Can Blinds Between Glass Be Repaired?

By Todd Fratzel on Doors, Maintanence

Blinds Between Glass

Blinds Between Glass

Doors with Blinds Between Glass

I wrote and article about French Doors with Built In Blinds awhile ago and numerous people have asked how to repair these type of window treatments if they get damaged. The answer is not one most people want to hear. Almost all of the doors and windows sold today with blinds between the glass are not easily repairable.

Most manufacturers are installing the blinds inside a sealed thermal window assembly. Because of this the only way to get at the blinds and therefore repair them is to take apart the thermal glass assembly, thus rendering it useless. For a majority of these windows and doors you’ll need to buy the sealed glass assembly and replace it.

This doesn’t mean the entire door or window must be replaced. This just means that you’ll be replacing the entire insulated window assembly just as you would if you broke the glass.

Blinds Between Glass Detail

Blinds Between Glass Detail

At least one manufacturer is building units that the shades are enclosed in a separate piece of glass and snapped into place. This allows for you to remove them, change them or replace them without needing to replace the main glass assembly. Having said all that we have two French Doors built by ThermaTru with blinds between the glass and so far after 4 years we’ve had no problems.

If you end up having trouble with the blinds I’d start by contacting the manufacturer to see which type of system you have. At the very least you should be able to buy a replacement assembly to replace the damaged blinds.

If you own a Therma-Tru door then here is the Customer Support Link.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Charles Wilson says:

    We have 10 yr old french doors and single doore with bars between the glass. Can we buy a replacement with the blinds inside of the 2 glasses and put in the doors after removing the old glass? I look at them and it appeared the distance between the glass with the bars is not as wide as the blinds. We looked at Lowes.

  2. Linnea says:

    We just installed the french doors with blinds between the glass and a rock has spider webbed it. Do I have to replace the entire door or can we replace just the outside glass? PLEASE tell me what I want to hear LOL thanks in advance!

    • Todd says:

      Linnea – Most of the brands that we’ve dealt with will require the entire glass unit to be replaced. The glass is typically a multi-pane glass that’s sealed with the blinds inside it. You should be able to get just that glass unit and replace it entirely without ever taking the door off the hinges.

    • Susan says:

      Where were you able to find just the replacement panels? I have been looking for them for my French doors and I have not been able to find somewhere to just order the panels with blinds. Thanks

      • Todd says:

        Susan – I’m fairly sure you have to order the entire glass assembly with the blinds in it.

      • cliffeck says:

        Home Depot has the insert panels. I just bought one, 22.75″ x 65.75″ that has the blinds inside the insulated thermal glass ( $162.). They are easy to change out.

        • Bryan says:

          I am wondering where to buy the full insert for doors like these. Anybody have any luck with that?

          • Fay Looten says:

            I would like to replace the glass in my door with the glass with blind insert. Do you know where this can be found in different sizes or if this can be done at all? Thanks Fay

          • Todd Fratzel says:

            Check with a local glass company, they can likely help you .

  3. lauri says:

    we have a peachtree door with enclosed mini blinds. They will only go half way down. the magnet seems to be misplaced in the track. it will not click back into place…any tips on fixing this…the door isn’t even a year old.

    • Todd says:

      Lauri – Have you tried “turning” the blind control arm? The one problem with these blinds is they really should only be moved up and down when the blinds are in the open position. Many times you need to “open” the blinds before trying to move them any further.

      • Amanda says:

        Oh Man, thank you so much! Our blinds were stuck half way down and sideways…I was researching how to replace the glass and read your comment. I opened them and tried to pull them all the way up, and they work now! Thank You!

  4. Sherry says:

    We have a french door with built-in blinds in our master bedroom. My son was closing the blinds and the latch came detached from the blinds. The thing you push left or right to open and close at the top of the door just slides back and forth now. It isn’t attached to anyting. You can still raise the blinds up and down, but they won’t open or close. Is there a way to fix this without replacing? I don’t know the brand of the door because it came with the house when we bought it. Thank you so much for any help you can give.

