New vinyl sliding patio door during installation. Improving The View:

Installing A Replacement
Sliding Patio Door

In This Article:

Slider door jambs are assembled and installed in the opening. Fixed and sliding panels are installed, and trim details completed.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 3 (Moderate) Time Taken: 4 Hours

By , Editor


Earlier the old sliding door was removed and the rough opening prepared.
(View that article)

Assembling The Anderson Replacement Sliding Door:

Components of Andersen replacement sliding patio door. First, we read the instructions. Then we laid out all the parts on a flat surface. The frame consists of four heavy aluminum extrusions

We took a lot of photos of the door assembly, but they are difficult to understand unless this particular door is in front of you. We will just show some highlights of the assembly process.

The bottom of the sill had holes for screws that attach to the sides.


The top-to-side connection is well-designed and sturdy.

The pieces fit very well.


For the side-to-sill connection, Andersen provides a tube of silicone caulking.


There were five screws used at each corner. Andersen knows how to build sturdy door frames.


Four screws connect each top corner.

Once assembled, we were impressed with the stiffness of the frame. There seemed to be almost no chance of the frame getting badly out of square during installation.

Prior to installing the door frame a bead of silicone caulking was run along the bottom of the sill and along the floor underneath the door.

The frame was tilted into place and held at the top with one screw.


The bottom was double checked for level.

The side jambs and header (top) jamb were checked for plumb and level. Shims were added where necessary. The corner diagonals were checked to make sure the frame was perfectly square.


There was a large gap at the top jamb. We nailed a piece of 1x4 to the header to fill in this gap.

Andersen provides a top cap to cover the jamb and keep water out.


The top cap had a flange that goes up and under the siding.

But the flange was too wide for this job.


So we used tin snips to trim the flange. The flange is supposed to go under the siding, but we could barely pry up the aluminum J-channel without destroying it. We were able to get a small overlap


There are also side flanges to cover the edges


Screws were driven in to secure the jamb to the structure.

The fixed pane was installed and held in by a pair of metal clips.


A the bottom of the fixed pane a few screws were driven into the sash to fasten it.

Next, the sliding pane was installed. With most sliding doors, the top slides up into a groove and then the bottom is placed on the track (The horizontal ridge in the photo)


The roller height was adjusted with a screwdriver.

Andersen uses these little caps to cover the adjustment hole.


Next the door handle was installed.


The door latch was installed.


There is a machined notch for the catch mechanism

The catch is quite elaborate and can be adjusted.

This concluded the major installation work for the sliding door. The screen was installed along with it's latch mechanism. The inside door casing was replaced.

Outside, we had to fill in between the door frame and the original aluminum siding with some strips of wood. The strips were ripped on the table saw and nailed in place with finishing nails.

After installing the filler trim we gave it a coating of primer. We have installed several sliding doors, but this was the first one that needed assembly of the frame. We give Andersen the highest possible marks for their excellent engineering and careful consideration of details. Many companies make windows and patio doors but we have seen none better than Andersen. And we are not being paid to say that.



Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • 4' Level
  • Tin Snips
  • Saw
  • Finish Nailer

Materials Used:

  • Replacement Slider Door Kit
  • Silicone Caulk
  • 1x4 Filler Material

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Copyright © 1999, 2005

Written August 28, 1999
Revised January 7, 2005