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Installing a patio door without fins

QuestionI was asked to install a patio door for a friend. The door was purchased at a homeowner's secondhand store. Prior to beginning the project, I inspected the door and noticed that because it was removed from its original location, all the metal fins had been cut off. I have installed patio doors before, but the doors still had all the fins. This is my first time trying to install a patio door without any fins.

AnswerNot a problem! Because you don't have any fins you will need to install temporary stops to the rough opening; use screws so you can remove them at a later time. What's important is to determine the size (width) of the stops.

If you are working in a 2x4 environment, you may want to install stops to the exterior side of the building rather than to the inside of the rough opening. That way you can install finish jambs on the interior side. If you are working in a 2x6 environment, then the jambs could be spilt equally for both the interior and exterior.

Professionally speaking, I would bring the patio door closer to the exterior side if it is a slider. If it's a swing door, then I would bring it closer to the interior side, the same as installing a pre-hung door.

Once the stops are in place, install the patio door up against the stops, plumb the door using shims, and install screws into the jamb legs. If there are no holes for screws, then pre-drill holes and use a countersink on these holes. This will allow wood screws to seat flush with frame. When you are satisfied with the installation, you can remove the stops and install permanent finish jambs and/or trim pieces.

Copyright © 2001 & 2004 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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