How A Grid Kit Can Take Your Sliding Doors From Builder-Grade To Custom-Made

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When building a new home, the term builder-grade refers to the lowest tier build, using inexpensive materials and offering minimal customization of options. Some of the major high-ticket items in any home include the doors and windows, which when selected by a builder may lack the charm, character, or sophistication of a higher-end option that is more desirable to the homeowner. Similarly, renters who are not in a position to switch out doors and windows are forced to work with their home or apartment's existing structural elements. If you're in one of these positions and hate your builder-grade sliding door, one clever TikToker has a solution. She shows how she used an inexpensive black grid kit to transform her standard slider door and transom window into a setup that looks much more high-end and custom.

Upgrading to custom doors and windows is a massive expense during a new build. It's an even higher expense to replace builder-grade selections later, as you would have to pay for the additional labor to remove your existing ones. In the TikToker's scenario, the cost to install a new sliding door could be up to $4000 for that one door alone! Therefore, any tips and tricks to make standard doors and windows look custom without the high price tag of a full replacement will help you save a pretty penny.

How a grid kit upgrades standard sliding doors

So why does adding a simple grid to your sliding door help elevate the look? These grid lines mimic traditional window mullions or muntins that were used to support the glass in hand-built doors and windows in historical homes. Before sheet glass was available, these dividers were used to separate smaller panes of glass that would work together to create a larger window or door. Once windows and doors started being made with single sheets of glass, the structural need for mullions and muntins was gone. However, their hand-built charm became a symbol of the kind of character, time, and attention to detail that is put into crafting a personalized home. Therefore, adding grids onto your builder-grade sliding door can make it look custom.

Installation of this type of grid kit is straightforward and easy. Start by sliding the mounting clips between the glass and trim of your door. Next, measure your door carefully and use a pair of scissors to trim the grid strips to the desired length. Attach them to the mounting clips and then connect them to each other with cross pieces. Use the provided adhesive strips to ensure that the grid remains snug against the glass. In a very short amount of time, the standard slider has been transformed into a panel door. The best part? These grids are easily removable with no effect on the existing doors, so they are a perfect renter-friendly upgrade.

Add grids to your home's doors and windows

A similar black grid kit can be found on Amazon for under $50 and can be used on glass up to 73 by 54.5 inches for each kit (configured horizontally or vertically with three panels running one direction and four running the other). In the TikTok video, the DIYer had to purchase two kits for the pair of slider doors and a third kit for the transom window above. The TikToker did also mention that the clear glue strips provided were slightly visible from the outside, so you may want to look into other adhesive options, such as black double sided removable tape, that could be less visible.

In addition to sliding doors, the same grid kit can also be used on windows and other exterior doors with glass panels, like in this renter-friendly upgrade to add instant charm to a dull space with window grilles. Another fantastic item to elevate would be a front entry door with glass and/or sidelights. Matching the look of the grids on your other exterior windows and doors can enhance the curb appeal of your whole home and add the character a builder-grade structure can lack. Further, a clever slider upgrade that the TikTok video shared was painting their existing white door black for a more dramatic, modern look. If you have white doors and windows but painting them isn't possible, Amazon also sells a similar white grid kit that would make everything look cohesive.