Do you have a series of windows you want to open up? Have you been itching to add another point of entrance to your home?
Whether both or neither of these are you, the bottom line is you want to turn a window in your home into a new door. But you’re wondering - can it be done?
The simple answer is yes; you can transform one or multiple windows in your home into a swinging exterior door or sliding patio door. However, it takes skill, attention to detail, and the right company to do the job correctly.
Any construction work on your home can be risky, especially when your home will be opened and exposed to the elements.
At Southwest Exteriors, we’ve been a trusted San Antonio window and door replacement company since 1989, and we specialize in exterior transformations, including turning your window into a door.
Before embarking on an extensive remodeling project, we want you to be fully educated on all you need to know, from the best products, installation practices, qualities in a company, and more.
So, let’s break down the process of turning a window into a door and some potential risks involved when doing so. Then, you will be well prepared to find the right contractor for your project and know what to expect for installation.
How Is A Window Transformed Into A Door?
Taking one window or three to five windows and transforming them into a door is an easier project than you may think. But, it must be done by a high-quality professional who knows how to handle anything that may come up.
Here are the basic steps to turning a window or series of windows into a door to better understand what will happen to your home.
Knowing how this project is done will also help you to find the best contractor who knows what they are doing and will provide you with a successful outcome.
Step #1: Remove existing windows
First, the current window or windows must be removed to open up your home and create the space for the door.
Removing windows can't be just ripped out from the frame. Most contractors will carefully pry off trim boards and use a heating tool to loosen the caulking around the frame.
This helps make the window easier to remove with minimal damage to the surrounding area.
Once the windows are removed, any segmenting boards between windows must also be removed to create an open space for the door. This, again, must be done carefully to minimize damage and maintain the integrity of your home’s structure.
Step #2: Assess the structural integrity of the home and make necessary repairs
Now that your home is opened up, a skillful contractor will look at the integrity of what’s beneath the walls.
Is there any rotting in the baseboards? Are any nails coming out? Does anything feel loose or unstable?
When opening your home up, you never know what you may find, which can include trash, animals, tools, and so much more.
If any repairs are needed to the structure of your home where the new door will go, the contractor will make such repairs. If the damage is severe, they may instruct you to consult a builder for repairs before moving forward with your project.
Step #3: Build the correct frame size for the new door
Your windows are out, and you now have a large hole in your home. Chances are your new door will not fit perfectly into that opening without some adjustments.
Because the installers are working with an essentially blank canvas, they can construct the opening to fit your new door perfectly. This includes building the frame around the top, bottom, and sides of the opening.
Ensuring your new door fits perfectly level guarantees it will fit, function properly, and last in your home.
Step #4: Install the new door
Once the frame has been properly sized to fit your new door, it’s time to place the door. Before placing the door permanently, it is set into the opening to ensure it will fit flush and level.
If it is not level both horizontally and vertically, the necessary corrections on the frame will be made to ensure it fits.
After the base frame is close to level, the door can be nailed into the frame. Then, either wooden or vinyl shims are used around all sides of the frame to secure it tight and level in the opening.
The door can then be properly secured into the frame permanently, ready for the finishing touches.
Step #5: Complete the door with trim and paint
With any window or door installation, the final step is to complete all punch list items, like reinstalling the trim, painting, caulking, and more.
Essentially, the punch list team is there to make sure your new door looks like it was always there, especially when turning windows into a new door. This includes both interior and exterior work.
For example, Southwest Exteriors recently completed a window-to-door transformation, and this homeowner’s interior had special crown moulding in the interior of this room. So, our team gathered all the necessary materials to replicate that moulding to patch the rest of the room perfectly.
A high-quality contractor should ensure all punch list items are taken care of, and your new door looks fantastic in your home.
An example of special moulding Southwest Exteriors provided for this window-to-door transformation.
Transforming Your Windows With A New Door
Now that you understand the process of turning your windows into a new door, you have a better idea of what needs to be done and the level of care needed to complete this project successfully.
Understanding the installation process of your future project helps you to ask the right questions and find the right contractor to complete the project successfully.
Before starting any project, research is key. Knowing what the best products, practices, and companies in your area are will help you to properly vet the right company and find the one that will meet all your needs.
Remember, education is crucial to a successful project.
So, if you’re considering transforming your windows into a new door, another thing you want to know is how it will benefit you and your space.