Building, Outdoors, Project, Renovation, Trades
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Out with the old – In with a new aluminium sliding door

Aluminium Door Making Spaces Home Update

I do love sharing projects with you guys, especially the ones at our place, as you get to see just how normal our house is and how the smallest of changes can make the biggest of differences. This is certainly one of those projects!

Garden Makeover #UKHomeBlogHop

Photo from last summer’s #UKHomeBlogHop

We’ve finally got rid of the horrendous French doors that lead out onto the garden. I’ve always hated them, but when we moved in, it was at the bottom of a very long list of priorities to sort. They don’t look too bad in this pic above, that’s mainly because I’ve styled the crap out of the space, but the reality was they didn’t close properly, they were too small for the opening and they let a whole heap of cold inside.



Updating the back of the house is something we’ve been putting off for ages. It was a faffy job, needing the old walls knocking down before the window co could fit the new, much improved door. Our first choice? An aluminium sliding door, not bi-folds, as I wanted as much glass as possible across this back wall. Our garden is north-east facing and next door’s conservatory blocks out a lot of light to the back of our house. Bi-folds have way too much frame for my liking.


By tripling the amount of glass, I was hoping it was going to have several positive effects both internally and externally.

Knocking out the old walls

After lots of research, pricing up and wincing at the price of aluminium (man, it’s expensive!) we ordered our door from Clearview, the same company that fitted our loft windows back in 2016.

Read all about this project here.

Door now ordered and belt’s tightened, it was time to book the builder to knock out the two half height walls, ready for the old door to come out and the new one to go in.

Walls knocked out

Sod’s law, the work was all booked for the same week as the ‘Beast from the East’ (or was it the ‘Pest from the West’? I can’t remember now, there seemed to be a load of wintery white visitors that month). So, despite the builder being able to make the journey to ours and get the walls knocked out…

Walls knocked out

…. unfortunately the team that were due to fit our new door, didn’t have as much luck. Meaning we had an OSB wall for over a week whilst we waited for the snow to bugger off and the roads to clear.

In progress

10 chilly days later, the big day arrived and the fitters got cracking, having taken the old door out and started making good the opening for the new door. So excited!

Old door out

You can just about still see the snow melting on the lawn….

Clearview Fitting

The new door was now going in and the amount of glass compared to frame, was looking mighty fine.

Aluminium Door Fitted

Within a couple of hours, the door was fitted, and it was now up to us to make good the existing space, inside and out.

Building work in progress

We’d got a floor to insulate, level and an oak door threshold to lay, plastering to sort, some external pointing to be done, skirtings to refit and walls to paint.

A few weeks later, and we’re about there, want to see how it all looks?

Dual Colour Aluminium Sliding Door

Let there be light!

Chooch the cat

The light and feel in this whole space has changed since that god awful plastic monstrosity was taken out.

Making Spaces Kitchen Update

I used to hate sitting next to those old patio doors, not only was it baltic, but those two half height walls took up much needed floor space. In an ideal world, where money was no object, I would have had a small extension across the back of the house so we could fit a couple of armchairs or a small sofa in our open-plan kitchen.

Log Side Table

Alas, I had to settle for 20cm. But do you know what, that extra 20cm of floorspace from the old walls has made a huge difference. I can finally, after years (and I mean since forever) I can fit a small armchair in the kitchen. I can now sit down and drink wine whilst hubby cooks and the small person plays. (You can see another one of our outdoor projects in the background here too). And yes that is a hunk of log as a side table. It only needs to be big enough to pop a wine glass on. Job done.

White Aluminium Sliding Door

I can now sit next to a door I LOVE, both inside and out. And I love it so much, mainly because I can’t really see it, but what I can see is perfect for this space.

Dual Coloured Sliding Door

RAL 9010 Pure White  |  RAL 9011 Graphite Black

Ok, now onto the colour of the frame. I didn’t want a dark frame internally, not in this room. It had to be white. I also knew that the external frame should be black. Even though I knew both of these things, I spent more time than I would like to admit deciding what colours to order, because there is no such thing as just one black and one white. Just know that if you don’t specify an exact colour, you’ll more than likely be getting RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey (architect’s fave apparently).

Graphite Black Ral 9011 Aluminium Sliding Door

I went for RAL 9010 Pure White internally and RAL 9011 Graphite Black externally. Eventually the rest of the windows will be updated to 9011 as and when we win the lottery. Having that white UPVC window next to my new favourite door is all kinds of wrong. So i’ll edit it out now for the next photo.

Graphite Black Ral 9011 Aluminium Sliding Door

That’s better. Just mind the step (or lack of), it’s on the list of jobs!

Our new sliding door is one of the million jobs we’re currently rattling through in an attempt to improve our outdoor space. I’ll be going into more detail about our plans for that very soon. But needless to say, black will feature rather heavily in our garden (front and back), new driveway and new front door too.

Before  |  After

I can honestly say, just updating this door, which has given us that 20cm of extra usable floorspace (along with throwing in twice as much light as its plastic predecessor) has made this space feel so much bigger, much more useable and the perfect place for me to sit when tiddles has commandeered the living room over the weekend. I’m so happy with how it’s turned out. Now time to tackle the outdoor space!

Do you have a similar project in mind at home? And what do you think of what we’ve done so far?



  1. Wow Karen, what a transformation. Who’d have thought it would make that much difference? It really does look so much bigger. I had no idea it was possible to have dual colour either or that you could specify the RAL colour. The outside does look so much better in black. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do with the outside space now.

