How to Install French Patio Doors

Once all the preparations have been done, or if you are fortunate enough to already have an opening ready to receive your brand new doors, then the next procedure you have to master is how to install your French doors into the door frame. Are you ready?

1. Take the doors out of their packaging but do this carefully. Remove all the covering but note that if it comes with clips that appear to be hanging from the doors already, keep them there and do not remove any of them.

2. Hold the panels and make sure to secure the inactive side’s jamb to the wall framing temporarily by installing 3-inch screws that are placed 6 inches below the head jamb and above the sill.

3. Check the gap along the top of the active door making sure that it is even and if it is not, drive a shim under the sill until it is. If the gap is even, make sure that the entire panel is plumbed. Afterwards, shim the latch jamb with a guide of 6-inches above and below the unit. Be sure not to twist the unit.

4. Place the carpenter’s square on the corners to check if the unit is a square and if it is not, you can add shims below the sill. Shim the inactive side jamb in four different locations that is evenly spread out. After that, screw-in the inactive side from the outside with 3-inch drywall screws and from the inside, drive 3-inch screws through the latch jamb into the wall framing.

5. Check that the door sweep makes an even contact with the threshold and adjust it if necessary.

6. Add fiberglass insulation between the gap of the door jamb and the wall framing. Nail the brick mold 16-inches on the center from the outside and install the interior casing. Caulk around the outside of the brick-mold and follow the instructions on the manual.

7. Run heavy beads of caulking on the floor and from the outside, make sure that bottom is centered and tilt it up into place.

8. Adjust the panel so that the face is well-adjusted and secure the first hinge jamb temporarily with a 3-inch drywall screw, 6-inches below the head jamb.

9. By use of a level and straightedge, check if the head jamb level is straight along the width and shim if it needs to be adjusted. Also check the gaps between the doors and the head jamb to check if it is even and if not, adjust it as well. Once this is done, shim behind the center and bottom hinges on both hinge jambs.

10. Secure the position of the door with 3-inch drywall screws above the center and bottom hinges. Remove the clips or braces and check the doors if they work properly.

11. Stuff fiberglass insulation into the gap between the door jamb and the wall framing, and nail the brick mold 16-inches on the center and install the interior casing. On the outside, caulk around the brick and follow the manual.

12. Assemble the frame and run heavy beads of caulking along the floor.

13. Adjust the frame so that it is plumbed and shim behind one hinge at the top then temporarily secure this position.

14. Once again, make sure that the head jamb is level along the entire width and adjust if otherwise. Once checked, secure the position with a screw and use a level to plumb one side of the jamb and shim at three more points along the jamb, making sure to space them evenly from top to bottom. Secure the jamb and repeat the entire procedure on the opposite side.

15. If the frame is leveled, get the stationary panel, push it snugly against the side jamb and secure it with the brackets provided.

16. Stuff fiberglass insulation into the gap between the door, and jamb the wall framing. Install the outside trip and the interior casing and finally caulk the outside trim where it meets the siding.

If you are equipped with enough carpentry skills, the steps are quite easy to follow. However, if you are having a difficult time understanding the entire process, call your carpenter and have him assist you.

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