Installing Plantation Shutters Over a Sliding Glass Door

What You'll Need
Aluminum measuring tape and pencil
Framing square
Stepladder, if needed
Frames, tracks and mounting hardware
Bifold plantation shutters
Electric drill and bits
An assistant

To add elegance and light control to your sliding glass doors, add bifold plantation shutters. Follow the guidelines below to install these plantation shutters over your sliding glass door.

Step 1: Select an Inside or Outside Frame Mount

First, decide whether you want to mount your shutters inside the glass door frame or outside it. For an outside mount, measure the entire area you want the shutters to cover beyond the door frame.

Step 2: Measure the Glass Door Area for Inside Mount

Measure the length and width of the sliding glass door at three spots - bottom, top and center. Take a diagonal measurement of the glass door too. Lastly, measure the depth of the glass door frame from the glass surface into the room. This is called the backspace. Note the size and location of door handles and other protrusions on the sliding glass door. The plantation shutters must not catch on these objects when opening and closing.

Step 3: Choose the Opening and Mount Style

Choose bifold doors that shift all to the right if your sliding door opens from the left, and vice versa for a right side-opening door. You will need an overhead track for these shutters. Many mount styles are available. For a sliding glass door set directly into the window wall, with no other framing, choose a no-frame mount. Use a Z-frame, L-frame or hanging strip if your sliding glass door has a frame, or is more than 1/2 inch off square.

Step 4: Mount the Frame to the Wall

Attach the vertical shutter frame to the wall at the fixed end of the sliding glass door. Align the shutter frame for top and bottom clearance, and mark the screw holes with a pencil. Make the pilot holes for the screws with the electric drill. Fasten the frame to the wall at the top only, with a screw supplied in the frame kit. You will secure it later down its full length. Put a screw plug in the top screw to conceal it.

Step 5: Add the Overhead Frame

Align the overhead frame pieces with the wood jamb at the top of the sliding glass door frame. Mark and drill in the pilot holes for the screws. Attach the overhead frame to the wood jamb. Make sure the screws are drilled in flush to the frame, so the plantation shutters will slide smoothly along it.

Step 6: Attach the Shutters to the Frame and to Each Other

Hold each shutter panel so that the clearance at top and bottom are even. Attach the first shutter panel to the wall frame. Align the next shutter with the hinges on the first panel and fasten it with the hinge screws. Continue aligning and joining the shutters to each other at the hinges.

Step 7: Finishing Attaching the Wall Frame

Now insert and fasten the rest of the screws for the vertical wall frame. Cap each screw hole with a screw plug to hide the metal screw heads.