How To Remove Sliding Glass Doors: DIY Guide

bedroom with glass sliding doors

While removing sliding glass doors is not a particularly difficult job, it can take a bit of time.  If you are scratching your head and unsure where to start, it helps to get some pointers on how to go about this and how to prepare for the task!  

One of the first things to do is to remove the actual sliding panels themselves to get rid of the weight and make it easier to do the job.

On most sliding doors there is a track that the door fits into, and it rides backwards and forwards on this track.  In addition, at the base of the door are rollers. What happens over time is these rollers wear out, but the good news is you can replace them, but of course to do so, you’ll need to remove the sliding doors first.

glass sliding door tracks

The simple way to remove sliding glass doors

On the bottom edge of the door, you’ll notice a cap.  Remove this cap, because as you’ll notice, it is covering a gap – inside of which is a screw.  Determine the size of the screwdriver you’ll need, reach back into the gap with your screwdriver and adjust that screw counter-clockwise as far as it will go.  

Do the same on both the left and right ends of the sliding door.

After you have loosened the screws, slide the door partially open and grip both sides of the door with your hands.

Assess whether it will lift into the top track just a little bit further, and allow for the bottom to come up and the rollers to lift off the bottom track so you can then get sufficient access and clearance to gently pull the door towards you and move the door away from the frame.

What if the sliding glass door is too heavy to lift out?

If the door is too heavy for you to lift up and out, you can accomplish the same thing by using a couple of flat bars or pry bars and pry up from the bottom on it.  

If you do this however, it helps to place a piece of backer-board down so when you pry it doesn’t do any damage – especially if you have timber floorboards beneath.

sliding glass aluminium framed window

Lift up one side and prop it up with that piece of backer-board, then do the same with the other side. If you come up against clearance issues, you can remove the set screw in each corner.  

This will allow you to turn the adjustment clamp for the wheels, and this pulls the wheels all the way up into the frame in such a way that it actually lowers the door, allowing the clearance necessary to get the door out.

What about removing sliding fly-screens?

You can get any screens out of the way, by working with the adjustments and rollers in much the same way as you have done with the glass sliding door.

Removing a fixed panel on a sliding glass door

When dealing with the fixed panel, you’ll want to be able to clearly see the aluminium frame. Proceed to expose any nails or screws fixing the frame to adjacent walls or siding.  

When you are able to clearly see all the nails and fixing mechanisms holding the fixed frame in place, work your way around the fixed frame, and remove these.  These will invariably be nails or screws fixing the frame in place.

You may notice instances where wall siding overlaps the frame, and as a result, it’s difficult to remove.  What you can do to avoid prying and causing damage to the frame, is to use a centre punch.

A centre punch will allow an electric drill to make a hole at the same spot without slipping.  Use a centre to punch the centre of the nails on the frame so you get a slight indentation started there.

Then take drill bit that is slightly bigger than the head of the nail.  Line it up in the centre of the punch hole and basically drill the end of the head off.  

Now that frame and frame will easily pop off without incurring any damage.  Doing this means you won’t have to disturb your siding any more than you really need to.

Repeat this process around the entire frame until all the nails are removed, and you should be able to get your frame to start leaning and coming out of the opening.  If need be, give it a push on each side to help it come out of the hold.

If it remains stuck with tension still holding it in place, check for additional nails which may require loosening.

And voila, you’ve safely removed your sliding glass doors without damaging them!

What’s Next?

If you have any remaining questions about glass sliding doors, feel free to contact our team of experts at Action Glass & Aluminium.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the process, or think you will damage your sliding door that’s protecting your home or will break and shatter on your patio, Action Glass and Aluminium can help – contact us today.


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