Yesterday, we finally managed to install the sliding glass door. We opted for a vinyl slider from Home Depot, mostly based on price. It's not listed on their website, but in-store, it's less than $500. We ended up being incredibly grateful for the light weight of the door since it was just my Charles and me installing it.
The instructions said to make a box from flashing. That way, if water got around the door, it would end up draining back outside and not cause structural damage. Since we had leftover flashing from other projects, Charles just bent it into a box. Essentially, he use a pair of tin snips and bent the flashing up, into a rectangle. To set the box in place, we used DAP Alex Plus. It was recommended by a clerk at our local hardware store, and with a 35 year guarantee, it will most likely outlast us at this house. My Charles ran a few beads along the bottom of the door frame and then set the flashing box along the bottom of the sill.
With the box in place, it was time to install the self-adhesive flashing. We chose it based on the waterproof membrane. My Charles used to install waterproof membranes on decks, so he's quite comfortable with them.
The membrane went across the box and folded over the edge, making more of a "slide" for any water to go. Then the flashing was taken up the sides of the doorway three inches, causing a seal and further keeping any potential moisture from penetrating the house.
A bead of caulking across the back of the box, and it was time to lift the door into place.
With the two of us, this wasn't too difficult. The challenge came after tacking the door to the house with a couple of nails.
Because we opted for vinyl instead of metal, there was a lot more give in the frame. Though the door frame we built was square, we had to do a lot of shimming in order to get the slider completely level. Shimming, checking for level, and then shimming again are what took the most time with the install.
Make sure to take your time with the leveling. Each door frame and each door are slightly different, and if it's not level, the slider won't open and close properly. We checked the sides, top, and bottom until everything was completely level. Then we finished tacking the door into place, putting a nail into each hole along the sides and bottom.
The instructions said to leave the top unattached in order to allow for expansion and contraction. Once everything was in place, the tar paper, which you can see tacked above the door, was let down and stapled into place. All gaps around the frame on the inside of the house will be filled with spray foam insulation.
The slider instructions said that the installation would take an hour and a half. With shimming and checking level, it actually ended up taking us five hours. Then again, we're not pros, just two weekend warriors trying to fix up our house.