Replacing a sliding patio door.

Bought a dog-door insert for the patio doors and because it was narrow to begin with now it is really narrow to squeeze through to go outside. The gap left to cover by the doors is 44 inches and I was thinking of getting replacement doors that are a lot more narrow than I have now (like 23" each) but now I’m thinking a swinging door may work better but can I put one into a sliding door track?

Don’t have any relevant experience, but do you mind if I ask where you bought the dog-door insert?

Swinging doors should come with a complete door frame that can fit into the opening you have. You’d remove the track and whatever framing is already there.

If you have a sliding door where one side slides and the other is fixed you may be able to shift over the fixed side to leave a gap at the far end where your dog door can go. You’ll find a screw in the track that currently holds the fix side in place and you’d just have to move that over.

No, you can’t put swinging doors into a sliding door track. You would need to replace the entire frame.

But that still would leave only a 20" gap to squeeze through.

I would think that a full service glass company would be able to narrow the fixed side so it would work with the doggy door. If not a handy man could remove the glass, narrow the frame and then put something in, maybe plexiglass.

Sorry, didn’t get what you were saying. How wide is the complete door opening and how wide is the dog door insert?

We had a dog door insert. It was really drafty as the sliding door seals didn’t overlap properly and my home made seal didn’t work all that well. Plus the insert was single pane glass and had a thin flapper that often opened when windy. Also the entry was rather narrow.

So we finally bought a new sliding door and put a doggie door in the wall. The doggie door has two plastic flaps and the new sliding door isn’t drafty. Much nicer.

I really doubt this would be cheaper than replacing the entire door. Putting a dog door in the wall would be much, much simpler and easier to change back in the future.

Replacing a door usually involoves removal of both the siding (and trim, if present) and the interior sheetrock/plaster.

This exposes the framing, onto which the current door is attached and to which the new door will need to be attached.

Youtube has got to be full of videos for ‘patio door replacement’.

I replace doors regularly as part of my job. For every door or jamb that I modify or fix I do probably 20 replacements. Doors, jambs and hardware wear out, hardware varies a lot, and it is much easier to get a properly sealed weatherproof result by doing a full replacement.

Unless you are changing the rough opening there is no need to disturb interior drywall, and I usually am able to manage without major disturbance to the exterior finish, though I often have to install larger exterior trim. That being said this is not a job for a home handyman. There are numerous challenges, lots of tools and materials are required. I rarely can do a complete door retrofit in a single day. To do it properly there is a lot involved.

One thing to consider is to just put a pet door directly in the wall if there is room beside the door. Way simpler from my prospective as a carpenter that renovates, restores and builds houses.

Not having seen your particular project I can’t say whether a modification or replacement is the way to go. There are standard double ‘garden doors’ in the same size as sliding patio doors.