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Question DetailsAsked on 6/21/2013

Who can add a window to our solid fiberglass exterior front door?

Our front entry is dark. We would like to add a window to our six-panel front door to provide light, if it is cheaper than buying and installing a new front door.

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4 Answers


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Thanks so much!

Answered 7 years ago by KielH


Absolutely - they are called door window inserts - google that phrase or - door window insert images - to see what they look like. If your current door is a pricier one or one you really like, a window insert can certainly be done - many window replacement firms do this, as do many building and millwork shops, and of course a finish carpenter can also do it. Insert purchase cost can run from a low of $45 to 400 depending on fanciness - probably figure $60-100 for a reasonable-looking one, plus about $125-175 installation in the existing door. If your front door is a cheap one (under $250), it might well be cheaper to get a replacement door with a window already in it that you like and install that, and certainly so if you can do the door installation yourself.

If not, then check pricing for new doors at your local stores to see if you like any better than the door you have, and prices. Installation for the EXACT same size door-only would probably be minimum site visit charge - about $100. If the replacement needs to be a prehung door (new door and associated frame) and has the same rough opening size for installation, then probably $200-300 for installation, plus the cost of the door unit.

Another option you could look at if you have open wall space next to the hinge side of the door without light switches or such is a sidelight window - cost about $100-400 depending on plus about $150-200 installation. Would give more light than any door window other than an almost full-glass door, and if kept narrow (12" or less) is more secure against burglars than an in-door window, which can be easily broken to open the door. Install on the HINGE, not doorknob side of the door, so one cannot break it and reach in to open the door.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Just about any home supply company that sells doors can order an insert for you including Lowes, Home Depot, BMC, Builder's First Source and others. A decent but not fancy insert should run close to $100 as LCD said. The install will depend on who you have do it. It is actually quite easy if the insert is sized properly so that the perimeter of the insert sits on the flat part of the door all the way around, not over any of the panels. The job is literally to cut a hole the size of the insert, apply some sealant to both sides of the frame and screw it together. If you can use a saw and a tape measure you can do it. A contractor or specialized tradesman is probably going to have a $150-200 minimum labor charge. A handyman might do it for $50-100 but make sure they know what they are doing. Otherwise they can easily ruin your door.

A tip: Don't paint plastic insert frames. The coating often put on them does not take and hold paint well. Often it either peals off and discolors the original frame or the chemical reaction turns the paint an off color.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Adding to Todd's comments if your plastic is behind a glass storm door the heat, if it hits the storm door can melt the plastic frame on any window insert. You can get a solar film and apply it on the inside, I did it on the west side of my home in front of wood door so I do not have to repaint the yellow every year.

Jim Casper Grandson of a German House Painter


Answered 7 years ago by jccasper

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