    • Todd says:

      Sherry – A picture might help solve this. There are a few styles on the market including some that use magnets to “attach” the level to the mechanism. If it’s one of those you just re-align them and it works. If not you may have to replace the unit.

      • Don says:

        I had the same problem today and after reading your answer I pushed tab to the top and the magnet re-aligned. thank you

  5. isra abu saadeh says:

    which the best external blinds or blinds between glasses
    i have to make a report about this
    but i did not fond except the advantages off this two type

  6. Dan says:

    Todd, I have a 10 month old sliding patio door with blinds between the glass. It appears the magnet is not working or slipping. The magnet comes loose half way up the window. I can only get the blind half way up before the magnet lets loose. How can I fix this? Its a Jeld Wen.


    • Todd says:

      Are the blinds in the open or closed position? Not the up and down portion but are the blinds set in the open (let light in) position? They must be in that position and not closed before trying to move them up and down.

      • Todd says:

        I am having the same problem. I tried it in the “open” position and the magnet lets go on all of my blinds about half way up. The blinds fall back to the bottom and the magnet goes back to the top. Not sure how to fix this.

    • Graeme says:

      I found the solution to my issue, which was displaying the same symptoms as you… When reattaching the handle, you have to keep it raised/angled away from the glass and move it above where you initially feel it try and grab the magnet inside the blinds and move it another inch or two up and you feel it grab that magnet MUCH more firmly and then the mechanism worked perfectly after that.

      • Edith Dooley says:

        Graeme…..THANK YOU, THANK YOU so much. That extra inch and the magnet STRONGLY engaged, just like you said. The blinds work fine now.

      • Roger says:

        This trick of moving lifting the magnet up an extra inch after the first magnet engaged worked perfectly. I was trying all the solutions listed above until I came to this one and when I tried it, voila! Thank you so much! Now, can you move that post to the top??

      • Charles says:

        WOW!!! Your solution worked like a charm! After fooling around trying to make my inside the door shades work, without success, I .tried your solution and it worked first time. Thanks so much!

      • C. Hines says:

        Thank you so much for the help with the blinds. Mine had been stuck in the down position for almost a year now. I had given up on them and was going to have the glass unit replaced. I hated not being able to see out these French doors. This is where my bird feeder was and it looked into the backyard so I could watch the kids. I followed the directions with the magnets and voila! They work again. I can see out for the first time in a very long time. Again, THANKS!

  7. Robert Lindsay says:


    Above you wrote: “At least one manufacturer is building units that the shades are enclosed in a separate piece of glass and snapped into place. This allows for you to remove them, change them or replace them without needing to replace the main glass assembly.” Can you tell me who these manufacturers are? This seems like the better way of constructing a patio door.



  8. Richard says:

    I too am having problems with the magnet letting go on my blinds about half way up. I moved the blinds to the open position and it did not help. the blinds drop back down to the bottom and the magnet “inside” goes to the top and the handle goes to the bottom. Is there another fix for this?

  9. Mujlo says:

    Hi Tod, is there a youtube link I can veiw to know how to replace the panel with a in between glass blinds. I have a french door that came with the house and over period of time one of the strings inside the pannel has broken. The blinds look like sandwitched pigion sad to say.. I want to replace the panel myself. I have seen videos of removeable panels but I was unable to find one for replacement for built in units. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Todd says:

      I don’t have a youtube video on that. Let me do some research and see if I can find one for you. It’s my understanding that most of these units have the glass sealed with the blinds in them. So it should be just as easy as replacing a normal glass unit.

      • Mujlo says:

        You are right, I think its just as simple as replacing a normal glass unit. However I am having difficulty locating a vendor to order the replacement panel. I know I would be reluctant to recommend one vendor or the other if I were you but I would greatly appreciate it if you can guide me in finding one where I can order a repalcement panel. I promise I will not hold you liable one way or the other.LOL.

