Patio door installation question

I notice some sliding glass patio doors that have the sliding door on the outside, which means the track is exposed to the weather and debris buildup. The door could also possibly be lifted up and removed from outside. Are some door designed this way, or is the configuration optional when installing the door? It seems like an improper installation to me.


I point it out when I find them like this Ralph but I do not (as of yet) call it a defect.

Lets see what others have to say.

I think it means it was installed backwards. They probably wanted the door to open on a particular side, but got the wrong one. I'd call it an installation defect, because it's a security problem more than anything else.

Pella doors are designed this way...I've always thought that odd....

I had one like this recently and have always written them up as a security issue. But, I was looking at this one and realized that if the door is locked then it is impossible to lift it up and out of the channel. If it's unlocked...well, then it wouldn't matter so much then. So, I'd like to see some discussion and debate on this this just an 'old wife's tale?". What do the mfg's installation instructions say I wonder?

I used to install sliding doors. Many companies design them with an outside slider. Their reasoning is that it is a better barrier against the weather. There are extremely difficult to lift off if they are closed and locked. I do not call them out as a defect since they were designed by the manufacturer to be installed that way.

Almost looks to me like the unit was installed backwards.
The wheel assembly is adjustable in order to operate well and can be lowered on the interior side of the unit, and the fixed unit shoulld be on the outside, this protects the track system from the elements and debris that would cause a malfunction of the sliding panel.
You should not be able to remove the sider from outside without removing the fixed unit first.
It does not look like it has a sloping sill, but that could be the picture affect.


As stated earlier, Pellas have the operating panel on the outside.

Installation manual(PDF)

Thanks everyone.

The more I thought about it the more it seemed to be designed that way. I still think it is a poor design to have the track outside.

I guess I will write it up as a maintenance tip - keep track clean.

Must be why I like the Anderson Sliding unit, it is more loggical in it's installations. :mrgreen:

i'm finding that one of the many good things about this message board is to read and learn about differing buiding practices thru-out our great country. if i were inspecting a home here in south florida with that s.g.d. set up i woud not have given it a 2nd thought. i would say that 95% of them are installed that way with both panels being active. However many times the outside panel will have a hinged throw bolt attached to the bottom sill so that when it is closed it can be flipped down and secured to the interior panel for a security precaution.( keeps the honest people from breaking and entering)

I rarely see doors set up this way but when I do I write it up as a safety hazard because of ice build up in the winter the door will not function as a means of egress.

Thanks Peter, for a moment, I thought I was the only one that saw it that way. :)

[quote="prussell, post:12, topic:43231"]

I rarely see doors set up this way but when I do I write it up as a safety hazard because of ice build up in the winter the door will not function as a means of egress.


Years ago I ordered a storm door for a sliding door (kind of like a storm window for a window). That's how it was. Sliding part was on outside. Customer asked if there was such a thing as a storm door for sliding doors. I checked into it. Sure enough, there was. Never herd, or seen, or had a call for one again. I had forgotten about that til I read this post. Funny how some things trigger the memory. Also, it's been a while, but, it seams I remember a conversation about exterior sliding door panels being a bennefit down south (warmer climates). Don't remember why. Up north, the disadvantage was ice in the track.

I think thesliding glass patio doors installed outside doesn’t mean exposing to the weather . It’s not an improper installation though it has many positive points like it will take less space of your inside . and there are many ways to protect glass doors from exposed weather like coating.

I mention this as a “note” in my reports for three reasons:

First, when a door mounted on the outside track is opened, the handle comes in contact with the fixed panel. My thumbnail is just now growing back from throwing open one of these doors and smashing my thumb between the handle and the fixed panel! Yeouch!

Secondly, most people like to cut a dowel or PVC pipe to fit in the slider track for cheap security, this is not possible when the slider is on the outside.

Thirdly, this is anecdotal, but I have noticed that the track does accumulate more dirt and debris on the outside and the sliders stick and catch more often, again, just an observation.

I don’t expect that anyone will demand a new door replacement from my mentioning it, but perhaps will use my damaged thumb as a cautionary tale to be more careful when opening the door!

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That’s just great. …

Desperate SPAM on a 10 yr old thread.