Sidelight Creation


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Old 09-03-13, 11:16 AM
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Sidelight Creation

Hello to everyone who may read this message. I recently purchased a home that has dual sidelights on the entry door. The unfortunate part is they are extremely plain; just a large, clear pane of glass. The glass is not in a surround of any kind, the sidelight is edge-to-edge glass (14" x 80" I believe).

I am wondering, if I buy a fancier, smaller glass pane, can I construct a "frame" or surround for it that will fit into the void left behind by this large glass pane fairly easily? I found the new glass "kit" at a big-box hardware store, so I'd just have to build the surround for it, secure the window to that, and secure the new surround/window to the door frame I assume...

Along with that, is hardwood a suitable material to do this? It would of course need to be primed/painted, but I want to make sure this is substantial enough. Also (and finally), how thick would this wood need to be? The description on the product page for the glass says its made for 1-1/4" doors, so does that mean I would need lumber of that thickness as well, or can I use thinner?

Many thanks in advance for any/all advice given.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 12:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Are the side lights made of wood? or metal? Normally the side light is the same thickness as the door.
Just to be sure - you're wanting to replace the glass/frame and not install a set of false sash/muttons ??

Pics might be helpful - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 09-03-13, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the welcome!

See picture (sorry for the poor quality, only one I have at the moment); the existing sidelight is 100% glass, so no type of frame or surround exists outside of the thin trim holding the glass in. My thought was to buy a sidelight glass only replacement kit, then fabricate a frame (that would be the size of that full glass pane currently installed) for that new piece of glass to mount to, then finally mount it in the opening of the current sidelight.

I don't know if a project like this has been attempted, I haven't found much about it online. Sorry if I'm being unclear.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 01:34 PM
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You'd only use hardwood on the inside if that's what you need to match the rest of the interior woodwork, otherwise pine or poplar would be fine. Basically you'd rip out what you have and build framework to hold your new side light. I'm just a painter, the carpenters should be along later
 
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Old 09-03-13, 03:22 PM
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Pull some trim on the inside and look at how the door is constructed. You will need to have sufficient structure to withstand the forces placed on the frame from opening and closing. Usually the door is constructed as a unit and the main fastening points are on the extreme left and right of the outside sidelites. Little if any fasteners are used in the center door area or one or two nails are put into the header. Yours is a brick house so you may or may not have a lintel over your door limiting nailing surfaces. If you modify the sidelights, what strength will you have then to the center door? Pull all the trim and look closer at how the unit is mulled together.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 05:19 AM
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thanks for the input; to clarify, I am not planning to modify the frame at all, simply pull the window that is the sidelite now and replace it with a more modern 7" x 64" glass with surround. I doubt the glass bears any load, so I don't think pulling it is a concern, I just don't know if this project is doable or if anyone has done this.

I modified my idea to the following: order 2 new frameless sidelights (similar to pic below) to the size that will fit in the current frame; remove existing glass and trim; nail in new sidelights; re-trim, caulk as necessary, etc.

Does this seem feasible, or am I way out in left field? Lol if this is feasible, any tips would be appreciated.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 05:29 AM
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Without a better set of pictures both inside and out with a couple of closeups of frame construction with and without trim any advice would just be a guess. The grainy pic you attached initially is not sufficient to answer any doubts I might have.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 05:49 AM
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As Czizzi mentioned, there is likely a "stop" on the interior side of the glass. If you remove that trim on all 4 sides, the glass will probably come out. There may be a stop on the exterior as well, but in some cases, that piece is a major part of the frame and should not be removed. If it's just a piece of quarter round, it can be removed and replaced.

Glass next to doors needs to be tempered, so that is one prerequisite. The old glass may not be.

I don't know that you will find what you are looking for in a premade frame, like you have pictured, but I suppose anything is possible if you don't mind cutting them down to fit the size of your existing opening. All you'd need to do is put new stops on both sides to cover the door edge, caulk and paint. The bottom stop will always need maintenance though, as it gets beat by the weather the worst.

If it was me, I'd probably just replace the glass with something the same size, and just use a different glass texture. Multiple styles would be available for special order. Visit a commercial "city glass" store in your area and discuss your options with them.
 
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Old 09-06-13, 07:45 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys... I would really like to replace the existing glass with a frame that supports a smaller window, for security reasons. Here are some pics of the situation for reference.
 
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Old 09-06-13, 10:08 PM
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Those pics are pretty much what i imagined. so yeah... if you can find something in a panel that you like and aren't afraid to cut it down i would say go for it. the size isn't hard to figure out and you will probably just need new interior stops.
 
 

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