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Question DetailsAsked on 3/22/2017

Can a sliding glass door be replaced from inside the house? I have burglar bars on the outside.

There is no molding around door currently. The problem is the burglar bars are in the way of installing from the outside. The bars are installed into the brick of the house.

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1 Answer


If the burglar bars are bolted in should be able to just unbolt and remove the bars to replace the sliding door.

I am a bit uncertain on the bars - since they have to be able to open (legally) to exit the door in an emergency, cannot you just swing or slide them open ? If not openable as tehy legally have to be (at leat on the operating door size at a minimum, but generally on ALL egress windows and doors) this might be the time to get that resovled correctly too, while changing out the door.

Anyway, yes you can cut away the existing fasteners and any outside edge/flashing trim from inside with a sawzall to the extent they cannot be reached from outside, and the entire unit pulled out to the inside - after having removed the interior trim of course.

If you meant just the sliding unit (sometimes but not always with the fixed one) you can just remove/release the catches or stop strip or screw holding it in (or sometimes on the sliding unit, just lift up in the track if it has not had an anti-theft strip put in the track) and release it from the track and tilt the top or bottom (varies with brand) out of the track into the house - leaving only the exterior frame in place to reuse or then easily access for removal from the inside.

You can order most types of patio doors without exterior trim/brickmold/flashing (comes separate in some of those cases, in some types with integral exterior flashing/nailing flange you would have to remove it or maybe bend it so it is sticking outwards for installation, then install new or bend back to 90 degrees (some might break off if you do that, so might have to install new "universal" flashing in that case) and slide the unit in from indoors, then apply the outside flashing and trim elements from the outside through the bars.

Might take a bit of creative work to get the weatherstripping andflashing installed right, but if there is about 3-4 or more inches between bars (enough room to get hand through and handle a tool) should be doable with them in place, and a sawzall and nail gun fit through bar openings pretty well.

Another option if your door unit does not deal with that appraoch well, depending on exact bar configuration and stickout - and on whether you can deal with them being off for a day or few - is to just cut the bolt or stud close to the bars/frame (leaving a stickout from the wall), remove the bars with frame, replace the door unit (obviously not removing bars till door unit is on-site), put the new door unit in, replace bar unit and reweld to the stud bolts. Contractor should be able to cut the bolts in most cases - probably about $150 additional cost for him to bring in a mobile mechanic or handyman with portable welder to do the rewelding while his guys hold the unit in place.

Hint - while rewelding the brick should be protected from the worst of the heat with a wet towel bundled around the stud bolt - a thickness or two of fully soaked corrugated csrdboard from an old box also works but does not keep the heat from passing through the bolt as well. Reason to do this - too much heat can spall the brick or cause popouts from the mortar.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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