Is it ok to install a patio door tightly in the rough opening?


I'm now installing 2 large patio door sliders that require the frame heightened. When I resize the framing opening, is it possible to have the door/window fit perfectly on all four sides with no gap? There will be no insulation, and I can make it square, strong, and level.

The reason I ask, is besides extensive shimming for securing the window in, there's even more complicated shimming required for the inside. Bit hard to explain, but there's basically plastic trim on the aluminum window frame that has to fit exactly to within maybe +/-3 millimeters on pre-routered 1x4s and 2x4s that act as the inside sill sides and top etc.

If the shims are strong and secure, wouldn't they similarly have the power to bend the frame if the house shifts?

The inside casing or windowsill ( not sure the terminology, the 4 pieces you see on the inside when it's done - 3 in the case of the sliding door as it ends up flush with the flooring) fit 1x4s perfectly on the sides and 2x4s on...

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My old college roommate is the type of guy who gets all the luck. I mean, if he slipped and fell, he’d probably land in a big pile of money. He was given a limited-edition Corvette as a graduation present, landed a well-paying job straight out of college and was settled into a nice, suburban home while most of his friends were still pounding the sidewalk trying to find their first “real” job. Being a single guy, he built his home into a bachelor’s dream house, complete with exercise room, guest bedrooms and the much-envied “Man Room.” The Man Room is a barroom in the basement, complete with multiple big-screen TVs, a ping-pong table, a pool table and enough seating areas to support a big, rowdy football party.

Recently, we were sitting around his bar, sharing an after-work beverage while I was admiring the Man Room. “Jeez, this place has it all,” I said. “What else could you want in here?”

“A sliding door going from the barroom to the rear deck of the house,”...

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START TO FNISH - Time Lapse photography and commentary showing how to install a right-hand inswing patio door.

The opening for this door was 72" wide by 80" tall. This leaves 1/2" around the door for adjustments.
1. Install a wood sill and framing in the opening if needed to achieve the correct sized opening.
2. Place lots of caulk or sill pan on the concrete. The sill pan must be used in some wood construction installations if water may seep through the patio door joints.
3. When placing the patio door, check the bottom and top plates to make sure it is level. Make sure the door jamb is plumb on both sides, meaning that the door is plumb in and out of the opening and left and right of the opening.
4. Place shims under the left or right door jamb to level the door. Place shims behind all the hinges and any other large gaps that are required to create an even reveal around the doors. Use plastic shims so that water will not affect them.

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One of the best ways to transform a gloomy family room or kitchen is by installing a new patio door.

Lift patio door into place after preparing the opening.

If you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer with excellent carpentry skills, the project can be accomplished in a weekend.

In addition to the new patio door, you will need wood shims, roofing paper, drip edge flashing, silicone caulk, nails and screws, interior molding, and molding for the outside edge of the threshold. Your toolbox will likely already contain a hammer, level, drill with screwdriver bit, flat pry bar, and circular saw.

Start by purchasing a door suitable for your climate and situation. If you have severe winters, be sure to get thermally insulated glass. Low-e coating on the glass limits the passage of heat, keeping your room cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Also, be sure the door seals tightly when closed and that the weatherstripping is durable. If you plan to keep the door...

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You can, with a little bit of patience and the right tools, install your own patio door. The DIY option makes the benefits of a new patio door available to many consumers who might not be ready to invest in the expense of a professional installation. In many instances, the price of removal and installation by a contractor can be a greater expense than the door itself.

There are as many specific methods to install patio doors as there are patio door manufacturers. This is especially true in sliding units that come with a broken down frame. The sheer weight of a full sized wooden door with insulated glass can be overwhelming, so most sliding patio door units are shipped completely disassembled. This makes them easier to handle. The key to a successful installation is to follow the enclosed directions to the letter, paying careful attention to the order in which things are done.

Perhaps the most overlooked step in the process of installing a patio door is the preparation...

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Today, there are very few restrictions when it comes to getting exactly the kind of custom windows you want.

Homeowners no longer settle for changing their old windows with the same kind, but let their imaginations fly to get the most comfort and convenience out of their replacement.

That’s why projects like turning a window into a patio door, or changing a regular window into a bay, are becoming more and more popular.

It’s true that these projects have their own particulars, but when done properly they aren’t any less successful than a regular window replacement.

Here are some things you should know if you are considering putting a patio door in place of an existing window.

Expanding the opening to accommodate a patio door, almost always requires a permit.

The exception in most cases is if the wall is only cut downward. Because cutting a bigger opening requires removal of king studs in the wall, reinforcing or replacing the weight carrying...

