Our Front Door Makeover
We just gave our front door a total overhaul by painting it and adding a window (yes, I said we added a window to our front door!), and the end result is absolutely stunning – and so easy to achieve! See all of the details of our front door makeover in this post. This post is sponsored by Zabitat, but all opinions are 100% mine.
I really just don’t even know where to begin with this one. I mean, come on.
Before I even say anything, let me remind you that before this past weekend our front door looked like this:
And now it’s that gorgeous door you saw at the beginning of the post.
I cannot even comprehend the fact that we did this ourselves. We did that! We added a window to our front door! All by ourselves! And it was (dare I say it?) easy!
If you read my post introducing this project last week, then you’ll know that we partnered with the fabulous folks at Zabitat for this makeover. I had no idea this product existed until they reached out to me, and I really truly believe everyone needs to know about this because my mind is just blown. Head back to that post to read up on all of the details of Zabitat, what they make, and how it works – but read on to find out how we totally transformed our front door in just an afternoon.
DIY Front Door Makeover
I know it’s hard to imagine how this is actually even possible, so let’s start off with the most important part: I made a video of the entire process so you can see how it works! I’ll share photos and more details down below, but you know you want to see our reactions when we literally cut a giant hole in our front door (in the middle of August. In Texas. While I’m 9 months pregnant).
Are you freaking out yet? Because I’m still freaking out a little bit. It’s so hard to believe that this is my actual front door now!
Wanna hear the full details on how we did it? Let’s dive in!
How to Add a Window to Your Front Door
AN IMPORTANT NOTE:
The first step in this project is to NOT follow my tutorial here and to head over to Zabitat for their fully detailed installation instructions. I’m sharing the process mainly to give you a general idea of what it’s like (and how simple it is), but if you’re actually tackling this project you’re going to want to get your instructions straight from the source.
Got it? Good.
Step 1: Remove Door
We painted our door before we even started the project, because it was desperately in need of some color. So, technically that was our first step. The color we chose is Georgian Bay from the HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams line. Then, Corey removed the door from the hinges so we could get to work.
Step 2: Measure and Mark for Your Cuts
Using the measurement guide on Zabitat’s website, measure the size of your cut and mark it on the door. Take your time here because nobody wants a too-big hole!
We measured the size of the hole, then used a Sharpie and a level to draw a perfectly straight line. Like I said, this is probably the most important part of the entire project because it sets the stage for the rest of it. Don’t rush, and measure more than once!
Step 3: Add Painter’s Tape Around Your Line
Metal can splinter when cut, so you’ll want to be sure to add painter’s tape all around the edges of your cut to help prevent any issues. Again – move slowly and be methodical with this!
It helps if you have a bossy 4-year-old supervising.
Step 4: Drill Starter Holes in All 4 Corners!
We used a 1/2″ drill bit to drill starter holes in all of the corners. You might notice in the video that our starter holes went all the way through the door – don’t do that! We didn’t realize until it was too late that the holes were only supposed to be on the top part. Thankfully, it had zero impact on the finished product because we were very careful, but we could have easily messed things up. It’s a good reminder that you should fully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer (twice!) before diving in.
Step 5: Use a Jigsaw to Cut Along the Line
Now it’s time for the super scary part – cutting out the hole. I was pretty terrified (because again, hello giant hole in my front door!), but it really was no big deal and was a breeze to cut through.
A quick note: do not cut all the way through your door! You’re going to be flipping the door over and repeating the process in a minute, so only cut through one layer of metal.
Step 6: Flip the Door Over and Repeat Steps 2-5!
Now you’re gonna do it all over again for the other side of the door. Once you’re done, you should be able to easily remove the panel you just cut out – if you’ve done it properly, it’ll slip right out!
You’re free to stop here and have a minor panic attack about the entire project failing and having to go buy a new front door.
We certainly did.
But afterward, get yourself together and chill out because I promise this is no big deal!
Step 7: Install the Glass!
Now, you’ll simply lay your glass out on the sawhorses, then pick your door up and (gently! carefully!) lay it on top of the glass. Then, fit the frame back on top and screw it in!
For those who have already been asking, here’s the link to the exact window we chose for our front door!
Step 8: Put Your Door Back Up and Breathe a Sigh of Relief
Now you’re ready to re-install your door and take a deeeeeeeep breath because you did it! You installed a window in a door that didn’t have a window before! How amazing is that?!
In all seriousness, I really do think this is a pretty incredible product and I am so incredibly pleased at how the makeover turned out. I can’t believe how gorgeous our front door looks now and I literally still think that we’ve left the front door open every time we walk by because I’m not used to having so much natural light in our entry!
I also feel like it’s important to note that the window we chose has a really high privacy rating and you absolutely cannot see anything through it unless the person on the other side is literally pressed against the glass. I love that we can maintain our privacy and keep ignoring door-to-door salesmen who ring the doorbell without them awkwardly staring at us.
You may also notice that while we were working on the door, we went ahead and replaced the handle and deadbolt. We were spoiled by having keyless entry in the old house and we’ve missed it desperately since we moved here. We bought the same setup we had before to install here, and life is good again – no more dealing with keys!
