If your patio door is broken, damaged or even made of single pane glass – you’ll want to replace it. Unfortunately, that can be more costly than you’d like.
Large panes of glass are difficult to move, install and remove from your home – so the full process can be long and labour intensive. Depending on the age of the door, you may also be unable to use the old frames – which can add to the expense.
In fact, the average cost of replacing a patio door is about £900-£5,200 – including labour and materials. If you simply have to replace the glass in an existing frame, costs are more likely to be £900-£1,200. However, replacing a triple-folding or triple-sliding glass door will always be expensive.
In addition, if you have uPVC frames, you may not be able to take them apart to install new glass. Of this, you can expect £600-£1,800 in costs for the door and the glass and the rest will be labour.
How Much Does Patio Door Glass Replacement Cost?*
Replacing the glass in a patio door will cost £1,000 or more in almost every scenario. However, factors depend on the age of the door, the mechanism and whether or not you can re-use the frames.
For example, the following chart outlines replacement costs per type of door:
|Door||Glass Replacement||With Frame||Labour||Total|
*Please note that these costs are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Factors Which Influence Pricing
The cost of replacing a glass door mostly depends on how much you pay for the glazing and how much you pay for labour.
In addition, labour for the same job can significantly vary depending on the materials and how the door was put together.
Cost of Glazing
Double-glazing typically costs about £150 per square metre just for glass, before labour.
Triple glazing normally costs about £175 per square metre. This means that if you have a standard sliding glass patio door of 2.032 x 1.524, you’re going to need at least 3 m2 of glass for the door – meaning you’ll pay a minimum of £450 for just the glazing. That’s not including the frame or the labour.
Of course, costs vary depending on the size of the glass. French doors typically have smaller panes of glass that have to be individually fitted. In this case, you can pay much less for glass, sometimes as little as £50 per square metre, but you’ll pay much more in labour costs to replace it.
Type of Mechanism
Sliding glass and swinging doors are the simplest and easiest to replace the glass in. However, closed sliding glass doors can mean that you can’t replace the glass.
In addition, not all mechanisms have replaceable frames. Therefore, you might find that fixing your door means replacing the full door not just the glazing.
In this case, you can expect that costs will double or even triple. Here, sliding glass and French doors are the cheapest.
However, double sliding glass doors, where both panes slide, can cost as much as double a standard sliding patio door. A triple sliding glass door can cost even more than that.
In addition, bi-folding and tri-folding doors can be significantly expensive. That’s because the mechanisms are expensive to produce.
In general, the more moving pieces your door has, the more expensive it will be. So, the cheapest double doors and sliding doors can be purchased for under £600. However, it’s unlikely you’ll find a tri-folding door for under £1,800.
Difficulty of Disassembly
Replacing glazing means taking the door frame apart. If you’re replacing a non-moving part of a sliding glass door, you’ll also have to take the full frame out of the wall. Depending on the system and the door, that can take a few hours or a full day.
For example, if your sliding glass door is on a fixed track, you might have to take the full door off to take the track out. This could mean removing any sealant and trim, undoing screws holding the door in place and even chipping out mortar.
From there, you’ll still have to disassemble the frame. Most good quality door frames allow for easy assembly. However, many cheap uPVC frames aren’t actually meant to be disassembled, which means you might not be able to replace the glazing at all.
- French Doors – Typically 2-8 hours. You normally remove the side of the door frame and slide the glass panes or single pane out.
- Sliding Doors – Typically 6+ hours. You have to remove the door from the track, which may involve disassembling the full door. Then, you remove the side post on the door and slide the old pane out and the new one in.
- Bi-fold Doors – Typically 6+ hours. You disassemble the mechanism and then replace the glazing just like in French doors.
In addition, you’ll have to consider factors like:
- How much glue was used
- Is disassembly straightforward
- Are glass panes individually glued in?
- Are there screws in odd places?
- Has the frame been damaged and repaired in the past?
- How is the frame attached to the doorway?
Depending on those factors, taking the door out will be either very easy or might take up to a few hours. And, afterwards, you still have to get it back in and reseal it.
Local Cost of Labour
The cost of labour can be a considerable part of replacing glazing in a patio door. That’s because it’s specialty work and most technicians will charge £50-£120 per hour depending on your location. In addition, you’ll always need two people on the job to handle the glazing safely. This means you’ll pay £100-£240 per hour of work required.
On average, you can expect work to take 2-8 hours to replace glazing. However, the time required depends on the difficulty of taking the glazing and the frame out.
Replacing Just the Glass or the Whole Door
If you’re replacing “just the glass” costs to replace glazing can start at £250 + labour. On the other hand, if you want to replace the full door (or if you have to because you have a uPVC frame you can’t take apart) you can expect costs to start at £600 + labour.
In addition, those costs will heavily depend on the frame and mechanism of your door. For example, if you have a tri-folding door, the cost of the frame will be significantly higher than a sliding door.
Signs Your Patio Door Glass Needs to Be Replaced
It’s important to keep in mind that not all patio doors have replaceable glazing.
Modern manufacturing methods often mean that the glazing is embedded in the door. That’s especially true with uPVC doors – which typically seal the uPVC frame around the glazing. In this case, the only way to replace the glazing is to replace the door.
If your door has single frame glass, upgrading it to double or triple pane glazing can make a big difference to the energy efficiency of your home. In addition, it’s highly likely you might qualify for a grant to help you do so.
However, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to upgrade an existing frame to support double glazing. Instead, you’ll have to choose and fit a whole new door.
Glass is Broken
If part or all of a pane of glass is broken, it’s a good time to replace the glass. Unfortunately, that won’t always be possible.
However, even if you have double glazing and only one side is broken, you’ll still want to replace it. The impact that shattered the glass can also break the seals – meaning the air will leak in around the edges of the glass and cause problems.
Glass is sealed into a door frame using a bead of silicone or a similar material. When this breaks, your door is no longer air and moisture proof. This means that your glazing may start to condensate.
For example, the area between the panes may start to fog up or you might see beads of moisture. In addition, you’ll start to get drafts, as hot and cold air force their way through the gaps in the panes. Over time, that will damage the frame if it’s metal or wood and it will reduce the heating efficiency of your home.
Replacing the glass, or taking it out and re-sealing it, will resolve the issue.
If your doors are trapping moisture, it means that the glass seal is broken, the frame is broken or there are hairline cracks in the glass that you haven’t noticed.
In each case, you’ll typically want to replace either the door or the frame to fix the issue.
You Want a New Look
New glazing can give your patio doors a whole new look. That’s more than enough reason to replace it if you want a new look for your patio. For example, upgrading from large pane glass to framed glazing can make a big difference.
Similarly, taking out framing and switching to a single large pane can change the entire look of the entryway.
Final Hiring Checklist
Most glazing installers should have accreditation or training, a history of good work, good reviews and rates that meet your needs.
- An established company with reviews
- FENSA, GGF, GQA NVQ or similar qualification
- Liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Workmanship guarantee (typically of at least 1 year)
- Detailed quotes establishing the total cost of the project
Replacing patio door glazing will typically cost upwards of £1,000. However, rates can be as low as £600 with labour if you’re just replacing the glass. And, if you’re replacing a complicated door with a high-end and difficult door, that could cost over £5,000. The best place to get started is to decide what kind of door you want, how you want to replace it and then ask for quotes relating to your specific situation.
Use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from glazing fitters in your postcode.