Patio door sliding screens



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YEARS, I have hated my sliding glass patio doors.  I live in a neighborhood with my neighbors being pretty close.  This means, I din’t have the option of not putting some type of window coverings on ALL windows and doors.  If I didn’t, I would feel like I was in a huge fishbowl. I have had both vertical blinds (which were constantly breaking) and curtains, which I hated, and made my house dark.


My sliding patio doors lead out to a deck in my backyard, so I must have a covering that is not in a fixed place.  It has to be able to slide aside to open the patio door.  I love the sliding barn door look.  For months, I have looked at several options to try to create a barn door solution for my sliding glass patio doors. Traditional sliding barn doors, such as this:patio-door-inspiration-1I found on Pinterest as inspiration.  I loved the look of these, but they would not work because they slid over to a wall to open.  I only have about 12″ of wall on either side of the sliding doors so these traditional sliding doors were not going to work.  I really wanted to create barn doors, so I started looking for door panels to use, I just wasn’t sure how I was going to mount them.  I figured I would find an idea on Pinterest so I moved forward with looking for pre-assembled doors.  I thought maybe I could use a wooden screen door, because that would be easy patio-door-inspiration-2  But, I didn’t want to spend approx; 75.00 on each door. I was sure I could make them for much cheaper. (I did, but this would have been way faster if you didn’t have a lot of time.) My next thought was to create a sliding door system, like the ones that used to be installed on bedroom closets.  This system uses two tracks, side by side (one for each door) that allows each door to slide all the way across the track.  I was able to buy a closet tract kit with a 72″ opening for under $15.00.  This included the track, sliding wheels that attach to the door and circle handles (I did not end up using these).  The track comes in several sizes, but is easily cut with a hack saw (so they tell me).


Building the sliding doors:

I measured out how large I wanted the doors.  I wanted the one that would be on the outer track (the one on the left that would be opened to open the patio door) be about 3 inches wider so that it would overlap the door on the back track and line up to be visually more pleasing.  Basically,the vertical trim on the left door and the right door would overlap perfectly.

After I had my measurements, I went to Home Depot (I am not affiliated with, or receive any compensation from Home Depot.  I just love them because they are so helpful) and bought the supplies I needed.  The guys there cut the wood to the dimensions I needed. I was picking out 1x 4’s and 1×3’s in MDF and was assisted by a very kind employee.  He explained MDF would NOT work if exposed to moisture.  He steered me to primed pine 1×3’s and 1×4’s.  Thank goodness he came to my rescue, as these would have eventually warped being used in an area that could/would be exposed to the outdoors. After a couple attempts to assemble the doors with screws, I realized L-brackets for each corner and I-brackets for attaching the center pieces to the outer frame. Here is a pic of the one of the horizontal center slats attached to the outer frame.Here is a pic of the outer frame attached by a L-Bracket.  I used it as more of a V-bracket. Sorry the pic is bad, the top of the V bracket is in the point of the seam of the doors on the right hand side of the pic.

After I assembled the door frames, I spray painted the back of the frames to camouflage the brackets.  I plan on painting the fronts of the doors to match my kitchen cabinets and baseboard, but I plan to touch up the baseboards in a month or so, so I am going to paint the fronts of the doors then.  Hey, I’m lazy.  I only want to clean the paint brushes and trays once!

I put them up to make sure they looked even before adding the screens and liked how they looked so far.  But, boy they sure need privacy panels!


The plastic panels were the biggest pain.  I priced out plexiglass, and that stuff is expensive!  I would also have had to frost it and that wasn’t something I really wanted to deal with.  The idea came to me to check out the plastic panels that were typical in overhead kitchen lights or in ceilings with panels.  They were a little pricey, being about 10.50 a piece, but I got lucky and found some slightly damaged in one corner, so I only paid $8.79/each.  I also had those cut to size, because they are a little brittle and I was afraid that I would damage them.  And, the cutting tool is $6 and they cut them for free.  Seemed like a no-brainer to me.

I initially tried hot glue to attach these to the frame.  It didn’t work.  I also thought of using mirror clips but those were pricey if I had to buy 32 of them, so I stumbled on an idea to use small screws and washers to fasten them into place.

The last step was to attach the door handles to each one.  I bought these a little longer, 6″ instead of 4 or 5″ because I wanted my family to actually use the handle and thought I would have a better chance of that if it was a bigger handle.

The finished product looks like this:


I will attach a castor wheel to the back of the front door to keep the front panel from banging into the back door and attach a castor to the back of the back door to slide along the patio door just to keep it from banging on that.  Overall, I think they turned out very well.  I have already received several compliments on them, including from the neighbor behind me.  That confirms my theory that I live in a fishbowl and need privacy screens:)

So the price breakdown went like this:

plastic panels: 70.32/for 8

door handles: 10.74/for 2

wood: 64.14

L Brackets: 9.88/for 8

I Brackets: 16.08/for 12

Track kit: 14.98

Screws: 4.72

-1 can of Rustoleum gloss white : 3.87

Total project cost: 194.73

Questions?  Comment below and I will try to answer all of them:)

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