Make your own, affordable door-lite kits for your front entry doors

DIY front doorCrestview Doors has temporarily discontinued their door-lite kits. I received a number of emails from readers about this change, and also about the company’s recently announced price increases for fully constructed doors with doorlites. As an example, in May we priced a Nokona door with reeded glass, prehung, delivered, at $769. Last month, the company raised the price for this particular configuration to $2,542. (Prices for Redi-Screens also increased dramatically.)
In the wake of these developments, I wanted to point out that if you were planning to buy a Crestview door lite kit, you likely can get a door-lite(s) made locally — quite affordably. Case in point: In a story about her delightful round house a few months ago, ingenious reader Sarah told us how she added door lites to her doors — for just $30, total (she did the carpentry herself). Read on for Sarah’s instructions:

In the original story, Sarah told us:

As for the door, we replaced a single door with two side lights, for double doors. The double doors were just two plain wood slabs, and we had our local glass company make the window boxes for us.

The dimensions of the windows are 5″ wide x 57″ high with a “cotswold” or “rain” texture. The glass lady tried to convince me not to pick this texture because it reminded her of a shower door, but I didn’t listen LOL. I like it, and I think it looks period.

The round escutcheon is just flat cut steel that a local metals shop cut for us then cut in half. The diameter is 22 in and we spray painted it bronze. The handles are appliance pulls that mimicked the design of the tiles.

Make your own door-lite kit:

To summarize:  Get a wood slab door… Go to your local glass store to make the door-lite (more info below)… Then, get your contractor or a carpenter or a friend or loved one with mad skillz to put the two together.

Because carpentry skills are required, this project would not be an easy peasy DIY. But then, I think you would have needed a carpenter to install the Crestview door-lites, too.

I checked on prices at my own glass shop

I live in a small town and have done lots of business with our local glass shop, Lenox Glass & Door. So I called Carl and asked him about all this. Hardly skipping a beat, he said, yes, he could make “thermo-pane” any size I want. It would be two pieces of glass sandwiched together. The trick, he said, would be getting the carpenter to cut the hole or holes in your door to the correct size — then, give the glass shop the correct measurement for the thermo-pane(s). Thermo-panes in hand, the carpenter would then install them, and then trim them. Each thermo-pane would sit inside (centered in the depth) of a typically 1-3/4″ door, with trim around the thermo-pane,  inside and out, to hold it in.

Perhaps the thermo-pane is also glued in first? This I am not sure of. I am sure a trained professional carpenter would have a good idea what to do for safety and security.

While I was talking to Carl, I went to look at my steel storm door. Yes, it’s pretty easy to see how the glass thermo-pane window fits into the door…

I asked Carl how much he would charge for a thermo-pane made 5″ wide by 24″ tall. He said $75 – and it would be tempered glass.

I also asked Sarah via email how much she spent on the long tall door lites for her two entry doors. She emailed:

It was super cheap… I think like $30? For both! They are double-paned and came as a ‘window box’. We just added the wood trim (scrap we already had) to give it a better looky…

Lesson: Know that costs may very regionally and/or Shop Around.

One more thought: If you want a very very sleek looking entry door, talk to your carpenter about finding molding that sits inside the flat panel of the door yet still can hold the glass in.  That is: Don’t have the molding stick out on top of the door like a picture frame. Surely it is possible for the molding that holds the glass in place minimized, essentially hidden, with the door face itself remaining one flat plane? I don’t know how hard it would be to do this. It seems like it would definitely required more finesse, more patience.

front entry doorUpdate: Over on our Facebook page, Linda added the image above and told us her experience using both Crestview and a local source on two adjacent projects:

Glad to see this DYI article Pam. I installed a Crestview doorlite kit…and felt that I would have had better quality/cheaper/no more hassle to do it DIY with the local glass company that installed the pane of glass next to my door (and sealed the rattly doorlite kit windows). BTW the kit windows are framed out (raised) on both sides of the door.

mid century front doorSecond update: Reader Jen told us about her door DIY project:

In Portland, I had my windows made at 52nd Ave Hardware in SE. They were $63 each, tempered with reed texture. The door was from the The ReBuilding Center of Our United Villages. I had originally planned to go with Crestview, but this was local and cheaper. Happy we can talk about DIY!

Sounds like her doorlite holes were already cut. Jen explains further:

The door had slate tiles in place of the glass (super strange), so we just restored it to its former glory. It did have that amazing escutcheon on it, though! The hardware is from the Schlage commercial line (did split finish with brushed copper inside).

