Tutorial: How to Get a Custom Front Door (And a New Window) for $100


(After)

Anyone who knows my family knows where they can find us after 6:00pm.  Right here, on our front porch.  Every night.  All year long.






One day I got to thinking... If I switched out the front door for a full glass door,  we could enjoy the porch from inside as well.  Sounds easy, right?  
Just order a new door, remove the old one and plop it in.  


 After the door guy at the "Home Improvement Store" composed himself he explained to me that I would need to hire a professional installer to remove our decorative molding and re-build the entire door jam to accommodate a new door. 
He also mentioned full glass pane doors like the one I had in mind cost $1000 and up 
(10x my budget for this project).  


Here is my $100 solution:


(Before)


(After)

Instead of replacing the door, I had a glass insert installed in the existing steel slab door.  
For $100.



(Before)



(After)


(Before)



(After)

No professional installation required. 

First, I removed the door by unscrewing the hinges.  Then I covered the opening with a tarp while I ran the door up to my local door and window supplier (where I pre-ordered the glass insert).  





I brought a can of Krylon black spray paint with me.  I asked the window company to spray paint the inside of the grid before applying it to the glass.  I knew I would be painting it black and did not want the white back side of the grid to show from the opposite side:




After I screwed the door back in place, I gave it a coat of primer.  Then, a coat of black exterior semi gloss paint.

Now, we can enjoy this:





from inside... 




Not only did we acquire a great new view but the natural light we get from the new window is fantastic. 


 

According to Murphie, this was the best home improvement project ever. 



For information on my affordable online design consultation service, please Click Here.

50 comments:

  1. I love this...so pretty and what a wonderful idea. I have to ask you...where did you get your coat rack? I love that too :)

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  2. That looks so great!! I did not know you could do that to a steel door. Love the light coming in!!

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  3. What a beautiful job! Love all of the natural light that it brings inside - and love, love, love the glossy black. I featured your blog at stylesson.com today.

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  4. What a big difference in appearance. Love all the sunlight it is letting in. Sure can't beat the price:)

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  5. I love it!! Great idea!!

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  6. Sarah, we recently re-placed a "private" front door with a full glass as well. Loving it. It does let in so much light. Great job on being resourceful! I found our new door on craigslist - brand new - and it has the blinds inside the glass area. I think we paid $125. It was actually part of a double french door. I really think most are missing out on lots of light by having "private" front doors.

    btw, I just opened a new blog party for kids decor and would love to have you join if you've done any client boards/posts - I saw your kids rooms - they would be great! Here is a direct link: http://playfuldecor.blogspot.com/2011/08/tuesdays-nursery.html

    Hope you can make it! Have a great day!
    Nan

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  7. That's fabulous! I just might send this to my husband!

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  8. Amazing! You are so talented!
    xo

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  9. Wow, that looks great and how smart are you having it done for so little.

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  10. Looks outstanding and I love how you got this look for such a thrifty price...come by and share it at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY party.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  11. Love that style of doors and this is the best kind of reuse.I was surprised because it turned out so good! Those doors look exactly like the kitchen door I had growing up, definitely something I'd love to try for myself.

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  12. what color was the RED before door? It looks great

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  13. Thanks everyone for the nice comments!
    Kelly, the red is Martha Stewart "Barn Door".
    Thanks for stopping by! ~Sarah

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  14. What a fabulous idea! This is actually on the top of my to do list but when I started searching out glass doors I stopped. I might have to look into this. Our living room resembles a cave so with an all glass door it would really brighten things up! Love it!

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  15. Did the supplier cut the opening and install the glass or did you have to do that yourself? I'd like to find a shop in the Seattle are to do this.

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  16. Wow! I love this.

    Kathy

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  17. glad u stopped by. thanks for the inspiration! My mom wants your Cherry picture . I don't think i can create that though.lol

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  18. Did your supplier cut the hole and install the window as well?

    It looks fabulous!

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  19. A must do for me , we don't get enough light in our house and this will be perfect, thank you so much for sharing. Love your work.
    Must do it when my hubby is on a trip or something. Suprise!!!

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  20. This is gorgeous and I never would have thought to just have a hole cut in the existing door. How does it seem to hold up with heating/cooling?

    Thanks for sharing!
    dana
    craftedniche.wordpress.com

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  21. "Murphie" was right, this was an OUTSTANDING idea!! You go, Girl and stretch your budget so you can do lovely things to your home. Don't take a "hire a pro" "Price tag is $1k+" words to heart! Love it!!!

