.

Step 2

Remove the slider door trim with a crowbar. Be careful not to damage it. Pull out any nails with the hammer. If the trim is held on by a screw, use the cordless drill and screw bits to remove it. Save the trim piece so you can put it back later or use it as a template when you cut down the new trim.

Step 3

Measure from stud to stud, using a tape measure. Stud to stud refers to the 2-by-4 framing all around your slider door. Your door actually attaches to this framing. Measuring stud to stud is known as the "Rough Opening" or RO measurement. You'll need to know the RO measurement when you purchase or order your new door.

references & resources

Joey Pellham

Joey Pellham has three years experience teaching writing courses in China. He specializes in home improvement/do it yourself and parenting articles. He has written for publications such as Associated Content, Triond, Wordpress, and Blog Spot. Pellham has been freelance writing since 2008. Pellham studied at Washington State University.