The Dos and Don’ts of Replacing Door Glass

door glassDo: Decide if you want to do it yourself (D-I-Y) or have it replaced professionally.

There are merits to both sides of this choice. If you don’t have the know-how to do it yourself and are unwilling to learn or risk your door with skills you just learned; it may be better to pay to have it replaced professionally. If you do decide to pay to have it done be sure to only hire a bonded contractor.

Don’t: Hire a non-bonded contractor

Bonds are like an insurance policy, they make sure that if something goes wrong when having work performed around your house doesn’t hurt your wallet with additional expenses due to contractor negligence. If you’re having the glass replaced in an antique door and the repairman damages the door while he’s replacing the pane of glass, for example by cutting out a gouge in the door while he’s scraping off the putty, the value of the door goes down. If they are bonded, you can get the door repaired, replaced, or have the loss value refunded.

Do: Consider having the whole door replaced

Replacing a pane of glass is a reasonably easy job for a professional but it can cost more than having an entire door replaced, especially if you have irregular shaped, non-square sheets of glass on your door. Many doors have a central oval piece and that is more expensive glass to buy and therefore more expensive to replace. It is usually cheaper to have a door replaced but there are other factors. These include the aesthetic factor of the door, the quality of the door versus the quality of the replacement, and the age of the door. If the door is old it may be better for both security and energy efficiency to replace the door. If the door is an antique though, you could lower the value of your house by entirely replacing it. Some doors are more expensive than others and replacing it with something of equal quality will vary in cost depending on the door chosen as well as the size and shape of the sill opening itself.

Don’t: Trust just anybody to do it.

Even if a company is bonded you can still have an undesired outcome if you don’t do your research on who you’re hiring. Some of the national brands are of substandard quality; but some of the smaller businesses have also been known to take your money and run. Of course these stereotypes are not always true but get references, check reviews, etc. It’s better to pay a little more for someone who is going to do the job right than it is to have someone damage things further with their bad job; one that you would have to pay to replace and repair. If you feel uncomfortable asking a company for references, ask people in your area who they’ve used. Family, neighbors, friends, a lot of people are willing to give you advice if you ask for it. This brings us to another point.

Don’t: Let your friends or family replaces your glass

Unless you are 100% absolutely sure that they know what they are doing. This is in part due to the bond issue above, as well as the fact that if they get hurt doing the job on your premises, you are liable for their medical expenses. There are a lot of things that can go wrong working around broken glass and the results are often trips to the Emergency Room for stitches. Another reason not to allow a friend or family member to do it, is that the pieces of glass required often cost more to purchase on a non-wholesale level than the cost of having a professional come out and do it. Companies do this sort of business in large quantities and can order a hundred sheets of the same glass for significantly less per sheet. They usually pass this discount on to you.

Do: Shop around

This should go without saying, but so many people see a hole in their home and are jumping on the phone to call the first number that comes to their attention, do not make this mistake. Most of the brands that you would think of (the ones that advertise on television) are often more expensive to make up for their advertising budget. Ask for quotes from a few contractors and while you’re asking for quotes, ask for references. It doesn’t make sense to go with the cheapest if he’s not going to do a good job. It does make sense to have the cheapest company who will do a good job do it.


The author of article Alvin is an architect. He likes to use as well as refer people to use original materials. That’s why is his first choice for glass.

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