        • Todd says:

          Mujlo – It really needs to be the same brands as the original. Otherwise, the glass won’t likely fit the opening. What brand do you have?

  10. Mujlo says:

    I wish I knew! It came with the house I bought. And the door has been painted. Where on the door should I look to see what brand or manufacturer, any ideas?

    • Todd says:

      Sometimes the hinges will have the manufacturer stamped on them. Sometimes in the corner of the glass you can see a very faint label.

  11. John says:

    I have a 36×94 and 1 and a half thick of double pane glass sliding door. Can I install blinds between the glass??

    • Todd says:

      Typically they are only in French Doors and you typically have to have a door that was built originally for the blinds.

  12. I purchased 3 french doors and added the mini blind at my local
    Lowe’s Store. I believ they are MasterCraft. One of the Mini
    Blinds which attach to the door dropped due to the plastic bracket
    broke off. Where can I purchase the plastic bracket which holds
    the Mini Blind in place with a sheet metal screw?
    Thank you in advance…….Frank Garcia

  13. Matthew says:

    I just spent the last hour at least fixing my inside french door shutter blinds. My issue was that my shutters are sealed in the glass, and the magnet kept skipping about halfway down. This caused the shutters to be stuck on the left side about 3/4 of the way up. I was incredibly frustrated because I thought this is going to turn into something that stays broken forever and I am assuming it is an expensive fix to replace that entire glass.

    The way I was able to fix it was as you guys stated above pretty much with one minor difference. First, I made sure the shutters were in the open position from the top adjuster. Then I kept sliding the lever over and over for about a half hour. I almost gave up but right when I was about to give up because it was not catching it caught for a second and the shutters on the left side of the window (not the left door, just the left side of the shutter was stuck – the right side would move freely until it got to the point that the left side was holding it up) and they came down about half way. I kept messing with it, and unfortunately for me it caused them to raise back up and get restuck.

    Anyhow, to make a long story shorter, I removed the magnet from underneath the slider. I physically pulled the lever out towards me until the magnet underneath it was able to pop out. Then using just the magnet without the lever I kept twisting and turning it where it was getting stuck/slipping while moving it up and down. Finally, the entire shutter fell down inside the window 7/8 of the way down. Then I very gently with small movements kept bouncing it until it came all the way down. Then I put the magnet back where it belongs and decided I am not going to mess with them again. It did not actually fix it, but at least it closed them entirely and I don’t have to mess with them any longer.

  14. jeff says:

    i have vinly french doors the blinds broke they seem to be seald how can i get them apart to fix blinds doors are good dont know the brand of doors.if i have to replace door can you just buy one door thanks

  15. jeff says:

    jeff again if i can fix blind where do i get information on how to get the glass apart what is used to seperate the glass thanks

    • Todd says:

      You can’t separate the glass, it’s sealed for energy efficiency. You may be able to order the glass without ordering a new door. To do this you need to figure out what brand it is..usually says on the glass in one of the corners.

  16. Janet says:

    Hi Todd!
    My question is when I raised the blinds because I love to let the light inside the house(I don’t really do it that often,other times ill just open blinds) but when I raised them as I was sliding them back down they got hung on 1 side.
    I played with it sliding the magnet up and down back and forth until it finally slid them back most the way. Now they are hung about 5 inches from the bottom and I just can’t get them down.
    Can you take the screws outside the frame of the glass and maybe pull em down that way or am I going to have to get a new blind piece inside there???
    I just don’t like having it to where you can see inside my home.
    Thanks so much!!