Give Crestview a break

That said, now I want to talk about Crestview and their decision to move decisively up-market. CEO Christiane Erwin wrote this letter explaining the change. On the company’s Facebook page, I see they also acknowledged mass market competition.

I have seen some strong reactions about this change in some online comments. My main message: Cut Crestview some slack. They gotta do what they gotta do. I can only imagine how difficult it is to run a business like this.

Based on what they’ve said, and from what I know about the market, I can understand what I *think* is the rationale for their decision: Now that mass marketers are coming in to the market, they need to redefine where and how they can compete. Case in point: The recently introduced Therma-Tru doors. A small firm like Crestview likely would have a very difficult time competing against the marketing muscle and distribution network of a mass marketer like Therma-Tru.

Crestview has always been a very hands-on, labor-intensive-sounding enterprise … focused on fine craftsmanship. I only ever heard good things about them. To make a business and survive, you must be able to make money. This dramatic change to their business model — moving “up market” to handle high end customers who can afford what it costs for this kind of service — seems to me, totally understandable.

So, I understand. Let’s all wish them well. They were pioneers. Kind of like this blog, I like to think. Our companies both started right about the same time, before there was a mid mod mad boom, all on the bet that there would be one.

I know the price increase is very aggravating if you were thinking you’d buy a door soon. But let’s be kind, okay? Especially because there are other solutions. Remember, (1) you now can get mid century style doors with door lites in fiberglass or steel from Therma Tru.  (2) As we’ve described today, with some ingenuity, you can source your own door lite kit locally. And (3) shop for vintage at the ReStore. A pain, but can be done.

Finally, I asked Crestview if they wanted to comment on my story, I told them I was doing a story about how to DIY a doorlite kit and sent them my “give them a break” commentary just above. Emily Belyea, Crestview’s marketing coordinator, promptly responded:

The decision to temporarily discontinue the Doorlite Kits and update our pricing was a response to the demand for high-quality hand-crafted, custom projects and the rising costs of sustainable materials. The new changes allow our design team and production staff the time to work closely with customers on transforming their concept into a unique masterpiece. This commitment to exceptional quality and highly-specialized design standards is very important to us and critical to our growth within the door and millwork market.

With that being said, we realize this transition has come to many people as somewhat of a shock and disappointment. We have and will always support the DIY movement. While our DIY options are temporarily unavailable, we encourage you to pursue other alternatives to get the exact look and feel you desire, no matter what the circumstances.

We are happy to say that we stood beside Retro Renovation in pioneering the current mid-century modern boom, and can’t thank you enough for your continued support and appreciation.

Note: Yes, the price changes were steep, doggonit and drats so that party is now over. But, I will not approve, or I will delete, comments that are not “civil”, judged by moi in accordance with the Retro Renovation commenting guideline, “No one can be made to feel bad for their decisions.” Especially when it comes to something like decorating. I very much wish Crestview good luck in this next chapter in their journey.

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  1. Sarah g (roundhouse) says

    I remember that it was easier to install the door-lights than it was to hang the doors… Then again we were dealing with a curved wall.

    So Pam, when do we get to invite the readers in through the front door? I’m sure someone out there has a lavender bathroom like mine and no idea what to do with it- or they may want to check all the totally circular living room ; )

  2. Luka says

    Pioneering? A bit of inflated self opinion there. I remember when the company first launched and the mcm revival was already well underway. While I will give them credit for identifying a need with their doorlite kits, we have two in our home, Their statements on their price increases read like gobbledy gook.

    • pam kueber says

      I really disagree, Luka. As I said in the story, our two companies launched right about the same time. I am a blog that was very specifically writing about where to find MCM style products. They were one of the very first to actually create products for that market. I don’t think that my using the word pioneering, or their using the word pioneering, is self inflated at all. I was there 7 days a week and watched it all unfold.

        • pam kueber says

          Yes, I am sure things kicked off in California earlier, Luka — especially for buying vintage furniture and also especially the respect for high-end MCM houses. So, yes to your point. And so, I will broaden the “pioneering” to mean “introduced new products to specifically address the market.” In this sense, also, Atomic Ranch Magazine was THE PIONEER in media overall, not me! Respect due to where respect is due! Where I try to distinguish this blog is by (1) really helping find resources, day in and day out. Which is why I “think” I have a sense of Crestview’s place in the timeline.

