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Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:24 am
by medic68
As much as designers and architects like sliding glass doors they are the weak link in the chain. I have the dubious pleasure of having to figure out how best to secure a couple here at our new place. I think this has been covered before at CCF 1.0 but it's currently not available to look at. Thoughts from all ya all on securing sliding glass doors that doesn't cost an arm or a leg? Thanks for you help! :mrgreen:

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:01 pm
by graceandtruth
I assume you mean securing them so they won't slide open? If so, I just cut a 2x4 that sits in the track behind the door. When not in use, it lays in the track and 'jams' the door shut. There is no REAL way to secure a slider, IMO....unless you go bulletproof glass, 3M coverings, or something like that....but, as we've discussed here before, they come with their own handy pile of government regulations. If someone wants in, they only need to break the glass. My method only keeps out the honest criminals.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:43 pm
by yankeejib
Also, make sure the door can't be lifted up out of the track. An easy way to remedy this is drive some hex head sheet metal screws into the upper frame. Close the door, then use a small wrench to back out the screws until they just clear the door. No upward play.
And get a dog.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:22 am
by samuelrp
A LARGE dog!

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:15 pm
by jjinsc
Yes, the number one method used to circumvent sliders (due to improper installation mostly) is lifting a slider out of the tracks. If it is a good quality door and installed and adjusted correctly, it should not be an issue. But if not, Yankees suggestion will work. Another method I have used is using a correctly sized wooden dowel to slide over top the door. Same can be used behind it to secure from being slide open. The locks on these things are nothing. A round wooden dowel/rod that is used for closets to hang clothes on works well for this. If that is too big to go over top you can use a cut broom or mop handle.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:30 pm
by Nathan
True security cannot be found with siding glass doors. I have a glass break detector 2' away from mine as well as a standard magnetic alarm switch. I also utilize a bar that wedges the door closed tightly. Mine is also braced to prevent lifting it out of the track. Even still the door is vulnerable to anyone who chooses to walk through it. There is a 3M film you can apply to glass to essentially make it secure but you have to register with DHS (and bring a truck load of money) to buy it. It would be cheaper to replace it with a double wood or steel door.
My next house will not have glass doors.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:23 pm
by Thain

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:37 pm
by jjinsc
Clarification on my previous post. I stated if it is a good quality door and installed properly, it shouldn't have an issue. What I was referring to was having an issue of being lifted out of the track. However, sliders are definitely less secure entry ways and by breaking through these, a thief basically has a wide open door in which to evacuate your valuables. In regards to just entering to cause you harm, not much different than a window as long as they are installed and secured properly. Here on the coast line, new construction now requires some pretty resilient double pain glass with extra re-enforcement in the frames. You cannot just walk through it. It will definitely take some effort and make some noise. That is not saying it is as safe as a good solid door, just that improvement is being made in them.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:36 pm
by exSun
Nathan wrote: It would be cheaper to replace it with a double wood or steel door.


I am thinking of replacing the fixed half with grouted glass blocks, a structural beam down the middle, then a steel clad security door for the sliding half. Then I get at least half the light, with better security. You can't smash a glass block easily like you can a sliding door.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:06 pm
by Bill203
I replaced mine with double doors. Extended the locks on the closed side deep past the door frame into the 2x6 above and below. It's as solid as a rock.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:48 pm
by jbarrett
:D Old school 3inch wooden door with iron castings and bar lock please.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:41 pm
by Chris C
medic68 wrote:As much as designers and architects like sliding glass doors they are the weak link in the chain. I have the dubious pleasure of having to figure out how best to secure a couple here at our new place. I think this has been covered before at CCF 1.0 but it's currently not available to look at. Thoughts from all ya all on securing sliding glass doors that doesn't cost an arm or a leg? Thanks for you help! :mrgreen:


I used to live in a home with sliding glass doors. I was always worried about them being "the weak link". I drilled two holes in the inside of the bottom frame the size of 16 penny nails about 2" in from each of the sides. I drilled through both the inside and outside of the inside door and the inside of the outside door, if that makes sense. (I just laid my electric drill down on the floor and drilled horizontally through the frames) I then pushed the two nails through the frames and not only could the door not be rolled open, but it couldn't be lifted out of the track.......and yet it was easy to pull the two nails and use the door any time I needed it. I typically pulled the nails when I was at home and used the nails primarily for security during my absence and at night while my family was sleeping.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:24 pm
by Brickkicker
As a home inspector, one of the things I find most often is that some sliding doors are installed BACKWARDS, meaning the slider is on the outside. Think about it. The sliding portion should be on the inside, so when closed, it is far less vulnerable to lifting out of the frame (if at all).
I don't have a sliding door, but if I did I would install a wrought iron security door. See them all the time around here. You can even leave the slider open on a nice day to catch a breeze with the security door locked.
The best method I've seen to prevent lifting the door up is to drill a hole through the top portion of both the sliding and fixed doors and inserting a pin or bolt.

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:01 am
by Pickwick
If I were building a house today with security in mind, I would not have sliding glass doors in the plan. A good thread could be started about building a secure house with our volatile society in mind...

Re: Sliding Glass Doors

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:40 am
by Chris C
I knew a feller who built a two story home with the first floor all concrete and no windows! (He actually painted windows on the side so the structure wouldn't look funny) Only openings were a front and back door......all steel, industrial quality, high-security level doors and locks. Second floor was pretty typically covered with wood siding, windows, etc. He lives out in the flats of Washington and people can tell when he's away from home because he has no garage and his truck is absent, so it's pretty obvious. Leaves for a month or so at a time and has never been robbed. There has been some indication someone tried to breach the doors, but it would take dynamite to accomplish that. Needless to say it's a pretty extreme solution.....but a solution it is! At least when he comes home after being away, he doesn't worry about what might be missing!