If you’ve got a front door that needs a quick makeover (but you don’t want to buy a whole new door), I highly recommend you check out all of the options on Zabitat. Their products are truly just absolutely genius and I’m so glad we got the chance to try them out!
Would you ever cut a hole in your front door to install a window?!
I think your new front door color is not flattering It looks like IKEA blue. A more appropriate residential color would be more appropriate.
It’s literally their house! Preference, my dear, it’s all about preference.
Looks great the job you did. I would like to go one step further. My current front door looks like yours – we have the window area already in. We would like to take that whole window out and put in a glass window that opens half way (like a wall window) with a screen to let in fresh air. And maybe put two decorative louvred panels on the outside to make the door look nice from the outside. Not sure what brand our door is but it looks like a standard stock door like a jenweld with the panels at the bottom and the glass area in the upper part. Was wondering if anyone made something like I was looking for. Any ideas or links appreciated,
Looks very nice! However, here in Florida with the Hurrican Codes, I doubt this will pass any inspection… and, why have an electric door looking mechanism when all you have to do is unscrew the little screws and/or toss a stone into the window and in you are… I hope the glass is break in resistant or hurrican proof though… Looks very good, I like the blue…
I’m sorry for being nit-picky, but I’m an electrician and I notice things people might not (it’s a CURSE!! lol) The keyless entry pad is very off level! That would drive me NUTS!! But the door looks fab!!!
Yes it is, and yes it did drive us nuts. 🙂
I was just looking at DIY videos on YouTube and saw your video. What a great idea and perfect timing. We’ve been mulling over buying a new door because the builder-grade “hershey bar” one we currently have is so boring and we want a section of clear glass on the top. This isn’t our forever home, so we don’t want to spend a lot of money on renovation projects. We are handy, so it’s going to be an easy change for less than $100, and it will add the perfect amount of morning sun in our entry.
Thanks, and well done.
The window is over $400. what you did essentially is make a stanley 9lite 2 panel door which is $344 from home depot.
are their cheaper options to add a window? even just a 12×12 simple plain window is all I need. I found ODL add on internal blinds windows for $80 but they are adds ons. not actual window replacements. I have the stanley door and after moving 2100 miles across country I dropped it and shattered the glass. trying to replace it (glass) or better with internal blinds. but the $80 kit “goes over” your existing glass meaning it has to be intact and be their.
back door has no window. want a small window just so we can see out the door before opening it. Suggestions?
also the lock you linked is not keyless. it still takes a key. I finally found one that is keyless but its a bit on the cheapy side. looking for something a wee bit nicer.
You’re right – you can generally buy a door with glass for a similar price, but we loved this for a few reasons. First, you can get exactly what you want (right down to privacy glass versus regular glass) and we aren’t wasting a perfectly good door! The door you mention has regular glass, not privacy glass, which was an important feature to us and often doesn’t come standard on those cheaper doors.
Zabitat has lots of options and prices, just glancing at their site it looks like they have over 30 window options that are under $200, and another 100 that are under $300 – so you should be able to find something good there!
Most “keyless” entry locks also do accept a key and personally, I’d suggest not getting one that doesn’t. Batteries on those can run out unexpectedly and I’d hate to get stuck without a good way to get in – I always like having the backup option of being able to enter with a key if I forget the code for some reason or if the keypad glitches.
I guess I”m just not a DIY’er cause my Home Depot has doors with a window already put in for very similar price as just the window LOL. Looks good, though.
Haha, thanks! And yes, it’s not for everyone – but we’re really pleased with how it turned out, and love that we could totally customize exactly what we wanted. 🙂
Yes they do BUT they charge $500.00 to install the Door!!
Oh, we don’t need a window in our door but we have an outside door that is all glass and I hate the blinds on the outside — they bang and get crunched and are a pain. This site offers enclosed blinds as replacements. I’m off to investigate…. (and your door looks amazing! the color is great and that natural light is wonderful)
Yes! Enclosed blinds are SO nice!
It looks great! I wish I could do this with my door, but I have restrictions due to me being in hurricane district (FL).
Zabitat does offer Impact Resistant/Severe Weather glass inserts for hurricane zones!
Oh, that’s so good to know!
Does your keyless entry actually enable a deadbolt? We have a keyless lock on our door handle, but not on our deadbolt. We used to only rely on the keyless entry but it turns out that when you don’t have a deadbolt locked, your door is super easy to kick down and people will break into your house and take all your things! Good times. If there’s a keyless system out there that actually enables a deadbolt though, I’m intrigued.
Yes, it does! This is the one we bought – it has several extra safety features too like the option to automatically lock the door after 30 seconds and an alarm when the door is messed with. We are loving it!
That makes such a huge difference. I guess the outside would have been just as cool with just the new color, but the hallway with the natural light is such a win.
It truly does sound like an amazing product – the only thing I think is missing is white covers for the window frame screws…
Greetings from Germany
Thanks! We really love it! But yes, haha – screw covers would be great!
Well, I stand corrected! My husband just informed me it DID come with screw covers, we just forgot to put them on! 🙈 Whoops!
Well that’s just perfect than! Looking forward to the before and after 🙂