Sliding Glass Door Replacement | Do I Need Professional Installation?

Several tasks qualify as DIY for homeowners with basic handyman skills. Replacing a sliding glass door might not be one of them. Let's take a look at what it takes, including transportation, time, and tools, to determine whether or not you can go it alone or whether you should hire a professional handyman for the best results.
Typical sliding glass doors measure 5 feet by 60 inches or 6 feet by 72 inches. Your average car can't safely transport such a large item, but a truck could. Keep in mind that you will need to ensure the door, or doors if replacing both, have adequate padding in the packaging to make the trip home in one piece. You won't want to replace your new sliding glass door before you even get it home and in place. If you do not have the appropriate transportation, consider assigning this to-do item to a handyman for completion.
Basic tools such as a screwdriver, pry bar or putty knife, level, caulk, caulk gun, and hammer will get this job done, as long as you only are replacing the door, not doing any work to the threshold or trim. Many sliding glass doors reveal dry rot during replacement, turning this job into a much bigger one than expected. Using a different size door also will require additional tools and materials you might not have on hand, increasing the cost of the project. Opting for professional help might save you money in the long run.

Experience and Time
The time this task takes depends on both skill level and the amount of help you have; physically, you might not be able to handle the weight of the door solo. Also, keep in mind that if you have never replaced a sliding glass door before, or jobs requiring similar experience, it will take you much longer than it would a professional handyman at an hourly rate. Also, consider how much your time is worth. Would you rather spend a Saturday afternoon with your family or friends than struggle with this job?

To-Do List
If you do decide to hire professional help to replace your sliding glass door, get the most out of the handyman's visit by creating a list of other tasks that need to be done. From adding insulation to the attic before winter arrives to replacing windows while installing a new sliding glass door, Mr. Handyman has you covered. Other seasonal tasks that should land on your to-do list include:

  • Gutter cleaning and repair - Prepare for falling leaves by cleaning out anything that blew in over the summer and preparing the gutters for freezing weather.
  • Insulation of your hot water heater - Not only do you cut CO2 emissions, but you can save up to 9 percent in water-heating costs.
  • Installation of a programmable thermostat - Setting it properly and leaving it alone can result in significant savings on your utility bills.
  • Addition of door sweeps and shoe gaskets to stop energy leaks.

Simply add these to the to-do list and hand it to your handyman when he or she arrives to replace your sliding glass door.

This article is part of our series on Doors and Windows.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers' Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements, and maintenance needs and request service in your area.