How to do a Door-to-Window Conversion

Got a door that gets little usage? Why not turn it into a window?


After: The door is replaced with a window that will let natural light into the room.

After: The door is replaced with a window that will let natural light into the room.

Similar Topics:

Materials and Tools:



1 sheet 1/2" a/c plywood
16 feet of wood trim
6 8-foot 2x4s
1 sheet 1/2" drywall
1 roll R13 insulation
builder’s shims
paint and painting supplies
power miter saw
reciprocating saw
drywall tools
measuring tape
safety glasses


Replacing the essentially non-functional exterior door with a window will make the home more secure and will enhance the look of the room by letting in more natural light. Following are the basic steps in the project:

1. Remove the old door, and carefully remove all interior and exterior trim. We worked from the top down to avoid disturbing the existing header.

2. The threshold was removed, but the original door sill was also left in place since it caps the floor joists underneath. Removing it would necessitate additional work on the exterior to keep the area watertight.



3. With the door and trim removed, measure down and mark each side of the opening for the window sill plate.

4. Cut and install jack studs to hold the sill in place. We installed the support studs 16 inches on-center.



5. With frame and support for the window built, install 1/2" plywood on the outside and place insulation in the area between the panels.

6. Install drywall on the inside.

Note: We weren't able to match the house’s original siding exactly so, on the exterior, we opted to put a decorative panel beneath the window.



7. Stain the window. Allow the stain to cure fully, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the stain has dried, set the window in place, shimming it plumb and level.

8. Once the window is plumb and level in the frame, secure it in place with nails.

9. With the window installed, stain the interior molding. Paint the interior wall and the exterior panel to complete the project.

Next Up

Demolition: Converting a Window to a Door

Follow these guidelines for removing a window and creating a rough opening.

Practical Ways to Add Sunshine

Use windows and skylights to bring natural light into your home.

Expanding a Window to a Door

Add an extra opening to your home by converting a window to a door.

How to Fix a Drafty Window

Don’t hire a handyman. Save money and follow HGTV Magazine ’s DIY steps for weather-stripping windows.

How to Make Stained Glass Art

Create a distinctive stained glass design to dress up any window.

How to Make a Mercury Glass Window

Upcycle an old window into a trendy mercury glass display complete with hooks to hang your belongings.

How to Install Windows

Let there be light and ventilation with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Clean Windows

Learn how to clean windows like a pro with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Read a Window Energy Efficiency Label

Do the homework when it comes to all those codes and numbers on window energy-efficiency labels.

How to Infuse Your Home With Beautiful, Natural Light

Austin-based architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph shares creative ways to bring more natural light into your home, no matter the architectural challenges.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.