French door problem

Greetings!
Okay, here's the situation. My wife & I moved into a brand new house last month, complete with a set a French doors that open up on the back yard. This morning, I was mowing the grass when the mower found a small rock that I didn't see, and flung it towards the French doors.
The doors are each approximately 29 1/2 x 79 inches, and come with double-paned glass, measuring approximately 20 x 64 inches. And the outer pane in one now has a spectacular-looking fracture pattern.
The way I see it, I have two options. Replace the door or replace the glass. The only problem is, I have zilch experience doing either. I'm assuming that replacing the door will be more expensive than simply replacing the glass, as well as be more of a general pain in the ass (matching paint, making sure it's aligned correctly, etc.)
The doors have molding around the glass. If I could get a new pane, what surprises would be waiting for me if I were to remove the molding? What actually secures the glass to the door?
Thanks for all your help.
Scott
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I would call a glass company and see what they could do for you. Let the pro's do it. :-)

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The double paned glass is a sealed unit, possibly with a vacuum between, possibly with inert gas between.
I had two of these go in my last house - best bet is to call the local glass company - they'll come and measure it up and order the new panel. I had them install the panels, but you could do that yourself.
The panels are only held in by the molding you see and caulk behind it. On mine, one side of the door panel came off, slide the new panel in, put the door back together then molding and caulk.
Ian

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If you renail the moulding back on, make sure you don't let any of the nails contact the new pane, or else it will look just like the one you just replaced. DAMHIKIT.
Preston

glass
On
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Preston Andreas responds:

Yes, well........
Some doors (the really expensive ones) have molding held on by small screws. When I first built my deck, the Stanley swinging door I installed had four or five small screws in the verticals, three in the horizontals. When I removed the door many later, I took it apart on the off chance I might want to re-use the vacuum sealed inner panes. After all, the hand internal brass cames, were vacuum sealed, might have made swing up windows for my shop. I don't recall why, but somehow they got badly bumped and then tossed.
The screws are better, of course, but I don't know how easy a retrofit it would be to replace brads with them.
Charlie Self "Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left." Ambrose Bierce
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Scott Vajdos wrote:
<snipped>

Check the warranty on the doors. The windows I recently installed in my home have a lifetime warranty that even covers accidental breakage.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Hi, Scott,
Here in UK, at least, the normal way of doing things is, if you take a cross-section through your door:
1. On the outside of the door, there will be a bead securing the glass. For security reasons, this bead is normally moulded as a part of the door itself, and you can't remove it. In other words, the glass fits into a rebate on the inside of the door, so work from the inside, when you come to removing bits.
2. There will then be a layer of putty which seals the joint between the glazing unit and the outer frame. This may be traditional linseed putty, or a more recent compound, such as Flexistrip, which is basically a mastic compound which is formed into a tape, much like double-sided tape, which is smoothed around the inside of the door rebate, mitring it into the corners, then the glazing unit is planted onto it.
3. The glazing unit consists of two layers of glass, separated by a spacer and bonded with an adhesive. The spacer and glass size can vary, but here in UK, a typical unit would be a 4-6-4. This means that there are two layers of 4mm thick glass, separated by a 6 mm spacer. This is not the most efficient configuration heat-wise, but it makes for a more compact door, rather than the wider spacing which would be more desirable. The glazing unit, if done by a pro, will be secured with a glazier's tack hammer. This is like a stapler, but fires small triangular or diamond-shaped pins into the glazing bars to hold the glass in place.
Following the glazing unit, there will be another putty or mastic layer.
Finally, securing the lot, there will be a wooden bead, moulded to match the moulding on the outside of of the door. This is normally a fairly thin section, say 12mm x 9 mm (typical) mitred at the corners, and is bedded into the last layer of mastic.
This is normally pinned to the glazing bars with fine pins, say 2 per side. You won't get these out, but they have virtually no head, so you can simply pry off the bead, then remove the pins with pliers.
You then have to remove the mastic/putty under the bead - use a scraper and a utility knife, carefully.
Remove the glazier's tacks. Shoving them sideways with a small screwdriver is easiest.
Removing the glazing unit, or its remains, is hard to do. It sticks like shit to a blanket. Tapping from the outside with a soft face mallet, levering, trying to break the seal with a craft knife or scalpel are all options.
Eventually you'll get it out, and all you have to do is to clean out the remaining putty/mastic, and refit the new unit.
This is basically the same process in reverse. Order your new unit about 5mm in both directions smaller than the rebate size. For a door, you'll want toughened glass, so that it won't maim a kid who sticks his leg through it. You might also need to consider K-glass, which is more heat -efficient than standard toughened. After you've bedded it in the new mastic, fit plastic spacers around the edges (couple per side) to centralise the unit in the frame, and install the unit. Fill the voids between the unit and the rebate with sealant mastic from a gun.
Secure the unit with a glazier's tack hammer. Steal one if you must. You can do the same thing by tapping in small pins sideways with a small hammer, but it's pretty nerve-racking.
Apply the next lot of mastic tape/putty, and bed the pre-mitred glazing beads.. Secure these with a couple of fine glazing pins apiece, using a tiny hammer. Keep them almost parallel to the glass, or you run the risk of chipping the glazing unit.
Punch these pins down with a fine pine-punch, and fill the holes with a matching filler.
Go down the pub and have a couple of beers, and ask yourself if it wouldn't have been a lot less hassle to get a pro in...
HTH
Frank
Who has just made a pair of 15-pane French doors, and can hold forth, with real feeling, on the subject of glazing the bastards...

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you stated-1. On the outside of the door, there will be a bead securing the glass. For security reasons, this bead is normally moulded as a part of the door itself, and you can't remove it.
Actually, that's a source for debate. Some say the sticking goes to the outside to prevent water leaks. The reasoning is water will run down the glass behind the glass bead and back outside under it. We use to argue this point for years at my father's door shop. Most windows are glazed from the outside. As far as lack of security in this method... you're talking about a sheet of glass. Unless the thief is actually trying to steal the glass itself he's gonna break it... not remove it.
"If God doesn't exist that means Man came up with the rules which govern mankind. If that is the case don't you think Man would have come up with some rules that he could keep?"
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They are incorrect: Sticking goes inside for greater durability against the elements.
The door's outside finish must lap onto the glass (1/32" - 1/16") to prevent any moisture penetration.
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As I said... a source for debate. Having been in the door business for over 30 years now I've seen technical data from various door manufacturers such as Simpson, Morgan, Pella, Atrium, blah blah blah and they all seem to have one thing in common. Nobody agrees which is the "proper" way. As you can see from the two links I've provided from Atrium. In their definition of glazing stop, the fixed part of the sash or door is referred to as interior and the glazing bead, the removable strip goes on the exterior.
http://www.atriumcompanies.com/glossary_definition.asp?Word=Glazing%20stop
http://www.atriumcompanies.com/glossary_definition.asp?Word=Glazing%20Bead
Back to my original point concerning the location of the glass bead as being determined by "security" criteria, it is in fact determined by the manufacturer's sense of design and convenience. More to the point, a clad door, be it vinyl or aluminum, will have the glass stop extruded into the cladding which goes on the outside of the door and a wood glass bead on the inside. Even Atrium, which is the source for my two links above will manufacture their clad units this way, however, their wood units won't be. Why? Because they made wood units first and followed the design of their wood windows.
Take aluminum windows for example. Scotty windows are glazed from the inside. Not for security purposes but rather so the service man can reglaze a second story window from inside the house. Convenience. However a window from General Aluminum or Danvid or HR, to name a few, is just the opposite.
You can order a door from Simpson Inc., a manufacturer of various styles of exterior stile and rail doors and depending on the style, the glazing bead will be on one side or the other. If the door has raised molding the glass bead will be on the inside so you don't have to remove the molding to reglaze but a "french" style door without raised molding will come with a sticker denoting "this side out" referring to the side with the removable glass bead. Go figure..
You have to remember that before the introduction of silicone based sealants used today in glazing the manufacturer had to consider the inevitable failure of the compounds used to seal the assembly.
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Since 1979 I'm the best doorhanger I, or anyone else, have ever met.
Offering my services to only the most discerning clientele, my work carries a lifetime (mine) guarantee, I've tried to gain as much knowledge of door construction and fitness as possible.
Look at the original "Atrium" door. See anything amiss?
http://www.atriumpatiodoors.com/series_entry.html
Look at a Versailles "window:" the original French (i.e. glazed) door - Notice the bottom rail is slightly wider than the top rail?
http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~arendt/versailles_window.jpg
Yet do a Google "define: french door" and look at the major door manufacturers who idiotically throw their erroneous $.02 in: to wit...French doors are "double" doors...a COMMON mistake...but nonetheless a mistake based on ignorance and laziness.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&safe=o ff&qfine%3A+french+door&btnG=Search
Doors have been built for thousands of years. Bottom rails are wider than top rails for a number of sound functional and aesthetic reasons.
Atrium is not alone in finding commercial success building doors ignorantly and improperly.
Just because someone makes money doing something incorrectly doesn't make it right.
Door sticking goes on the inside.
Those who actively wish to debate the fact that properly constructed glazed and panelled doors' sticking is applied to the interior side of the door have something in common with Atrium.
Nailed-in wood door sticking goes on the inside. The best side should show out and the paint crew isn't always going to be prepared or paid to make nailed sticking look as if it weren't. Why put wood almost always vulnerable to water on the outside?
What part of the "door business" have you been in for 30 years?
A good carpenter learns something new everyday...on door sticking it's the turn today of any who disagree with me. :^]

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Mr. Jones, up to this point I haven't agreed or disagreed with you so set the ego aside. I've pointed out that there exist many manufacturers of doors who do. I understand you are a talented door hanger and from my side of the industry, the prehung door and custom built door, I wish there were more like you. In my original post I only stated that the placement of the sticking as a security issue was false and in my opinion ludicrous. These are the same people who purchase a 1" throw deadbolt and proceed to install it using the dinky 5/8" screws provided for the strike plate and fail to block the jamb and think," ewww... we're secure now" while having 32 windows at ground level all secured with a thumb turn mechanism. I enjoy taking out my lock pick, been keying locks since I was 12, and showing them just how secure they really are. Get insurance, a dog and a gun. Get an alarm but don't fool yourself into thinking that the way a door or window is built offers up much more than a minimum amount of security.
However, not every one who hangs a door is willing to offer up their own lifetime warrantee that supercedes the manufacturer's warrantee and if they follow your advice they open themselves up to a liability they may not be able to afford. Now you can define "right" by what you feel is the best way or you can define "right" by what is in accordance to the manufacturer's warrantee. I'd be willing to bet your "lifetime" warrantee only covers the installation and not the product itself.
The link you offer up on the "original" Atrium door is in fact the "original" Atrium Patio replacement door. I personally know the man who started this company and it was a design to offer an alternative to the sliding aluminum type patio door. The reasons the bottom rail are the same as the top rail is -
1. aesthetics- this door is shorter than the standard 6-8 door and a wider bottom rail would appear overbearing 2. his IG glass units came from the same source as other manufacturers of standard 6-8 doors and rather than having them make him a "custom" size he chose to use the size already being made 3. he decided to machine his doors where they could interchange between LH or RH. less inventory higher profits. 4. the door is made to be not only a replacement but should the builder/homeowner decide after the opening is framed for a sliding glass unit they would rather use his unit instead they still can.
In my opinion this shows a well thought out business strategy. Call him an idiot if you like but he's a rich idiot.
As far as the terminology lesson concerning "french" doors if you'll note on my previous post I placed that term in quotation marks just as I've done here. I'm well aware of the origin of the term. I agree a good carpenter learns something new every day and so does a good businessman. I applaud your knowledge but let me offer you some free advice. If you allow your knowledge to limit you on your ability to honestly capitalize on the misconceptions of others you might just miss some opportunities. What you claim is the "ignorance and laziness" is in fact the "ignorance and laziness" of the end consumer... not the manufacturer. So when the astute manufacturer realizes that the common consumer isn't aware of the history of the door and they will mistakenly do a Google search for what they think is called a "french" door they tie their site to this term. It would be "idiocy" to not. Don't you agree?
I personally don't care which side the sticking is on as long as the men in the mill pre-hang the door in accordance with the manufacturer's warrantee and the consumer sees that someone qualified properly installs the door and maintains proper care of the finish.
I will however make this final point. You would have the sticking, which is made of wood and costs a few cents per lineal foot to replace, inside protected from the elements while the mutton bar, which is also often made of the same wood, is outside with the most exposure and subsequently requires the replacement of the entire door or sash should it rot out. The same discerning clientele you say you work for is the same discerning clientele who needs to find a better painter if they are unable to " make nailed sticking look as if it weren't." And I personally, if given the choice between having one side or the other look worse, would rather it be on the outside since I'd hope the quality of craftsmanship on the inside of my house exceeds that on the exterior. But that is my opinion. I do not claim it as right or wrong.
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wrote:

it's also not uncommon to paint the outside to match the exterior trim and stain the interior to match interior woodwork. in this case I feel it is easier to get good looking finishes with the applied pieces on the outside.
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snipped-for-privacy@igetenoughspamalreadythanks.com wrote:

No. The door is for strength...against elements and vermin.
Weakness behind strength.
Form follows function. For stained/clear finish the nail holes get a matching wood filler, and sanded. Stains can be augmented with dye pens to perfectly even the pigment before varnish.
No door should be allowed to rot - from either side. A properly built door, properly finished and maintained, should last the life of the house. When moisture penetrates around sticking it often isn't the sticking that ruins; it's the rails/"shelf" underneath them.
Strength/solid muntins go to the outside; sticking inside.
The "door" with equal bottom and top rail width looks spindly and top-heavy...it's not just an optical illusion. Look again at the French "doors" at Versailles: the bottom rail is only ever so slightly wider. It is the correct proportion for a door. "Foundations" are "substantial." "Bottom" is the "foundation."
There's a major sliding door manufacturer who also got rich selling fundamentally insecure bypass units for decades.
Doesn't make it right, just makes them stupid rich without the benefit of a conscience for all the break-ins that could have been easily avoided had they thought out their design.
The goodness of the delivered product is measured by the caliber of the work...not the money derived from it.
The souls of those who make their money from dishonest or crappy work will be judged.
Perhaps we'll have better leadership when the mass of Americans once again have as an article of faith that human perfection is obtainable...and set about trying to achieve it in their endeavors.
Meantime we stand at great risk until we remove from power those who pursue Mammon rather than righteousness.
A righteous door is made with a bottom rail wider than the top rail...and installed with the sticking inside, glass bevels outside.
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wrote:

which requires more skill and thus costs more than filling the nail holes with putty and painting over them, and thus is available to a smaller segment of the buying public. it's them realities on the ground that count.

your opinion- as valid or invalid as anybody elses....

it certainly is. look at it this way: the racking strength of a door is dependant on the joints staying tight. the larger those joints are, the more area in the joint, the less likely it is that the joint will loosen. thus, a wide rail is stronger than a narrow one. however, given a fixed total amount of rail width in the door it doesn't matter (within some limitations) how that rail width is distributed. a door with a top rail wider than the bottom rail is just as strong as the same door hung top down. goofy looking, but it has the same jointery. now, you could make the argument that the bottom of a door needs more strength because it gets more abuse, kicking and such, and thus a bottom heavy door will last longer, and I'd accept that as a valid reason to build them that way. but to say that making the top of a door weaker is inherently better jointery is false.

what's that saying... sucker born every minute?

you're one hell of a self righteous prick, ya know that?

that's how *I* build them.....

that's *not* how I build them.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Scott Vajdos) wrote:

Get the matching door (it's a new house...the supplier used by the builder can get the identical "blank"...if not already milled the exact same way).
Get a proper doorhanger to finish the install and finish it to match.
Mark my words: DO NOT BOTHER TRYING TO REPLACE THE INSULATED GLASS UNIT!
If you choose to...please report back and honestly share the duration and specifics of your likely horror story.
P.S. If it has a rubber sweep on the bottom ensure it has been thoroughly "buttered" with the correct adhesive/sealant. Builders who use such doors and fail to use sealant - merely stapling on the sweeps - are hacks. The sweep becomes a "trough" for condensation or rain and the door bottom rots...usually up the non-galvanized ferrous staples.
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