Jump to content

Refurbishing aluminum frame glass doors


Recommended Posts

Hi all.

Our house has extensive amounts of floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows - all across the entire back of the house as well as large windows in all the bedrooms. They are Arcadia brand, high-quality doors and windows - Arcadia claims to have been the originator of the sliding glass door, but in any event it is clear that these were high-end products when our house was built in 1965.

We are suffering from an accumulation of minor issues that wew would like to address with the doors and windows - ranging from cracked panes of glass to damaged or missing weatherstripping to miscellaneous parts (the roller wheels on the doors, locks, etc.). Also, the exterior services don't look their best after all these years, being somewhat corroded looking from exposure to the elements.

Replacing all of the windows and doors seems likely to be prohibitively expensive. Even if we did, we would most likely want to stick with the style that we have in order to maintain the design. The only advantage that I can see would be the improvement in thermal properties that we could achieve, and that's not all that attractive to us.

So, I'm hoping that there's a qualified service provider out there who can refurbish our Arcadias in place. I've seen at least one other person who offers this service - in the Bay Area in California - so I'm hoping that there's someone in this vicinity who might be able to help. From what I've read, it might cost only 10 to 20% of the cost of new doors and windows to refurbish the perfectly wonderful Arcadias that we already own.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations or alternatives you might have to offer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll ask a couple of guys on the Houston Mod Board about this. At our last meeting we talked about a group called Preservation Texas so someone may know someone who does this kind of work. All it takes is finding that right person. I wouldn't give up on the old windows yet. Houston Mod doesn't officially recommend anyone though. It makes sense that you would find someone in CA quicker than in TX who fixes them, as most people here go to a new 2 pane window.

I have a neighbor with the similar issues, but I believe hers are steel instead of aluminum. I hope that she is able to save her doors instead of getting new ones. I haven't asked her lately if she is going to get them fixed.

The ones on my 1955 house were rusted out a long time ago and the previous owner replaced them with 2 pane aluminum doors, but they don't look as 50s as my neighbors' houses. At least they are not french doors or something like that.

It would be great to learn more about your house - architect, etc.

Jason

Hi all.

Our house has extensive amounts of floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows - all across the entire back of the house as well as large windows in all the bedrooms. They are Arcadia brand, high-quality doors and windows - Arcadia claims to have been the originator of the sliding glass door, but in any event it is clear that these were high-end products when our house was built in 1965.

We are suffering from an accumulation of minor issues that wew would like to address with the doors and windows - ranging from cracked panes of glass to damaged or missing weatherstripping to miscellaneous parts (the roller wheels on the doors, locks, etc.). Also, the exterior services don't look their best after all these years, being somewhat corroded looking from exposure to the elements.

Replacing all of the windows and doors seems likely to be prohibitively expensive. Even if we did, we would most likely want to stick with the style that we have in order to maintain the design. The only advantage that I can see would be the improvement in thermal properties that we could achieve, and that's not all that attractive to us.

So, I'm hoping that there's a qualified service provider out there who can refurbish our Arcadias in place. I've seen at least one other person who offers this service - in the Bay Area in California - so I'm hoping that there's someone in this vicinity who might be able to help. From what I've read, it might cost only 10 to 20% of the cost of new doors and windows to refurbish the perfectly wonderful Arcadias that we already own.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations or alternatives you might have to offer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a suggestion from a Board Member:

Are the doors in need of repair due to age or are there other mitigating issues such as structural changes due to the settling of the house, etc.

I can suggest a very good G.C. which would in this case would be a much better bet than having a repairman address the sliding doors.

Contact information for Gary Briggs/R.A. Briggs & Co.:

Office: 713-467-2468

Cell: 713-204-5268

Email: gbriggs@rabriggsco.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I may take a shot at it. Cosmetically, it isn't really in that bad a shape, at least in my opinion. I've been bothered by the corrosion, but I had chalked it up to what you expect for the exposure and didn't let it bother me because I don't think it looks that bad (plus I was too lazy to do it - it's quite a lot of area to cover). My wife is the one who put her foot down, and it was more a matter of a combination of things, mostly minor, that just led her to feel we needed to either get our current doors fixed or get something new. I can't blame her and I have to confess that for something that is the focus of attention, the doors and windows could stand to regain a bit of their luster.

It's purely cosmetic, but steel wool and some elbow grease can go a long way towards making corroded aluminum appear better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks much. I have received flyers from them from time to time and have the impression that they do good work in a broad range of areas. I should let them take a look at our situation.

Here's a suggestion from a Board Member:

Are the doors in need of repair due to age or are there other mitigating issues such as structural changes due to the settling of the house, etc.

I can suggest a very good G.C. which would in this case would be a much better bet than having a repairman address the sliding doors.

Contact information for Gary Briggs/R.A. Briggs & Co.:

Office: 713-467-2468

Cell: 713-204-5268

Email: gbriggs@rabriggsco.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply.

Our house is really unique. We had heard that it was designed by an architect who lived in our neighborhood for his in-laws. It's pretty much all brick facade across the front with two single-car garages facing each other across a curved driveway. As I said, the back is all glass and there is a lot of glass in all the bedrooms as well. It's not a very practical house - a bit small for the neighborhood, no attic (very low slope roof), very little storage, small bedrooms, etc., but we love it. The living areas are very open and the glass walls on the back wall overlook a large deck and a ravine that we have landscaped extensively.

Our house has been updated in a few ways - completely new kitchen, an interior courtyard was enclosed to create a breakfast area, and the terrazzo floors have all been covered with wood. Nevertheless, although it wouldn't satisfy a purist, I think that it has retained its MCM look and feel very well despite the updates/upgrades.

We were unable to identify the architect for a long time until my wife happened to meet his daughter. I don't have his name at the moment, but he just recently retired from Kirksey. I'll come back and post it when I have it. It's not a name I've seen mentioned on here before.

I neglected to add to my other response that the doors and windows are not particularly plaqued by structural issues, although I suspect that a couple of panes of glass may have cracked from the stress due to settlement - it is obvious that the rear of the house, which is built as close as the architect dared to put it to the ravine, has settled a bit. Having said that, it has been pretty static for the 15 years we have lived in it, and we aren't terribly concerned about further settlement (and we have addressed the erosion of the ravine).

Our house will eventually be a tear-down, but not by our hands.

I'll ask a couple of guys on the Houston Mod Board about this. At our last meeting we talked about a group called Preservation Texas so someone may know someone who does this kind of work. All it takes is finding that right person. I wouldn't give up on the old windows yet. Houston Mod doesn't officially recommend anyone though. It makes sense that you would find someone in CA quicker than in TX who fixes them, as most people here go to a new 2 pane window.

I have a neighbor with the similar issues, but I believe hers are steel instead of aluminum. I hope that she is able to save her doors instead of getting new ones. I haven't asked her lately if she is going to get them fixed.

The ones on my 1955 house were rusted out a long time ago and the previous owner replaced them with 2 pane aluminum doors, but they don't look as 50s as my neighbors' houses. At least they are not french doors or something like that.

It would be great to learn more about your house - architect, etc.

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who might be interested - I found the name of the architect. It was Donald Reimers who, as I mentioned, recently retired from Kirksey. I don't know where he was employed at the time he designed our house, but he lived two doors down from it.

As an aside - please document your house! Especially if you sell and your prediction of tear down comes true :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...