As sliding doors age, they’re prone to some common problems. Maybe your door is hard to open, gets stuck, or the door is off the track. Perhaps the glass is coming loose from the frame, the screws are falling out or a pane has been shattered.
When there’s a problem with a sliding door, many people immediately think of replacement. However, in many cases, repairs are simple and much less expensive. If the door is still intact structurally, a repair might be the way to go. It’s certainly an option to explore before you spend hundreds or thousands on a new door.
Some problems are obvious. If a pane is broken, you most certainly know what’s wrong. Other problems are harder to diagnose. For example, if the door is tough to open or stuck, there are many potential problems. The wheels could be out of alignment, poorly lubricated, or obstructed by dirt or debris. The wheels could be cracked or bent, meaning they’re shot. Or, the track itself could be bent.
It’s helpful to do a close visual inspection when you realize something is wrong with the slider. Even if you’re not particularly handy, sometimes it’s easy to figure out what is wrong. For a closer inspection, loosening the screws and lifting the door can be helpful. You’ll get a good look at the wheels to asses their condition.
On average, repairs cost anywhere from about $150 to $350, depending on the problem. If the problem is something simple - perhaps the track is bent or the wheels need to be aligned - budget on the low end of that range. If the problem is more complex - say the wheels need to be replaced or a glass pane is broken, budget on the high end of that range or more.
Generally, experts recommend repair over replacement if the glass is in good shape and the door is still weather-tight. If not, you might be better off in the long run replacing the door. Buying a new door and having it installed typically costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000 at a minimum, and more for fancier doors.
As with any home repair, we recommend you shop around to find the best price. Seek quotes from several local repair services before choosing one. Hire only established, reputable companies who have good ratings via consumer services like the Better Business Bureau and, if you’re a member, Angie’s List. You might also want to consider asking friends and neighbors who they recommend.
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