Converting a Window to a Door

Converting a Window to a Door

The home improvement game is really about customer satisfaction. The industry continues to develop new products that homeowners are excited about. Today we're seeing more options in building materials, shapes, sizes, and colors allowing homeowners to let their imaginations fly. The variety of products available allow us to get the most comfort, convenience, and value out of every home remodeling or renovation project. One project we’re often asked about is converting a window to a door. Sometimes we buy homes and they serve a purpose and function but that can change overtime. The right decision isn’t always to leave, sometimes the best decision is an upgrade to the existing home so that it functions for our new lifestyle.

In this post, we’ll talk more about what it takes when you’re considering converting a window opening to a door opening.

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Can you turn a window into a door?

The question is really, can you turn a window opening into a door opening and the answer is almost always yes. Converting a window into a door is a functional home improvement project for homeowners who want to create more access points or easier access in parts of the home that are closed off to the exterior. Some rooms that homeowners usually consider adding doors to include the living room, dining room, bedroom, or office.

Window to door conversions should be completed by experienced professionals because there are many components to consider. There are also several risks involved that need to be prevented or minimized.

Risks of window to door conversions:

  • Decreased energy inefficiency
  • Interior moisture resulting in molds
  • Glass breakage

How much does it cost to convert a window to a door?

They are way too many variables including the cost of the product and installation to provide a flat cost.  The fact is, in remodeling situations, converting a window opening to accommodate a new door is more expensive than inserting new windows in the opening. With more work involved, you can count on a window to door conversion project costing more than a simple window-to-window replacement.

Cost considerations

Much of the cost is governed by a variety of factors such as the material of the external facade or the need for removal or rerouting of electrical wiring or plumbing, and so on. If the external facade is made of brick, you will need the services of a brick mason, which is an extra cost to the installation procedure. Homes with stucco facades will also require specialty work to finish the exterior facade after increasing the size of the opening in the wall.

Industry standards suggest that doors need to be 32 inches wide↗ for a wheelchair to fit through comfortably, making width a primary factor in governing cost negotiations. Some other aspects affecting the final cost might be the interior/exterior floor situation, need for a structural beam/header, and touch-up painting after installation. 

All of these variables need to be evaluated and prioritized to meet the homeowner’s taste, style and most importantly, their budget in a balanced manner.

What’s the process of converting a window to a door?

In this section we’ll outline some of the steps in a window-to-door conversion project but first let’s talk permits and wiring.

Permits

Part of the remodeling process is administrative. Depending on where you live you may need to get permits to complete your project. Make sure all your documentation is in line and that the changes you make follow the associated permit so that you pass inspection.

Wiring

Watch for wires. Before beginning the project it’s helpful to trace the wall for wiring and plumbing. Opening a wall and finding unexpected wiring or plumbing can be a major headache especially if you’re on a time crunch or have a tight budget.

Some of the basic steps that need to kept in mind during a window-to-door conversion↗ are as follows:

  1. Check for electrical wiring and obstructions in the area where you are working.
  2. Draw lines down the area of the wall where you intend to cut.
  3. Remove the façade and any insulation underneath until the studs are exposed.
  4. Confirm that there are no electrical wiring or obstructions.
  5. Remove the window casing and window then remove the remaining wall.
  6. Build a frame that will hold the door.
  7. Install the new door according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Window-to-door conversion projects are fun because they completely change the look and function of a space. If you decide this type of project makes sense for your home, contact an experienced contractor. This project will go smoother if you’re working with someone who has the tools and know-how to complete it expertly.