Glass patio doors are a beautiful way to let in natural light and enjoy the outdoors without dealing with the bugs and weather. But what to do if the glass gets broken? Can you replace just the glass, and can you do it yourself?
Yes, you can replace just the glass in a patio door. To do so, remove the glazing beads around the glass, pull out the glass pane, measure it and order a replacement. Once you have the new glass, fit it into the frame and secure it with glazing beads, and you’ll be done.
Usually, people only replace the whole patio door when they want to upgrade to a newer model or the door is too damaged to repair. But if you’re dealing with a cracked or broken pane of glass, then replacing the glass is a much cheaper and easier option. So let’s look at how you can replace the glass in a patio door and whether you should do it yourself.
Can You Replace the Glass in a Patio Door?
In patio doors, the glass isn’t fixed inside the metal frame; instead, it’s held in place by long plastic or metal strips called glazing beads.
The glazing runs around the entire glass perimeter, keeping it snugly in place. It’s either screwed or snapped into the door frame and can be removed relatively easily.
Once the glazing beads are out, the glass pane can be taken out and replaced with a new one. So, yes, you can replace the glass of a patio door without having to remove the entire door. It’s the best option if you don’t have an issue with the door and only need to fix the glass.
However, replacing the entire door may be your only option if the door frame is damaged or warped, or otherwise beyond repair.
Should You Replace the Broken Glass Yourself?
Although replacing the glass of a patio door is a relatively easy task, it still requires some effort and knowledge.
For example, you’ve to be careful with measurements; even a centimeter off can mean the new glass won’t fit. Also, if the door is particularly big or heavy, it may become difficult for one person to handle everything alone.
So, it really comes down to whether you feel confident enough to tackle the job. If you think you can handle it and are comfortable working with tools, then go for it.
Here’s what to expect if you decide to do it yourself vs. hiring a professional:
Doing it Yourself
- You’ll have to procure the tools needed for the job.
- There’s a big chance you won’t be able to get the correct measurement the first time around.
- Glass pane can get foggy or crack if mishandled, so you’ll need some help handling it.
- You run the risk of injuring yourself.
- You’ll have to find a way to dispose of the old glass.
- You can save up to 50% on the project by doing it yourself.
Hiring a Professional
- They bring their professional quality tools and materials.
- They’ll be able to advise you on the best type of glass for your door.
- They’re responsible for measuring and cutting the glass, even if it takes more than one try.
- They’ll have the right equipment, like suction cups, to handle the glass without risking injury or damage.
- There is less risk of installation complications.
- They may have insurance in case anything goes go wrong.
- It’ll cost more since you’re paying for labor.
How to Replace the Glass in a Patio Door Yourself?
If you’ve decided to take on this project yourself, here is a detailed guide on replacing the glass in a patio door.
Step 1: Clear the Space and Gather the Tools
Before you start, it’s crucial to have a clear work area. So move any furniture, plants, or obstacles that might be in the way. Then gather all the tools you’ll need, which are:
- Putty knife (on Amazon)
- Hammer (on Amazon)
- Small screwdriver (on Amazon)
- Measuring tape (on Amazon)
- Safety Gloves (on Amazon)
Step 2: Remove the Glazing Beads
Glazing is the almost one-inch wide plastic or metal strip right around the edge of the glass. First, check if it has any screws holding it in place.
If it does, unscrew them and set them aside. If not, you can pry the glazing out with a putty knife. Make sure you wear safety gloves all the time.
Find a small lip on any side and insert the putty knife under it. You can use a hammer to tap the putty knife and help it slide under the lip if required.
Start at one corner and slowly work your way around until the entire glazing bead is removed. Glazing can be reused, so keep it aside in a safe place.
Step 3: Take Out the Glass & Measure
Gently push the glass out of the door from the other side. You can either fully take out the glass, pull it out enough to measure, and then put it back until you get a replacement.
Take precise measurements of the glass’s length, width, and thickness and note them down. It’s best to retake the measurements at several points to be sure.
Step 4: Order the New Glass
It’s probably not a practical or safe idea to cut the glass yourself. So take the measurements to a glass company or hardware store and have them cut the new glass for you.
When ordering, ensure you’re specific about the thickness, tints, and type of glass. Or get expert advice on the best kind of glass for your door. If you’ve damaged the glazing during removal, buy new glazing.
Step 5: Replace the Glass
If you hadn’t removed the old glass completely in Step 3, then do so now. First, fit the new glass in the door and ensure it’s seated correctly in the frame.
Then place the glazing back in the groove. Start at one corner and work your way around. If there are any screws, put them back in. If not, your glazing should be able to fit snugly without any adhesive.
Double-check that the glass is secure and there aren’t any gaps. If everything looks good, pat yourself on the back because you’ve successfully replaced the glass in your patio door.