GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Good detail for building fixed glass windows on site

Joseph Garten | Posted in General Questions on

Over the last few years I have been saving usable building materials from remodel and demo jobs and even left over materials from new construction work. I sometimes give these items away to customers or friends who need them, but I am hoping to use a lot of these materials when I build a small house for myself in the next year or two. My shop is full of everything from cabinets and sinks to old windows and doors. I even have a couple sets of appliances.

Last year on one job I replaced 6 3 panel sliding doors. I didn’t save the frames, but I do have all the insulated glass. The glass is in excellent condition. I was originally thinking of using the glass for a green house but now I am thinking of using the insulated glass for some fixed windows in the small house I will be building.

In my area I have seen lots of fixed windows that were obviously constructed on site; However, most of the windows I have seen are simply constructed with an interior and exterior wood stop, rely on silicone, and fail over time. Obviously incorporating drainage is going to be important, but I am wondering if anyone has a good detail they use or have seen.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Raff Winks | | #1

    We'll be direct glazing close to 500 sqft of HeatMirror IGU's to our timberframe this spring. The details I'm using came from Rupert Newman's book, Oak framed building as well as Ted Benson's
    Timberframe Home.
    Few details can be found @
    The gaskets you'll need can be purchased from:

  2. Jason MacArthur | | #2

    What we have done in the past is place the glass over an aluminum pan, with a wood stop on the inside. This resolves any leakage issues but there is a thermal bridging issue to then be dealt with, but this isn't too difficult.
    I've been wondering about using cork as an interior gasket- it would look better then rubber, would help with breaking the thermal transmission through the glazing edge spacer, and would be water resistant in case of condensation.

  3. Chris Koehn | | #3

    We have used similar details as those Raff suggests to direct glaze. We have had good luck with butyl glazing tape in place of the gaskets. I've met Rupert and know first hand that these details stand the test of time provided the wood is well maintained. Treat like wood windows. I recommend lapping your wood finish on to the glass 1/8" to help protect the glazing tape and it's seal.

    BTW nice cruck Raff!

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |