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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Stained Glass Panels Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – Fab Glass and Mirror Infinity Frameless Inline Door & Panel Enclosure Clear Glass (59″ X 72″, Chrome)
№2 – Deconovo Blackout Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Wide Panel Curtains for Bedroom 100 x 84 Inch Platinum 1 Panel
№3 – IZZY Tiffany-glass Victorian Window Panel 18×25
Inswing Or Outswing Doors
The difference between an in and and outswinging exterior door should not be underestimated. It can mean the difference between having a more secure home or a less secure home, and it also affects things like maintenance, and ultimately, your wallet (so its worth understanding).
Here is a quick video which has an easy-to-remember method for telling the difference between whether a door is an inswing or an outswing.
As far as the nitty gritty for purchasing a door which is inswing or outswing, we like to refer people to this great article on the topic, which does a great job of explaining the concept of inswing vs. outswing.
Steel Exterior Doors
In recent times, however, door manufacturers have upped their game, making steel exterior doors to look just as inviting as their wooden counterparts, which is a great thing, because it brings the security steel provides into any residential setting.
Steel Door Design great article that talks about how to do that.
Painting A Steel Door
Although painting a door can be a tedious task, the main advantage of doing it ourselves allows us the chance to completely customize the look of our exterior door in terms of color, texture, and overall appearance.
Did you know that certain types of paint can provide extra weather-resistance and
Residential Wooden Exterior Doors
Wood is the most popular material from which exterior doors are made, and also the oldest material for constructing what we might consider an actual door (eg. swinging open on hinges) in the historical sense.
In terms of all time classics, wooden doors are the go-to choice for homeowners, based in part on their aesthetic appeal. A nice new well-made wooden exterior door on your home is something of unmatched beauty to behold (yes, we do love our wooden doors very much).
Another great type of wood for exterior doors is mahogany. Why? Because, similar to white oak, mahogany is resistant to moisture, making it a prime candidate for facing the elements on a daily basis.
In addition, it has a naturally beautiful, rich look (we are in agreement with
Ron Burgundy on this point), featuring very deep, warm tones (although the sapwood can be much paler).
The grain structure is interlocking or straight, giving mahogany a somewhat striped look. Personally, it is our favorite exterior door material because it adds an almost exotic look to your door, and looks particularly great when finish is applied.
The door to the right is from Illingworth Millwork, which you can visit by clicking here. They have a wide selection of exterior doors, including many done in mahogany.
Check out this video slideshow of some great mahogany doors, which also shows just how versatile mahogany can be as a building material. Some of these exterior door designs are quite amazing, with some very appealing and sensuous curves:
Make no mistake though. Although pine is full of what could be considered inconsistencies, the wood is strong, which is why builders use pine to build things like cabins, furniture, and, of course, exterior doors.
Earlier we talked about how a wooden door gives a home a unique look. This could not be more true with a pine door, which, as a building material, is simply very distinctive looking.
Known for its almost creamy appearance, hemlock also sometimes contains hints of red and lavender, particularly around the knots and in the areas where spring and summer growth rings occur. Hemlock is fine in texture and straight-grained in appearance. Over time, it stays true to its original pastel color and it also takes paint and stain very well.
Pros And Cons Of Residential Wooden Exterior Doors (Quick List) *Pro-Tip*
If you are thinking that a wooden exterior door might be the right choice for you, consider this: A wooden door will require less maintenance if it is underneath an overhang, which will partly shield it from the elements and the sun. Since many of the issues with wooden doors, such is warping and fading, are due to direct exposure to natural forces (wind, rain, sunlight, snow, etc.), having your wooden door placed in an area where there is some protection will increase the lifespan of your door substantially.
French doors are mostly known for the elegance and the classic look they provide. They are perhaps the most elegant doors ever.
These exterior doors are constructed by several glass panels that are surrounded by a frame. These exterior doors are actually covered with these panels for the most part, and they open from the middle. There is a selection you can make concerning the glass type used for these panels, which can be clear glass, or stained glass mosaics. These panels can actually be installed in several different ways:
There is also an option when it comes to the material used for this type of exterior doors. Besides wood, metal, fiberglass as well as composite can all be used to produce these beautiful doors.
The main benefit of having French Doors, besides the look of the door itself, is the view it provides. If you have a nice-looking garden, or anything else that you like to look at, French Doors really connect the space between inside and outside in a simple, classic way. Moreover, your home will never lack sufficient light, which is another great thing about French Doors.
To their detriment, French Doors are perhaps the least secure of all doors, which is something we all must consider before buying. The sad fact of the matter is that if you have a great view looking in or out of your home, so does any potential intruder. Not only that, but they are less energy efficient, and less secure than other doors. This is why you should carefully consider your French Door purchase, examining closely the quality of glass, level of insulation, and type of locking mechanism it provides.
Best Place To Buy French Doors Doors Online (click logo to visit website)
Also known as double-pane (or triple-pane) glass, insulated glass for your exterior door is designed to be more energy efficient, and so also more cost effective. On top of that, insulated glass is more secure due to the number of panes used, which will be two or more. The way insulated glass works is that basically that it better controls the transfer of heat or cold between the two panes of glass, which will affect the temperature of your home overall.
Low-E glass should also be mentioned here (which refers to low emissivity) because it is along the same lines as insulated glass, except Low-E glass is referring to the type of light which passes through your glass. The concept of Low-E glass might take some time to understand, but here is a great article on the topic.
Always make sure that you and your craftsman understand each other. The price and a detailed cartoon of the design should be agreed beforehand. Avoid cheap, stuck-on strips of colour, which fade after five years. Antique glass holds its colour for 500 years.
The Big Short hits UK cinemas: these are the best films about business
The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
In pics: Some fledgling firms have reached valuations in the tens of billions.
These are the 20 priciest of them all
Starbucks’ secret menu – the drinks you didn’t know you can ask for
There are over 87,000 different drink combinations at Starbucks, according to
From a rare pair of Gucci shoes, to spending £110,000 releasing an album,
Welcome to 193Maplewood Place. Located on one of the Highlands’ three secluded walking courts; this home provides a rare opportunity for peace and quiet just steps from all the attractions of Bardstown Rd. As you walk along the sidewalk approaching the front of home you’ll notice the original stained glass sidelights adorning the front door, which opens to a spacious living room with a fireplace flanked on either side by Tiffany-style lamps. Located off of the main living area is a sun room that would be perfect for a study or office.A rarity for the Highlands is the open layout that links the living room, dining area and kitchen. Also located on the first floor are the two bedrooms, one with fantastic built-in storage and the other featuring access to the unfinished second flo which would be perfect for a third bedroom or artist/musician’s studio. The 1st floor bathroom includes a vintage cast iron tub. In the basement you’ll find the laundry as well as as the fully-functional roughed-in toilet and shower. The new HVAC and 200 Amp electrical panel are easily accessed in the basement, but for safety’s sake an additional electrical shut-off has been installed on the outside of the house. The other side of the basement is the perfect spot for a man/woman cave or a great storage area.Outside the side door, just off the kitchen, is the shaded patio. You’ll find it perfect for your morning cup of coffee or your evening night-cap. The quiet atmosphere will have you questioning if you really are in the heart of the Highlands.***Because Maplewood Place is a walking court street parking is not available. There is a dedicated parking space behind the back fence. Additional residential parking can be made available in rear parking lot.***
Figure This door and transom suggest the richness of 19th century leaded glass. Photo: Jack E. Boucher, HABS. “Stained glass” can mean colored, painted or enameled glass, or glass tinted with true glass “stains.” In this Brief the term refers to both colored and painted glass. “Leaded glass” refers generically to all glass assemblies held in place by lead, copper, or zinc cames. Because the construction, protection, and repair techniques of leaded glass units are similar, whether the glass itself is colored or clear, “stained glass” and “leaded glass” are used interchangeably throughout the text.
Glass is a highly versatile medium. In its molten state, it can be spun, blown, rolled, cast in any shape, and given any color. Once cooled, it can be polished, beveled, chipped, etched, engraved, or painted. Of all the decorative effects possible with glass, however, none is more impressive than “stained glass.” Since the days of ancient Rome, stained glass in windows and other building elements has shaped and colored light in infinite ways.
Stained and leaded glass can be found throughout America in a dazzling variety of colors, patterns, and textures (Figure 1). It appears in windows, doors, ceilings, fanlights, sidelights, light fixtures, and other glazed features found in historic buildings (Figure 2). It appears in all building types and architectural styles—embellishing the light in a great cathedral, or adding a touch of decoration to the smallest rowhouse or bungalow. A number of notable churches, large mansions, civic buildings, and other prominent buildings boast windows or ceilings by LaFarge, Tiffany, Connick, or one of many other, lesser-known, American masters, but stained or leaded glass also appears as a prominent feature in great numbers of modest houses built between the Civil War and the Great Depression.
The history of the building can provide ready clues to the history of its leaded windows, doors, and other elements. The construction date, and dates of major additions and alterations, should be ascertained. Later building campaigns may have been a time for reglazing. This is especially the case with churches and temples. They were often built with openings glazed with simple or generic clear leaded glass. Stained glass was added later as finances allowed. Conversely, the windows may be earlier than the building. They may have been removed from one structure and installed in another (once again, this is more likely with religious structures). Bills, inventories, and other written documents often give clues to the date and composition of leaded glass. Religious congregations, fraternal lodges, historical societies and other preservation organizations may have written histories that can aid a researcher.
Inscriptions and Signatures
Many studios and artists affixed signature plates to their work—often at the lower right hand corner. In the case of Tiffany windows, the signature evolved through several distinct phases, and helps date the piece within a few years: Tiffany Glass Company (1886–1892), Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company (with address, 1892–1902), Tiffany Studios New York or Louis C. Tiffany (post 1902). (Tiffany Studios, like others, did not always sign pieces and the absence of an inscription cannot be used to rule out a particular studio or artist.) Windows may also feature dated plaques commemorating a donor. However, these do not always indicate the date of the window, since windows were often installed before a donor was found. Nevertheless, such marks help establish a reasonable date range.
Framing and Surround
Framing elements and the window surround can reveal information central to dating the window. Do moldings match other interior trim? Has the opening been altered? Is the window set in an iron frame (post-1850s), a steel frame (generally post-World War I), a cast stone or terra cotta frame (seen as early as the 1880s, but popular after 1900)?
Deterioration of Painted Glass
Painted glass, typically associated with pictorial scenes and figures found in church windows, often presents serious preservation challenges. If fired improperly, or if poor quality mixtures were used, painted glass is especially vulnerable to weathering and condensation. Some studios were notorious for poorly fired paints (particularly those working with opalescent glass), while others had outstanding reputations for durable painted glass. Paints can be applied cold on the glass or fused in a kiln. Since they are produced from ground glass, enamels do not “fade,” as often suggested, but rather flake off in particles. Several steps in the painting process can produce fragile paint that is susceptible to flaking. If applied too thick, the paint may not fuse properly to the glass, leaving small bubbles on the surface. This condition, sometimes called “frying,” can also result from poor paint mixtures or retouching. Paint failure is more commonly caused by under firing (i.e., baking the glass either at too low a temperature or for too little time). Unfortunately, in American stained glass, the enamels used to simulate flesh tones were typically generated from several layers that were fired at too low a temperature. This means the most difficult features to replicate—faces, hands and feet—are often the first to flake away (Figure 11).
The greatest and the most common threat to leaded glass is deterioration of the skeletal structure that holds the glass. The structure consists of frame members, and lead or zinc (and occasionally brass or copper) came that secures individual pieces of glass. Frame members include wood sash and muntins that decay, steel t-bars and “saddle bars” that corrode, and terra cotta or stone tracery that can fracture and spall (Figure 12). When frames fail, leaded glass sags and cracks due to insufficient bracing; it may even fall out from wind pressure or vibration.
Figure 1Stained glass frames are typically wood, steel or stone; however, other materials, and their inherent problems, can also be found as seen in this photograph of cracked terra cotta frames from 1926.
Wood sash are nearly always used for residential windows and are common in many institutional windows as well. Left unprotected, wood and glazing compounds decay over time from moisture and exposure to sunlight—with or without protective storm glazing—allowing glass to fall out.
Steel frames and saddle bars (braces) corrode when not maintained, which accelerates the deterioration of the glazing compound and loosens the glass. Moreover, operable steel ventilators and windows are designed to tight tolerances. Neglect can lead to problems. Eventually, they either fail to close snugly or corrode completely shut. The leaded glass is then frequently reinstalled in aluminum window units, which require wider sections for equal strength and typically results in an inch or more of the glass border being trimmed. Instead of relocating glass in aluminum frames, historic steel frames should be repaired. Often the corrosion is superficial; frames in this condition need prepping, painting with a good zinc-enriched paint, and realigning in the frame.
Masonry frames typically last a long time with few problems, but removing leaded glass panels set in hardened putty or mortar can be nearly impossible; as a last resort, glass borders may have to be sacrificed to remove the window.
Occasionally, leaded glass was designed or fabricated with inadequate bracing; this results in bulging or bowing panels; leaded panels should generally not exceed 1linear feet (4.2m) around the perimeter without support. More often, the placement of bracing is adequate, but the tie-wires that attach the leaded panels to the primary frame may be broken or disconnected at the solder joints.
Lead and zinc cames are the two most common assembly materials used in stained and other “leaded” glass. The strength and durability of the leaded panel assembly depends upon the type of came, the quality of the craftsmanship, and the glazing concept or design, as well as on the metallic composition of the cames, their cross-section strength, how well they are joined and soldered, and the leading pattern within each panel. Came is prone to natural deterioration from weathering and from thermal expansion and contraction, which causes metal fatigue.
Figure 1A wide variety of came has been used for ornamental glass in America: (a) flat lead came; (b) round lead came; (c) “Colonial” zinc came; (d) double-heart lead came with a steel core; (e) “Prairie School” zinc came.
The inherent strength of the assembly system is also related to the cross-section, profile and internal construction of the came (Figure 13). Came can have a flat, rounded, or “colonial” profile, and aside from a few specialty and perimeter cames (U-channel), is based on a variation of the letter “H” and ranges from 1/8” (3.2mm) wide to 1/4” (38mm) wide. The cross-section strength of came varies depending on the thickness of the heart and flanges. Occasionally, came with reinforced (double) hearts or a steel core was used for rigidity, usually in doors and sidelights. Such came added strength at the expense of flexibility and was typically used for rectilinear designs, or for strategically placed reinforcement within a curvilinear design.
Leading patterns designed with inadequate support also contribute to structural failure. Panels with a series of adjacent parallel lines tend to hinge or “accordion,” while lines radiating in concentric circles tend to telescope into a bulge. Stronger leading techniques, support bars, or specialty cames are sometimes required to correct poor original design. Minor sagging and bulging is to be expected in an old window and may not require immediate action. However, when bulges exceed 1½” (38mm) out of plane, they cross into a precarious realm; at that point, glass pieces can crack from severe sagging and pressure. If the bulged area moves when pressed gently, or if surrounding glass is breaking, it is time to address the problem before serious failure results.
Zinc came is more vulnerable to atmospheric corrosion (particularly from sulfuric acids) than lead, but has proven to be durable in America because it weighs 40% less than lead and its coefficient of expansion is 7% lower. Thus, it is somewhat less susceptible to fatigue from expansion and contraction. Moreover, it is ten times harder than lead, and has three times the tensile strength. Zinc came is strong enough to be self-supporting and requires little bracing to interrupt the window’s design. While zinc came is perfect for the geometric designs of Prairie School windows, it is usually too stiff to employ in curvilinear designs. Zinc can also take several finishes, including a copper or black finish. (As a result, zinc can be mistaken for copper or brass.)
Other metals, primarily solid brass and copper, were also occasionally employed as came. They are generally found only in windows between ca. 1890 and ca. 1920. Frank Lloyd Wright started with zinc in 1893, was plating the zinc with copper by the late 1890s, and using solid copper by 1906.
Repairs to Glass
Minor repairs, such as replacing a few isolated pieces of broken glass, can be performed in place. This work, typically called a “drop-in,” “stop-in,” or “open-lead” repair, entails cutting the came flange around the broken piece of glass at the solder joints, folding it back to repair or replace the old glass, and resoldering the joints. Repairing a zinc came window is not as easy. Zinc cames are too stiff to open up easily, so they must be cut open with a small hack saw and dismantled until the broken area is reached. The glass is then repaired or replaced and the window is reassembled. New cames can be patinated to harmonize with the originals–but only with difficulty. Repatination should never be attempted in place, since it is impossible to clean off harmful residues trapped under the came.
Figure 1To permit repair of the cracked glass, the original lead overlay is first salvaged from this historic leaded panel of silhouette glass to retain as much of the original work as possible.
Original glass should be retained whenever possible, even though it may be damaged. Replacement glass that exactly or closely matches the original piece can be very difficult to find, and costly to make. An endless variety of glass colors and textures were produced, and given the delicate chemistry of glassmaking, even samples from the same run can be noticeably different. The traditional secrecy that shrouds the glassmaking trade to this very day, as well as environmental bans of historically popular ingredients such as lead and cobalt for deep blues and greens, further hinders accurate reproductions. Therefore, it is nearly always better to use an imperfect original piece of glass than to replace it (Figure 15). If the paint is failing on a prominent feature of a window, a coverplate of thin, clear glass can be painted and placed over the original. (The coverplates must be attached mechanically, rather than laminated, so that they can be removed later if necessary.) A reverse image of the fading feature should be painted on the backside of the coverplate in order to get the two painted images as close together as possible. With repetitive designs, stencils can be created to produce multiple duplicates.
Sometimes replacement is the only option. Fortunately, custom glass houses still exist, including the company that originally supplied much of the glass for Tiffany commissions. Stained and leaded glass has also experienced a resurgence in popularity, and American glassmakers have revived many types of historic glass.
When missing, shattered, or poorly matched glass from later repairs must be replaced, the new pieces should be scribed on the edge (under the came) with the date to prevent any confusion with original glass in the future.
Figure 1A valuable historic piece of original hand-painted glass is carefully edge-glued with epoxy.
Glass cracks will enlarge over time as the contacting edges grind against each other, whenever the window is subject to vibration, thermal expansion and contraction, and other forces such as building movement. Therefore, it is important to repair cracks across important features as soon as they are detected and while a clean break remains. Years ago, cracks were typically repaired with a “Dutchman” or “false lead” by simply splicing in a cover lead flange over a crack. Although this conceals the crack, it creates an even larger visual intrusion and provides no bond to the glass. Today, there are three primary options for repairing broken glass: copper foil, epoxy edge-gluing (Figure 16), and silicone edge-gluing. These techniques differ in strength, reversibility, and visual effect, and the appropriate repair must be selected on a case-by-case basis by a restoration specialist.
Epoxy Edge-Gluing: This technique produces a nearly invisible line and is often used on painted glass, particularly focal points of a window such as a face, or a portion of sky intended to be one continuous piece. Epoxy can even be tinted to match the glass. It is also used for infusing shattered glass or microscopic cracks caused by intense heat from a fire. Epoxy produces a very strong repair, but will deteriorate in sunlight and requires secondary glazing to protect it from UV degradation. Epoxy is the least reversible of the three techniques, and usually the most expensive.
Silicone Edge-Gluing: This repair method has the lowest strength and should be used when a flexible joint is desirable—if, for instance, the window will be under continuous stress. Silicone repairs are easily reversible, and can be removed with a razor blade—when they are done correctly, that is. Silicone edge-gluing is not the same as smearing silicone all over the glass. This unfortunate practice, seen throughout the country, is useless as a repair technique, and usually causes more damage than if the glass were left alone. Silicone is almost clear, but it refracts light differently from glass and is, thus, easily detectable. Silicone is not affected by temperature, humidity or UV light. Silicone repairs are typically the least expensive repair option.
Repairs to Structural Support Systems
Windows may have detached from the saddle bars and begun to sag, bulge, and bow extensively. This point varies from window to window. Generally, however, a window sagging or bulging more than 1½” (38mm) out of plane has reached the point where it should be removed from the opening to be flattened out. Under these conditions, it is essential to note if the support system or leading pattern has failed so it may be corrected before the window is reinstalled. The window must be allowed to flatten over a few weeks in a horizontal position. This will minimize stress on the solder joints and glass. A moderate weight and controlled heat will help coax the window back into its original plane. The process requires patience. Once the window has flattened, the original support system should be reattached and additional support added as necessary. It is crucial to consider the original design so the new support bars do not intrude on important window features. Sometimes small thin braces or “fins” can be manipulated to follow existing lead lines exactly. These give support, but are almost invisible. Flattening windows also provides a good opportunity to apply new waterproofing to help prevent further deterioration. Today, a wide variety of traditional and synthetic compounds are employed.
Windows should only be removed when they need to be flattened, waterproofed, reinforced, or releaded. Allow plenty of time for careful, thorough work. Large projects can take several months, especially if complete releading is necessary. Owners, consulting professionals, and construction managers must therefore ensure that vacant openings will be weathertight for an extended period—whether the openings are covered by plywood, acrylics, or polymer film. If desired, images of the window can be printed on adhesive film and applied to rigid plastic and installed in the openings as temporary facsimiles during studio restoration.
Figure 1Total releading is very time consuming and costly and should only be undertaken when the original lead is exhausted beyond repair.
Rebuilding or releading a window is an expensive and involved process. The releading process requires that a window be disassembled before it can be reassembled (Figure 17). The glass pieces must be removed from the cames, the old cement must be cleaned from each piece of glass, and all the pieces must be rejoined precisely. At every step the process involves the risk of damaging the glass. Furthermore, exceptional studios had unique leading techniques, and thus the cames should not be replaced casually. Total releading should only be undertaken when necessary to avoid or slow the loss of historic fabric. (It is essential to request a copy of all window rubbings if the windows are to be completely releaded.)
Neal A. Vogel is the Principal of Restoric, LLC, Evanston, Illinois. Rolf Achilles is an Art Historian and Curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier, Chicago. All drawings and photographs by Neal A. Vogel unless otherwise stated.
Michael J. Auer, Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, served as technical editor. Additional assistance was provided by Charles Fisher, Anne E. Grimmer, and former staff Chad Randl, Technical Preservation Services.
The authors would like to thank the following for sharing information and providing opportunities to review works in progress: Botti Studios of Architectural Arts, Evanston, IL; Chicago Metallic Corporation, Chicago, IL; Chicago Art Glass and Jewels, Inc., Cedar Grove, WI; Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., New Berlin, WI; Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, CA; Hollander Glass, Stanton, CA; Mary Clerkin Higgins, New York, NY; Venturella Studios, New York, NY; Wardell Art Glass, Aurora, IL. Special thanks for providing editorial assistance to Arthur J. Femenella, Femenella & Associates, Branchburg, NJ; Richard L. Hoover, Stained Glass Association of America, Lee’s Summit, MO; and H. Weber Wilson, Oltz-Wilson Antiques, Portsmouth, RI.
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Go from basic to bodacious with this charcoal-colored Cut Pattern Chandelier measuring 2inches wide by 2inches high from Brocade Home. The look is long on whimsy but the steel, acrylic, and glass construction is far from lightweight.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Stained Glass Panels wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Stained Glass Panels
- №1 — Fab Glass and Mirror Infinity Frameless Inline Door & Panel Enclosure Clear Glass (59″ X 72″, Chrome)
- №2 — Deconovo Blackout Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Wide Panel Curtains for Bedroom 100 x 84 Inch Platinum 1 Panel
- №3 — IZZY Tiffany-glass Victorian Window Panel 18×25