Old patio slider door that needs to be replaced. 15 Years Old And Failing:

Removing A Deteriorated
Sliding Patio Door

In This Article:

We remove an old sliding patio door and jambs, and repair water damage underneath.

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Skill Level: 3-4 (Moderate to Advanced) Time Taken: 3 Hours

By , Editor


This sliding patio door was only fifteen years old, yet it was in terrible shape.

The seal in double pane glass had failed, letting moisture in between the panes.

Note the foggy appearance at the lower right of the glass. This is all too common with modern windows and doors.

The wood door sash and the jamb (frame) were quite soft and spongy. A closer inspection revealed a major rot problem.


Prior to starting the removal process, we removed the casing (trim) around the inside of the door, to measure the width of the opening in the framing. The bad news was... the opening was only 5'-10" wide, which meant that the homeowner had to special-order a replacement door.

The standard size for sliding doors is 6'-0" wide. 8' units are also fairly common.


Removing The Old Door:

There were flat head screws holding a piece of wood to the sill. We had to use a tiny flat screwdriver to clean out the dirt before we could get a Phillip's screwdriver in.


Outside, there was a single screw holding a metal bracket to the sill (which was rotted).

After we removed the bracket the fixed pane was easily lifted out. The homeowner was surprised at how little security the door provided.

Removing old wood sliding door.


Underneath a strip of black vinyl weatherstrip, the door sill was badly rotted.


We removed the sliding pane by lifting it up and then pushing the bottom out.

The sill practically fell out. Note the black marks. They are signs of fungal growth and rot. The sub-floor next to the carpet was badly rotted.


A closer view of the rotted wood.


Hey, what's this? In all the rotted wood we found a few bugs. Not termites, fortunately, just big black ants.

And this is in a fifteen year old house! Disgraceful.


We used a reciprocating saw to cut any nails that held the jamb to the framing.

The jamb came out with a few minutes of sawing and prying.


Repairing The Rotted Framing:

Uh-oh. Water got behind the jamb and rotted the trimmer stud.

We drilled a series of holes just above the rotted part. The cut was smoothed out with a chisel.


A reciprocating saw was used to cut away the rotted OSB sub-floor.

It was pried up with little effort.


A strip of the sub-floor was removed.

Part of the rim joist had begun to rot, so we added a block of wood.

Not anticipating any rot problems with such a new house, we came to this house without any lumber for repairs. Luckily the homeowner had bought materials for a new deck and was willing to give up a few pieces.

We placed short pieces of wood in between the floor joists, under the floor.

This handy drill bit from Black & Decker drills a pilot hole and a countersink all at once.


We peeled back the carpeting and drilled through the edge of the OSB flooring.

Then we fastened the board to the floor.

The purpose of this procedure is to connect the old floor structure to the new filler strip that will replace the rotted-out section. Without this connection the floor may be slightly springy near the door because the edge would be unsupported.

We were able to drive screws horizontally through the rim joist and into the connector piece.

We used a flat pry-bar to hold up the connector board while driving in the screws.


A piece of 5/4 x 6 treated deck lumber was used to replace the rotted floor.

We secured the plank with deck screws.


A piece of 2x4 was tightly fitted into the space where the rotted stud segment was removed.

At this point we discovered that the rotted stud was not a structural component but a filler piece. There were two more studs behind it. It turned out that the door opening was actually wide enough for a standard 6'-0" slider door. We figure the builder got a deal on some non-standard doors and just filled in the opening with a 2x4.

This completed the door removal and frame repair process. 

Follow the installation of a quality replacement slider door.



Tools Used:

  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Hammer, Pry Bars
  • Electric Drill & Spade Bits
  • Chisel

Materials Used:

  • Treated Deck Boards
  • 2x4 Blocks


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Copyright © 1999, 2005  HammerZone.com

Written August 28, 1999
Revised January 6, 2005