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Period features: replacing stained glass

BY Ned Browne

1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

Period features: replacing stained glass

We’re investigating replacing the stained glass in your front door. First impressions do count. Stained glass gives that immediate wow factor: before you step inside as well as on sunny days, when coloured sunbeams will flood your hallway.

Stained glass placement

One of the most common requests homebuyers make is for “period features”. Unfortunately, during the 1960s and 1970s many were removed: gas fires replaced cast iron fireplaces and stained glass gave way to security glass. But putting these features back is probably cheaper than you think and will almost certainly add value to your home.

The door

The most expensive option is to replace the whole front door. If your current door is made of aluminum or plastic, there is no other choice. 

Above the door

The key advantage of this final option is that you can get the fixed glass panel above the door made too.  The most common design incorporates the property’s number.  You may also have fixed side panels that require stained glass.


What are my options?


Search for “stained glass front door” and you’ll find plenty of companies who specialise in this field. Prices start from around £1,000. Fitting will costs extra, as will adding a stained glass panel above the door.


Another possibility is to scour auction websites for stained glass. This will be the cheapest option by some way. But you will need luck on your side: getting panels the right size could prove tricky. There is, of course, some wriggle room. If you’re a competent DIYer you may feel comfortable resizing the frame.

Made to order

The final option is to get stained glass made to order. You can then either fit it yourself or hire a glazier. This is the best way to guarantee success without breaking the bank.


What sort of stained glass?

Obviously you need to choose a design you love. But, if you’re a purist, it’s worth determining the age of your house and getting stained glass to match that era. 

Better still, walk along your street and see if any original examples remain. If they do, take some high-resolution photos to show to a specialist. 

There are still plenty of stained glass makers, so finding someone local to you should be straightforward. But the quality can vary enormously, so make sure you visit the workshop. You need to feel the glass, see finished examples and agree the design.

The best craftsmen will draw your design first and give you samples of the glass that will be used. Before this, you will probably have to pay a deposit: 20% is the norm.


Bespoke designs

It’s possible to spend thousands of pounds on stained glass, so carefully consider your budget. Features such as hand-painted birds (common in old stained glass door panels) can cost hundreds of pounds.


The end result

Installing stained glass is not unlike investing in art. You get to enjoy it every day and it should prove to be a canny earner too.