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A sliding or swinging patio door installs using many of the same steps as for a standard entry door. However, because it is so large, requirements are more precise. The frame must be straight and square all along its length; it is particularly important that the sill be straight and level. Some patio doors are sold with the frame knocked down, so you will need to assemble it. It may be easier to purchase a door with the frame already assembled.

The steps that follow show a sliding patio door. If you are replacing a patio door that operates smoothly, you may not need to alter the rough opening. However, if the old door was difficult to operate, check the rough opening carefully.

After the rough opening is prepared, you'll need about 4 hours to install the door. Make sure you're comfortable measuring, sawing, fastening, and leveling.

Get Our Patio Door Design...

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The odds are it will fit fine- a six-foot slider is probably the most common size in north america. Are you planning on installing it yourself? If so, and you haven't done it before, recommend buying one of the DIY books at the big-box- the pictures will explain better than words ever could. Note that you will need at least 2 strong guys to assist- these suckers are heavy, and Anderson will be heavier than most. (wood frame, right?) If you are hiring it done (highly recommended the first time, as a learning experience), the installer will know how to shim and square appropriately, and most important, how to flash it appropriately. Do NOT remove the horizontal shipping strip in the middle until the door is in place. If your rough opening is a hair too small, there are ways to fine-tune reality, but you need to know what you are doing. Any adjustments over 1/2 or 3/4 or so to the opening usually mean reframing the wall a little. If your hole is...

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Check the horizontal gap, or "reveal," between the top of the door and the head jamb. It should be uniform from left to right and 1/8- to 3/16-inch wide.

If necessary, adjust the reveal by pushing up the head casing. Set this reveal by driving an 8d nail through the face of the latch-side casing and into the trimmer, near the top of the door.

Check the vertical reveal between door and jamb on the latch side. It should be about the thickness of a nickel. To adjust it, grab the casing and move the jamb by hand.

Open and close the door to check that its leading edge, the one that rests against the stop, clears the jamb by a consistent 1/8 inch.

Set the reveal by driving 8d finish nails every 16 inches through the latch-side casing and into the trimmer. Make sure the reveal remains consistent.

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Pocket Door Installation Tips

The following instructions will help you install just about any pocket door hardware kit. I URGE you to completely read and follow the enclosed instructions you will find with your pocket door hardware. These systems are really easy to install. They require minimal tools and some patience.

The Rough Opening

This is the foundation of your system. Get this wrong and you will suffer later. The rough opening will seem huge. Why? Because it will be more than twice as wide as a usual one. The width is almost always two times the actual finished door with plus one inch. So if you intend to install a 2 foot 8 inch door (32 inches) the rough opening needs to be 65 inches. The height of the rough opening off the rough floor surface is usually 84.5 inches. Be sure you measure from the highest point of the subfloor if your floor is out of level.

Also, the rough opening needs to be plumb, level and NOT twisted (a helix). The...

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There are advantage and disadvantages of both the doors. You need to choose what’s best for you and your family, but personally I believe that sliding doors offer customers more than the French door style. Following points can help you in deciding the best door for your home.

Advantages/disadvantages to using a sliding glass door -

Advantages: Ease of Operation Space-Saving Security, Energy Efficient, Sliding doors also provide a more unobstructed view of the outdoors.

Disadvantage: Locking systems – Anti-lift blocks can be fixed to the top of the rails or a portable security bar can be fitted from the inside to prevent sliding action when the door is closed.

Advantages/disadvantages of a French Door

Advantage:The French Doors make up in ease of access what they lack in space saving, French doors enable the homeowner to open both doors fully, they allow excellent ventilation.

Disadvantage: Space Issue/Blocks Views, Mechanical Issues, Poor...

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A patio door installation isn't the easiest job to do on one's own, but with a few helping hands, some carpentry experience and some attention to detail, it can prove well worth the time and effort. This job takes the better part of a day and experience with tools is required.

Choosing Your Patio Door

Home improvement stores carry a wide selection of patio doors and there is an endless number of online sources, so finding the right door for your home may require some patience. When choosing the door, you will need to consider the size and insulation rating.

Installing a patio door that has thermally insulated or Low-E coated glass is important if you live in a cold weather climate. Not only will the glass help keep the heat inside your home in winter, it will help block the sun's heat from entering in the summertime.

Sliding-glass doors and French-style patio doors are also available. Before you get too attached to them, double check that you...

