The Ambiance and Affordability of Glass Doors

Danielle Bonk

First impressions are important. Glass doors can add ambiance, elegance, and sparkle to a home. To bring their homes to the next level of style, more and more designers and do-it-yourselfers are incorporating glass doors not only into front doors, but also into sliding doors, cabinet doors, and even pantry doors. Glass doors range in opacity from completely transparent to very obscured, where only a shadow or outline can be seen through them. They come in countless shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, and can be added safely and affordably to any corner of a home that needs sprucing up.

Many glass doors and glass door or cabinet inserts can be conveniently designed and ordered online. Here are a few general types of glass available in most stores:

  • Tinted
  • Frosted or Obscured
  • Patterned
  • Beveled
  • Etched

Sliding Glass Doors & Sliding Doors

Another important aspect of door design is practicality. Sliding glass doors and solid sliding doors are a mainstay in many southern-style homes. Sliding glass doors usually open up any room of the house to an outdoor porch or pool area. They also let in a significant amount of light as well as aerate a room more effectively than a traditional window. Many enjoy the convenience sliding glass doors bring, since they can incorporate parts of the house that may not otherwise be accessed so readily. They make throwing a pool party or barbeque easy and accommodating. Sliding doors (also referred to as pocket doors) are usually located within a home, separating one interior room from another. Sliding doors are space savers since, when opened, they are tucked away into the neighboring wall, well out of anyone’s way. This feature is ideal for smaller homes because it maximizes space.

Glass Door Installation

Glass door installation can easily be accomplished in a day’s work, however, not without the appropriate preparations and assistance along the way. Here is a list of the essential tools and materials needed before beginning the project:

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Caulking gun
  • Framing square
  • Non-expanding foam
  • Fasteners
  • Shims

The first step in this home improvement project is to prepare the new sliding glass door and area. Measure the door frame, determining the width and height. Make sure that the sill is protected at all times. Always keep the new door closed until installation is complete.

Next, calk the bottom of the sill, starting with a bead along the interior edge, then the center, and then four (4) inches away from the interior edge. Set the door into the frame, orienting the sill before letting the weight of the door bare down. This step requires assistance. The glass door cannot be moved after this step or it must be removed and re-calked.

After this is completed, temporarily fasten the door by installing fasteners (at least 1 inch in length) halfway up on each side of the door jam. Do not fully drive fasteners in before first checking to see if any adjustments must be made to doorjambs or head jambs.

The interior of the door should have a 1/8 inch gap between the top of the door and the operating panel. Shim the bottom of the door tightly. This usually requires about three (3) shims per side. Refer to the door’s manual for individual instructions. The shims should then be snapped flush with the door frame. If, at any moment during this project, you are uncertain of the procedure, you can always call a home improvement contractor in order to obtain a consultation and advice.

Next, finish installing all exterior fasteners, and install any long hinge screws (which should be included) in the top and center hinges. Avoid any gaps, filling them in with non-expanding foam. Then, install all hardware, including adjustable hinges or interior wood parts. Calk the exterior perimeter between the door and anything it touches. Then, clean all wood surfaces and glass.

The hard part is done. The last step to a proper glass door installation is to sit back and enjoy the view that a beautiful glass door provides.

Date: 8/27/2009 1:26:31 PM
I have an all glass storm door. It seems to me that it can be removed to put in a complete length screen. I wonder can I snap out oneof the sidesof the pvc and remove the glass. Please advise. tx Anne

Home Improvement Essentials
Before you selected a home improvement contractor or repair handyman, compare free estimates and online quotes to find the most affordable rates for any home improvement projects.

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