How To Replace A Sliding Glass Door With French Doors

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French doors enhance the look of your home and ensure better security and protection for your interior. So, it is no surprise that more residential owners are choosing to swap out their old sliding glass doors with new and beautiful French ones. So, how can you replace your sliding door glass with a French door?

You can replace your sliding glass door with a French door by uninstalling your sliding glass doors and pulling out the old frame. Once you remove the old doors, glue down the base for the French doors and screw the replacement frame into position.

If you’re looking to impact your home, opting for a French door would be a good change. So let’s jump in and look at the advantages of French doors as we also get into the details of replacing the doors.

Can You Replace Sliding Glass Doors with French Doors?

Modern living room

If you have been wondering whether you can replace your sliding glass doors with French doors, yes, you can!

While it’s common in retrofits or remodels to replace an old sliding glass door with a new one, swinging French doors may be a great solution to refresh your home and evoke a sense of style, elegance, and history.

What are the Advantages of French Doors?

While sliding glass doors offer several benefits, like the ease of operation and a larger, unobstructed view, French doors can provide a different sense of style and add more elegance to your home.

Some of the benefits of French doors are:

Natural Light

The extra glass lets in a lot of light, which makes any room radiant, light, and airy.


French doors are just as secure and safe as any other door. They come with quality locks to eliminate any break-ins and with reinforced glass that doesn’t easily break. In addition, French doors offer high security in the form of a multi-point locking system on both the primary and slave doors.


A significant advantage of French doors is that they provide ample open space for moving furniture and other large items in and out of the home.

In general, a 6” sliding glass door will only allow you 3” of open space, whereas a 6” French door will allow you the entire 6” of open space. Another factor to consider is that sliding doors are heavier and rely on rollers that frequently wear out.


French doors, as opposed to sliding glass doors, provide exceptional versatility. You can install them on your home’s exterior and let them open to a patio, deck, porch, or balcony. You can also install it inside the house to connect two rooms.

Boosts Home Value

French doors’ undeniable elegance and beauty make them a choice where you can’t go wrong. They breathe new life into your house while generating interest and giving the place a focal point.

If you’re looking to sell, having a French door can be a persuasive feature to entice a buyer into making an offer.

Energy Conservation

A French door replacement can significantly reduce your monthly utility bills. French doors constructed with high-performance frame material and low-E glass provide excellent energy efficiency and insulation. In addition, French doors transmit nearly four times more solar heat than a typical sliding glass door unit.

How to Replace a Sliding Glass Door with French Doors 

Installing French doors from scratch is difficult, but prefabricated door kits make the job easier. 

To replace a sliding glass door with a French glass door, you’ll need a few supplies, most of which you can find lying around your house, or you can pick them up at your local convenience store. They include:

  • Cutting shears (sill pan) 
  • Tape measure 
  • Utility knife  
  • J-roller  
  • Caulking gun 
  • Drill with bits 
  • Construction stapler 
  • Screwdriver

Now that you have them at hand, proceed with these steps:

Remove the Sliding Doors

To remove the old sliding glass door:

  1. Loosen the adjustment screws on each glass door ( They are near the bottom of the door on each outside edge).
  1. With the adjustment screws loosened, lift each door and pull it out from the bottom—Grab the door firmly from both sides and swing it open halfway. The door will then detach from its track as you lift it.
  1. Pull out the screen doors—Loosen the adjustment screws on their top edge to free the door. Then lift them and pull from the bottom to remove them.
  1. Remove any wood trim or molding from around the door frame.
  1. Remove all of the screws from the sliding door tracks—In some setups, nails may be used instead of screws. In this situation, pull them up using a pry bar or hammer.
  1. From outside, pry the door track apart. The old door track should be free to move after you have removed all the screws and nails. However, the track will tip toward you if you step outside and pull it from the top. Then, pull it out of position after guiding it downward.

Place the Sill Pan

Here is a basic guide on how to place the sill pan:

  1. First, measure the height and width of your existing door frame. Then, look for a door set that matches that size.
  1. Measure the width of the door frame and dimension it on the provided sill pan. Then, cut the sill pan to fit into the door frame.
  1. To keep the sill pan in place, apply three rows of adhesive caulk along the floor of the door frame.
  1. Press the sill pan hard onto the caulk to eliminate air bubbles or uneven spots.

Install the French Door Frame

Empty white room with big window and glass french door
  1. Apply adhesive caulk to the sill pan’s perimeter.
  1. Begin by tilting the door frame into the sill pan from the bottom.
  1. Drill a 3-inch screw through each door hinge hole.
  1. Close one door at a time and circle the locations of the shoot bolts.
  1. Drill a shoot bolt hole through each of the strike plates.
  1. Fill in the gaps on both sides with caulk.
  1. Install the knobs and locks following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Replace the door trim when the installation is complete.

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