How to Remove Old Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

Complete Your Patio Door and Window Installations in Time for the Upcoming Warm Weather

With the warmer weather just around the corner, you will want to use your backyard more often. Whether you garden, barbecue, or have a backyard pool, you will be out there soon enough. That means it’s time to get rid of the old patio doors you’ve been planning to replace and complete your new patio door and window installation!

Regular backyard use means regular patio door use. Patio doors offer a great view of the outdoors and easy access to your backyard. But if these doors get dirty or damaged, they won’t be easy to use this summer.

Patio doors need maintenance once in a while. This includes removing the doors, cleaning the tracks, and replacing the rollers. You may also need to remove the doors to move large furniture through the doorway. Or, you may want to upgrade your patio doors to a new style with improved energy efficiency.

Instead of hiring someone to do this work, here are step-by-step instructions for a DIY project.

What You’ll Need

Since patio doors are heavy, this is a two-person job. You will also need to be extra careful when handling the glass patio doors. You don’t want to risk damaging the glass or injuring yourself.

Along with the help of another person, you will need the following tools:

[su_list icon=”icon: chevron-right” icon_color=”#EC3826″]

  • Flathead screwdriver;
  • Philips head screwdriver;
  • Pry bar;
  • Reciprocating saw; and,
  • Foam sheets.


How to Remove Patio Doors

Step 1: Prep the Floor

To protect your floors and the glass doors, cover the floor in your with padded material, such as foam sheets. This padding will prevent the glass from breaking when you remove the panel. It will also protect your floor from scratches and chipping.

Step 2: Remove the Screen Door

If your patio doors have a screen door, remove this first. Open the door and get your helper to lift the screen door.

Use the flathead screwdriver to lift the bottom of the screen door up, lifting the rollers from the track. Repeat on the top of the screen door to fully remove the door out of the tracks, and set this door aside in a safe place.

Step 3: Unscrew the Interior Casings or Trim

Use a Philips-head screwdriver to remove the interior casing or trim. You will find this on the inner side of the door. Be careful as you go so you don’t damage the material.

Remove any dirt beforehand. Also, remove the head stop—the decorative trim at the top of the door frame.

Step 4: Remove the Sliding Door Panel

Have your helper stand on the other side of the door to help with the final part of this step.

Slide the door to the indented point in the track to make the door come out easily.

Find the roller adjustment screws in the sliding panel—they should be on the bottom of the door, or on the side panel on either end. In some cases, these screws will be covered with plugs.

Use a Philips-head screwdriver to rotate the screws in a counter-clockwise direction. This will raise the rollers.

Lift the sliding door up to the upper track. Ask your helper to gently push the bottom of the door towards you. Slowly lower the panel until it is free from the track, and tilt it to remove it from the frame completely. Set the panel aside in a safe spot.

Vacuum the tracks and clean the rollers with a soft rag and denatured alcohol. Also, vacuum the tracks during routine cleaning to prevent dirt buildup.

If you plan to remove the stationary door and the entire patio door frame, continue with these next steps.

Step 5: Remove the Stationary Door Panel

Remove any screws, brackets, and trim pieces that hold the stationary door in place.

Remove the metal strip that connects the door to the door jamb. Fit a flat pry bar at the bottom of the panel to lift it from the track.

Have your helper stand on the outside of the door and help you lift, push, and tilt the panel out of the door frame.

Step 6: Remove the Track and Door Jamb

If you are replacing the patio doors and tracks, use a pry bar to lift up the tracks and door jamb. If you cannot lift up the bottom track, use a reciprocating saw to cut through the screws.

Then cut the bottom track in half with the saw and remove it. Also cut away any caulk, paint, or nails holding the door jamb to the frame.

Step 7: Remove the Door Frame

Pry up the sill of the door frame with a pry bar and hammer. You will need to apply a lot of pressure to lift the frame out. Remove any nails or shims before replacing the patio door.

Whether you want to clean the rollers and tracks, or you want to remove your patio doors altogether, follow these steps for an easy patio door removal. Contact the patio door and window installation experts for help choosing new patio doors to enjoy this summer.

Scroll to Top