How to Get Rid of Sidelights Front Door

How to Get Rid of Sidelights Front Door

Sidelights are narrow windows that are installed on either side of a front door. While they can add aesthetic appeal and allow natural light into the entryway, some homeowners may prefer to get rid of sidelights for various reasons. Whether you want to increase privacy, improve energy efficiency, or update the appearance of your front entry, removing sidelights can be a straightforward process. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of sidelights from your front door.

Step 1: Assess the situation
Before starting the removal process, assess the construction of your sidelights. Determine if they are integrated into the door frame or if they are separate units. This will help you understand the complexity of the removal process.

Step 2: Gather the necessary tools
To remove sidelights, you will need a few tools such as a pry bar, utility knife, screwdriver, hammer, safety glasses, and gloves. Ensure you have these tools readily available before proceeding.

Step 3: Remove the trim and molding
Begin by removing the trim and molding around the sidelights. Use a utility knife to cut through any caulk or paint that may be holding the trim in place. Carefully pry off the trim using a pry bar, being cautious not to damage the surrounding area.

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Step 4: Detach the sidelights from the frame
If your sidelights are separate units, they should be attached to the door frame with screws. Unscrew the sidelights and set them aside. If the sidelights are integrated into the door frame, you will need to remove the entire door frame to get rid of the sidelights.

Step 5: Fill the void
Once the sidelights are removed, you will be left with empty spaces on either side of the door. Use plywood or drywall to cover these voids. Cut the material to fit the openings and secure them in place using screws or nails. Finish off the edges with trim to achieve a polished look.


1. Will removing sidelights affect the structural integrity of my front door?
No, removing sidelights will not affect the structural integrity of your front door. However, it is essential to ensure that proper reinforcement is put in place when covering the voids left by the sidelights.

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2. Can I replace sidelights with a different style or design?
Yes, removing sidelights provides an excellent opportunity to update the appearance of your front entry. You can replace them with different styles, designs, or even choose to install a solid door instead.

3. Will removing sidelights decrease the value of my home?
The impact on your home’s value will depend on several factors such as the overall design, the desirability of sidelights in your area, and the quality of the replacement solution. Consult with a real estate professional to assess the potential impact on your property.

4. How long does it take to remove sidelights?
The time it takes to remove sidelights can vary depending on the complexity of the installation, your level of expertise, and the tools available to you. On average, the process can be completed within a few hours.

5. Can I remove sidelights without professional help?
Removing sidelights is a DIY-friendly project, particularly for those with basic handyman skills. However, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional.

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6. Will removing sidelights improve energy efficiency?
Yes, removing sidelights can improve energy efficiency as they often contribute to heat loss or gain. By replacing them with solid materials, you can enhance insulation and reduce energy consumption.

7. Are there any alternative options to removing sidelights?
If you still want the benefits of natural light while increasing privacy, you can consider adding frosted or decorative window films to the sidelights. This option allows you to maintain the appearance of sidelights without compromising privacy.

In conclusion, removing sidelights from your front door is a feasible project that can be completed with proper planning and tools. Whether you choose to replace them with a different style or cover the voids, removing sidelights offers the opportunity to enhance privacy, energy efficiency, and update the overall look of your front entry.

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