When we bought our salvaged french doors from Historic House parts two springs ago, we knew they wouldn’t be great for the frigid Upstate winters. They’re single-pane glass, and they could really use new glazing. They weren’t built to be exterior doors, but we just didn’t care. They’re beautiful, they let in tons of light and they make us happy – gas bills be damned.
Last winter we layered them up with 4 thick curtain panels, which kept the cold out but also ruined all the fun of having pretty doors since we didn’t see them from October until late April. This year, we’re testing out a solution that just might let us have our cake and eat it too.
We bought 2 large pieces of plexiglass, which Teague cut down to 1″ larger than the overall window pane area. Then we ran a piece of foam insulation around the entire perimeter of each piece, right next to the edge. The foam gives it a good tight seal. To hold the plexiglass on, we screwed little mirror clips into the door. (I know… holes in our pretty door… but it’s better than the alternatives!)
Voila – we now have a system that holds out the gusting wind and lets in the warm, house-heating sunlight. It seems to be working at least as well as the curtains did; there’s no condensation on the glass when I wake up in the morning, which seems like a big improvement to me.
Here is a closeup of the doors, with plexiglass and clips:
And here’s what it looks like from further away – you can see the foam insulation, but other than that it’s pretty invisible.
We’ll update you on the success (or failure) of this particular project when the snow starts to pile up….. ;)