          • sjaustin says

            Atomic Ranch issue #1 was Spring 2004, and Crestview Doors launched in 2007. I first heard about them from their ad in AR, which was of course among many other ads for mid-century style furniture and decor. Maybe they were the first to do MC style doors specifically, but the MC revival was already in full swing.

            • KM says

              So, basically, you are quibbling over 3 years? Have you ever started a manufacturing business? It’s not something you do overnight. In 1995, people laughed at the idea of a MCM revival. That stuff was still firmly in the hideous and outdated category by most people and most firms. Even in 2007, they took a big risk making doors for that market, so don’t get all bent out of shape because someone said they were a pioneer in the revival. They are. Get over it.

              • sjaustin says

                I’m not sure what you mean by “quibbling over three years” and you seem to be the one who is “bent out of shape.” I’m simply elaborating a bit on where Crestview is in the timeline. Of course they took a risk; starting a business is always a risk. I never said they didn’t. It seems like you’re reading a lot into my comment that wasn’t there.

            • pam kueber says

              I don’t want to fight. I want to help acknowledge “we are all correct”: Yes, by mid 2000s, the MCM revival was under way, especially on the coasts and especially for designer MCM… but still, by 2007, very very few people had introduced ALL NEW MANUFACTURED products to meet the market. As I recall, there was lots of vintage stuff to buy. But manufacturers per se had not geared up. HECK: THERE STILL ARE NOT MANY!

              • sjaustin says

                As I recall, there were already several manufacturers doing new versions of things like MCM furniture and lighting. If I were a little more invested in this I could thumb through all my back issues of AR to check, but I’m not. :)

                My point is not that they had nothing new to offer or that they weren’t taking a risk, just that indeed, the MCM revival was in full swing by the time they launched. That was my only stated point and that was my only intended point. If other people want to read more into it and then get upset about what they think I meant to imply, that’s not my problem.

  3. Mary Elizabeth says

    I think one of the problems in the marketing of any home building product or design is that there is a point when the unusual or unique (say knotty pine cabinets in the late 1940s or granite countertops in the 1990s) becomes trendy and expected. The different companies have to decide which part of the market they are going for (mass market or custom, do-it-yourselfers or contractors), where their materials and labor sources are going to be (abroad or USA?), and what their bottom line profit must be to keep up with the market and sources they chose. Sometimes a change like this will be very successful for a company; other times, they don’t succeed.

    Remember that as mid-century modest homeowners and home renovators/preservationists, we have choices, too. If you’re not doing all the work on your home yourself, you need to work closely with the contractor or subcontractor and let him or her know what your priorities are. For example, I want a product made in the US even if it costs a little more, but do consult with me when the price of the door I picked out goes from $800 to over $2000. My DH and I have discovered that being involved and persistent and hiring locals when we can’t or don’t want to do our own work gets us what we want in the long run.

  4. Robin, NV says

    I remember when I first came across Crestview. I was searching for a classic 3 pane window for my mid century modest house. When I found them, I was SO happy that such a company existed – that they recognized that there was a market for mid century architectural elements. There are tons of resources for Arts and Crafts and Victorian remodels and although MCM is starting to gain recognition as a period worthy of preservation, it still lags behind earlier periods. Companies and craftsmen still don’t quite get the MCM thing – “you mean you want it to look like it’s from the 60s?” It’s all about “perspective distance” or as I like to put it, “the older something is the cooler it seems.” MCM is just now getting past “outdated” to “kinda cool.”

    I was lucky enough to order my door from Crestview just before the price increase. It’s absolutely beautiful. Sadly it’s still sitting in its box waiting for me to stain and install it. I’m gearing up for a complete overhaul of the front of my house (new siding, new windows, new gutters), so it’ll be installed then. Hopefully by winter anyway!

    • Robin, NV says

      Oh by the way, I thought I would mention that if anyone is looking for replacements for asbestos shingle siding, Home Deport actually carries fiber cement siding that looks just like the original stuff (only without the carcinogenic problems).

      My house has the rectangular asbestos siding. However, the siding on the front was replaced with cheap vinyl siding, which is warping and cracking in the intense Nevada sun. I’ll be pulling that off and replacing it with Hardie Board planks.

  5. Sandra says

    It must be scary to be in Crestview’s business, the way things are. And, when the dollar collapses, few will be in the market for doorlights; and any that are, will be at the high end. Plus, you never know when Congress will upset the budget with cost increases you can’t control.