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Double door units install much the same as single unit doors. They arrive at the job site prehung with the two doors hung and assembled together in a frame. The frame has the appropriate hardware and the door is ready to be placed inside the rough opening. The hard work has already been done. From here it's a simple matter of shimming, leveling and fastening the unit as a whole. Don't be intimidated by the size. You can handle almost any double door unit, and install it in less than an hour once the opened is prepared.

Stand the double door unit inside the rough opening. Flush it on both sides.

Tap two wedges -- also referred to as shims -- with a hammer, between the doorjamb and stud opening at the top to stop the door from moving. Tap two more wedges, evenly spaced along both vertical sides of the door to further steady it. The ends of the wedges will protrude from the doorjamb and wall. That's fine.

Open the doors. Walk through and tap identical wedges on...

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A pre-hung door has a frame attached to it. Many carpenters prefer to use pre-hung doors to save installation time. They are slightly more expensive than door slabs that do not have the frame pre-attached. A rough opening is the opening into which the door and frame are installed. It is composed of a vertical wall stud on each side of the door and a header, a wider board that spans the top of the opening.

To hang the door, a carpenter places the frame in the rough opening and inserts shims – thin strips of wood – between the door frame and the wall studs to ensure that the door is placed evenly. Shims are necessary because framed opening are not usually perfectly square. Without shims, the door would not close properly. The door is then checked with a level and nailed into place with thin finishing nails.

Installing a pre-hung door requires commonly available tools and a few basic supplies. This do-it-yourself project can be completed by anyone with basic carpentry...

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I'm assuming you mean SWINGING French 5' patio doors and not SLIDING French 5' patio doors. There are two common rough opening widths: 5'0" or 5'2-3/4". Here's why:

Many manufacturers make a so-called 5' French door in which the rough opening is exactly 5'0" wide - but that means that the opening is 5'0", the door frame is approx. 4'11-1/4" and the doors are about 2'4" each.

The other way it's done is to have true 2'6" doors. So doing the math, the two 2'6" doors equal 5'0", plus another 1-1/2" for the frame, plus usually 1/2" or so for the astragal (it can vary), plus about 3/4" for the rough opening spacing = a rough opening of 5'2-3/4".

Again it can vary by an inch or so with some manufacturers.

As for the height, it also varies by manufacturer, but the common R.O. heights usually tend to be 6'8-1/2" (which is a shorter retrofit height for existing aluminum patio doors), 6'10" to 6'10-1/2" (these are the most common), and 8' to 8'2".

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Restorations Patio Doorshave a variety of different glass options to suit your style, taste and budget. We offer a wide range of decorative options to coincide with our double and triple pane insulated glass windows.

Double Pane

The double pane window Ultra-U VSS Glass System is insulated with argon gas between the two panes of glass.

Triple Pane

Triple pane windows are the most insulated glass option available for replacement windows. Our triple pane window is made from two panes of the Ultra-U VSS Glass System and a third pane glass, with sound absorbing properties, in-between them. Krypton90 glass replaces the argon gas of the double pane and fills both air spaces of the triple pane window.

Grid Styles

There are a few options and styles when it comes to adding grids to your windows. For an easy-to-clean window the grids can be inserted between the panes of glass in a double pane window. If you prefer the quality of insulation...

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I was on a job recently where I had to completely rework the entry door install on a house. It was difficult to tell from a distance, but the original work had been poorly done (and that might be an understatement!). All of the errors made in that original installation became more and more apparent once I started disassembling the install in order to right the wrongs. Sometimes you have to peel back more than the skin to see how rotten the fruit is at the core. And then you need to take a strategic approach to help that core heal.

The original rotten door entry (Note: Click any image to enlarge)

Peeling the Layers

We started by removing the side casings. This is where we encountered our first issue.

Removing the casings revealed improper weather barrier installation—no flashing was applied (see photos below). On top of that, one of the sides was missing a section of housewrap, leading to rotten sheathing. There was also rot at the bottom corner of the...

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By Todd Fratzel on Basements, Insulation

Guide To Insulating Basements Properly

Over the last few years I’ve written many articles about different basement insulation topics. Readers have left hundreds of comments and questions about specific basement insulating topics. In an effort to streamline all of that information I decided it was time to create a comprehensive basement insulation guide. This guide summarizes the basic concepts in one single source to make your search for information easier.

If you take the time to understand the basic concepts of insulating basements you’ll be able to develop an insulation system that provides both warmth and comfort without creating an unhealthy environment. This may sound simple but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of basements are insulated incorrectly and lead to serious mold problems. I hope you’ll find the following information informative and helpful on your next basement renovation project.

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