  2. Jill Hanson says

    That has made so much difference to your light! I clicked on the link back to your open plan kitchen because I hadn’t read it before – it’s such a lovely room now, I can’t think why they didn’t build the house like that in the first place, different times I guess.

  3. Oh my goodness, what a difference!! I love the outside in black and agree, it works wonderfully in white in the inside (I didn’t even realise you could have that!). Can’t wait to see the rest of the space outside come to life! xx

  4. Everyone else has said it but I’ll say it again: WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Love the new doors, and the colours you chose for it. Haha RAL 7016 is definitely an architect’s favourite ;-), but 9011 looks so much better! I love the armchair in the kitchen, absolutely perfect for your wine sipping while the other half cooks xxx

  5. Diana Lopes says

    Awesome transformation! Loved the snow melting on the outside haha

  6. Zara says

    Fab doors Karen looks amazing, can I ask where the cat flap is?

  7. Bob Cove says

    Hi Karen,
    Great job and a great read. We are in exactly the same situation, changing old PVC french windows into something modern with more glass. Your old ‘half-wall’ situation is the same as ours – could be the same room!
    Can I ask a question re your new aluminium sliding doors: are they easy to open? We would use ours as a ‘main’ back door – would it be hard work, constantly sliding the door?

    • Karen Knox says

      It’s our back door too. Use it all the time to put the rubbish/recycling out and it’s our main access to the back garden. Absolutely love it. Way easier to use that our old rubbish french doors. Go for it!

    • Karen Knox says

      I did. A lot. But I wanted the chimney breast wall to be the feature in here, not the door. We’ve got black windows inside and out in all other rooms, but it was too heavy inside our all white kitchen, so we went with dual colour.

  8. Joji says

    I have a living room with white ceiling and beige paint on walls and 2 white wooden doors – having a similar aluminium sliding door towards the balcony – cant make up my mind on RAL 9010 or 9011..

    The RAL 9010 looks good in your case – lights up the room.

  9. David says

    Does the door still look OK next to white pvc? I am thinking of an anthracite patio door and rest of windows are white

  10. Chris says

    Hi Karen, thanks for the article. I Googled for an example of black/white aluminium sliding doors and your article gives a perfect example of exactly what we’re hoping to do.

    When you look from the outside at an angle, is it obvious that the inside of the frames are white? I guess the opposite question also arises.

    Also, two years down the line, any regrets or anything you would change?

    • Karen Knox says

      Yes you can see it’s a dual colour door when looking at it from an angle from the inside, but not when looking from the outside due to the way the light hits the glass in our north facing garden. Any regrets? No, not really. I would have loved to have been able to afford to make the opening bigger, have a slimmer frame and a higher spec system, but we couldn’t, so overall we’re really chuffed with it still.

  11. Miriam G says

    Hi Karen,
    Your home is beautiful!
    Could you please tell me the dimensions of your sliding door ?

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Miriam 🙂
      It’s approx 220cm wide by 210cm high.
      I hope that helps!

  12. Anonymous says

    Hi there all looking good. I just wanted to note that mirrors in the garden are a real hazard for birds. They fly into them. I know they look nice but better to save the wildlife.

  13. Sharon in Headingley says

    I’m a long-standing fan of yours (if that doesn’t sound creepy) 🙂

    During these long months of lockdown I’ve been getting more and more grumpy at my identical-looking french doors and half-walls making the north-facing dining room (aka temporary home office) so dark and gloomy. I am so envious of your new bright gorgeous room!

    My very daft question is basically: I don’t even know where to start, where to find a builder who can do this sort of job, or how much the ballpark cost is? Is that 3 questions?

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Sharon, this is off the top of my head as it’s a while since we did this bit of work, but I “think” it was about £250 for the builder to remove the old door and frame and cut out the half height walls (half day), the new aluminium door was about £2k, then there was the internal plastering to sort (about £200) and a new section of floor to fit (about £50). So what’s that…? About £2.5k all in? Sounds about right. Of course it will depend on the size of the opening and spec of new door being fitted. As you’re in Headingley, I’d get yourself in this group on FB where you can find trades etc. For this project I used all my own trades and co-ordinated the works myself. Hope that helps! 🙂

  14. Hi Karen

    We are planning to get alluminum doors for the back, but can see you have yours with upvc windows.
    Is this something that bugs you ?
    I mean I can’t imagine it would for me but does it look daft against the rest of the house.

  15. Sarah says

    Hi Karen. We are in a similar position of removing upvc patio doors for black aluminum sliders. Now you have had them a few years, how you have found them? Have they been maintenance free? Also any condensation issues as they are metal frames? Did you choose the company that fitted them because they were local to you and would you still recommend them? We live in Lincolnshire so not sure how much more a comapny would charge if they weren’t local to us

    • Karen Knox says

      We’re really happy with them. No issues with condensation for the aluminium doors as we don’t have curtains/blinds in front of them. We chose the company as they gave us the best quote and covered our area. Good luck with sorting your own doors!

  16. Clare Lane says

    Hi, we have exactly same patio doors and half wall – I’d love to do what you did – always assumed the wall was supporting wall? Did you have to put supports in when you took out the half wall??
    Beautiful btw!

    • Karen Knox says

      No, there was already a steel that ran above the length of the glazing which was supporting everything above the doors. The half height walls don’t support anything as the bricks above have already been removed, so nothing above it to support.

  17. Alice says

    This has inspired me to get on with changing our upvc window to a sliding door – love how the light has changed in your room! But my partner is worried it will make the room colder. Did you go for triple glazing or just double?

    • Karen Knox says

      It’s just double and it’s definitely warmer in here, but mainly because our last door didn’t fit the opening. It was rubbish!

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