    Since I already put in a slab door in hopes of adding doorlights, later, I’m glad to see alternatives.

    A managed economy is responsible for causing home improvement businessess to drop, left and right, from Mom & Pop hardware to flooring and nurseries. Adapt or fail is one of the laws of economics that is true no matter what!

  6. Jay says

    All companies big or small that’s geared to construction whether industrial or residential took a hit during the Great Recession. You name it – flooring, appliances, furniture, steel, concrete, doors, windows, etc. etc. Any company able to come through the downturn has been fortunate. Even the high end took a hit as people with gobs of money had quite not so much as before and stopped spending. Many luxury home builders of 1 million $ plus homes had to curtail building. I can understand Crestview changing their business plan as high end customers are less prone to suffer economic hardship due to abrupt changes in the economy. Is there still much of a demand for MC modest doors, the market has probably been exhausted for them. In my neighborhood maybe 25% stll have the original doors. Most people want newer styles and aren’t too concerned about authenticity lest others think their house is “dated”.

  7. amypie says

    Okay, I understand their commitment to quality and that the products are made in the U.S. but for those of us who were planning to incorporate redi-screens into a future project (i.e. the basement I’d like to finish) it’s gone from a little careful planning and saving to pipe dream. Personally, I can’t afford those prices, I would have nothing left in the budget for floors, walls, furniture or anything else.

    • says

      Doorlite kits are incredibly easy to make or have made for you – inexpensively. While I get the disappointment that you may not be able to AFFORD one, now you have the chance to be totally kick-ass and make one for yourself. 😉

  8. Wendy M. says

    I would encourage anyone looking for glass panels to shop around- we recently had six sidelight windows replaced and I got two estimates from two local businesses (in fact, their doors are side by side- one is a fancy door and window company, the other is a no-frills glass shop where you can see their work area from the “showroom”.) The no-frills shop was approx. $100/window cheaper.
    (In terms of the Crestview pricing/availability shift- I think they are entitled to price their products as they see fit. If they have priced themselves out of the market, I’m sure they will adjust as needed. I have never made a purchase from them, but I called on two separate occasions and received superior customer service. I wish them well.)

    • sjaustin says

      Don’t be embarrassed! I think a lot of us have assorted house parts that have been hanging around for quite some time waiting for us to get off our butts and install them.

    • Ana says

      Mine’s still in the box, too. It’s been a while since I bought it — I bought it a couple of years ago just before a price increase. Then I waited for a warehouse sale at Crestview Doors’ workshop this year to buy a slab door for $100.

      Note to locals: Sign up for the email newsletter because there are usually plenty of Redi-Screens and doors at a huge discount during the warehouse sales.

      I live in Crestview, a 5-minute walk from the company founders’ house. In Austin (and other places), there’s a decent market for their products as the real estate market improves. A lot of people here love the rehabbed but still quirky older homes, and plenty of others who live in modern homes use the same door styles since they work with the architecture. The house behind mine is new construction and the owners just put in a Crestview door (which they had painted a butternut squash color) a couple of days ago.

  9. says

    Thank goodness my house came with it’s original front and carport ‘doorlite’ doors intact! I could finish one of my basement rooms or build that deck onto the back for that kind of $$!!

  10. Ree says

    Regarding the comments upthread about when the MCM revival began, it still hasn’t made it to my part of the world, Louisiana. MCM classics stay on the market longer than other styles, and are generally gutted to become granite counter top/fake French or some other style houses by the buyers. Kudus to Atomic Ranch, this website and other sources of information about MCM houses and products.

    • says

      Same here in East Tennessee…not that there was much love for it the first time around. The few examples we have are disrespected terribly and gutted for whatever el cheapo (quality is rarely high on priority lists here for ANYTHING), ‘like everyone else’ junk they can find at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Makes me sad. But it does mean that I have the opportunity to buy lots of great stuff really cheap (often free!) sometimes when these style deficient people want them gone! It also makes me smile knowing that the Mid Mod my grandparents built is now in my hands and there have been so few changes to it since it was finished that I can count them on one hand! And I intend to keep it that way!

