09:44PM | 03/13/05
Member Since: 02/25/05
42 lifetime posts
Pardon the stupid question, but would it be possible to install raw window glass into a properly-spaced and gasketed channel cut into say, a 2x6 as a "frame?" Obviously, there would need to be two panes for energy efficiency, but does the concept sound like a reasonable alternative to expensive pre-framed windows?


07:08AM | 03/14/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
A carpenter installed some like this way back in our first house (over 20 yrs ago). They were 1/4" thick glass panes--maybe 6' x 16" in size each, and we were very happy with the results.

The house was old and poorly insulated. I would think that for double-pane windows, the best approach would be to use factory made thermopanes (assuming you can get without frames, which I bet you can). They will be more energy efficient than home-built "thermopanes", and they'd be sealed against various dirt, etc between the panes. They will also be much cleaner (between panes) than you could do yourself.

If you do go your own "build your own thermopane" route, it would be tempting to have the interior pane removeable, so that you could clean that streak you missed the first time.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


04:31PM | 03/14/05
Member Since: 02/25/05
42 lifetime posts
Thanks for the response, k2. What I found was that a standard 34x76 patio door replacemnt glass, thermo, low E, tempered, was roughly $130 in my area. That's a pretty big incentive to go the route I'm talking about vs. the cost for a pre-framed window of that size.


05:50AM | 03/15/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Until that same situation that caused the glass to break in the first place happens again. those huge shards could kill someone. That's why codes require such a large glass area to be tempered.

The other concern might be settling of the wall putting pressure on the glass itself and causing it to explode/break and the resulting large FANGS of glass that would be flying/falling in such an event -- another reason to go tempered glass. Basically you're talking about making a large "picture frame" window, but without a pre-hung frame like a store front window. As long as its isolated from shifting/racking/settling and TEMPERED it shouldn't be a problem. If tempered, you prob want the glass supplier to "lead" the outside edge (they don't actually use lead anymore) to protect it from hairline cracks/nicks though, as they weaken the glass.


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