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How To Remove A Sliding Glass Door Panel

Sliding glass door panels can break, become damaged, or eventually warp at some point. So what do you do when this happens? How do you replace and remove the sliding glass door panel? We have researched how to remove these glass door panels, and in this post, we will answer these questions for you.

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If you prefer not to hire a contractor, you can remove the sliding glass door panel yourself. However, caution should be taken so that you do not damage the door or cause personal injury. Here are the steps to remove the door panel safely and effectively:

  1. Cover the floor.
  2. Remove any screen doors.
  3. Unscrew the trim and tracks.
  4. Lift out the sliding panel door.
  5. Lift and remove the stationary panel.
  6. Remove the door jamb and tracks.

Initially, removing glass panes from sliding doors may seem like a fairly daunting task, but once you understand the steps needed to get the job done, you'll see that it's relatively straightforward. Continue reading to learn how to remove the pain from replacing or repairing the door.

A sliding glass door of a luxurious and contemporary designed house, How To Remove A Sliding Glass Door Panel

Steps to Remove a Sliding Glass Door

Before deciding to embark on this project, it's best to ask a friend for assistance. These glass doors can be fairly heavy. And even though they may be thin, moving them by yourself can bit difficult. It's best to be on the safe side to have someone help lift and remove the glass once you detach it.

A screen door for mosquitoes sandwiched between a sliding door

Things you'll need:

  • Blankets or heavy moving sheets
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw

1. Cover the floor

Before doing anything, prep the floor by laying down thick padded material to prevent any possible injuries from broken glass. This will also prevent your floor from being riddled with scratches and dings from the doors and panels. You can also use any old blankets, foam padding, or comforters that you have around the home.

Find these protective blankets on Amazon.

2. Remove any screen doors

If you're sliding doors have a screen door in front of them, you'll need to remove this first to access the door panel. The easiest way to remove it is to use your flat head screwdriver to maneuver the bottom of the screen door up and away from the track.

If you're able to lift the door with your hands from the track, be sure to lift it at an angle once the rollers clear the top of the track. Set the door aside so that it's out of the way.

3. Unscrew the trim and tracks

Take a damp cloth and wipe down the trim and tracks to eliminate any dirt and grime before removing it. Next, take your Phillips head screwdriver and remove any trim or casing from around the door frame.

This will usually be located on the inside area of the door near the track. If you plan to save the trim to use it for the new door, be sure to only nudge with your screwdriver. The trim is often made of rubber and can easily tear. 

4. Lift out the sliding panel door

Have your assistant stand on one side of the door while you stand on the opposite side. Next, slide the door toward the middle of the track, and then use your Phillips head screwdriver to untighten the screws at the bottom of the sliding panel.

In some doors, they may be covered with plugs. If they are, use the flat head screwdriver to pull the plug out to access the screws. Turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen up the rollers.

This will allow you to raise them so that you can lift the door off the track. Once you loosen them, have your assistant hold one end while you hold the other. Next, carefully lift the bottom of the door, ensuring that the rollers clear the track before tilting it at a 30-degree angle.

Once they do, lower the door to get the top rollers off the track. Next, set the door panel aside so that it's out of the way.

While the tracks are clear, take a handheld vacuum or one with a handheld attachment and clean them out to remove debris and dirt. If needed, take a damp cleaning cloth and wipe the tracts down at this time.

Find this handheld vacuum on Amazon.

5. Lift and remove the stationary panel

When performing this step to have your assistant stand on one side of the door while you hold the opposite side. Next, use your tools to remove any trim, brackets, screws, and other fasteners holding the stationary door in its position.

If needed, take your pry bar and place it at the bottom of the door panel to nudge it out of its position. Then carefully lift it out and away from the track. Tilt it slightly once the bottom clears the bottom track.

6. Remove the door jamb and tracks

If you plan to reframe the door, use your pry bar to lift the door jamb and the tracks. You'll need to unscrew the tracks before lifting them out of their position. If you can't remove the door jamb using your pry bar, take a reciprocating saw and cut through the wood, making sure not to cut too deep.

You should only need to cut about an inch into the wood to remove the jamb. Also, remove any nails, caulk, or other fasteners connecting the jamb to the door's frame.

Find this reciprocating saw on Amazon.

Can you replace just the sliding part of a sliding glass door?

Modern view deck constructed from hardwood flooring, a huge sliding glass door with a scenic view of trees and the ocean

Yes. Having a broken sliding door doesn't mean that you always need to replace the entire sliding door. There are a few benefits that come with only replacing the glass portion.

It's cheaper

Replacing the glass pane is less expensive than replacing the entire door. Not only will this save you money, but it'll allow you to swap out the broken glass and keep the same door structure that you have in place. This is a great option if the door frame is still viable, but the glass panel has developed cracks, become shattered, or looks unsightly anyway.

You'll avoid complicated installs

Sometimes replacing glass doors can get complicated, particularly when the doors are larger than normal or irregularly sized. This can also be the case if you have damage to the door frame (such as from water intrusion) that may cause you to have to re-set or re-structure it in some way. Why tear out an entire door frame when you don't have to?

How long does it take to replace a sliding glass door?

A blue tinted sliding door with dark wooden framing leading to the backyard

On average, it'll take anywhere from two to four hours to replace a sliding glass door. The amount of time will also depend on the size and structure of the new door in comparison to the old one. For example, if the contractors have to reframe the door to make it larger or smaller for the new door to fit, this will increase the length of time it takes for the install and the price.

How much does it cost to replace glass in a sliding door?

Replacing a sliding glass door can range greatly depending on the size and type of the door, its location, and the type of glass you use. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to over $3,200 for the materials and labor. Sliding glass doors will start at around $650 but can go as high as $3,000 or over. 

How long should a sliding glass door last?

Luxurious mansion with wooden flooring, cream sofas, a huge sliding door with chandeliers

A decent sliding glass door should last at least 20 to 30 years or more. The best way to extend the life of your sliding glass door is to clean the rolling tracks every month or so and refrain from opening and closing the door too aggressively. Doing so can wear down the tracks and the door trim, making it more susceptible to cracks and breaks.

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, removing a sliding glass door panel is not a complicated project necessarily, but it should be carried out with caution. If you run into any issues with removing the door panel, it's best to contact a licensed contractor to avoid possibly breaking the panel during the process.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

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