    • Robin, NV says

      Ditto for my part of the world. Northern Nevada was never a hotbed of MCM design (aside from some notable downtown public spaces in Reno). Folks around here are very much stuck in either Arts and Crafts revival or “Tuscan” and “French Provincial.” Cherry cabinets and granite countertops are THE thing. I’m so glad there are a few companies that recognize how great MCM is – and for places like RR where we can share our thoughts and tribulations!

    • Bluejay says

      It’s the same here in northern Maryland. MCM isn’t popular here (but is if you head an hour south to Baltimore and DC). Shabby chic is still going strong, as well as the spa bath/granite kitchen trend. There’s a whole lotta blech going locally (except in our house). 😀

    • Sarah g (roundhouse) says

      Those are my doors pictured and I live in Louisiana! With all the ‘handymen’ and do it yourselfers in our great state, you can get someone to make it happen for ya… You just have to ask your neighbors! Lol

    • says

      You’ve got company down here in the Florida panhandle, as well. MCM decor is pretty much an unknown beast around here. We have plenty of homes from that era, but most have been “updated” to current standards. There are two cool atomic styles for sale in our current neighborhood that have been “retro-updated” by some forward thinking person – and they have been on the market for ages! (the fact that one has that weird “jack and jill” bath thing going on might be a minor contributor for it, however). You should have seen the look of amazement on the face of the real estate agent who recently sold us our 1960 home when I smiled in glee and didn’t grimace at the pink or blue original tiled bathrooms – or the front entryway brick planter – or the original garage doors! (Wish it had the original front door, too – no such luck – a homemade version is most probably going to be in my future). Oh well… at least it makes thrift store and estate sale shopping exciting for me 😉

  11. Linda says

    Thanks for posting my door pic Pam. I’m pleased with the results and glad you liked it too. At the time I felt that everything I envisioned (door off center, glass pane framed in wood rather than an off the shelf “sidelight”, vintage escutcheon that required a 5″ backset on the handle and deadbolt, window kit) added yet another challenge.

    Other things I learned along the way:
    – The 1st local lumber/door co told me a flat door with 5″ handle setbacks was “special order”, would be $$$ and take 2 months! Another co did it in 3 days for hundreds of dollars less.

    – Jerry at was super helpful and speedy in getting me the exact lockset extension kits I needed for my handle and deadbolt.

    – Pre-paint the window frames (trim pieces), including the exterior color on the back side of the interior frame, and the interior color on the back side of the exterior frame. You see just a little edge of the underside through the glass, once installed.

    – If you start with two window frames that hold glass loosely in position, fastened by screws from the inside, then after you’ve painted the frames your glass installer will need to silicon the glass to at least one side of the frame to keep it secure.

    *Sigh.* If only my door had been the original. And @Karen, I totally get not having installed that kit yet. Cutting the holes for the windows is as big a challenge as creating the frames as I see it. Happy door projects to all…

  12. J D Log says

    I got a good external door for my garage I was building and went to a laser cutting place in the next suburb as I was also doing custom posts for the verandah I was building this proved cheaper to give them more work. I used some old ribbed glassed from doors I salvaged at a council cleanup got those cut and then puttied them in as using silicone if you need to take the glass out latter is impossible.
    I originally tried a big door manufacturer who said they do custom work, but when it came to pricing they said they only offered this to get you in to buy 1 of their standard modern doors.

  13. mikeD says

    Its Crestview’s prerogative to charge what they want, not mad at them, just think their new prices are a bit silly. I have two of their door-lite kits and think they are great. Their kit, my sourced solid core door with frame, installed, was around $500 and they want $3K+??

    I just don’t see the value at those prices at all… it is wood with some glass installed. it’s not a highly engineered technical piece of equipment.

    I am a consumer that is generally willing to pay a premium from what I get and thought their prices before were very reasonable and probably would have paid $100-$200 more for my kit. But with these prices it is almost like they think their customers are suckers.

    • Linda says

      Lynne that is B. Moore “Tate Olive”…which I had color matched by a more affordable brand. I rejected quite a few greens before I got to that one.

  14. Sam says

    Dang! That’s what I get for procrastination!
    I can definitely understand their shift in business model. MCM appeals to two groups, us vintage thrifty types and high end types with money.
    I’ve been in the vintage clothing business since the early nineties…
    😉 It’s harder with the furniture and custom made doors..
    Thrifty types are going to resource it and DIY so what’s left is a custom special order customer, and those want something specific, and want it really nice. Good Luck I say! I hope I can afford one! Heck, I hope we all can!! =)

    • Jay says

      I think the take-away from this story is if you have the skill sets to DIY and the patience, you are probably better off sourcing it locally. Lacking DIY skills, i would still want to patronize a local business.

