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New project. Garden window pop-out.

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  • New project. Garden window pop-out.

    I am thinking of building a garden window in my kitchen. I will be taking out a 5’0 X 5’0 window and replacing it with a window of the same size that pops out roughly one foot (or a bit more). There will be no moving parts so I am thinking of building the entire window with Cedar due to its beautiful appearance and moisture/weather resistance. For finish I plan to use a solid color wood stain covered with a couple coats of clear. I may even use the removed 5’0 X 5’0 dual paned vinyl window as the front glass for the new popped-out version, either leaving the window intact or by removing the dual-glass and framing it into the front portion of the new build.

    I have previously built a 3’0 x 8’0 window for a customer using single-pane glass for a home located in a milder climate. I cannot get away with that up here in the Cascades (Oregon) due to the cold winter months. The plants the window will hold will have to remain heated to at least 55 degrees all winter long while staying on their shelves in the window. I believe dual-pane glass will be needed to safely accomplish this.

    My questions are;

    Does anyone have a bit of recent experience with a similar project? If so what did you learn from your building and installation?

    Can I make up the dual-pane fixed panels myself? I believe the gas Argon is used between the panes of commercially available dual-pane windows. What is the purpose of the gas, insulation? Anti-fogging? Is there a readily available substitute gas I could use myself along with say clear silicon as a sealer? What material would I use to separate the glass by about 3/8”? Would a run of the mill glass company make up the dual-panels for me?

    If I reuse the existing window glass for the front panels I will still need to make up two to three panels. Two for the sides say 5’ feet by 1’ and maybe a panel for the top 5’ X 1’ although I may just frame and roof a top on the window that would make for a much simpler project.

    Thanks in advance,

    Nick Abbott
    Last edited by Abbott; 04-09-2007, 01:24 PM.

  • #2
    Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.

    I live in a simular cold climate in Norway. There are 2 schools of thought on this. The one you mention, that I prefer, is the sealed double pane. This works better in practise if you use 5mm or 6mm glass, with 10 - 12mm space. Argon or Nitrogen can be used as filler gas,for insulation, and to prevent condensation. If you can fix a system so you can top up the pressure once in a while(using a gauge of course) then you may have something superior to what you can go out & buy. If there is good "through" ventilation in the room, then the plants will do fine.
    The old fasioned double window, with an "intentional" air bleed through it to prevent condensation, may do well, untill a storm wind blows in just that direction for a whole night.
    However I'm sure that a reputable glass company will be able to help you with the glass bit, cheaper than you could do it yourself. Talk to them before you start building the frames. Glaziers love it when you show a little consideration, and respect for their craftsmanship, (as do plumbers, carpenters, cabinett makers, electricians, stainless masters, etc.)


    • #3
      Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.


      How about some radiant electric heating for the plants only for use when needed/wanted? This could be (maybe) as simple as going with large size (big cans) track lighting and some 120 Watt reflector flood lamps.

      Another idea might be to try using heating tape (like for gutters and pipes) and run it very close to the plants inside your flower box. I think you may want several thermometers to watch the temp. If things get too cold, try to design it so it's easy to move the plants.

      As for making up thermal windows in order to have a good gas tight seal, you really want to try to leave that to the pros. Take a good look at what you can buy ready made from Anderson and Pella. You should be able to order replacement sash parts and then fit them into your own custom frame. You might want to ask about triple pane thremal windows. There were some TV adds about them back in January. They had a nice design where the sash could be removed (from inside using a special key wrench) from the frame track. They claimed to have far lower heat loss than double pane windows. I bet the $$$ might get crazy though.

      One final idea and this is getting a bit crazy might be to ask around places that do auto glass work if they can set you up with heated glass like the rear window in your car. For power you could use a high capacity 12 Volt transformer like for decorative outdoor lighting. You might not like the wires running through the glass but they might have some ideas for you.

      Thinking more about this last idea, I think you're better off not bothering unless you kind of like it. Do try to keep air circulating in the room on cold nights. Maybe a nice ceiling fan ?
      Last edited by Woussko; 04-10-2007, 01:38 AM.


      • #4
        Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.

        my thought is ths witch might be a better option for where you live. frame the window with 2x4s with the window opening in the front to and to buy matching dual pane windows for the sides then use the ceader to cover the framed wood and trim the inside and if your funds can swing it have a copper roof put on. this will give you beauty style and years of service.
        9/11/01, never forget.


        • #5
          Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.

          yes OSC, thats says it all, man oh man has copper shot up in price, copper does look great on little pop outs, with cedar. There are some houses around here that still has that look and I love it. But rarely see it in new construction unless money is basically no option. Gas filled windows are the only way to go, must have R value any more to help keep heat in.
          Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

          A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


          • #6
            Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.

            just wonder what he desided on doning with his project
            9/11/01, never forget.


            • #7
              Re: New project. Garden window pop-out.

              Just to chime in--I used to work for renewal by andersen installs and woussko, as usual is right. The thing about thermal windows is they have pretty good science behind how much pressure the argon gas is kept at and this is part of what keeps them from conducting heat or cold. The seal cannot be lost at any point or moisture will get in between the panes giving you the foggy look. Once that seal has failed all you can do is replace the IG unit. I have seen adds for products that apparently can be put onto a dual pane window to let the moisture out and not back in, but it still will not have the insulating properties of the original unit. The good news is IG units can be ordered to size fairly easily and relatively inexpensively.

              You may even be able to salvage some from a window bone yard. If you can find a window replacement company they may well have a bunch of wrong sized left overs to let you comb through and buy at a discount.
              A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.