half light door


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Old 03-20-10, 07:37 PM
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half light door

I have an exterior door with a half light window in it. I want to replace that window with one that has built in blinds. Is that do-able or will I have to replace the whole door? I cannot tell the door manufacturer but the molding around the winow has screws that I am going to guess will give me access to remove it. If this is doable, any idea of where to get such a window? I do not have room to put one of the retrofit windows that cover the existing window with blinds.
 
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Old 03-20-10, 09:19 PM
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I'm almost 100% sure that this is not doable. Those windows are filled with gas to help with insulation and are factory sealed during manufacturing.

I know Lowes sells them and has them in stock for less than $300. i'm sure HD does as well, just not in my area.
 
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Old 03-21-10, 03:29 AM
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There are add on blind units that cap over your existing molding. I have installed a few on half light and full light doors and they work quite well, and a heck of a lot cheaper than new igu's with built in blinds.
 
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Old 03-21-10, 06:02 AM
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It most certainly is doable. It will help to know the brand of door, but the main thing is matching the size of the plastic moulding. Take some measurements and head to the store and compare it with what's on display- you may be able to find an exact match by looking at Mastercraft, Therma-tru, or Masonite doors- some of the more common ones.

The millwork department in your local lumberyard or big box store will be able to order the insulating glass unit (an IGU with blinds inside) as well as the new plastic moulding that the glass is glazed to. They come as a unit and are very easy to install, but if you don't have suction cups, you need 2 people... one on the outside, one on the inside.
 
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Old 03-21-10, 09:37 AM
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Yeah, I know they are sealed but it looks like if the plastic molding on one side comes out then maybe the whole window unit slides out, after the caulking is cut.

I will have to haunt the guys at Lowes and push them to find this window for me. I do not have clearance around it for the retrofit because of the dooknob and deadbolt.

Is there any secret place I can look on the door to find the manufacturer? I just dont believe anyone makes anything anymore without an idenitifier somewhere on it.

Thanks for the help
 
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Old 03-21-10, 10:01 AM
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The smaller (30") doors used the same glass as the 32" doors...and yes, the retrofit blinds won't really work on smaller doors w/o modifying the frame of the blinds....but it can be (or used to be able to be) done with careful trimming and sanding. One person I know acually modified the rosette of the handle set on the door.

The between the glass blinds unit should come in 22" and 24" frame sizes if I remember correctly. The actual glass size listed in the books is 20" and 22" (again, IIRC).

As was stated...when you order the glass unit..it will come with the outer side of the plastic frame bonded to the glass and the inner piece of the frame will be loose. The outer part will have a bead of sealant to bond to the skin of the door and waterproof it.

It will come with covers for the screw holes...but not new screws. You'll need to be careful removing yours as they will need to be reused. If the head of one gets damaged or snaps off you will have to find a suitable replacement. I have had to use long sheet metal screws and modify the head so the caps fit.

If the Lowes people can't find it in their replacement parts book, they just need to call the customer service number for their door supplier. If they still can't figure it out, just go to a lumberyard or any place that sells exterior doors...

I live in a tiny place and there are 3 door companies here that can do this..at least one I know has those units in stock. The main thing is careful measurement of the existing frame and comparison to the replacement.

Be careful of one thing. At one time..the blinds did not raise and lower on the smaller units. Because of the width..there was no room for the mechanism...they only tilted.
 
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Old 03-21-10, 11:57 AM
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Just tilting would be OK. This is a door to a bathroom that exits out to the patio so the blinds are rarely, if ever raised. It is nice to let the light in but I am not sure why they put a window that overlooks the pool or your crotch, depending on your point of view.
 
 

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