Tommy Mac Discussions Forums Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum Bedroom door in basement that will let some light in


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    • #75590

      We are building a bedroom in the basement and are looking for a cost-effective (cheap) way to have some natural light come through the interior bedroom door because there is no window in the room. Any good ideas?

      We thought about getting a cheap panel door and replacing a couple of small panels with glass blocks, does that sound workable?

      Anyone that have come across anything on the web on a DIY site showing this type of modification?

      thanks in advance

    • #306839

      Glass blocks would not be useable in the method that you suggest, as they are too thick. They come in 8X8X3″, 8X8X4″, 12X12X3″ and perhaps others. But as you see, all are too thick to use in a door. Have you considered installing a transom window over the door which will let in light while mainting privacy. We did that in an addition several years ago, not for the light, but to use leaded windows, as my wife has that skill. If you have your heart set on a window in a bedroom door(??), how about just using an exterior door with whatever size light you want. You could either use a curtain or cover the glass with translucent contact paper. Removal of a panel in a true panel door is not very practicable.

    • #306840

      Be careful. Converting a basement or basement space into a bedroom may violate certain building codes with respect to size of window. Check with your local building codes. An average basement egress (window to crawl out of in-case of fire) is around a 4 foot x 5 foot opening. The area on the outside of the window needs to be large enough for a person to walk out into. Again, this would be dictated by code. Some codes even have ceiling height requirements for bedroom use too. Just some things to think about.

    • #306841

      can’t be called a bedroom or ever listed as one as it would violate safety code. Yes, it can be used as one but if the local building inspector ever finds out you are looking at some serious fines and having to tear the whole thing out.

      That said, if you want some light into your ‘storage area’ with a bed in it then maybe adding sidelights next to the door would work? Home centers have a lot of frosted or rippled plexiglass that would work, as would just tempered glass with a frosted ‘Privacy’ spray paint coating. Framing in one side light on either side, or one on just one side, would be pretty easy. Heck, check in the lighting area for some panels used in ceiling florescent lights. The long skinny ones might fit between the wall studs almost perfectly.

      Most panel doors don’t like being disassembled and glass block certainly wouldn’t work. Too thick and too heavy.

      Just remember, it is NOT a bedroom and can’t be one by code. It can’t be listed as a bedroom when you go to sell the house either. Basically it’s a change that you can’t tell anyone about and have to hope that certain people never find out about.

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