Installing a new pre-hung door with glass is a popular method to update your existing exterior door. However, there is a much easier way to update your door– just add glass!
This DIY project takes about 2 hours for the average DIYer, and can be very affordable (depending upon the glass insert type, style and options).
Product categories that apply to this how-to guide:
- Safety Glasses
- Drill/Electric Screwdriver
- #2 Philips Screw Tip
- Putty Knife
- Drywall Screw
- 3/8″ or 1/2″ Drill Bit
- Jigsaw to Cut Door w/ a Short Throw Blade
- 4′ Level or Straight Edge
- Painter’s Tape
Step 1: Prepare the Exterior Door
Prepare the exterior door by removing the door from the hinges. Remove the handleset from the door. Lay the door down across the sawhorses.
Step 2: Measure the Exterior Door
Measure the exterior door. (Refer to the measurement guide on our site)
Measure and mark the cutting area on the front side of the door. If your door is flush (no embossments), measure corner to corner of the cutout marking to make sure the opening is square.
Step 3: Mark the Glass Area
Mark the glass area by applying painter’s tape around the cutting area where the door glass will be inserted, to prevent damage while cutting.
Step 4: Cut the Hole for the Door Glass
Cut the hole for the door glass by drilling a 3/8″ or 1/2″ starter hole in all 4 corners of the measurement. NOTE: Do not attempt to cut all the way through the door.
The up-stroke should not leave the door and the down-stroke should not exceed 1″ into the door. Using the starter hole, insert jig saw with a short stroke blade into the inner core of the door and cut along marked guidelines, corner to corner. You will be cutting through material of a different density near the lock, so you will feel slightly more resistance.
Step 5: Flip and Repeat
Flip the door over and repeat Steps 2-4 for the back side of the door.
Step 6: Remove Tape & Debris
Remove tape and debris, then remove all packaging from the door glass kit. Separate the inner frame from the outer frame with glass.
Step 7: Install the New Glass
Install the new glass by lifting the door off of the sawhorses and lay the outer frame with glass over the sawhorses. TIP: To ensure that the glass is correctly installed the temper stamp should appear on the bottom of the door.
Step 8: Attach Interior Frame
Attach the interior frame by placing interior frame with exposed screw holes over the inside of the door. Align the frames by matching the screw hole guides.
Insert each screw working from side to side. Tighten firmly so that the frame fits snugly against the door and the seal is compressed.
TIP: Avoid over tightening the screws.
Step 9: Insert Screw Plugs
Insert screw plugs by aligning the screw plugs with the frame profile. Insert and tap each plug into place.
Step 10: Reinstall Door
Reinstall the door by placing the door back on its hinges. Use standard window cleaner to make your new door glass shine!
The key to any successful Zabitat project is making sure you’ve ordered the correct item. Let us help you measure twice and order once with our measurement guide.