  15. amypie says

    Well, I’m all for patronizing local businesses, but sometimes it is really nice to be able to find a product you want out in the marketplace, ready to buy, that can be delivered to your door. As much as I love the thrill of the hunt, sometimes I don’t have the wherewithal to go through the pains of extensive research for both design and the craftsperson to create something I need, never mind having to research said craftsperson’s business reputation.

  16. Dan O. says

    I just visited the Crestview site and find the new prices outrageously silly; this will play out for them in one of two ways 1) alienating the entry level/DIY customer will prove fatal or 2) transitioning to the smaller, high end market with it’s obscenely higher profitability per unit will make up for abandoning the less affluent buyer. I’m sure those running Crestview would not dare change strategy without having the data to back up their motives, if it turned out that a majority of their customer base was already made up of those with loaded pockets then they’ve actually been losing potential earnings by giving these guys a great deal over the past 5 years with their old price structure.

    Personally, I did not find any of their products to be so special or complicated that I would not choose to go the DIY and/or local craftsperson route, but I can understand how most people prefer the convenience of a turn-key product. It’s seems that a lot of those commenting here are pretty sure the segment that Crestview has left behind can still be profitable, take this as an opportunity to create your own version of the old Crestview.

  17. Lauryn says

    I live in a pretty small town in rural Iowa, and I was able to find TWO fabulous doors at my Habitat store for $50 total (we currently have a new metal orange-slice-window door the previous owners put on and are not at all fond of it). Both need a little work, but will not come even remotely close to the price of a new one. I’m leaning towards one; when I commit, the other one will be donated back. (I bought the first one for $15, then saw the one I am leaning towards using and had to buy it as well!) So, if I can find something where I live, I’m sure others can find something as well!

  18. Chris says

    I’d like some more details about the various trims used on these doors (if available). The trim out would seem to be the the difficult part for me. Ordering glass and cutting a hole are pretty easy.

    • Kirk says

      The trim is definitely the hard part. I’ve been looking for a “workaround” on the Crestview thing for two weeks now. Sourcing a door and the glass has been easy, but I’m still looking for the specialty trim. Simple corner moulding won’t work very well as it is not robust enough and the doorlite won’t sit tightly. You need to be able to put a screw through to the trim on the other side, especially if you are planning to use an energy efficient fibreglass door, as I am.

      My current plan is to create some trim using unfinished simple picture framing moulding, then glue a second piece of flat moulding over the top to form a sort of “T” shape. However, getting the dimensions right through the middle of the door is going to be tricky. Will likely involve some careful cuts on a table saw, or possibly adding a third piece to the mix.

      Will be keen to hear if anyone else has a better idea. I’ve searched high and low for trim that will work online and at local lumberyards…

        • Linda says

          My door kit trim is 2 matching frames (one with screw holes for the inside) that sandwich glass. Wood trim about 1/8″ thick. They are more of an “L” than a “T”, with the part that sticks back into the hole slightly angled so that it’s smaller where it touches the glass. The part that frames around the hole is 7/8″ wide and the part that extends back into the hole is about 1″ wide.

          I would first ask the glass company if they are able to create the frame. When I installed my big pane of glass my local co handled installing the wood “stops.” I have seen plastic and metal door sidelight “surrounds” in limited sizes such as this: The image of the metal ones really show the design structure.

        • Kirk says

          There are lots of plastic and metal examples out there in cyberspace, but nothing in wood that I have found yet. The example that Linda provides actually illustrates the problem: It is easy to have a really thin piece surrounding the SIDE of the glass with plastic or metal, but hard to do it with wood (and the plastic and metal just don’t pass the MCM aesthetic test). Also, you can’t customize the sizing with these pre-fab ones.

          Crestview has done a pretty thorough job of removing all the info on the doorlite kits from their site (and I don’t blame them at all for doing so, as this is their intellectual property). However, there is still a few pictures out there of their design. The best one of the frames can be found here:

          Crestview has also left some installation videos on YouTube (at least until they see this post!). Once of these (#4) gives you a glimpse about how the glass sits in the frame:

          I think the best bet will be to create a customized piece of trim by gluing a couple of different pieces together if you are planning on a fibreglass or metal door, as I am.

