How to do a Door-to-Window Conversion

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

hdswt303_2cb_AFTER_DoorToWindow2

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.

Related To:

Materials and Tools:

hdswt303_2ca_BEFORE_DoorToWindow2

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
level
measuring tape
pencil
safety glasses

Steps:

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.

hdswt303_2fb_window-frame2

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.

hdswt303_2fc_exterior-panel

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.

hdswt303_2ff_shim

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

How to Replace a Window

When it's time to replace an outdated, inefficient window, it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve got everything you need to know to get the job done.

8 Ways to Fix Drafty Windows

Save money and stay warm this winter with these DIY ways to insulate and weather-strip windows as well as doors.

How to Install a Tile "Rug" Within a Hardwood Floor

Add high style to your high-traffic entry with this transitional floor tile inset.

How to Repair a Screen in a Door or Window Frame

Buying new door or window screens can be expensive. Save money by learning how to repair a screen in an existing frame.

How to Clean Your Fireplace

Keep your fireplace tidy between uses with these tips for cleaning the firebox, glass doors and accessories.

How to Clean Baseboards

Those tiny little ledges can get unsightly with dust and dirt pretty quickly. Learn the easiest way to get them clean with these four simple steps.

How to Clean and Repair Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause damage to your roof, cause your basement to flood, and lead to problems that can destroy landscaping and undermine your home’s foundation. Learn how to clean your gutters at least twice yearly — in the spring and fall — to prevent this damage.

Top 10 Ways to Paint Like a Pro

For a professional-looking paint job, do what the experts do.

How to Hang a Door in an Existing Jamb

Replacing an interior door in an existing opening is well within the reach of the average homeowner. Follow these simple steps.

How to German Smear a Brick Fireplace

Give your fireplace a faux finish that mimics what you'd find in old European cottages with a German smear mortar wash.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
8pm | 7c
8:30pm | 7:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Ugliest House in America

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:31pm | 10:31c

House Hunters

2:31am | 1:31c
3am | 2c
3:30am | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30am | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30am | 4:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

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