Today's blog post is a quickie on replacing a slider, kind of a how-to/how-we-do. This shows how we replace windows or doors on a home with wood siding. I wish I would have taken more photos of all the steps but I am a much better contractor than I am a blogger so I was working more than documenting. I will do my best to describe what we did though.
Step one: Removing the door.
We cut all the caulk around the interior and exterior trim and remove it all with a flat bar. If it is in nice shape, we try our best to save it but, most times, we end up replacing all of it. Next we take the skilsaw with the blade adjusted to the depth of the siding and cut around the exterior of the door, make sure you pull any nails in your path with your cat's paw before you waste a blade. The saw we use on our jobsites is the Skil Mag77, it has an 1 1/2" table on the left side of the blade which usually works out as a perfect guide for cutting out your siding. The reason for cutting the siding out 1.5" around your door is to expose the flange on your old door, don't forget to save the strips of siding, we will use them again later. Once exposed, pull all the nails in the flange and remove the door. This is a good time to break out the shop vac and do a little cleaning, make sure to get the entire rough opening.
Step two: Flashing the sill and unpacking the door.
If your sill is in good shape this is the next step.....about half the time, the sill is rotting away and the next step is some surgery. After the sill is nice and clean, we install a rubberized flashing that is cut in the corners and run up the trimmers 6" on each side. We then take another scrap of flashing to cover the corners where we cut.(hard to explain but makes perfect sense in my head!) Next we run a nice bead of caulk over the entire sill for a little added protection. Now is time to unpack your new door and follow the manufacturer's instructions for getting it ready for install.
Step three: Slap in the door.
Just before installing the door, we run a bead of caulk around the door flange which will attach to the trimmers and header that were all exposed by cutting around the old door with the skilsaw. Now we set the door in place and center it in the rough opening using a flat bar from the inside. Take a level to each side of the door to ensure it is sitting nicely.(It should be if the rough opening was nice and plumb/level to begin with which I forgot to mention after we removed the old door.) Once it looks perfect using shims where needed, start nailing off the flange....we actually use stainless steel screws.
Once you are nailed off, it's time to tuck your flashing, inspect the siding a few inches around the door for nails and remove as needed. Next, install flashing up each side of the door using a flat bar to pry out the siding while tucking the flashing behind the siding overlapping the door flange. After the sides are done, repeat for the top making sure to overlap the sides. Now we re-install those strips that we cut out over the flange and nail off the siding wherever needed with 8d galvanized nails.
Step four: Trim it out and touch up paint.
Last step is making it look nice with trim. We simply match the exterior trim to what's existing on the house or change it up to whatever the homeowner would like. We used LP Smartrim for this install attached with galvanized nails then caulked everything. After touching up the paint and cleaning up everything we are done with the outside.
On to the interior, we updated the '70's casing with some nice 3 1/4" colonial trim. We had to rip down 1" strips of trim to case out the door flush with the existing drywall and then installed the trim overlapping the casing about halfway all the way around. Keeping this reveal uniform all the way around is extremely important if you are like me and will see nothing but that slight imperfection until you finally rip it off and redo it! Now we just caulk, putty and paint, time to enjoy the energy savings, and great new looks of your door or window!
This was simply a writeup on how we install windows and sliders, it is a pretty big project and could lead to longterm water damage or a drafty house if done incorrectly. Also, power tools can be extremely dangerous, I recommend hiring a licensed contractor to do the job unless you really know what you are doing. Stay safe and protect your biggest investment.