Often I come home to many honey do lists after my wife has watched something on the DIY Network or House Flipping Show with the a grand idea after watching some very seasoned professionals enlarge an opening with a sawzall, wall jack, couple 2″X 6″ header plate, and generally with a couple of very skilled men slide in a new french door or sliding patio door, thirty minutes and a few commercials later, a beautiful new patio door. When dealing with structural components of a home, I always suggest using a professional, pulling a permit, and having the job inspected after installation.
Depending on the size of the opening your enlarging, often I recommend steel header plate or scabbing two 2″X 6″ plates together for anything over 3′ wide and generally, if your considering a sliding patio door it will be much greater than 3′.
Now that we’ve discussed, in a general way, creating a rough opening for our new patio door will be attached too. What about the door, itself? Personally, I prefer a premium vinyl door or a thermal break aluminum with Low-E coating. If your going this far with a project like this there is no reason to use builder grade products. Jeld-Wen Sliding Patio Doors look great, have a great reputation in the industry, and are available with cardinal’s 366 Low-E coating. You can expect many years of great performance out of any Jeld-Wen Patio Door.