The DIY Project That Brings In More Natural Light While Beautifying Your Front Door

Without enough sunlight and warmth entering your home, it's bound to feel colder and appear darker. In turn, this means turning on the lights and heater more often, which can increase your electricity bill. However, instead of making do with the situation, adding windows to your home can help fill it with more natural light. Installing a simple window in your front door can bring more sunlight to your house and enhance its aesthetic appeal. While you can hire a professional to install one, it makes an excellent DIY project that you can do over a weekend.

Further, incorporating a window into your door can boost your home's security, as it lets you see who's passing by or walking toward your home. Moreover, if you're worried about people looking in, there are plenty of ways to create more privacy, such as using frosted glass or tinted window film. Most glass doors have laminated or tempered glass, so it's more resistant to breaking. You can add various types of windows to your front door, including sidelights, transoms, and central. Sidelights are tall, narrow windows on the sides of the door. Transoms are windows at the top of the door. In this article, we'll focus on how to customize your door with a window in the center.

Materials needed for DIYing a window in a door

A few general tools you'll need are a measuring tape, a black Sharpie, a level, a drill with a 1/2-inch drill bit, a jigsaw, and a screwdriver. You'll also need the window you want to install. Lots of window styles exist, so you can research options and choose one that suits the rest of the property. Lowe's, Zabitat, and Home Depot have many options. For instance, Lowe's has a framed window in a grid style with multiple smaller panes for $186.83. It's available in six different finishes: black, champagne, white, tan, bronze, and two-tone bronze and white. The window can be installed in both metal and fiberglass doors.

Another excellent place to look for window frames is Zabitat. They have some more extravagant options, for example, Zabitat's decorative door glass has a stunning wrought iron design on the thermally sealed glass for $660.89, and it's available in two different finishes. Using Zabitat frames to add a window to your door makes the process easier because each frame has a kit that provides a glass panel, a frame, screws, and screw caps. The window options are endless, so you can find the perfect one for your home.

How to add the window to your door

While some DIYers will add their window directly to the door as it's attached to the frame, it's best to remove the door and set it up on a table or workbench outside then you won't have to worry about the door swinging around as you're marking and cutting it. Measure the frame size of the widow and then mark it on the door with your measuring tape and level. Draw straight lines with your Sharpie to mark the measurements. You can add painter's tape around the markings you made, to help keep you from cutting outside the line, but you won't need this if you have a steady hand.

Drill a hole in each corner, on the inside of the marked lines. Once the holes are made, cut along the lines with your jigsaw. Once you have cut each side of the outline, the piece will slip out effortlessly. You should end up with a large hole in the center of your door. Place your glass window in the hole and secure it with the frame and screws. Finally, add the screw caps and re-install your door. 

Further customize your door

You can install the window to your door and leave it as is, or you can continue sprucing it up. You could paint your door a new color to match the window frame or change the entire door's appearance — try vibrant colors like blue, green, or red. Painting the door will give your home a new, fresh feeling, and it'll stand out against every other door in the neighborhood. You can paint your door before or after installing the window frame. If you paint it after, use painter's tape to prevent smearing it on the glass. There are some common mistakes you want to avoid when painting your door. Ensure you prep the door before painting by sanding it down, be sure to choose the right kind of paint, and allow it to dry entirely before re-attaching.

If you have a larger or double door, you might prefer to add sidelights or transoms. Zabitat offers sidelight and transom options that pair beautifully with your center window. If you decide to add sidelights or transoms, measure your door carefully to avoid mistakes. They'll allow even more sunlight into your abode and help create an inviting atmosphere.