Sliding Patio Door Installation, etc., Costs

I have a friend who is looking at purchasing a circa-1979 townhouse, will be having a pro home inspection of the place early next week. The home has a bunch of aluminum-frame sliding glass patio doors, onto a patio and an atrium/courtyard, and at least the two we opened didn't work well (the others were locked, and a key wasn't available -- they'll have a locksmith come to deal with one lock for which there apparently isn't a key now, at the inspection).
I'm sure the inspector is going to flag the doors as needing repair, at least (at least the bottom rollers need replacing, something my friend can do himself), and I'm curious what sort of cost there would be typically to have someone come out and do that repair (for negotiating a credit on the final sale price).
I'm also curious what the labor costs typically would be for replacing a sliding glass door like this. The townhouse is in Houston, the doors are ground floor, on a slab, all standard six-foot units, I think, and the exterior of the house is stucco (don't know if removing/installing the doors is likely to tear up some of the surrounding stucco, which would then have to be repaired).
If my friend decides to replace the doors, are there any substantial advantages to going for something more than the base aluminum frame models -- fiberglass, metal- or vinyl-clad wood, etc.? And double glazing, in the Houston climate? Most of the doors open onto a private courtyard where they will get relatively little direct sunlight, but he has a master bedroom patio door that opens onto a patio on the southwest corner of the property, where I think it will get lots of afternoon sun; it's also adjacent to the parking area, so the noise abatement abilities of insulated glass might be worth spending a little extra there.
Thanks for any advice.
--

Robert




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Not including the price of the doors here in the Midwest they charge $550.00 to install only.
I found a guy that removed and replaced mine at the slow part of the building season for $260, had to remove the old doors, vinyl siding hauled away the old doors installed swinging patio door, I bought a Jel Wen door , $800 not impressed with the quality.
Tom

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It may have nothing to do with the final price. Seller says, "I took that into consideration to arrive at my selling price. Take it of leave it". If the house is properly price, you pay what is asked. Smart sellers price proerly and tell the nickle and dimers to just mve on. OTOH, the place may be underpriced the the buyer can kill a damned good deal by trying to save $200 on a $350,000 house that can fetch $20,000 more.

Can't tell from here. 6' or 8' or 10' doors? Metal or wood? Doors can cost from about $400 to $2000+. Labor can be from $200 to $1500 depending on what is needed.

Double glazing save on utilities, be it heat or AC. The base models of aluminum are crap. Probably what is worn out there now.
Most of the doors open onto a private courtyard

I probably use Pella with the internal blinds or something similar there.
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In alt.home.repair on Sat, 16 Jul 2005 16:36:19 GMT "Robert E. Lewis"

I'm not a repairman and I only know about my house and its two SGDs, not this one, but I'll say that when my doors wouldn't roll easily, I was able to solve most of that by tightening the screws that control the height of the wheels at each end of the door. Clockwise raised the door. Unscrew the little covers to see the screws.
Still, later I wanted to check it out and oil it accurately so I did take out each door that moved. The wide one was quite heavy (thermopane, for one thing) and working alone, I had to be careful not to drop it.
(Some electronics stores and appliance parts stores sell plastic bottles of oil with a simple, built-in, plastic, telescoping 9 inch (5 inches plus 4 fixed) tube. I don't remember if I tried to oil the wheels with that. It's certainly long enough.)
Tell your friend to, before he tries to take out the door, look atop the door and see if there is a piece of broomstick in place. Although maybe the latch would do as well, it keeps the door from being lifted out by a burglar. (Of course the crash when he drops it (since he's working from the outside) would likely be no worse than the crash if he just used a hammer, but people told me it was a good idea.)

I just dusted it, oiled it and put it back. One door was near my plants and the other in the kitchen and they both got a lot of crap in the channel. The wheels attracted a little of that, or spider stuff.

He should be able to tell if the stucco is over the door frame. I haven't worked with stucco, but wouldn't the guys here say that a straight firm knife cutting the stucco just outside the door frame (the wider of the two doorframes, the old one and the new one.) would enable removing and replacing the frame without any further damage. if the cut is good, would it be necessary to replace any stucco later? Use a metal straight edge and it might require several strokes.

Houston is hot. Double glazing is worth it.

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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posted:

condo situation, so check deed for who has to bless changes visible from outside. The owners association may have a list of approved brands and colors, etc, or even a 'regular' installer. People may be upset if you cut back the stucco and infill with wide trim, for example. (If so, a good installer will know how to Sawzall out the old frame, and use an old-work no-flange frame setup on the new door.)
I'm suprised that a 1970s building in Houston didn't already have double glass- in that climate that is a no-brainer. If CCAs allow it, tinted may also be worth it.
aem sends...
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Good advice, thanks. The condo association would seem to be pretty laid-back, judging by the modifications some of the other owners have made (several have taken down the fencing around their back patios and put in screened rooms, for example). Also, none of the doors is readily visible from outside the unit, so I doubt it will be a problem, but he'll go through the proper channels.

I've lived in the Houston area my whole life, and am surprised how slow insulated glass has been to catch on here; I can recall a decade or so back, a "home remodeling expert" on a local radio station saying they weren't worth the added price. I accompanied my friend looking at a more upscale townhouse built in the mid-80s -- fireplaces, whirlpool tub, stainless appliances, but just basic aluminum-framed single-glazed windows.
Thanks to everyone who responded.
--

Robert




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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:16:46 GMT "Robert E. Lewis"

Wow.
Somewhat similar: It's amazing how long it took Baltimore to build garages with the houses. Well some houses had them in the 30's to the 50's or 60's but then came 2 or 3 decades where most seem not to, even very expensive places. They might have carports.
There were fewer garages here than in Dallas, which I visit regularly.
I think they've caught on now.
But strangely, they almost all use two single doors, instead of one two-car door. that means you can't pile stuff at both sides and park one car in the middle, and it means that every time you go in or out, you have to avoid hitting that post in the middle. How much more does one double garage door cost than two single ones?
Plus you have to buy one fewer garage door opener, and carry one fewer transmitter.

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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