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How to Replace a Window with a Door in 7 Steps (with Pictures)

two window installers

Replacing a window with a door will create more accessible spaces in your home, and while this might look seem like a complex project, anyone who loves DIY and has the required tools can finish this task fairly quickly.

If this type of project is something you’ve considered but aren’t sure how to do, we’ve got you covered. We’ve tried to break down the process as much as possible to make it understandable and straightforward—even for DIY beginners. Let’s dive in!

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Materials For Converting a Window into a Door

Before we get into the actual replacement process, we wanted to highlight the tools you will need to finish the job. These are the required tools to replace a window with a door:

  • Drywall saw
  • Sawzall
  • Nails and nail gun
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Flat crowbar
  • Level
  • New door
  • Exterior and interior trim
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Paintbrush and paint
  • Lock and doorknob

How to Replace a Window with a Door (7 Steps)

1. Remove the Window Trim

First, you’ll need to remove the existing window trim. Before you begin, make sure that you’ve had an inspection for electrical wiring, and draw out the shape on the wall you plan to cut. For removing the window trim, you can use a flat crowbar and carefully remove both the interior and exterior trim of the window. Make sure you are wearing safety gloves throughout the whole process.

man doing window repair
Image Credit: Greg McGill, Shutterstock

2. Remove the Window

Once you’ve removed the trim, you will need to remove the window. You can use a Sawzall to cut through the nails and screws that are holding the window in position and unscrew the hinges to take the window out easily. After that, remove the entire window assembly to make space for the new door.

3. Prep the Space for the New Door

As mentioned in step one, you’ll need to draw out the door’s shape you’re planning on installing. Before you start prepping the space and cutting the wall for new door placement, verify that there are no electrical wires that need to be re-installed. If there are, contact an electrician to finish that portion of work. After that, you can start cutting the sheetrock and remove the paneling underneath.

Once you’ve cut through it, remove the rest of the exterior wood and studs under the opening. If your home is made from brick, cut the sides with an angle grinder and then use a hammer to break the brick wall construction.

windows installation
Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

4. Place the New Door

You need to measure the size of the new door and purchase the one that will suit your needs. Once you have the door, you need to place it into the existing opening. This part of the project needs to be done carefully because the door needs to latch and close properly. Don’t be afraid to use a level as many times as you need to so that everything fits in perfectly!

5. Install a New Trim

The new trim needs to be cut to fit the door. Measure everything properly, and make sure to cut 45-degree angles on the pieces where the trim connects at the top of the door. For cutting, you can use a Miter saw so that everything is cut accurately. To install it, position it against the wall and double-check that everything fits. Nail the sides and the trim header in place. It’s also good to pre-drill holes in the corners of the trim and nail them in place for more support.

man installing window
Image Credit: ronstik, Shutterstock

6. Caulk And Then Paint The Door

You will need to caulk the joints, holes, and trim edges, usually filled with wood filler, putty, silicone caulk, or paintable acrylics. You can caulk the door by using your fingers or a putty knife. Make sure to cover the outside of the trim and caulk the portion between the trim and the wall and once everything is dry, you can paint the door. If needed, you can do sanding and priming prior to painting. For painting, grab a paintbrush, choose a color you want to go for, and paint the door in a couple of layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next one.

7. Install Hardware

Once the actual replacement work is done, all you have to do is install new hardware. Purchase the doorknob and lock you want to install, and you’ll only need a simple set of tools. The first step is to drill in the strike, and then slide the knob into the latch. Once you line the doorknob properly on both sides, screw it in. The last thing you need to do is to install the strike into the jam. Once all of that is done, your project will be complete, and your window will be replaced with an amazing new door!

creating hole in the door
Image Credit: arhendrix, Shutterstock

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FAQs on How to Replace a Window with a Door

Do I need planning permission to replace a window with a door?

Planning permissions are a requirement when replacing a window with a door. To do this sort of work, you’ll need to have an inspection too. Replacing a window with a door is a structural change that might need to have electrical work done, so that’s the main reason why you need to get permission. Permits can sometimes be expensive, but it’s always best to get one to avoid issues if you decide to sell your home. It’s always best to contact your municipality and check all the details about the permission before you begin the conversion.

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

When it comes to pricing, converting a window into a door will usually cost you around $1,700 to $3,000. Of course, the price can be even higher depending on the materials you use. Wooden doors are the cheapest option that ranges from $50 up to $5,000 for custom-made designs, whereas the most expensive door option is wrought iron which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $7,000.

Also, the price will be significantly lower if you do all the work rather than hiring a professional contractor. Their fees are commonly around $70 per hour so the costs can quickly add up. Still, if there’s electric work, it’s best to hire a contractor because that sort of work can be highly dangerous.

Is it difficult to make a window into a door?

The process itself is not difficult, but you do need to know how to use some essential tools. Anyone who has basic knowledge about tool usage and some DIY could pull this project off. As we mentioned, you need a permit, and you should always contact an inspector and a local electrician before doing the work. That way, you’ll ensure that what you’re planning to do is possible and you will avoid any electrical issues.

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Replacing a window with a door is not an especially difficult task, and by following some simple guidelines it can be done easily. Make sure you have planning permission, and that an electrician has checked the wiring. After that, all you need is tools, and the replacement project can begin!

Featured Image Credit: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock


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