Replace Sliding Glass Door

I need to replace the sliding glass door. I've done it on a previous home where the nailing flange was covered by a trim board, but my current house is Vinyl Sided with J-Channel right up to the door. Is there a trick to replacing the door without destroying the Vinyl siding?
Thanks in Advance, -a12vman
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Probably the best thing is to go to HD or Lowes or check on line to see how vinyl siding is installed and then undo it. If you careful you should be able to pull out the nails or pull it thru the nail heads and carefully lift it back so you can work. Probably a hot day is best so it is flexible.

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The siding is pretty darn flexible. Get a siding puller. Few bucks. Borg has them. Gotta get it under the lip near an end and give it a good pull/wiggle. You can do it by the J channel by bending the edge of the channel outward then pull (moreso yank) then siding edge out. Once an edge is out from the course below you just slide the puller and the rest of the course comes out easily.
You may find it easier to start at a butt joint where two pieces overlap.
Once the siding is pulled away you will see nails holding the channel. They should be aluminum siding nails. Look just like roofing nails only light aluminum. These nails should NOT be tight. The siding and channel expand and contract quite a bit.
If you need to remove courses of siding, start at the highest one you will remove. That will expose the nails for the course below and you will not need to use the puller.
Before taking off the 2nd and further courses, mark the top edge of where the nails are on the wall, foamboard or whatever is right under the siding. If the courses are not put back in the same place, when you end up putting the last course back in place it may be too big or too small to grab the one final below.
The siding courses should also NOT be nailed tight and all nails should be in the middle of the slots you will see. If only one nail is at an edge, the course cannot expand in one direction. Actually, when you have a course off you should be able to grab the bottom of the one above and the whole thing slide a bit to the left and right.
- A regular nail puller works much better than a claw hammer to me. - The ends of the siding should NOT be butted right up against the channel so then can expand. - Where two pieced overlap on the ends, note the very very bottom of the siding. There is a cutout, again, for expansion. Any new overlaps you create must have this cutout. - Don't nail tight. - Use only Aluminum siding nails. Kinda expensive $8-$10/lb here. Big box since Al is so much lighter. If you use electro-galvanized roofing nails you'll have brown rust oozing out from under siding courses in a year. If you use hot dipped galvanized you may see the same thing eventually. It will stain the siding permanently. - Before removing channels note how the ends are bent and how they fit (over/under) the surrounding pieces. Put the wrong way and it will feed water behind the siding below.
You'll figure it out. I did.
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I recently got a bid for the same job from a window and glass company. My house has steel siding applied the same way (j channel over the nailing flange). I asked how they would do it.
"Simple. We just cut off the nailing flange and install the new door leavign the J-channel and all siding in place".
Didn't have them do it but it sounds very feasible to me and, with a decent caulk job afterward, should be indistiinguishable from new construction.
Harry K
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wrote:

Extensive caulking might restrict the thermal expansion/contraction of vinyl.
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