  17. Sam says:

    We just moved to our new home and we have 3 sets of pella patio doors with the blinds in them. One day I was opening the blinds – pulling them up – when something inside ‘fell’ and hit the bottom of the inside glass. I concluded that the counter balance magnet slipped to the bottom. I contacted Pella and they told me to do the usual slide the magnet up and down…which I have done many…many times, to no avail. Its pretty sad. I’m guessing I will need to get a new door? I did take the one door off the track and tried to fix it by turning the whole pane upside down…nothing slipped down like I thought it would and things are back to square one!

    I’m sure I will have to buy a replacement panel..don’t want to but what are my options?

  18. Michelle says:

    Hi Todd

    My mini blinds inside french doors are stuck. On the outside vinyl strip that moves blinds up and down about two inches of the vinyl is pressed in so the lever catches there and won’t go past it?

    Any ideas? Can that outside piece be replaced? Help, please window is stuck open on bottom.

    Thank you

  19. Alexis Redmond says:

    I have “Specialty” brand French patio doors with the blinds inside them. They were installed in 2009. In 2011, the string broke on one side of the blind. I found a door company that could find replacement glass inserts for me. Fast forward to 2014, and the same blind broke again. The door company cannot help me. They told me to find the website for “Specialty” brand doors but I can’t find anything online and I have no contact information for the company that installed them.

    Do you have a contact for Specialty brand doors? I can get replacement panels that are not the same brand but they are $600 for each door (2 doors).

    I’m starting to feel like these are not good doors to get. They break too often and seem expensive to fix. I raise my blinds daily as they are the only windows in my kitchen. Am I not supposed to raise them that often?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Todd says:

      Alexis – I’ve never heard of that brand before. The French Doors that I personally have, I do not pull them up daily, we just open and close the louvers. This technology is great, but they can break just like a window blind. Knowing that they do have parts that can break should play into how they are used. Wish I had a contact for you. Best of luck.

    • Fred says:

      Allegedly the Masonite website says that they carry Specialty brand doors. I couldn’t find them on the website, though.
      if you go to the website, there is contact information. Hope this helps a bit.
      PS I,too, have Specialty brand French doors with broken blinds. One side neatly fell to the bottom, the other side looks like a sorrowful game of hangman.

  20. gary says:

    hi so the magnets came off the little box that shifts the blinds to open and close its a little control at the top of blind inside the glass about a 6 inch long slide area only 2 magnets on slider handle 2 magnets behind the glass but now dangling on the metal turner…got a really strong magnet and can kind of bump the turn box a little but not enuff to open slats for light any ideas,,,thanks gary

    • GARY says:


      • Todd Fratzel says:

        I would not recommend that.

        • GARY says:

          ok well its a 4 inch slide area at top of blind both magnets are off the box that slide there out of site further down on the turning rod i have a 3 inch strong magnet if i spend a long time sliding my magnet back and forth and the t magnets inside glass repell my moving magnet it shimmmy the blind a lil more open very little what about taking door off and turning it upside down will the blinds fall back open …really tight for cash cant afford new door or panes

  21. sharon k says:

    we just bought a house in chgo suburbs
    the back door has the blinds between the glass needless to say the control part across the top has 2 magnets on it the control (all w/i the glass) is missing and one of the magnets is missing also
    is there anyway to find out the mfg of the door?
    it had a name on the glass i contacted them and they just said they made only the glass not the door or the blinds\
    any help?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Any name on the hinges?

    • Stephanie says:

      I have the same door with the magnetic piece missing at the top, i bought this house and it was missing when I bought it. Blinds are closed now , anyway to get them opened or can that piece missing be ordered?

  22. Sharon says:

    No looked on all sides. Went to HD
    All their doors have the control on the side. This one has it across the top w one 1/2 inch magnet in between the glass U can see a there is also some type of double face tape in there too have no idea where the interior control went it isn’t laying on the bottom

  23. Patricia says:

    I was a opening my blinds and now they are all crooked one side of the blinds is hanging with out the string .they looked messed up what can I do since the window is sealed? Do I need to replace the whole window?

