Choosing the right size is vital if you plan to install a fiberglass door. The right height, width, and length of your door should fit well to prevent more adjustments. Also, doors cannot lock well if there is a gap with the door jamb. The loose or tight door fittings can compromise the security of your home. We have researched from the experts to help you decide if you need to cut your fiberglass door for your door size concerns.
Yes, you can cut your fiberglass door to get the intended size. Although prone to cracks or chipping, there are trimmable fiberglass doors that allow adjustments. Also, fiberglass door brands have guides on how much you can trim your door. To prevent your fiberglass door from cracking, cut only half an inch from the edges.
If you decide to cut your fiberglass door, always consider your safety first. Aside from the protective gear, it is also important to prepare the right tools and equipment before cutting. As much as possible, if you are cutting on your own, carefully read and follow the instructions. Keep reading to get started with cutting your fiberglass door.
How To Cut Your Fiberglass Door
Cutting a fiberglass door on your own can be tough. Before cutting your fiberglass door, you must gather all the necessary tools and materials for this cutting project. Also, review all the instructions before proceeding. To get you started, you need to know the main tools for your cutting project.
Choosing Your Saw
If you are to cut a fiberglass door, the main tool to prepare is the saw. Getting the suitable saw to cut the fiberglass door gives you the best results.
The recommended types are circular or table saws. If you want curved lines for your door, you can use a hand-held jigsaw or a power saber saw. Table saws are great if you have a workshop. You can use a circular saw for cuts greater than 3/16 inches. A power planer is fine if the cut is lower than 3/16 inches.
For the blade, choose one with a carbide-teeth with a fine- or a high-tooth count. A finer edge will give a smooth result but will take more time to cut. Also, choose a blade that is suitable for cutting metal.
When you have the right saw and blade, here are other tools and materials you need:
- Sturdy worktable
- Measuring tools
- Safety glasses and thick gloves
- Fine-grain file
- Drill (optional)
Cutting Your Fiberglass Door
If you gathered all the needed tools and materials, you could now proceed with cutting. Follow these steps to cut your fiberglass door:
- Remove the door. Then, lay it flat on a sturdy worktable.
- Get the measurements of the areas where you want to cut your door. Also, measure the window slots or glass panels for your door. Mark the lines with a marker.
- Cover the center of the outlines with masking tape. Masking prevents splinters during cutting.
- Put on your safety glasses and gloves before proceeding.
- Drill holes in each corner. Do this if you shape out from the inside of the door. If you are only trimming a few inches, there is no need to drill.
- Start at one edge of your door and cut along the masked outline with your saw.
- Remove the masking tape.
- Use a fine-grain file to smoothen the edges of the cut areas. Use a downward stroke when filing.
If you're more of a visual learner, check out this video tutorial:
Tips When Cutting Fiberglass Doors
Remember these tips when cutting your fiberglass doors:
- Always use personal protective gear like safety glasses and gloves before cutting. Also, wear loose and long-sleeved clothing to protect you from fiberglass fibers. Fiberglass fibers that come in contact with your skin or inhaled can cause serious health hazards.
- Work in a spacious and open area. You can also work indoors, but make sure to open the windows to let the fiberglass fibers escape.
- Work on a safe and sturdy working table. You can also use two stable sawhorses. As much as possible, your table must not easily move when cutting.
- Always take time to get the exact measurements for your door size. Be patient with the process of cutting to get the intended results.
Can You Resize a Fiberglass Door?
Yes, you can resize some fiberglass doors, but not all. You need to check from the brand if your fiberglass door is trimmable or non-trimmable. Read further to find out the differences.
Trimmable fiberglass doors are great if you want to customize the door size to suit your home design. Trusted fiberglass brands allow at least 1-inch stile on the sides, a half-inch on the top, and 1 and 1/2 for the bottom rail. There is also no need to worry if the fiberglass door breaks when cut. With trimmable doors, you will not need to adjust the door frame or your entryway.
There are also non-trimmable doors that you can choose if you do not like to trim. Most brands manufacture a standard size of fiberglass doors. The common sizes range from 80 to 96-inch heights. Some manufacturers will not allow trimming because it can void the warranty.
How Much Can You Trim a Fiberglass Door?
If you bought a trimmable fiberglass door, some brands allow trimming up to half an inch from the edges of the door. Some brands have an allowance of up to 2 inches that will not affect the door's integrity. You also need to consider the measurement that retains the weatherproof feature of the fiberglass door. The trimming must comply with any warranty conditions set by manufacturers.
Can You Put A Window In A Fiberglass Door?
Adding a window in a fiberglass door adds to the appeal of your door. It is a must to accurately measure your window and the panels to get the right fit. There are decorative door glass frame kits that you can buy for your door.
Choosing The Type Of Window Glass
Before cutting the window slot, it is a must to choose the right window glass. Adding glass can enhance the beauty of your fiberglass door. There is a variety of glass you can choose from depending on your style. It is best to choose a tempered or shatter-proof glass that meets your state's building codes. To reduce your energy consumption, you can select a double-paned or insulated glass.
You can still add some decorative touches after the installation of the window. You can add stained glass or a beveled glass pane that matches your style.
How To Put A Window In A Fiberglass Door?
After choosing your window, follow these steps to install it in your fiberglass door.
- Measure the window you will install. Then, transfer the measurements to the door and outline with a marker.
- Then, mask the marked outline with masking tape.
- Lay the outlined door flat on a worktable or sawhorses.
- Trim 1/8 inch on the sides of the window glass. This step prevents the breaking of glass when the door expands and contracts.
- Select the molding that fits the glass.
- Glue or nail the molding to one side of your door. Flip the door and lay a bead of caulk around the insides of the molding.
- Lay the glass carefully in place.
- Add another bead of caulk around the glass and frame of the molding.
- If you add a layer of stained glass or beveled panel on top of the plain window, install this before adding the backside.
Can You Put a Pet Door In a Fiberglass Door?
Aside from adding a window, you can also put a pet door in a fiberglass door. It is a delight that your furry friend can come inside your home without totally opening the door. There are pet doors with insulation and weather resistance features to suit your needs. You can also match the paint or finish of the pet door to match your fiberglass door.
Buying fiberglass exterior doors with a pre-installed pet door gives you less hassle. If your fiberglass doors do not come with a built-in pet door frame, there are available pet door kits that you can install on your own. Buy the appropriate door sizes to consider the growth of your pets. You can always refer to your suppliers for the recommended pet doors for fiberglass doors.
Installing A Pet Door In A Fiberglass Door
Here are the steps in installing a pet door:
- Remove the door. Then, decide where to install the pet door.
- Measure and outline the dimensions of the pet door on the door. If you have a template, tape it on the door. The template should be at least 3 inches from the bottom of the door.
- Drill holes of at least 3/8 inches on the corners of the template outline.
- With a jigsaw, cut the outlined area.
- Position the inside pet door frame with the flap to mark the screw holes—drill 1/4 inch holes in the markings.
- Fit the pet door frame by inserting the threaded sleeves through the holes. Tighten all screws.
- Apply caulk sealant around the pet door frame.
- Reinstall your door in the door frame.
After the installation, you should teach your pet how to use the pet door. Offer some treats to reward your pets. Repeat the rewarding at least three times to reinforce the process. Also, be patient if your pet adapts slowly to the new door.
To get the right door size, you can cut fiberglass doors. Just make sure that you buy a trimmable type to avoid cracking and chipping. Also, prepare the right tools and materials suitable for cutting fiberglass doors. Always protect yourself from fiberglass fibers by wearing protective gear. If you know how to cut fiberglass doors, you can even put a window or a pet door that adds some style and function.