I want to replace a 3' x 4' window with 6' wide patio doors any advice on that?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ April 1, 2010 ~ No Comments

Do I need a contractor? Are their any planning issues to consider? It's a single home on 1 acre so it would not impact any other properties.

Kyle R. ~ Glenmoore, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Kyle, I think there is a good chance you should get a contractor unless you have quite a bit of experience at doing projects such as this around your house. First, you should get a building permit. I know it doesn't seem like it would be required, but I was once stopped in the middle of changing a front door and frame when an inspector happened to drive by. It was a small enough jurisdiction that he knew we hadn't gotten a permit, which I didn't think we needed. I'm not sure how strict they are in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, but you might want to check on it.

The biggest part of this project would be if anything needed to be moved. The window opening is going to need to be widened and taken down to the floor, and probably heightened. There may be plumbing, ductwork, or electrical which needs to be moved. You are also going to have to run wiring for an exterior light, as usually an exterior light is required to be close to an exterior door. You are going to have to install a new header, and depending on what is there now, it may need to be larger as well as being longer.

There will probably be some interior work which needs to be done after you have enlarged your hole, and added the new header and jacks. I don't know what your interior finish is, but you may need to have some drywall work or paneling done. On the outside you are going to have to do some work with the exterior finish. Hopefully it is a siding, and not brick or stone. I would use a door pan under the threshold.

Patio doors come handed, which is based on which side you want the operable panel. If this sounds like something you could tackle, or you have done something similar in the past, like a window replacement, then you should be in good shape. Otherwise I believe you might be better off with hiring a contractor. It should go faster, and you might be happier with the end results.

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