For today’s homeowners, it’s easier than ever to get exactly what you want in any kind of custom windows or doors you can imagine. Window and door customers no longer need to modify their creative ideas and settle for some version of what they already have. Now you can get any unique style of window or door you can dream of. You can also convert any window to a patio door. The best window makers can produce and install an energy efficient custom sliding patio door for you that ideally matches your vision for your home.
Preparing to Convert a Window to a Sliding Door
Here are some of the most common challenges people confront when converting an existing window to a sliding glass door. You should be aware of these and other potential issues before you begin the process of designing and installing a slider to replace an existing window in your home:
Converting a window to a door usually means the wall opening will need to be expanded. When you plan to increase the size of an opening in a wall, that work will probably require a permit from your local building authority. Some window companies require you to obtain all permits required for any work on your house. If you manage your own permit application processes:
- You will need to meet with your city’s building department representative before you get a quote from a window and door contractor. Or,
- You can obtain design ideas and measurements from a construction project specialist and try to get a permit approval based on that information.
- Anticipate and resolve all permit-related issues and be sure you receive all necessary permits before starting any work on your window conversion project.
Reconfiguring Wall Support Structures
Converting a window to a sliding glass door means you will have a larger opening cut into the wall. The process of enlarging the raw opening in the wall requires these processes:
- King studs must be removed from the wall, and the header above the window will need to be replaced with one of a size and structure suitable for the new door.
- Electrical wiring, outlets, and fixtures around the window may need to be removed, relocated, or replaced as part of the project and must be done in compliance with local building requirements.
- King studs will probably need to be cut, and window headers will need to be replaced with larger ones to expand a window frame into a sliding patio door frame.
Usually, the window header must be extended past the length of the planned opening for the new sliding door. So, you can expect to have gaps in the exterior siding and/or in the interior drywall at one or both ends of the newly installed door. That means refinishing and painting around the new patio door inside and outside.
Top-tier window companies have highly skilled installers who are well-trained and comfortable with creating cut-outs through stucco, adobe, wood siding, brick, etc. and drywall inside. However, if concrete cutting is involved, a special contractor may be called in.
Replacing Drywall and Siding
When the original raw opening in the wall for a window is taller and/or wider than the cut-out needed to fit the new sliding glass patio door, the interior and exterior wall areas and insulation surrounding the new door must be replaced in order to frame the door appropriately to support the weight of the door and to protect the home from water and air leaks inside the wall structure and inside the living space of the room.
Repositioning Electrical Wiring
The existing window may or may not have electrical wiring near it. In many cases, the new wall cut-out for the incoming patio sliding door will interfere with the existing wiring configuration in the area of the wall where the new door will be inserted. In that situation, you might need to hire an electrician to make sure that all the electrical components are repositioned safely and will function as expected.
Contracting Window-to-Door Conversions
Unless you are licensed in all the construction trades that a quality window and door contractor manages and your homeowner’s insurance company allows it, such major DIY conversions are not recommended. A high-quality window and door company can make it look easy, but keep in mind what window-to-sliding-door conversion can entail, including:
- Securing multiple permits
- Hiring and managing multiple trades, for example:
- Masonry builders
- Drywall installers
- Painters, etc.
Of course, the benefits of having a new sliding glass patio door can be well worth overcoming the typical challenges of such a project. The key is to work with a well-established and reputable high-quality window and door company. That’s the best way to ensure that the work will be completed correctly the first time and on time and that you will get the best value for your home improvement investment.
Leaks, drafts, and malfunctioning tracks handles, and locks are common problems with poorly installed patio doors. In the worst cases, walls can collapse. So prioritize getting all the necessary permits, choosing high-quality energy-efficient windows, and reputable installers. Those decisions can save you a lot of disappointment and expense later and allow you to enjoy your new sliding glass patio door for many years to come.
Best Professional Window Conversion to Sliding Glass Door
Energy Shield is the leader in southwest U.S. window installation companies. Our custom sliding glass patio doors are an excellent investment in your Arizona home’s quality as a living environment, curb appeal, energy efficiency, security, and property resale value. We also provide excellent financing options.
Call Energy Shield for a professional handling of any window-door conversions you want for your home, including these projects and others:
- Replace window with sliding door
- Convert window to sliding door
- Convert window to French doors
- Convert window to door
- Converting window to door
- Convert basement window to door
All Energy Shield windows and doors bear the EnergyStar® symbol of quality energy-efficient design and manufacturing.
Ask for a free in-home custom sliding door design consultation today!