Tips and Tricks from the Techs!
What good is new door glass if you don’t have someone to install it?
With these tips and tricks from our Zabitat install techs, that someone could be you! If you decide to DIY your door upgrade, we’ve got your back. We asked our professional installers for some helpful hints that they use every day in the field.
Removing Door Hinges
First, loosen the hinge pins by knocking them up slightly using a screwdriver and a hammer. Once the hinge pins are slightly raised from the hinge, grasp it just under the head with a pair of wire snips. Tap the snips from underneath with the hammer to further raise and remove the hinge pins. This keeps everything away from the door and prevents hitting or marring any finished surfaces. When reinstalling the hinge pins, reset the snips on top of the pin and tap them from the top to seat them back in the hinges.
Removing Old Glass (swap-out)
Apply painter’s tape around the old frame to limit scuffs or marks on the door surface. Use a putty knife to separate edge of frame from surface of door, especially if the door and frame have been painted.
Use a screw and screw driver to remove old screw plugs. Push the pointed end of the screw into the old screw plug, and twist it in with the screw driver until you have a good bite. Then pull up on the screw and the old screw plug will be removed with it! Note: This method damages the top of the screw plug and is intended for removing old product in the event of swapping out old glass for new.
Cutting your Door
Position the door flat on two sawhorses with the exterior side facing upward. Exterior finishes are usually more durable than interior finishes. Potential damage from the saw foot or tape pulling off the finish is less likely on the exterior side.
When beginning a cut in any door, the saw should be above the door with only the front foot plate touching the door. If you are using a circular saw, make sure you are starting far enough away from the corner to fully plunge the saw without overcutting your line. Then start the saw and plunge the blade downward slowly and steadily.
It is possible to use a jigsaw for all cuts, but ensure that you do not force the jigsaw too quickly through the door, so as to prevent warped cuts. Many Zabitat DIY’ers like to use a circular saw for the longer, straight cuts, and a jigsaw to finish out the corners.
Circular Saw Blades: 60 tooth blades work best for fiberglass doors, 40 tooth for steel doors, and 24 tooth for wood doors.
When you finish your cuts, ensure that at least one sawhorse is supporting the cutout section, so it doesn’t fall straight out and hurt your toes or damage your floor.
Note on flush glazed glass: Standard cut-outs and swap-outs are most common and are fairly straightforward. However, wood doors with single pane inset glass or fiberglass doors with flush glazed glass can be a bit more involved. The existing glass in these types of doors usually extends past the cut line for standard sizes and requires an extremely shallow cut to avoid blade contact with glass. Blade contact with glass during the cut can be dangerous. Unless the consumer has extensive experience with these types of doors, it is recommended that they consider professional installation. Contact Zabitat for professional installation!
Installing Door Glass
Save the cardboard box in which your product was delivered. This can be laid across the floor or ground to create a level surface that will not scratch or damage your door, frame, and glass during glass installation.
If you decide to use a drill to tighten the screws, make sure the torque setting is not too high. This will prevent you from over-tightening the screws initially, which could cause the frame to warp or crack. A torque setting of 6-8 is usually a good rule of thumb.
Begin by tightening center screws on the sides, top, and bottom. Alternate sides when placing and tightening the screws. This helps the frame and glass stay centered on your door.
Placing Screw Plugs
Gently nose the plugs in with the flat notch tipped up (see image below). Push lightly until the plug is stuck in the hole but not pushed in. Use the flat of a rubber mallet or the rounded plastic end of a screw driver to lightly tap the plugs in until flush with frame.
Pushing plugs in with your fingers will not only tire out your fingers, but often leads to plugs going in past flush! The wider footprint of the mallet will stop the plug from going in too deeply.
Re-hanging your Door
When working the hinge leaves back together, it’s easiest to maneuver the door in a nearly closed position. This allows you to rest the door into the threshold and work the hinge leaves together rather than free-handing it while bearing the full weight of the door. Once you get the bottom leaves together, simply pick up slightly on the strike side (opposite of hinge side) of the door and push it closed, allowing the top two hinge leaves to fall into place.
We hope these tips and tricks help you with a seamless and easy door glass installation! Remember, we also have in-depth installation instructions in PDF format as well as on YouTube! Our staff is here for you every step of the way. The professional installers who provided all this great advice are also available to do the work for you, if you prefer! Either way, we look forward to hearing about your amazing door transformation.