How can I tell if a sliding door needs to be fully replaced or just the glass itself?
If the double-paned glass in your sliding door has become foggy, there’s a good chance that the seal has failed and is allowing air and moisture between the panes of glass. If that’s the extent of your problem, it’s likely that only the glass needs to be replaced. That’s a far less costly job that replacing the entire sliding door unit. An experienced glass company in your area should be able to do this for you quite easily.
Depending on your door, the company may be able to order the replacement glass and make the switch right on site within a few hours. As always, shop around and get estimates; at the same time, compare reviews of the businesses you’re considering to make the best choice.
There are some situations in which you may want to replace the entire door. If the door is extremely old, if the framing is deteriorating, if the ball bearing rollers aren’t working smoothly so that it’s hard to slide open and shut, then making all these repairs could be more expensive than a new door unit. On the other hand, if the slider is not a standard size, you’ll also have to factor in the costs of re-framing the opening and possibly hire a carpenter do that part of the reno.
A final variable to weigh is the potential energy cost savings from an upgrade to high performance glass with warm edge technology and an insulating frame. These high-tech advances create warmer interior glass surfaces, reducing frost, condensation and fading while increasing light and improving your view.