Monday, 4 July 2016

Modern panels fixed to uPVC doors

Like it or not, uPVC windows and doors are used widely by the building trade. They aren't really 'maintenance free' and they don't last for ever (unlike a properly maintained leaded panel fitted in a wooden frame) - we've all suffered from misting when the seals go, and then the only answer is a new unit.

Worse, uPVC windows are ugly. Big chunky white frames blot out the light like a size 20 woman in a bikini. The sealed double glazed units let light through perfectly; sometimes, too perfectly - who wants a view of a twenty foot high brick wall at the bottom of the garden? And you don't want the whole patio door in frosted glass because, yes, you'd rather like to see your garden.

It was to solve this 'view of a twenty foot high wall' problem that I made these panels. Roughly 20 by 12 inches, the Wissmach glass refracts the glass into a rainbow effect, with the coloured lights giving some impact, fitting the top of a double glazed patio door unit.

The panels are edged with zinc came to provide rigidity.

Fitting something like these to a uPVC frame will always be a challenge; I've used 3M's 'Command' self-adhesive hooks, with large ones at the top (each rated at 3lb) at the top, taking the weight, and little 8oz ones at the bottom keeping the panel tight against the frame. For security, I've added 0.4mm silver plated wire loops up to the sash lifts (which I added for this purpose, to match those on the adjacent windows). These should hold the panel if one of the hooks does give way. The sticky pads for the hooks have been kept clear of the moulding that's used to retain the double glazed unit in the frame.

The panel can be lifted out of the hooks for cleaning.

With uPVC frames you have to be careful - you can't put screws in just anywhere! The 3M hooks can be removed completely, and shouldn't affect the integrity of the frame.

With the warm weather recently these doors have been open, a very different effect occurs with the morning sun catching the pattern in the Wissmach: