How do I Reverse the Door Slide on a Pella Patio Door?

Updated February 21, 2017

Patio doors may seem like complicated machinery. In reality, the inner workings amount to a metal track and a series of spring-loaded wheels that help it glide along the track. To make the switch from a left- to right-opening door, you must remove the vent, or sliding, panel; release the stationary panel and shift it over; and replace the vent panel. This procedure will vary slightly from door to door; specifics about the lock-bracket placement and latches can be found in the Pella patio door installation and owner's guides. The general technique is the same for most doors.

Open the vent panel far enough to easily access the latch on the side jamb. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws and take the latch from the jamb. Set these aside to be used later.

Grasp the vent panel firmly on both vertical side stiles and lift up until the bottom of the door is high enough to clear the sill. Tilt the bottom of the door out, clear of the sill, and let the door down. It will slide easily from the track.

Locate and remove the screws in the two lock brackets at the top and bottom of the stationary panel. Remove only the screws going up into the header and down into the sill. Leave the screws in the door. Slide the stationary panel over until the far edge is clear of the jamb.

Grasp the edges of the panel from the outside and lift it up, tilting it out as you did for the vent panel. Flip the panel so that the right side ends up on the left and the left side on the right. Reinsert the top of the panel into the track, lift up firmly and tilt the bottom in and set it on the track.

Slide the stationary panel over to fill the space originally occupied by the vent panel. Drive the screws in the lock brackets into the header and sill to lock the panel in place.

Flip the vent panel as you did for the stationary panel. Insert the top of it into the track and lift up and set the bottom on the track. Remove the screws from the handle on the outside of the door and pull the halves of the latch apart. Reverse them so that the inside, which was outside momentarily, comes back to the inside, and insert them into the door, realigning the latch spindle. Insert the screws and tighten with a screwdriver.

Align the jamb portion of the latch with the centre of the handle and drive the screws into the jamb to attach it. Close and latch the door.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.