Replacing Your Sliding Door Like a Pro

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 11, 2017

Sliding glass doors

Replacing sliding glass doors is a home improvement project that comes up often, especially in older homes. Before energy efficiency became a priority, and before technology improved building materials, sliding glass doors were some of the most inefficient aspects of a home, bar none. In fact, an older sliding glass door that faced the wrong direction was almost like not having a barrier there at all. All that being said, replacing sliding glass doors can beautify your home and do wonders when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Your Replacement Options Are . . .

The thing about replacing sliding glass doors is that you’re going to have to decide what to replace them with. Fortunately, there are a number of very attractive, and efficient, patio door options to choose from. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that sliding glass door replacement is an easy process than any homeowner can tackle. Installing doors is tricky business, and you’ll want a professional on your side.

  • French Doors—Double French doors are beautiful, and can be a wonderful addition when replacing sliding glass doors. There are a few drawbacks to a French door, however, the first of those has to do with space considerations. When you want to leave the doors open, they take up valuable living space, and they can also restrict areas where you might otherwise place furniture. Also, French doors do not generally have screens, which can be an issue if you like to leave your doors open to encourage air circulation in pleasant weather. The cost of french doors can vary depending on size and style.
  • Patio Doors—A great alternative to double French doors are center swing patio doors. They look exactly like two French doors sitting side by side, but one side is fixed and does not open. The other door swings open back against the fixed panel, saving valuable wall space. Not only do most brands of center swing doors come with a sliding screen, but they are also less expensive than double French doors when it comes to final cost.
  • Sliding Patio Doors—Finally, it might sound like a crazy suggestion if you’re dead set on replacing sliding glass doors, but you may want to consider newer sliding glass doors, or sliding patio doors, for your door replacement. New sliding glass doors are made with the same energy efficient standards and options that are available with the most cutting edge windows, so that draft you’re trying to get rid of will be a thing of the past. And if you like sliding doors, but don’t like the cheaper appearance of sliding glass doors, think about replacing sliding glass doors with sliding patio doors, instead. Seems like a matter of semantics, but sliding patio doors, with wood frames, and all the craftsmanship and design possibilities of French and swinging doors, are some of the most beautiful, head turning door designs currently on the market.
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If you’re thinking about sliding glass door replacement and improving your home’s energy efficiency, talk to a contractor about which door design is going to be best for your home design and personal needs.


  1. Colin, May 8:

    Hi I’m looking to upgrade my glass on sliding patio doors to hold the heat in..if I could be given a estimated quote on the glass and fitting it would be much appreciated..thanks

  2. Janice Lowe, May 24:

    I have a French door and the glass was shattered on one side. It is a Jen Weld door with blinds between the glass. Looking for a cost to replace the glass.

  3. jERRY hINES, June 14:


  4. Janice, February 15:

    I have French doors that open out to a narrow deck. Is it possible to rehang them to open in rather than out?

  5. Paul, March 22:

    Just want to replace sliding door with swinging door and leave other glass half in place.

  6. Jennifer J, July 8:

    I need to replace my patio door asap as it is letting in water. I have had several quotes ranging from $1600-4600. The lower price range, which is within my budget are from window companies that uses brands I never heard of, while the higher prices uses doors such as Anderson. I want a decent door and installed professionally but don’t want to pay high end prices. Is it risky going with a smaller brand name door? Help!

  7. Leonard Hunt, January 22:

    I have a set of sliding french doors i removed from another home but no frame or tract i want to install them in a sunroom any suggestions

  8. Tracy, January 28:

    How did you get that look on this page? Is it just 2 sliding doors put together?

  9. Linda Schultheis, January 29:

    I havw four three sets of glass doors i would like to replace everything from black to white keep the glass just go from black.Two door is two glass doors one is three glass doors

  10. C neal, March 12:

    I have a brick house & want to take out French doors & repack with windows. My question is what to put under the window I don’t think I have enough brick?

  11. Gloria, July 15:

    i want to replace two 18 in sliding shower doors and hardware in a Brush nickel in a small second bathroom. The prices i have been quoted are too much for my budget. Suggestions have been to do a 36 ” swing door; however the space for a swing door is limited. Can you help?

  12. Ranjan, January 25:

    I’m looking for an electric mechanism to will clamp on to existing frameless glass doors. The set is one fixed and three to slide to one side.

    Have you got anything that fits this description?

  13. Lauran, March 9:

    We have 2 sliding patio doors both are loose and let in air. We also have pups that want in and out. How can we replace patio doors/screens and create a doggie door that they can easily open and make air tight?

  14. John, September 28:

    My sliding glass door the bottom part has Fog
    Can any one tell me what to do instead of changing.
    Thank you

  15. Judith Boss, April 18:

    I am trying to replace my screen on sliding glass patio door. Can’t lift it out. What are the proper steps?

  16. Doug, May 13:

    Can I replace an old sliding glass door without having to tear out the frame? In other words, can I keep the frame and insert a new door with slightly different measurements? The old door is a Pella size 71.25-in x 79.5-in and replace it with a Pella size 70.75-in x 79.5-in.

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