  24. Kellie says:

    I have French doors with the blinds in closed, is there a way to replace the trim around the glass. My dog used it as a chew toy.

  25. Julie says:

    We have French doors (I think) with the blinds between the glass. When I went to put the blinds up I acidentally broke the switch thing. Now it pops off when I try to put the blind up all the way. It’s at my parents house and I am wondering how much it costs to replace the magnet (I assume its a magnetic switch thing because it pulls like a magnet and clicks when I put it back) I’m not sure if my parents have noticed yet but I’m positive they’ll be mad. Anyway I was wondering if it could b fixeD.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Without seeing it, knowing the model it’s hard to say. Maybe bring the piece to your local door showroom and ask.

  26. Mary says:

    Todd, My blind in the door has a glide on the side of the window, to move it up or down. The glide has gotten stiff to slide up and down. Is there anything I can lubricate the glide so it with slide smoothly? I do not want to remove frame or window to fix it.
    Thank you for your help.

  27. Vivian says:

    I have french doors with Touch ODL blinds enclosed in glass. I have previously been able to re-engage the magnet in the side glide to move the blinds up and down but now having a problem with the top adjuster to open or close the blinds. Is there a trick to that? I changed the angle of the blind from totally closed (facing down) to upward for soft light and the adjuster seemed to disconnect/disengage and now won’t move the angle of the blinds at all. Any tips?

  28. ZAch says:

    So we are having an issue where it seems there a second magnet that got separated and now it won’t go down at all or move. Is there a way to finagle that magnet up or are there usually two stops.

  29. Michelle says:

    Do you know where I can order these? I have the ones like in your picture but cannot find them anywhere, Home Depot, etc. Only thing is ours do not rise or lower; just open/close. These were installed about 10 years by the previous owners. Hope you can help! Thanks

  30. Sarah says:

    We have a sunroom with 9 windows and two patio doors, with blinds between the glass. The cords on the blinds have marked the glass and when the sun shines on them they look horrible. They have not been in two years yet? Where do I stand with a warranty? I’ve been back to my supplier but he says they are not liable!

  31. John Harlow says:

    We have Mastercraft Patio doors with mini blinds inside. One week old blind was hanging and I tried moving up and down to level out when blind became stuck half way down. I’ve tried all tricks but won’t move will only open and close. Does this brand allow to take glass out and get to blinds without replacing whole glass?

  32. Brian says:

    Is there any blinds between the glass doors where the blind does not open up or down, but only allow you to change the tilt angle of the blind?

  33. Kathleen says:

    Hi, we just installed a Therma Tru door two days ago and already the blinds won’t open. I tried re-engaging the operator as per instructions online, but they still won’t work. They are not set to let light in. Is there a way to do that if the magnet isn’t engaged? So frustrating!

  34. Jo Ann says:

    We just acquired a Masonite door with the built in miniblind. However, the (controller) is missing.

    We can’t find anywhere to get it. Called Home Depot and Lowes. No luck.

    Any help?

  35. Swarnjit kaur Grewal says:

    Hi Todd , I have in glass blind door , it’s new but right side magnet is broken from lower side . Once it open I m unable to close them , from where I can buy this magnet

  36. Andrea says:

    Hi Todd, I bought my house and it has the door with built in blinds, the control is at the top and all the blinds do is open or close for light, they don’t move up or down but now they are in the closed position and when I move the control nothing happens. Is there a way to fix this or am I in the dark for forever?

  37. David says:

    I’m wanting to separate the glass, remove the blinds, reseal the glass to the frame, reinstall the Assy. into the door. How does the frame come apart. Can’t determine how it is assembled. Thanks.

  38. Mary Doherty says:

    Our patio door has two panels of blinds enclosed in glass…the do not raise and lower but open and close by pushing a little slide clip to one side.
    Tonight as I was closing the blind, the little plastic clip popped off the track and now that blind won’t close! I hate blinds open at night! Can this part be replaced? I hate to have to spend several hundred $$$ to replace the door,

  39. Rebecca says:

    I did what the gentle man said about moving it above the area were the magnet was and it worked thank you so much

  40. Jessica says:

    I love blinds between glass!

