Install Plexiglas Panels in Bi-Fold Doors
Open up a room by replacing wood with plastic windows.
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If louvered doors don't let in enough light, install transparent panels. Here's how to do it:
Materials and Tools:
pen and pencil
long straight edge
1. Mark the panels you wish to replace before removing doors so you don’t accidentally remove the wrong ones.
2. Take the doors down by removing the hinge pins, using a hammer and a screwdriver to drive the pin up and out.
3. Wearing safety glasses and dust mask, lay the door out on a workbench and sawhorses and run a fine-toothed jigsaw through the louvers.
4. Pull all the louvers out of their slots.
5. Lay the Plexiglas® sheet over the opening and mark the size of the opening. Mark the plastic so it will fit into the existing grooves after cutting. Mark several points and connect them using a straight edge.
6. Cut Plexiglas® as close to the line as possible with the jigsaw, using a fine-toothed blade. Keep the saw moving at a moderate pace. If you go too slow, the plastic might splinter, and if you go too fast, it might heat up and warp.
7. Clean up the rough edges of the cut with a file or a rasp.
8. Test the fit. When it fits snugly, cut trim pieces to hold the panel in the door. Clamp trim pieces into place and mark 45-degree angles at each corner with a combination square.
9. Cut trim pieces with the jigsaw, and file ends smooth. Lay pieces into place and test the fit.
10. Set the Plexiglas® panel in place. Line up trim pieces and drill pilot holes. Drive finishing nails through the holes to secure the panel and trim. Countersink nails with a nail set.
11. Repeat the process for trim on the flip side of the door. With the type of door pictured, the trim pieces fit inside the opening in the door and should snug tightly against the panel to prevent rattles.
12. Run a bead of caulk around the outside of the trim.
13. Repeat the process for other door.
14. Remove the protective covering from the Plexiglas® and hang the doors.
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