Forum Title: 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.
Category: Windows & Doors Post By: Patrick J. Mosner (Rapid City, SD), 01/02/2019

If you go with an energy star rated door you will get the best R values for your door. It is more than the glass, it is the construction of the frame and door body as well. Some of the more expensive models (Anderson and Pella) use a vinyl clad construction in which wood is wrapped by vinyl. Results in a more solid door. But if it qualifies for the energy star rating you should be OK. Low e and Argon I believe are more effective in hot sunny climates.Residential Windows, Doors and Skylights : ENERGY STAR

- JOANN MAY (Meriden, CT), 02/25/2019

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.

- TOM CHEN (Lakewood, WA), 02/10/2019

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

- ROY REED (Eugene, OR), 02/20/2019

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