  41. Joe G. says:

    Graeme Thanks so much! Your solution worked for us.

  42. Ronald says:

    Can you replace the glass in a moble home door with built in blinds

  43. Benny J. says:

    Up and down is no problem. The problem is the tilt will no longer fully operate. Is there any way to correct the problem on my patio door?

  44. Jason Manitsas says:

    Wait until they break and they will.Love turns to hate

  45. Jaime says:

    I was having the same problem of not being able to open/close my blinds. I could slide them up and down just fine. I tried sliding them all the way to the top and then tried the slide at the top to open them, and it worked! I was able to slide them back down and they stayed open. I have 2 windows on my back door and we have not been able to open 1 for over a year. So glad I tried this.

  46. Gene says:

    My father purchased a 32 x 80 door with the blinds between the glass at Home Depot. The string on the blinds broke and we have been trying to find a replacement 22 x 64 sealed glass with the blinds. Between the glass there is a stamp “SPECIALTY BRAMPTON 2007”. Do you have any suggestions as to where we can find this replacement? It does not have to be from the same manufacturer but needs to be 22 inches wide by 64 inches tall.
    Thank you.

  47. Arlene Parker says:

    I need a slider with blinds in between the glass. What company do you recommend? Where’s the best place to buy them? Warranty?

    I also need to buy a regular door with blinds in between the glass. They are for the same room so paint color needs to match.?

  48. Lonny says:

    I just purchased and installed an entry door with side lights which have blinds between the glass. We pulled the tabs to unlock the blinds. One of the side lights and the door blinds unlocked and work fine. One of the side lights did not. Is there any way to unlock it?

  49. Delma says:

    The magnet piece on the knob has rusted out completely. Is there any way that I can replace it?

  50. Mary says:

    The clip on our insideThe glass blinds patio doors broke and now we cannot open the blinds. Can this plastic clip be replaced —-super glue or something?

  51. Jill says:

    Having same problem – wondering if I purchased a heavy duty magnet, do you think I would be able to slide the magnet up and down??

  52. Hello…having trouble with the top slider. (Not the side where I am reading ways to reengage the magnet.). Unable to open & close the internal blinds with the top slider.

    Any suggestions of what I can try or is replacement my only option?

  53. Kathy says:

    Hi- I just purchased a home with french doors and a few windows that have blinds between the glass panes. They have a horizontal lever at the top. I can tilt the blinds but I can’t figure out how to lift and lower. Can you give me some advice. Thanks for your help!

  54. Heather says:

    I have a door with the blinds inside and the plastic button lever to hold them up snapped off. I don’t know the name brand of the door. Is it possible to fix it?

  55. Heather says:

    I have a door with the blinds inside and the plastic button lever to hold them up snapped off. I don’t know the name brand of the door. Is it possible to fix it?

  56. Ava says:

    My french door with inside blinds is only less than three years old and for a weird reason the thread attached and holding the blinds togerher broke !! what are my resources ?how can I fix that?

  57. joe says:

    You can order the sealed glass unit with the blinds from OEM blinds. But I learned they have to be tempered glass because of building code.

  58. Arlyne Conley says:

    We have Jeld-Wen sliding glass doors with blinds between the glass. Recently the glass shattered on the stationary outside glass.
    We’ve tried to get help with this but Lowe’s has been unwilling to help and the company is also unwilling to help. PLEASE call you help?

  59. Jun says:

    My blinds seemed to sieze up. I tried moving the magnet all the way up and down to no avail. Ended up seeing the bottom of the blinds (thicker rail) was not seated properly. Smacking the glass where it was pinched nudged it back into the center track. Working fine again!

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