Asked on Sep 05, 2016

Taking out the window frames from this door

by Louise
I'm interested in buying this door to replace my front door. However,I don't want the grids. I want just one window pane, not the look of six. When I read about it online, AND when I've looked at it in the store, I found that the grids and the "wood" that surrounds the glass, are on the outside of the glass. There's only one piece of glass and then grids are on top of it -- more a decorative feature than a construction function. Soooo, if someone handy with carpentry were to remove the grids on both sides of the door and then put a new wood frame around the glass, wouldn't that work just fine? I can't see that just removing a piece of what amounts to outside decoration would affect the glass at all. Construction people, what do you think? You can see more about the door here:
  8 answers
  • Rena Noele Rena Noele on Sep 05, 2016
    These added decorations are usually screwed on, and can be removed easily. Paying a carpenter to re-create the outer window frame might be cost prohibitive. If you're comfortable with DIY, you can accomplish this yourself.
  • William William on Sep 05, 2016
    I agree with Rena! I have done this for clients many times. The frames are screwed together from the inside. You can easily remove them. If you choose to do it yourself, use duck tape on the outside to hold the frame and glass from falling out. The grids may also be taped to the glass. So be careful when separating the frame from the glass. I would use a razor scraper and gently scrape/pry the frame loose. Then i would use a razor to cut the grid off the outside frame, a little sanding at the cuts and you have a solid frame. You can also eliminate the existing frame and just install molding to hold the glass in place. Which I have also done.
    • See 2 previous
    • Louise Louise on Jul 23, 2018

      William, I finally bought this door and the guy who's going to remove the grids for me brought it to my garage from Home Depot. Before leaving, he wanted to see how difficult it would be to remove the plugs and found the one he worked on VERY difficult. In fact, it didn't budge. He contacted Masonite to see if he could get any hints from them and they weren't the least bit helpful. Told him altering the door would destroy it and void any warranty on it. Soooo, can you tell me exactly how you got the plugs out? Is it just more manpower than he used at that moment? I'd love to get more info from you.

  • I would talk to someone at The Home Depot because there are doors that do not have the grids. Sometimes going in and seeing the doors in person and talking to a Home depot person will give you an idea on if the grids can be removed (which many times it is a matter of a few screws) or if they can order you one without.
    • See 2 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 10, 2016
      A great deal of the doors sold in big box stores are made by the Masonite company often rebranded (MDL etc.). If you go directly on the Masonite website, you can maybe find some of the answers about replacing the whole window. I found them to be very useful. I sent a couple of questions by e-mail, and received quick responses. Sometimes depending where you live etc., it is cheaper to replace a window yourself than to hire a handyman, You can also get decorative glass, UV protection etc. However, having said that be careful; I had a HD rep come out for a quote on a cheap metal door with a vented window, and the installation price was ridiculously high... 3x the price of the door! I ended up buying a much better and solid Masonite fibreglass door from another dealer installed for ½ the price of the installation alone at HD.
  • IFortuna IFortuna on Sep 05, 2016
    Hmmm. . . I have seen doors at Home Depot with one decorative glass pane for about $200. Still too much? Then the other suggestions may help you. : )
    • See 1 previous
    • IFortuna IFortuna on Sep 06, 2016
      Yes. I see what you mean. All the ones I saw have decorative glass. Sorry I could not help. Best of luck to you. : )
  • William William on Jul 23, 2018

    The plugs are friction fit. Kind of tapered and forced in. On some I used the corner of a narrow putty knife to pry them out. On some I use the tip of the razor blade of a utility knife to pry them out. All else fails you can carefully drill the plugs out and use thin would dowels as replacements.

    • Louise Louise on Jul 24, 2018

      Thanks. I'll pass this along to the guy who's doing this for me. I think his plan (mine, actually) is to totally remove the existing grids and put pieces of wood molding around the glass to hold it in the door. What do you think about that plan? Any ideas or suggestions based on your experience? I was a bit taken aback by Masonite saying it would destroy the door. What do you think they meant by that? Seems if the grids and their frame are removed on one side of the door and then the 4 wood strips screwed in and then the other side done, it would work out fine. But I'm not any kind of expert in this. I have the idea and need others to implement them. 😃

  • William William on Jul 24, 2018

    The wood molding would be fine. After it's cut to fit make sure it gets primed before installing it. This will protect it from the weather. It won't destroy the door but can void the warranty if any claim was to be made. Masonite just doesn't want anyone making changes to their products and warranty it in the future.

    • See 3 previous
    • Louise Louise on Aug 18, 2018

      The guy who will do this for me wonders if removing the grids and putting wood molding around the glass on both sides would cause any problems with weather proofing -- water leaking in. Have you ever experienced any of that?

  • William William on Aug 18, 2018

    A small bead of clear silicone caulk before putting on the wood will weatherproof it.

  • Louise Louise on Aug 18, 2018

    Thanks. I'll pass this along. Based on your experience with this, about how long will it take someone who's knowledgeable about home projects and very precise to remove these grids and replace with wood molding? The fellow who's doing this for me is very kind in helping me with occasional projects and won't accept money so I don't want to ask him to do something that will take a lot of his time.