How to adjust patio doors?

UK Home Improvement

How to Adjust Patio Doors?

Patio doors have been a popular addition to Britain’s homes for more than 90 years.

First gaining prominence at the start of the 20th century, they offer seamless access from indoor spaces to outdoor areas like patios or decking. They are designed to offer a clear and attractive view of your garden or outdoor space while also allowing natural light into a property. They’re typically used in residential properties and are particularly popular for homes that have spacious outdoor living areas.

Over time, it’s normal for your patio doors to suffer some wear and tear, and adjustments may become necessary to keep them in the very best condition. 

While you may consider calling in professional help, adjusting your patio doors is actually fairly straightforward and there is no reason why you cannot do it yourself.

In this article, we’ll examine how to adjust patio doors providing you with a helpful guide to carry out the task. 

Different Types Of Patio Doors

Before we look at how you can adjust patio doors, it’s worth understanding the different types of products available. This will ensure you can easily identify which kind you have installed, and understand the necessary adjustment techniques. 

These include:

  • Sliding patio doors – An extremely contemporary option, sliding patio doors offer a stunning aesthetic that typically consists of two or more large glass panels. These panels slide along horizontal tracks and offer a space-saving solution for your home. Plus, when they’re opened they provide an unobstructed view of the outdoors.   
  • French patio doors – The term ‘French doors’ is often used interchangeably with patio doors, however, it does refer to a specific type. French doors consist of two hinged doors that swing open from the centre. Often, they will feature glass panels that let in light and offer a more traditional and elegant look.   
  • Folding or bi-folding patio doors – This type of patio door is composed of multiple panels that are hinged together and folded and stacked when one or both are opened. They create a wide opening and are excellent at connecting indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly.    
  • Swinging patio doors – Similar to French doors, this type of patio door swings open on hinges but usually has a single-hinged panel that can be sophistically paired with fixed glass panels. 

In addition to the different types of patio doors, they also tend to come in various materials including wood, vinyl, aluminium, uPVC and more. 

How To Adjust A Sliding Patio Door?

Now, let’s take a look at how to adjust patio doors. 

We’ll begin with a sliding patio door.

Clean The Track

Usually, problems with sliding patio doors will cause the sliding motion to become difficult and strained. 

With this in mind, the adjustments you will need to make will focus on the tracks and rollers that the doors operate on. 

First, take some time to clean the tracks, removing any dirt, debris or dust that may have caused the tracks to become obstructed. A stiff brush will be sufficient, but feel free to use a vacuum for a more in-depth clean.  

Lubricate The Track 

Next, lubricate the tracks. 

WD-40 is a good choice you can get at most hardware stores as it should make the sliding motion smooth and easy. 

Adjust Rollers 

If it is still stiff when sliding, you may need to adjust the door’s rollers. 

To do this, locate the adjustment screw that can normally be found at the bottom edge of the door. Use a screwdriver to turn it clockwise. If this doesn’t work, try anti-clockwise. Continue tweaking until you’re satisfied. 

How To Adjust A Patio Door Hinge?

Now, let’s look at how to adjust most other types of patio doors.

If you’re wondering how to adjust patio doors that have dropped, it’s usually an issue with the hinges.

With this in mind, it’s important to understand how to adjust a patio door hinge. 

Typically, your patio doors will have one of the following three types of hinges:

  • Flag hinges – The majority of modern uPVC patio doors come with flag hinges. These hinges come with heigh, lateral and compression adjustments that we will focus on later on when discussing how to make adjustments to hinges.   
  • T-hinges – Some older patio doors may feature T-hinges, if this is the case for you, you’ll only be able to adjust the lateral and height of your doors. 
  • Butt hinges – Much older doors could come with butt hinges. These will only come with lateral adjustments or, in some cases, no adjustments at all. If your patio doors have butt hinges in place, then you may need to seek professional help to adjust the hinges. Often, doors will have to be completely reinstalled to achieve this. 

Once you have identified the type of hinges your door has and checked whether adjustments are possible, now you can gather your tools to carry out the work.

You will need:

  • Allen keys 
  • A flat head screwdriver 
  • A Philips head screwdriver 

Now, you’re ready to begin your adjustments. We will cover adjustments to height, lateral and compression but remember, your hinge may not have all three adjustments. 

Door Hinge Height 

The height adjustment is always located at the bottom of the hinge. It might be covered by a plastic plug that needs to be removed before the adjustments can be conducted. Grab your Allen key and adjust the hinge until satisfied. Usually, the height adjustment will require an Allen key of 5mm but this can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. 

Door Hinge Lateral 

If your hinge has a lateral adjustment, you can normally find it hidden behind a plastic cover (known as the flag) that is located on the side furthest away from the door frame. This cover may be held on with two Philips screws so use your Philips head screwdriver to remove these screws. Then, locate the Allen bolt and use the Allen key to turn it clockwise to move the door toward the hinge, or anti-clockwise to move it away from the hinge. Adjust as required.

Door Hinge Compression 

If your hinge has a compression adjustment in place, it will be found at the top of the hinge under a plastic plug. Use your flathead screwdriver to remove the plug, as this will show you where the Allen bolt is located. Tightening this bolt with the Allen key will bring the door closer to the frame, making the seal tighter.


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