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Step by Step Patio Door Installation Manual

Over time, the looks of front, patio or balcony doors can suffer due to the constant exposure to weather. In addition, older models may also fail to meet modern requirements for burglary protection, thermal insulation and/or sound protection. In such cases, it may be necessary to install new doors. However, the installation of a new door does not necessarily require professional help. This manual explains all of the important steps for installing a balcony or patio door in detail. Even inexperienced do-it-yourself enthusiasts will have no problems with the installation. For a professional patio door installation, you will need the appropriate tools and materials.


  • The new patio door
  • Screws for the frame
  • Washers
  • Vapour-resistant foil
  • Foil open to vapour diffusion
  • Trioplex tape (if available)
  • Construction foam
  • Construction foam cleaner
  • Blueprints
  • Pen or pencil


    • Bubble level
    • Electric screwdriver
    • Impact or percussion drill
    • Wood or stone drill bits (6 mm)
    • Measuring tape
    • Construction foam gun
    • Slotted (‘flat-head’) screwdrivers

    1. Preparations

    To ensure the smooth installation of a patio door, all necessary tools and materials should be placed within reach beforehand, so they can be used without delay during the procedure. If the old patio door is still installed, it will need to be removed first. You can find the respective manual describing all necessary steps here. As soon as the old patio door is removed correctly, you can start installing the new one. The installation should ideally proceed according to contemporary installation standards such as the German RAL standard. To comply with RAL standards specifically, several steps have to be performed before the actual installation can commence.

    • Clean the patio door reveal, making sure that no dust or dirt particles remain. Ideal thermal insulation values can only be achieved if the new patio door is installed onto clean surfaces. Clean surface conditions allow the sealing material to fully stick to the reveal, allowing for a fault-free installation procedure (Fig. 1).
    • Re-measure the reveal before installation. This way, you can be sure that the measurements of the new patio door actually match those of the reveal. If building blueprints are available, you should also note the measurements and the date in writing.
    • Always focus on personal safety during installation. In order to minimise the risk of injury during the installation of a heavy and unwieldy patio door, an additional helper could be of great benefit. Furthermore, you should always wear solid shoes, safety gloves and protective goggles while drilling.

    2. Preparing the Patio Door

    In order to avoid shipping damage, special protective foils are applied to the exterior surfaces of patio doors and windows. Before installing your patio door, remove the foil from the parts of the frame that will be attached to the reveal, as removing the foil afterwards may prove to be very difficult. All other pieces of foil should only be removed after installation. (Fig. 2b).

    • Attach the handle in the correct position on the door and open the leaf. (Fig. 2c).
    • Lift the leaf out of the frame. In order to do this, the upper security pin can be removed in a downward motion using a slotted screwdriver, enabling the leaf to be lifted upwards out of the hinges. (Fig. 2a).
    • Place the leaf on soft padding material. Massive aluminium patio doors can easily damage wooden floors during installation, while the surfaces of wooden, aluminium and uPVC leafs may also cause damage or be damaged themselves. When all preparations are finished, the actual installation of your patio door can begin. The average installation time for a patio door is about two to three hours.

    The procedure is the same with wood, aluminium and uPVC patio door leafs. Further tips and advice for unhinging leafs can also be found here.

    3. Choosing a Seal

    If you want to save energy costs by installing an energy efficient balcony or patio door, you should choose the right sealing material. There are three different sealing levels:

    a) Inner Seal

    The inner sealing level effectively separates the interior and exterior climate conditions. The seal must be resistant to vapour diffusion - stopping the diffusion of water vapour through the door. Usually, at this level, you should use vapour-resistant foil or acrylic jointing for installation  (Fig. 3a).

    b) Middle Seal

    The central space between the wall and the patio door frame is called the middle sealing level. To provide good thermal insulation, it is essential to completely fill this area with insulating materials. Polyurethane construction foam is most commonly used. Other fillings, such as cotton fibre and mineral fibre materials, are alternative solutions. People suffering from allergies may want to be careful in their choice of insulating material, as polyurethane may cause allergic reactions. Using other filling materials is more sensible in such cases  (Fig. 3b).

    c) Outer Seal

    The outer sealing level provides the profile of the new patio door with long-term protection from inclement weather. In accordance with ISO standards, this seal must be rain-proof and open to vapour diffusion at the same time. Foils and pre-compressed sealing tapes can meet these requirements quite easily. Sealing the joints with silicon is also possible (Fig. 3c).

    You can find a detailed description of the advantages and disadvantages of different sealing materials here.

    Proper seals not only ensure good thermal insulation, they also protect the interior of the masonry from weather damages in the long term. Once you have chosen the appropriate sealing materials for the different levels, you can easily order them via the windows24.com  accessories shop.

    4. Installation and Adjustment of the Frame

    The next step concerns the installation of the frame and its adjustment. For this step, you need a bubble level and washers to ensure an easier adjustment.

    • Mount the seals onto the frame. (Fig. 4a).
    • Insert the frame into the wall reveal. (Fig. 4b).
    • The frame must now be adjusted correctly. You can use the washers to adjust and secure the frame, and check the result with the bubble level. Doors can only close and insulate properly when the frame is perfectly level. (Fig. 4c).

    5. Screwing-in the Frame

    To ensure structural stability and proper functionality, your new door must be securely screwed into the wall. (Fig. 5).

    • First, drill the necessary mounting holes into the masonry with an impact drill. The selection of the appropriate drill bit depends on the condition of the masonry. Please be especially careful with old buildings; try to avoid damaging the structure during installation.
    • Check the adjustment of the patio door again after drilling the mounting holes.
    • The screws can now be used to screw in the frame. Use a cordless electric screwdriver for this step.

    If your house has a wooden floor, make sure that the working area is completely covered. This can help to prevent flying debris from damaging the wood.

    6. Foaming and Sealing the Gaps

    Once the patio door is affixed to the masonry, the open gaps between the two need to be filled with appropriate insulating material. If you want to use foil for the interior sealing and sealing tape for the outside, the tape will have to fully expand before you can begin the foaming procedure.

    • Completely foam the gaps between masonry and patio door or fill them with insulating materials. When using foam, you should note that this material will expand once applied. Thus, it should be dosed very carefully. Wait a little while and add more foam if necessary (Fig. 6a).
    • Attach the foil, used for the inner sealing level, completely to the wall or alternatively fill the joints with acrylic (Fig. 6a or Fig. 6b).

    7. Installing and Adjusting the Leaf

    The installation of the door frame is almost complete now and the three different seals have either been applied or attached. The final step of the procedure is to insert and adjust the leaf (Fig. 7).

    • Attach the leaf to the hinges. Once this is done, you should check the opening and closing mechanism of the leaf a few times.
    • If the patio door jams or squeaks, it has to be re-adjusted. If further help is needed with this, you can find more information on the topic here.

    You do not necessarily need professionals to install your patio door. The information in this manual can help anyone with the installation of patio doors and windows step by step. This manual not only teaches you about the installation of new patio doors, it also allows you to save money by doing the work yourself. Installing windows and balcony doors should also not be a problem for you, as the two procedures are very similar.

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