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Replacing old sliders - framing issues - Palo Alto Glass

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Joined: Aug 30 2003

For the past year I've been investigating options for replacing my original Arcadia sliders. They're beautiful, but they let a lot of heat out in winter! I will go with double pane low-e aluminum frame sliders that have a narrow frame. There are several possibilities. But that's the easy part. The issue is the transom window above the sliders. When Eichler built homes, that transom glass could rest directly on top of the Arcadia frame. Modern building codes no longer allow that, according to Palo Alto Glass, and modern slider manufacturers no longer make sliders that let you site replacement double-pane transom glass on top of the slider frame. Instead, according to PA Glass, you have two choices:

1 - On top of the new slider frame, run a 2x4 and than set the new transom glass on that, and frame it in with wood. So the new transom is framed in with wood, but the framing at the lower edge of the transom is MUCH thicker than it was originally (when there was essentially none). I do not think this would look good.

2 - Have the new transom window framed in with a narrow aluminum frame instead of wood, obviating the need for a horizontal 2x4.

I tend towards option 2, and would paint the transom aluminum frame the house color so you don't see a metal window frame where there wasn't one originally.

I have twice asked PA Glass to give me names of customers of theirs that have used one or the other of these options. So far, PA Glass has not given me any names even though they love to say that "we've replaced sliders in hundreds of Eichlers." I believe they have, but they don't want to give out any references! I find this rather surprising. Surely out of some of their hundreds of customers they have a few that I could contact and see their new sliders first hand?

I would appreciate hearing from those Eichler owners who have gone with either option 1 or 2 as described above. Thanks!

Barry Brisco
650 627-8100

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo