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jackson33 01-01-2011 08:48 PM

Need Advice For Fun Project - liberating stained glass window
3 Attachment(s)

There is a window on our house that an earlier owned decided to cover up in order to create a wall to put cabinets and run stove ventilation. It is an upstairs apartment, and recently we decided we'd like to allow that light in. After a bit of work figuring out where the window would be located, we did manage to open up the wall. I had to cut through a 1/2" layer of drywall, then take out the fiberglass insulation, and finally cut through a 1/4 inch layer of plywood (very carefully so as not to crack the stained glass!).

I must say, it was an exciting process, and a bit scary knowing full well it could be a can of worms to open up the wall since you never really know the exact reasons why previous owners do things. At this point, I have to say we are extremely happy so far with the decision, a ton of character was gained by liberating this window to give it life from the inside. I'm including a few pics so you can see for yourself. The window itself is rather large, I estimated it at around 64" wide by ~36" from top to bottom.

I am now in the process of making decisions regarding what to do next with how we need to finish it off from the inside. The kinds of decisions we need to make are as follows:

1) The inner glass selection and where to add it (could add it closer to the stained glass or closer to the drywall). We need to protect the stained glass window from the inside, and also provide some kind of thermal barrier. I have no idea whether adding a single pane of glass is enough, I imagine not. For this size of window though what is enough? Double paned, triple paned? You can definately feel colder air there, and we want a thick enough protection so that it would be very very hard for a tenant to break it from the inside. Also what are the proper vocabulary terms for the kind of window we'd be looking for (non ventilated, just for the added light - as a protection and thermal barrier)? Finally what is the best way to install this "inner glass"?

2) Whether to leave the vertical studs in place or whether to open it up for full view. Money is also a consideration and I know the larger the glass the more expensive and also harder to work with. Ideally it would be wonderful to have the full view unobstructed, but I was thinking we may have to construct one or more vertical braces depending on cost and what is the best protection method. They wouldn't necessarily have to be in the exact location that the studs are currently, I don't believe those are load bearing, pretty sure they were erected mostly to hold the insulation in place. Either way, I'm sure we'll end up building a frame around the edges of 2x4's and whether we need any vertical ones in the middle is yet to be decided...any ideas?

3) how to close off the sides and tops of the space between where the drywall is on the inside wall and where the stained glass is. Not sure if this is clear enough, but the walls are fairly thick. For ease of visual image just look at your nearest door frame, theres about 3-4" of thickness in most doors. That "space" from our drywall to the window is roughly 10-12 inches. I was thinking of just adding some dark stained wood on the left, right, and top exactly flush with the wall so I can add trim along the outside. Along the bottom I'm thinking about adding a routed board, so that the tenant would be able to use the sill as a shelf for small plants. A shelf along the bottom would be nice, but then again, would encouraging tenants to set things up there be asking for trouble?

3) other considerations that apply to the above would be constructing this finished area in a way that will allow us to have access to clean the stained glass between tenants if need be (no adhesive glue). We'd like it to be a balance of hard enough to get at so that tenants won't open it up to mess with it

Have no experience installing windows, much less with stained glass so your advice/ ideas are much welcomed!


jackson33 01-01-2011 08:51 PM

6 Attachment(s)
more pics

jackson33 01-01-2011 08:54 PM

4 Attachment(s)
few more

oh'mike 01-01-2011 09:00 PM

Nice save--It's had to believe what some people will do to insult a home!

Keep up the pictures--I'd like to see the inside when you get it retrimmed.--Mike--

oh'mike 01-01-2011 09:09 PM

I just read you post about protecting the glass from the inside---

I suggest that you use plexi-glass in a frame--much like a storm window

The frame could be made by a window shop or hardware store--

or buy a kit at the Depot--Hold it in with some clips--

You already have two layers of glass--the inside cover should make that a warm window.-Mike--

oh'mike 01-02-2011 09:59 AM

I like the design of the house---Very handsome--Where is it located---Looks like Indiana--Mike--

JohnFRWhipple 01-02-2011 10:06 AM

Using an old stain glass window in your new homes construction
Great shots! Thanks for sharing.

My wife and I have a wonderful old stain glass window that was given to us by her father some years ago. When we added a floor to our North Vancouver home I made a template of the old window and met with my window supplier and we design a new window that would allow the old stain glass to fit inside.

These old windows don't offer up much in the way of warmth and certainly do not meet current local codes. This approach work extremely well and like your pictures of night looks outstanding when viewed from the street and when we have our bedroom lights on.

I added a mini spot light that we will use to light this feature with on a day by day.

If it was me I would go this route and install a new window on the exterior side and use the old stain glass in front of it.

If you like I can post a few pictures from my home...

Good Luck


jackson33 03-08-2011 02:16 PM

This project is taking forever, but it is moving. We got the window out, I tried to pay someone else to reglaze but it was cost prohibitive so I am doing it myself. Stripped / sanded off all the stain, polyurethane & paint. Got all the old glazing out, and replaced the broken glass with new glass.

I am now trying to figure out what kind of glazing to use. Everything I've picked up says not recommended for stained or leaded glass. I was told by the stained glass store that this is not leaded glass, but I'm building this sucker up from scratch and want it to last 15-20 years if possible so the wrong kind of glaze would really suck. I have DAP 33 (can), DAP 33 (latex based in tube), a sherman williams store glaze. How do people glaze stained glass and what should I do in this case? My window is primed and ready to go! Please help : )

And John, yes I'd love to see a link to some of the pics of your house!!

oh'mike 03-08-2011 02:44 PM

That Dap 33 is the right product---It's been half a lifetime since I glazed a window--

Let's see if anyone here is up to speed on glazing.--Mike--

YerDugliness 03-08-2011 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by jackson33 (Post 605354)
I was told by the stained glass store that this is not leaded glass...

That is correct, it is not "leaded". It appears to be "art glass" (which is colored glass, often referred to as "stained glass" by the unaware :no: --"stained glass" is that type of glass you see primarily in church windows on which it looks like someone has hand-painted the details of a face, a robe, etc., which they have...with a substance that when fired in a kiln "stains" the glass) set into a standard window frame.

Use standard sealing methods.....get the frames AND the glass squeaky clean and then seal it with the Dap 33 putty. That may not be adequate to ensure an air-tight window, though. For that you ought to fabricate a storm window (or a similar structure) and install it on the OUTSIDE of the art glass window. I've done "stained glass" (actually, art glass :yes: ) for 30 years and there is almost NO WAY to fully seal it, whether it is "leaded" with a product called "came" and then the joints soldered or has had the edges "foiled" and soldered. For best results, I'd encase the "art glass" portion of the window between two panes of clear glass, that way you'd have a window that would have no air intrusion issues and would offer some insulation value, much like a double-glazed window (if you do that, be sure to put some "silicone" packets into the window on both sides of the "art glass" to absorb any moisture that might be there when you sandwich the "art glass" between the clear panes).

Cheers from Dugly :cool:

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