Cost To Install A Sliding Glass Door In An Existing Wall
Sliding glass doors are a popular option for access to patios and backyards. They provide beautiful views and ample natural light. If you are considering installing a sliding glass door where you currently have a wall, you’ll want to know the cost.
The average cost to install a sliding glass door in an existing wall is $3,000. Homeowners spend an average of $900 for a 2-panel door and $3,500 for a 4-panel sliding door. You can spend another $250 for built-in blinds, $125 on grids, $200 on a screen, and $30 for a locking mechanism.
The Material Cost of a Sliding Glass Door
First, let’s discuss the material cost of the door. There are a number of factors that go into how much you might spend here. For example, these include the type of slider, the overall size, the material of the door, and the type of glass. There are also additional features you can get in your sliding glass door, and their associated costs are included in this post, as well.
The Cost of a Sliding Glass Door by Type
A typical sliding glass door is six feet wide with two panels. One of the panels is fixed and does not move, and the other panel is operable. This panel can slide in front of the fixed panel for the door to open. For a larger wall opening, there are more configurations available.
|Number of Panels||Cost|
|2 panels, 1 fixed, 1 operable||$300- $1,500|
|3 panels, 2 fixed, 1 operable||$1,000 – $2,500|
|3 panels, 1 fixed, 2 operable||$1,500 – $3,000|
|4 panels, 2 fixed, 2 operable||$2,000 – $5,000|
The Cost of a Sliding Glass Door by Size
Doors in houses are typically 6’8” tall. However, the width can be highly variable. Sliding doors are typically six to twelve feet long, but they can be longer.
This can be dependent on the number of panels you have. However, the number of panels is not a sure deciding factor since sliding doors are available with different sized panels. The panels can range from very thin (2’6” each) to very wide (3’6” or even 4’ each). Therefore, you should get a sense of the overall size you are looking for, in addition to the number of panels.
|Overall Width of Door||Cost|
|6’||$300 – $2,000|
|8’||$500 – $2,500|
|12’||$1,500 – $4,500|
|16’||$2,000 – $5,500|
The Cost of a Sliding Glass Door by Material
|Material of Door||Cost|
|Vinyl||$300 – $700|
|Wood||$500 – $1,500|
|Fiberglass||$1,500 – $2,500|
|Steel||$2,000 – $4,000|
The above materials all have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider along with the price. While vinyl is the cheapest material, it can warp in the heat, and it tends to provide the worst air seal.
Next, wood is a classic option, both for its appearance and its insulation abilities. However, wood requires maintenance and is susceptible to rotting (if not sealed properly), insects like termites, and fire.
Fiberglass is a popular option since it comes in many different colors and stains. Also, it requires very little maintenance. Keep in mind, though, that it is not very durable and can crack.
Finally, the most expensive material for a sliding glass door is steel. It is often considered worth the expense for its sleek, modern appearance and easy maintenance. If you go this route, you will need to treat it to prevent rusting.
The Cost of a Sliding Glass Door by Glass Type
|Type of Glass||Cost|
|Low-E||$100 – $500|
|Impact-resistant||$300 – $700|
|Energy star||$400 – $600|
|Gas-filled||$400 – $600|
|Textured||$500 – $1,000|
|Tempered||$700 – $1,000|
Low-E stands for low-emissivity, as this glass prevents the transfer of heat into your home in order to provide better insulation. Energy Star certified glass also improves insulation and reduces your home’s energy needs. Though this glass may be more costly, it is an investment toward a lower energy bill in the long run.
Some windows are two panels of glass with gas between them. Argon and Krypton are the most popular gasses, and these gasses are less responsive to temperature changes than normal air. This provides better insulation for your home.
Textured glass is a great option for providing added privacy in your home while still getting the natural light benefit. You can find a variety of styles, including pebbled, lined, rain, squares, and designs like flowers or spirals. Tempered glass is also called safety glass since it breaks into small, clean pieces instead of dangerous shards.
Some Additional Costs of a Sliding Glass Door
Finally, there are many options for upgrades that you might choose to include in your sliding door. These will obviously increase the material cost of the door. Depending on your needs, you may find these features well worth their cost.
|Built-in blinds||$150 – $400|
|Doggy door||$50 – $500|
|Grids||$50 – $200|
|Screen||$150 – $250|
|Extra locking mechanism||$10 – $50|
Grids are inserts that go either between the door’s panes of glass or on the outside. This provides the classic look of a multi-paned door. Screen doors are essential for keeping insects out when you want to leave the door open to get fresh air. Luckily, they are very inexpensive and easy to install.
Finally, there are automatic sliding door mechanisms that provide a smooth and mostly silent opening. They are very costly, typically between $2,000 and $4,000 to include in your home.
The Installation Cost of Installing a Sliding Glass Door in an Existing Wall
Now that you have a good idea of the cost of the door, we will discuss all other costs associated with this project. Installing a door in an existing wall is a big undertaking that involves a lot of steps. These are briefly outlined below along with the costs for labor and additional materials.
First, it is likely that you will need a permit to install a new door. They are often required anytime you create a new window or exterior door in a home. The average cost of a building permit for this project is between $50 and $500. You can contact your local building department to submit your permit.
The Hourly Costs of Professional Labor
The first step of the project is to make a hole for the door. This will include getting a structural engineer to look at your home and make sure the affected wall is not load-bearing. Also, you will need a professional plumber and an electrician to reroute any utilities that might be located within the wall.
|Structural Engineer||$100 – $150|
|Plumber||$50 – $200|
|Electrician||$50 – $150|
When considering the above costs, keep in mind that it likely will not take more than a couple of hours for any of this work. That said, it is important that it is done correctly and by a professional for your home’s integrity. Your building department may require a building inspector to sign off on the work done.
Next, the wall will need to be reframed to maintain structural integrity. The door will also need to be framed with a door jamb. Framing costs may be anywhere from $200 to $700. Additionally, the cost of creating a door jamb can be in the range of $150 to $300.
The Costs of Additional Materials
Before the door can be installed, the entire jamb will need to be weatherproofed. Then, once the door is installed, it needs to be sealed with caulking. In sum, all of these materials will typically cost you $100 to $200.
Finally, the door will be trimmed to match the rest of your home. The repairs to both the inside and outside doors might include fixing siding, patching, and repainting. It is also possible that you will need to repair the flooring if it was cut to accommodate the door jamb.
|Repair Work||Average Cost|
Which is better, a sliding door or a French door?
French doors are generally less expensive than sliding doors because the panels of glass are much smaller. However, for this same reason, French doors do not let in nearly as much light. The frame of the door creates a visual barrier, whereas sliding doors are clean and very open.French doors do come in many different designs, which might be a benefit for some people. Lastly, keep in mind that French doors do require space to open fully.Sliding doors are often chosen for small balconies because they require no extra space since they open on themselves. One more benefit is that sliding doors are often preferred for their ability to include screen doors.Finally, folding doors are another popular option for access to patio spaces. They do require space to open, but they fold away cleanly and provide a wide opening to the outdoors. However, due to their design, the frames need to be very heavy to support the doors. This leads to a bit higher cost.
Can I install a sliding glass door in an existing wall as a DIY project?
While it is easy to replace a sliding glass door, it is not as simple to install one from an existing wall. Even if you can do most of the work yourself, you will still need some professional help. Be sure to get a structural engineer to assess the structural integrity of your wall and the framing. Also, you may need help rerouting utilities, and a building inspector to sign off on the project.
Benjamin is a freelance writer and graphic designer. He is passionate about DIY projects and finding creative ways to upcycle things headed for the landfill. Based in Oakland, CA, Benjamin enjoys playing guitar and gardening.
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