Doors Repairing sliding glass door

Published on November 16th, 2016 | by Henri


Modifying and repairing sliding glass doors

Today I received two questions about modifying or repairing existing sliding glass doors. Since the issues are related, I decided to combine them into a single post.

Q.   My 1958 eight-foot sliding glass doors do not slide open smoothly. The rollers are worn out. The doors have no manufacturer label. Is there a source for door and window hardware?

A.  There is. Blaine Window Hardware, Inc. In Hagerstown, Maryland, toll free number 800-678-1919,

When I was active in general contracting, I used Blaine Window Hardware quite frequently to get parts no longer available for windows, doors and other construction components. They have thousands of parts and and can help you choose the appropriate ones if you submit detailed information and/or a photo.

Q.   Recently I moved into a new house with a double sliding glass door. One side seems fixed…the wrong side. I’d like to take out the moving side and turn it upside down so to speak. Only there are no rollers on what is now the top and I don’t know if I can take them off and switch from bottom to top (or vice versa). My issue is…I have no idea who manufactured the doors.  Any way I could find out? Thank you so much.

A.    Most manufacturers of sliding doors do not have any identification on their product; a strange practice if you are proud of what you  make.

If I understand correctly, you want to exchange the panels. Looking at it from the outside, and assuming that the fixed panel is on the right and the moving panel on the left, you want to put the fixed panel on the left and the moving panel on the right.

Some door manufacturers make doors that can be installed one way or the other, but once installed a certain way, they are usually not reversible. There are a couple of problems:

  1. The fixed panel would have to be flipped top to bottom because of the interlocking weatherstripping. This would leave a hole in the sill where the fixed panel is secured to the sill with a clip; the hole would need to be sealed to prevent water for leaking through and cause damage under it. The permanency of such a repair is a potential headache, and would have to be monitored regularly.
  2. The sliding panel’s rollers would have to be removed, and it is unlikely that they can be reinstalled on the opposite side of the door.

Your best bet is to have an experienced glass shop personnel check out your situation. He or she may be able to identify the manufacturer of the door and advise you on the feasibility of your project. However, you may have to live with the present installation or have a new door installed, hopefully without too many alterations needed to the existing opening.


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