Patio Door Installation Checklist for Home Improvement Newbies – Part Two: During the Installation

Building Codes

The windows and doors industry follows the international model codes prescribed by the International Code Council, including:

  • The International Residential Code (IRC)
  • The International Building Code (IBC); and
  • The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

All of the above codes have several versions, and different states adopt different versions. It is necessary to be aware of the codes your specific state prescribes to secure a permit. Note that what may have been allowed in earlier versions may not necessarily be allowed in the newer versions. The updated version of the IECC, for instance, requires that the design pressure rating of sliding windows be determined and labeled. It also puts performance caps upon the building envelope.

In addition, some local governments supplement the codes with their specific amendments. This is the case in Texas, where some cities are known to have amended some parts of the codes. Some cities, on the other hand, have opted not to adopt the most recent versions. Houston, for instance, still uses the 2009 edition of the IECC, with no amendments.

Technical considerations. The actual installation of your patio doors involves being aware of many technical nuances that may come into play, depending on where you’re located. A patio door installation may benefit from the technical expertise of a locally-based remodeler or installer who will know for sure what to do if you have:

  • An existing weather protection barrier (WPB). Door openings should be made according to the specifications from the manufacturer of the house wrap or weather protection barrier. In most cases, this means making a 45-degree cut at each top corner of the WPB, so the mounting of the door can fit snugly beneath it. There are also different instructions your remodeler needs to be aware of if he his is using a flashing tape.
  • A sill that is higher than 35 feet. Doors must be installed plumb, level, and square – and some codes mandate hiring a separate architect or structural engineer for some installations with sills above 35 feet.

Okay, but what about when it’s finally all done? What’s next? We’ll find out in the closing segment of our blog series.