By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Want to brighten a dark hallway or cave-like entrance to your home and give a facelift to an ordinary door at the same time? Let the light shine in by installing a new acrylic block door insert as an interesting and illuminating upgrade. The block gives an existing door a new lease on life while opening up the interior with daylight. These door inserts come in kits for both interior and exterior doors. The kit for an interior door fits a standard slab or panel 1 3/8-inch thick door, while the exterior kit fits a typical 1 3/4-inch thick exterior door.
The insert kits are designed with a handy homeowner in mind, or you can hire a carpenter to do the job. To install a 22-inch by 58-inch exterior door kit, a handyman will charge $500, which includes labor and material. If you have carpentry experience and tools you can buy the kit for $350 and make the installation yourself, saving 30 percent.
The insert is completely assembled, with both sides of the frame screwed in place. You'll need a jigsaw, center punch, hammer, electric drill with bits, Phillips screwdriver, tape measure, masking tape and a pair of sawhorses. You remove the door from its hinges and work on it on sawhorses using a full-size template to align and cut the hole in the door for the insert. Then you set the insert inside the cutout and fasten it to the door with frame pieces and screws.
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Go to http://www.hy-lite.com, the manufacturer's website, where you can get instructions to measure and install the door inserts and order them online.
The average price to install a glass door insert noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020