          For solid core wood doors this might be easier though – you could probably get away with simply insetting the glass and in some kind of quarter round or corner trim frame (maybe even picture frame from a framing shop) and then screwing this right into the door (with some generous caulking).

  19. says

    Right up the street from me in Seattle, there is a store called Franks Lumber. They have Mid century doors and you can customize as much as you want with different glass, positions etc… They have more glass then whats pictured here. Here is a link
    Select exterior door and mid century modern from the drop downs

    Prices are not on their site, but these doors pictured are $580 and pre hung in a frame about $760. If you are local you can bring your old door in and they will cut it down, match the hinges and install them on your new door. Don’t know if they ship or not.

  20. Scott says

    I was browsing at Crestview just a few days ago to look at the house number plaques again and noticed those also were discontinued.

    And thanks for confirming my memory was not completely gone, after I looked, or tried to look, at the number plaques, the next stop was to go drool over the screens, the Morocco in particular, and hadn’t remembered them being that price.

  21. Greg says

    I’m glad you posted this. I’ve been wanting a big window in my back door, and I priced a custom paint-grade wood one at Lowe’s. It came back as $2500 (so, I don’t really blame Crestview). The guy at Lowe’s said I’d be better off going to the local glass place and getting an IGU (insulated glass unit). I was wondering about the specifics of how to install it, though.

  22. SandraK says

    The MCM revival has been going on for years. And I mean years. Too hard to give “credit” to one person/place/complany when dotted all over the world, small mom & pop businesses have been participating for YEARS. They may not be WWW savy, but they have been the tried and true, steady believers. You may not ever see them on the web, but they are there. Day in and day out. Atomic Ranch is wonderful! The internet has done great things in its time, but ALL of the world doesn’t participate. I wish it did, but that will never happen!
    MCM is not huge in my part of the U.S., but there are still some of us that appreciate it. Googie is another love of mine, but most ppl around here call it “old and tacky”. Love it though!

  23. Sid Mann says

    My two cents regarding home-made molding. There is a stock wood molding called astragal that goes on one edge of two entry doors where they meet when closed. It gives the second door a place to stop and latch. It is a fairly heavy “T” shape. My thought is to trim the long leg to 7/8″ so two pieces screwed together on each side can fill the 1-3/4″ door thickness with the glass in the middle. A wood stop added to both sides would hold the glass centered. The stop would have a beveled edge to shed rain.This would take some table saw whittling..
    So far, this scheme works fine in my head but your mileage may vary!
    This site came up on a Google search as I want to add 2 small lites to the top of my 6 panel steel garage door
    Sid in Sarasota. .

  24. Michael Rice says

    I bought a little MC Ranch in San Antonio Back in July, Pink roman brick with pink mortar, Love it.
    One of my first projects was to replace the front door with something period correct from Crestview until I saw and was stunned by there price increase. OK, so they want to go up market, best of luck but they are not getting my money.
    An old and respected Door, Lumber, Veneer Company here in SA is making a custom three lite door to my specs for $255.00. Solid core, birch faced, prehung, solid lumber used in door and frame (no finger joints) pre drilled and ready for glass, finish and with oak threshold.
    This company was making MCM doors in the 50’s, so i don’t think Crestview pioneered anything. Bottom line, thank you Crestview! You saved me alot of money.

  25. Nathanael Kitchen says

    I was so excited when we found our door at the restore here in Beaumont, Tx. We got it for 35$! We had decided against Crestview but weren’t finding a finished product for much cheaper once you factor in shipping or having one custom made. I encourage everyone to keep looking. MCM craze has definitely not reached this part of Tx. So sometimes that means we find great deals. Will keep you updated on the finished cost of glass and labor. We are working with a contractor, so that will be added. Keep looking for those deals!

    • Maureen Bajeyt says

      It seems that Crestview isn’t actively operating their business at the moment. The website is up and there’s a section to leave your information; I guess for when they’re back up and running. It was disappointing not receiving a return email, but I am becoming more creative in how to tackle the problem of finding a new front door.

  26. Ashley says

    Hi! I was looking for something re: figuring out exactly what kind of wood trim we have in our house….and I let the amazingness of your site get the best of me like I always do. You and the wonderful community you have built has been so helpful to us during our 1954 remodel.

    ANYWAY! Not sure if anyone mentioned this earlier but check out this site.

    I just came across an ad for it in a recent Atomic Ranch issue, while waiting in line at the co-op. Hope it helps someone.

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