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replace a garage door with a sliding glass door

I currently have a basement with a garage door. I'd like to replace this garage door with a sliding glass door. The garage door opening is 107.5" wide, 10" deep and between 82.75" and 83.5" high (shortest on the inside, tallest on the outside - the floor slopes slightly). These measurements are with the existing vinyl siding in place - the opening actually seems to be maybe 1/4 to 1/2 bigger in height and width since the siding on the top and sides isn't flush against the wood. I'll tear out the siding and take more accurate measurements once I'm sure I have a clear picture of everything that needs to be done.


The floor is concrete.


The door I'd like to put in is 72" wide and 80" tall. So, I need to build a frame to fit this new door.


Once the frame with the rough opening is in place it seems pretty straightforward to install the door, so my concern is with actually attaching the frame to the existing opening.


I think I have a basic idea of what's involved, but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything:

  • Frame built from 2x4s, with at least the bottom plate ("sill"?) pressure-treated
  • Waterproofing materials for the outer areas where my new wall connects to the existing opening (the basement is dry, but this seems like a good idea anyway)
  • Plywood for the outer wall, vinyl siding over this to match the existing siding
  • Drywall for the inner wall
  • Insulation for inside the wall


I also have some more specific questions:

  • Since the floor is sloped slightly, I'll need a way to level the bottom plate of the frame. Is this a job for shims, or a beveled plate (can a 2x4 even be beveled lengthwise?), or is there a way to "add" to the concrete to make it level?
  • Should the frame fit snugly into the new opening, or do I have to leave a certain amount of space on the top and sides?
  • How would I actually attach the new frame to the old opening? I assume it will be nailed to the sides and top, but what keeps it connected to the concrete floor? I've read about special adhesives - are these for real, and if so, are they better or worse than driving nails into the concrete?


Thanks for any insight you can give!

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Posted 2011-07-20T17:27:29+0000  by sickfish sickfish


Hi Sickfish, this Mike the Home Depot Answer Man


It sounds like you are on the right track, here are a few suggestions.


Normally the threshold for a sliding glass door would sit on the concrete, not on a sill plate. If it does, you will have to step over it each time you go in or out.  Place the doors’ threshold directly on the concrete floor, and install a full length shim under it to make it level. Otherwise you door will not open or close properly.


Secure the threshold in place with a good quality construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails. Seal the outside with a good quality silicone sealer such as GE Silicone II Door and Window Sealant.


The frame should be a fairly snug fit.  Follow the specifications of the door manufacture to size the opening.  You will need some room to shim the door to make it square and plumb.


As far as attaching the new frame, nailing it will be just fine. However I always use screws. If the need for an adjustment arises, removing a screw and moving the frame is much easier than pulling nails.


If you use a wooden sill plate, attach it with construction adhesive, or use a ram set tool to anchor it. Ramset tools use a gunpowder charge, to fire a nail through the wood in to the concrete. You can purchase a Ramset tool at your local Home Depot. Be sure to seal the out side edge.


Screw the the doors' threshold to the sill plate.  Nailing the threshold in place often causes it to warp and the doors will not operate smoothly.


Finally use door and window flashing around the outside of the opening to prevent water infiltration during storms.

I hope this answers your questions.



Posted 2011-07-21T19:04:29+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
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