building a personal greenhouse
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building a personal greenhouse

It has always been a dream of mine to have a greenhouse that I could use to grow my own produce during the winter. I love garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes and a variety of other produce and it made me sad when I had to quit gardening for the season. I decided that it was time for me to invest in having a greenhouse built in my backyard so that I could continue to grow throughout the entire year. Learn all about the selection of the glass and how it needs to be cared for right here on my blog.

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building a personal greenhouse

How To Replace Glass In A Sidelight Window

Lee Moerman

Sidelights are tall and narrow rectangular windows, commonly made with frosted or colored glass, installed beside an entry door. Sidelights allow adequate light inside without giving a direct view inside your home. If you have a sidelight window with cracks or fading color in the glass, it is time for a replacement. Here are some tips to replace glass in sidelight windows.

Gather Tools and Remove Trim

For this project, you need:

  • safety gloves
  • small bristle brush
  • small wood block
  • wood putty
  • putty knife
  • ½ inch chisel (optional)
  • needle-nose pliers
  • one-inch pin nails
  • pin nailer
  • caulk
  • glazier points
  • glazing compound
  • assistant
  • replacement glass

Examine how the glass panels are installed. A majority of sidelight glass panels have a wood frame held in place by molding. Wearing safety gloves, lift the molding with your fingers.

Slide the edge of the putty knife between the molding and glass. Move the knife gently back and forth until the mold loosens, and remove the nails with the needle-nose pliers. It is wise to get an assistant during this step in case the glass falls out. since it is only held in place at this point by glazing compound.

Loosen other molding pieces in the same manner, and set the pieces in a safe place. For stuck molding, use a chisel to pull it free. If you find caulk on the inner side of the window, cut through it with a utility knife to remove it from the molding and glass.

Free the Glass

Slide the tip of a putty knife between the window frame and glass, and lift the knife up enough so you can grab the corner of glass to pull it free. If the glass won't budge, insert a putty knife at the top and bottom, lift the knives gently, then repeat on the sides working around the perimeter of the window until the window can be moved. Clean dirt with the bristle brush, and scrape excess mold with the putty knife.

Insert New Glass

Apply a 1/8 inch bead of caulk on the inside corner where you removed the glass, and replace damaged glazier points. Set the replacement glass in the frame, and press the glass until it adheres to the caulk. Reinsert the molding in the order you took it off. If they aren't tight, tap them with a wood block.

Tilt the tip of a pin nailer at a 30-degree angle midway up the side of the molding to ensure the nail won't get lodged into the side of the frame. Hold each piece of molding securely on the glass, and shoot the pin nails four inches apart around the perimeter of the frame. Fill holes with putty that matches the color of the wood.

You window should look as good as new. If you don't think you have the skills to replace glass, hire a professional glass replacement company to do the job.


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