    Visiting from JUST A GIRL linky party,
    ~Suzanne in NW Illinois

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  22. You just rocked. my. world. This is the answer to all my problems. Ok not all... but one of them. thanks for sharing! :)

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  23. I really love this! I never would have thought to just reconfiguring your existing door! Genius! : )

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  24. I'm also curious if the $100 included the isntallation. Seems like a wonderful deal. It really transforms the look of the entry. Beautiful space you have.

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  25. Awesome! And I have to tell you, that guy in full laugh mode has me doing the same each time I whiz by him. Hilarious!

    Donna
    http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

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  26. Pretty! I would have never thought get the glass for the existing door. Brilliant.

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  27. Such a great transformation. Looks beautiful.

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  28. I was totally speechless! (which does not happen often).
    I love what you did with your front door.
    Beautiful.
    I am glad I came upon your blog. Found you on another blog. Noelle?
    Anyway... I think I want to be a follower on your blog now. I am going to do it right now.
    I just found a great house to be our home Yesterday. We signed and I think I can get some amazing cool ideas and inspiration on your blog.
    I will be stopping by often. First time to finally unpack. Yay. (I have not seen our furniture for almost a year now.)

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  29. I love the transformation. Do you have an issue with privacy? I don't like nosy people peeking in my front door.

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  30. Your door is so beautiful now! But tell me, did you screw it back in yourself? Isn't the door terribly heavy? Just curious! After seeing how beautiful it was, that was my next thought!
    Hugs, Cindy

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  31. I love the idea! What time of company do I need to go to in order to have this done? Does a glass company cut the steel and install the glass?

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  32. We have been looking to replace our front door, but I am not about to spend that kind of money - your solution is perfect! We are a little unclear about how you did this, however. Did you go to the manufacturer of the door to order the insert? Who cut the opening for the glass insert? Does cutting the steal door effect the integrity of the door?

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  33. I LOVE the coat rack too. Where did you find that?

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  34. This is wonderful but I still don't get how you actually did it? How did you cut the hole and get the grid?

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  35. I just want to echo everyone else's comments - I absolutely LOVE this idea! It looks fabulous and I'd love to do it in my own home as well! But, like everyone else, I'm wondering how you got the window installed in the door... did the window company cut out a hole in the door & then install the window for you? How does that work? Please let me know! :)

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    Replies
    1. Carol Joy, Yes, the window company (Antcliff Window and Door Wholesale Supply) cut the hole and placed the glass insert inside the door. I would contact your local builder supply or window and door company. Some of them will come to your house and do it but I was able to save a little cash by taking the door to them.

      Thanks for the question!
      Best, Sarah

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  36. This is AWESOME!!!! Outstanding job!!! I'd also like to know where you bought the coat rack/booksack holder from??? I REALLY like that too.

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  37. I love your projects! What inspiration for me to roll my sleeves up!

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  38. After what seems like a thousand links, I finally found the source of the red door! I know this post is about you changing it but I would LOVE to know the color red your door was. It's such a pretty red and I'm dying to paint mine. Please share. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! All of my paint colors (including the door) can be found under the "my home tab". Thanks for the sweet compliment and for stopping by!
      Best, Sarah

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  39. Wow I'm so glad I just saw this. I recently went to a Home Improvement store and got the same laughing response. Then I saw where they do glass door inserts for fiberglass and steel doors. I have a fan shape window at the top with brass/gold in the glass. I prefer to have a small rectangle window instead of the fan shape and want the iron color instead of the gold. The guy said he couldn't change the fan shape because everytime he has tried it he messed it up. So I asked for a price to simply replace the window for the iron look verses the gold and it was 200.00 dollars! I had just about given up hope when I saw this post! Thank you, thank you because now I will research this process further with a window and door store and I may find a better price and solution to my problem.

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  40. Thrilled to find this. I have a full-glass front door (just like this but without the panes) that is unimpressive and I've been looking for a new door, but can't find any that I like because I don't want to lose the light that comes in. Seeing this, I'm going to add panes and paint the door.

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  41. It looks great! Was the labor and the new glass $100, or just the labor? I've been trying to decide what to do with my blah front door that is half glass but even replacing the half glass with a fancy glass insert is $500 plus labor. But that's big box price for you.

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  42. I often tell clients that a beautiful front door is a huge piece for a home that adds value and gives off the first impression! I love this idea for clients looking to save money but have a beautiful option. Thanks for sharing!

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