Installing a sliding patio door along one of your home's exterior walls can be a great way to open up your home to outdoor living space. At the same time, adding an exterior entry in the form of a sliding glass door isn't always as simple as it may initially seem. As you interview prospective installation contractors for the job, there are a few important questions you'll want to ask before signing off on anything to ensure the work will be done properly.
Does a Permit Need to Be Obtained?
First of all, understand that you may need to obtain a permit from your city government or other local municipality in order to add an exterior entry door to your home. This can vary from one city to the next, but in some cases you may have trouble selling your home down the road if you haven't obtained the right permits for the project. If your area does require a permit for this type of work, make sure it will be included in your quote from the installer.
Will the Wall Need to Be Re-Framed?
Replacing a portion of an existing wall with a sliding glass door can have a major impact on the structural integrity of the wall itself--especially when you consider that sliding glass entry doors are relatively lightweight. With this in mind, it's important to find out if your contractor will need to do any re-framing or make any other structural changes to the wall in order to prevent problems like sagging or bowing down the road.
Will I Need to Hire Any Other Professionals?
If there are electrical lines, plumbing lines, or other utilities running through the wall where you wish to install your new exterior entry door, you may need to bring in some other professionals to re-route the utilities before your new door can be installed. Any reputable contractor should be able to non-invasively check for utility lines running through the walls and let you know if this will be the case so you can plan and budget accordingly.
At first glance, adding a sliding glass patio door may not seem like a major undertaking. However, when you consider all that goes into replacing part of an exterior wall with a lightweight entry door, it only makes sense that you'll want to ask these questions to find the right entry door installation team for the job.