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How to take a sliding door off

Installing a sliding glass door in your home is an excellent way to welcome natural light and enhance your interior design. Apart from creating the illusion of a larger room, it comes with several benefits. That is why homeowners prefer installing sliding doors over other types of doors. Over a while, there’s a good chance those doors will develop problems. Sometimes they do not roll as smoothly as they should be due to an accumulation of grime in the tracks, or they might get leaky, drafty, or jam. You can quickly solve these problems by temporarily removing and repairing the doors yourself. However, sliding doors have fragile parts, so you need to be careful while taking off the door. Knowing what steps to take in removing the door can reduce the risk of damage. 

So, to help you out, we are presenting a comprehensive guide on ‘how to take the sliding door off’. 


Before we get into the step-by-step process of removing the sliding door, make sure that you have all the necessary tools available. Sliding doors are heavier than they look, and moving them by yourself can be hazardous. So have a helper with you to move the door or contact one of our experts to help you out. 

For taking the glass door off, here is what you will need to get the job done:

  •       Screwdriver
  •       Reciprocating saw
  •       Flat prying bar
  •       Foam sheets 

Once you have gathered these tools and materials, follow these simple steps to take the sliding door off: 

  1. Prepare the work area – To protect the floor from potential scratches and, due to the heavyweight of the sliding door, place the foam sheets on the floor around the worksite where you are going to work. Putting the foam sheets will also save the sliding door from breaking if the door drops accidentally. Make sure that you have removed any furniture, rugs, pots, and other items in the vicinity of the work area. Also, do not forget to remove any decorative items that you may have on the door, such as curtains. They may get in the way of your job. So clear the space around your work area before you start.
  2. Examine the sliding panel of the door – Most sliding doors have screws on the top and bottom that attach the door to the tracks. Examine this screw to determine the type of screwdriver you will need. In most cases, a standard flathead screwdriver is all that is required to get the job done. 
  3. Remove the door from its tracks – Normal sliding doors move back and forth on the track. But many sliding doors come with small but powerful rollers that help the door move effortlessly. Over a while, the tracks distort or collect dirt, or the rollers may wear out, making it difficult to move the door.

Sometimes all you need to do is clean and lubricate the tracks to restore them to their normal position. In case of extensive damage, you will need to remove the entire door to replace the track and rollers.

To detach the door from the track, loosen all the fasteners by spinning the screws counterclockwise with the help of a flathead screwdriver. Loosening the screws gets the door lower, thus making it easier for you to lift the door from the tracks. After removing the upper and lower screws, lift and tip the door to separate it from the lower tracks. The sliding doors may look light in weight, but they can easily weigh over fifty pounds. So have someone assist you in safely lifting the door and positioning it in an out-of-the-way location. 

  1. Get rid of the screen door – Once you move the sliding door, lift the screen door and pry it out of the tracks. If it is attached with the help of a screw, remove this screw and then lift it out.
  2. Remove the stationary panel – Generally, the fixed panel is held by a stopper, a block of wood, or an angled bracket along the top track. The stopper is hidden under a sheathing attached to the door frame in some door designs. In such cases, remove the sheathing and expose the stopper using a flat pry bar. Remove the stopper to allow the stationary panel to glide along the track. Remove the debris stuck along the track by using a utility knife. Now tip the door inward and lift it to free it from the track. 
  3. Remove the door frame – If you want to install a new sliding door, you have to remove the old door frame for the new door to fit properly. Use a reciprocating saw to cut through and along the top and sides to remove the shims, fasteners, and other seals that attach the frame to the jamb. Tip the frame and pull it outside. Try the frame to release it from the floor.

Removing a sliding door is a time-consuming process. With the right tools and techniques, you will be able to pull it successfully and save on removal costs. Call a professional if you face any problems with any of the steps outlined above. If any part of the door is stuck, do not apply force, which could lead to cracks or damage to the track or door frame.


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