Advice on replacing sliding glass doors on a stucco home.

ellyniMarch 6, 2011

I just bought a new home and the sliding glass doors are in very poor

condition. I am on a budget so I would like to try to replace them myself

but have absolutely zero experience. I am, however, a very competent

person (i also have a competent fiance to help) . :)

I have done a ton of research on replacing sliding glass doors and feel

really good about how to go about doing it. However, most tutorials and

information I find is focused around homes that have siding. Mine is

stucco. I'm unsure at this point what the difference might be between

removing and installing a sliding glass door on a stucco home versus a

home with siding. Any advice, tips or direction would be greatly

appreciated. Thanks!!

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You might also want to check out patio and french doors. They tend to be tighter and for resale they help. Measure the width outside from stucco to stucco and go shopping for a door whose RO is smaller than that. Then add the trim of your choice to either go over the stucco or butt to it. The inside is much easier to deal with. Be carefull removing old door so that you do not disturb stucco.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:32AM
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We are actually considering installing french doors instead and I have done a ton of research into installing them as well. We are still debating. The rooms are small and I am concerned about space with the doors opening.

Regardless though, I guess my concern is wondering how to remove the old ones. I don't see any visible screws to be able to remove it. There is no trim on the doors. Do I need to cut away some of the stucco to remove it? Did they add stucco to the frame after installing it?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:15AM
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If your existing slider is aluminum framed, then it has a flange that is nailed to the header and trimmer/jack studs of the framing, then lathed for stucco over that. They are typically installed before the house is lathed for stucco similar to windows. The flange is typically 1-1/4" in width. If you are going to trim out the exterior of the new french doors over the stucco, you can remove the existing slider by purchasing a 4" grinder with a diamond masonry blade and cut the perimeter stucco at the top and sides about 1-1/2" out from the slider. You'll know you have cut deep enough when you see sparks off of the blade when it hits the lath wire. The wire wont damage the blade. Traditional 3-coat stucco,( scratch, brown, top stucco color coat), is approximately 3/4 - 1 " thick. After the french door install, you will want to fill in the gap with something as a backer for the exterior trim. Wear a respirator and safety goggles and keep a shop vac with a fine particulates filter at hand for the clean up. If you have a helper, they can hold the vac nozzle close to your cutting to catch most of the dust. The reason I recommend a diamond blade vs a standard masory blade is that you will go through enough masonry blades to equal the cost of the diamond. Plus you'll be able to use the diamond blade for more projects. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Sierraeast, Thank you for this information! This helps a lot!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:14AM
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Sierra has it.
(except we just use pawn shop circ saws with diamond blades...surprising how long they last)

What we do is cut the stucco away far enough on both sides and top so we can install the door, sliding or french or patio and weather seal, tape, gasket, etc properly and install a backer strip to attach the new trim. I don't like that backer going over the flange.

so the final, outside, new trim sits proud of the stucco, not flush.

Of course this depends on how all the rest of the windows look and how you want it to look. I think we get a better weather tight situation by taking a larger strip out and building it back.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:50AM
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Thanks Metaxa, I left out the most important part, flashing/sealing before trimming out. It's difficult at best but also a caulking that is compatible with the flashing material can help seal the gap wghere the stucco cut meets the flashing. This is especially important if the doors are exposed. The method I mentioned also has the trim proud ,(over the stucco), and fastened to the door jambs. Countersunk tapcons can be used to fasten through the stucco and an insurance bead of caulking, (I've had good luck with dynaflex 230), around the perimeter of the trim.

Set the doors/ jambs, self adhere flshing along both sides first, then lap the upper header peice over, caulk both inside edges, trim, insurance caulk the perimeter trim outside and where it meets the jamb, primer and two top coats paint.

Thanks again Metaxa, flashing /sealing it all up is definetely the most important part of this project. Good advise/catch!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 10:27AM
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I know this is a pretty old post but recently I replaced an old sliding door where I have to take out the stucco to remove the old frame.

After putting in the new door with the old stucco removed. I was wondering what material do I need to add to cover the exposed studs. Should I add flashing tape? or just put some lath (black paper with wire) anything before I put in new stucco in to fill back to the new frame?

Sorry for all the questions, this forum gave me the courage to proceed and it is my first big project so I hope I don't mess it up.
Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:58PM
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