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Old 04-10-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


Hello DIY Chatters . .

I'm new here and wanted to get some advice. My home has nice solid double doors for the entrance. I was looking into purchasing those prepackaged doors at Lowes/Home Depot for bout $2,000. But I was thinking that possibly there's a way to save that money and see if Anyone can tell me or direct me to a place that may cut spaces in the doors and place stained/frosted windows in them then place a frame around the windows.
I would get the desired openings in the doors and added light to my foyer.

I'm thinking this would save me hundreds even Thousands and I'm able to keep the same doors which fit so nicely right now. Let me know if I'm going in the right direction or will I have to bite the bullet and cave into the purchasing of new doors?? Let me know people. Thanking everyone who'll give me advice in advance!!!

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Old 04-10-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


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Originally Posted by Canis19 View Post
Hello DIY Chatters . .

I'm new here and wanted to get some advice. My home has nice solid double doors for the entrance. I was looking into purchasing those prepackaged doors at Lowes/Home Depot for bout $2,000. But I was thinking that possibly there's a way to save that money and see if Anyone can tell me or direct me to a place that may cut spaces in the doors and place stained/frosted windows in them then place a frame around the windows.
I would get the desired openings in the doors and added light to my foyer.

I'm thinking this would save me hundreds even Thousands and I'm able to keep the same doors which fit so nicely right now. Let me know if I'm going in the right direction or will I have to bite the bullet and cave into the purchasing of new doors?? Let me know people. Thanking everyone who'll give me advice in advance!!!
Why Home Depot and or Lowes? What "BRAND" are you looking at? Fiberglass or Steel Doors?

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Old 04-10-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


A pic of the doors would help
Cut spaces in the top?
Like 2 in each door?

I have seen on the DIY shows on TV where they cut the whole center of the door out & put in glass
So it can be done
I'm just not sure who would do it
A good carpenter may?
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


any good custom windows guy can do it and its a great look when done right. I have a great guy here in Merrick NY but you can probably find someone closer.


g-luck
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canis19 View Post
Hello DIY Chatters . .

I'm new here and wanted to get some advice. My home has nice solid double doors for the entrance. I was looking into purchasing those prepackaged doors at Lowes/Home Depot for bout $2,000. But I was thinking that possibly there's a way to save that money and see if Anyone can tell me or direct me to a place that may cut spaces in the doors and place stained/frosted windows in them then place a frame around the windows.
I would get the desired openings in the doors and added light to my foyer.

I'm thinking this would save me hundreds even Thousands and I'm able to keep the same doors which fit so nicely right now. Let me know if I'm going in the right direction or will I have to bite the bullet and cave into the purchasing of new doors?? Let me know people. Thanking everyone who'll give me advice in advance!!!
I'm not sure how much you would save in the end... pretty sure it will not be thousands. But, most importantly, is if your current door will be as strong if you cut out a major portion of it to install glass. If they are mahogany, then probably yes, they could be cut to have stained glass inserts. Otherwise, you will probably have a door that will warp or collapse and eventually need to replace the whole unit down the road.
Ask your neighbors about contractors they have used and you might get a good price on a quality door installer that can install the door you really want. Also, check the yellow pages for your area for a door company, not just the usual 'big box' stores. You can often save 'hundreds' right there... enough to pay for the install from the 'trusted door installer' your neighbors have used.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:03 AM   #6
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Wanted to thank you all for your responses . . I will post a pict of the doors tomorrow and I will definitely ask for some good questions to window specialists. Again thanks and will keep you posted on the results
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wrangler View Post
I'm not sure how much you would save in the end... pretty sure it will not be thousands. But, most importantly, is if your current door will be as strong if you cut out a major portion of it to install glass. If they are mahogany, then probably yes, they could be cut to have stained glass inserts. Otherwise, you will probably have a door that will warp or collapse and eventually need to replace the whole unit down the road.
Ask your neighbors about contractors they have used and you might get a good price on a quality door installer that can install the door you really want. Also, check the yellow pages for your area for a door company, not just the usual 'big box' stores. You can often save 'hundreds' right there... enough to pay for the install from the 'trusted door installer' your neighbors have used.
Wrangler makes a very good point as well as Dave asking for pictures. One of my concerns would be; how much sun or rain does this doorway get? Does it face North or South. When modifying a door like your suggesting and it's a wood door, your susceptable to effecting the integrity of the door, depending on the size of the glass. Idealy, in your case to make it worth while to get light in, a 2' x 3' glass would be the best scenerio for light getting into the foyer. But if it's a 6 panel door and the two top panels are getting the glass...then it's a "catch-22".

1. The door structure I don't think will be effected.
2. But is it worth it with such small glass panels installed?

Then again, I'm a believer that some light is better then no light at all.....in more ways then one.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


Again thanks for all the great advice I've received. I will digest them all in and then pursue the best choice . . of course for the right price . .lol

I've hopefully done it right and you guys are able to see the doors . . .lol

The doors are roughly 31"x 781/2" each of solid wood. They face the sunniest side but are in shade always becuase of the small porch roofing.

I'm not looking to make a large cut 2'x3' as Cross works suggests is nice . . So again thanks and let me know more of what you think . . By the way hope you guys are having a wonderful holiday weekend!
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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ive cut glass into raised panel exterior doors before and yes you can order the glass. but your doors with those little raised panel blocks would not work,or look attractive.

go order some new doors or if your handy find some exterior door slabs at a local home center and install them in the existing frame.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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Front Home Doors Change or Cut 4 Windows


Call arround to local glass companies. just check the yellwo pages. They can at least tell you if it is possible and the cost.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:17 PM   #11
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Well Canis,

From the looks of your door, it appears to be a 70's ish style door which tells me the obvious (am I right??). Rather then put any money into these doors, I would install a new single door with 2-sidelites. If I'm not mistaken, it also looks like the weather stripping on the door is deteriorating. If the condition of the door is less than 60%, if it were me, I would not put any money in the door, but replace it.

I highly recommend a ThermaTru "Smooth Star" entry door. You can find the link at my website or just go here.

For example: In my price book an S86 Model with matching sidelites for a 2x4 wall is roughly $1,200 with knob. These generally take 12 to 16 hrs for one man to install. So labor and materials (minus the door) would be somewhere about $750.00

If it's going to run you $800 or more to install glass on a door that appears to be well over 20 years old, I'd say take the $800 (if that) and invest. If you do go that route, don't hesitate to ask me what to keep in mind when seeking a contractor.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
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I don't think theses doors would look right with glass
Style is wrong

I agree, I'd go with a single door & glass sidelites

I've seens many doors on Craiglsist that look very nice for about 1/2 price
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #13
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Well CrossWorks

You are right the House is from the 70s and is the original doors. Doors are still in good condition. As I mentoned before just want more light into the foyer. the Wife and I would like to keep the double door style. But As you mentioned if the price to do the work comes out to about the price of ordering new doors . .then it's New doors for sure and OF COURSE GET REPUTABLE Contractors to see how much the entire job will run me. Thanks again
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:19 AM   #14
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Canis, I agree on the comments above. Even if your doors are perfect they won't look right without cutting out all of the panels. If you had raised panels that peeled off you could use glass and it would look OK.
I have seen spare glass window panels at Habitat for Humanity, but never seen 2 the same. That said, if you're patient and have a Habitat store near by, mine seems to have a fresh batch of new donated doors every week. But don't by a cheap replacement door especially one facing the sun.
What about a nice storm door for the summer to let the light in

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