I've got the following former closet window which until recently had an thick framed operable wooden window. The window jams were made from old growth redwood and are fine, despite many years with failing paint. The failed paint is now removed, but the window is beyond repair.

There's no need for this window to be operable any more. What options are there for maximizing light through the opening? Can an insulated glass panel be inserted directly into the jamb (with no frame rail or stiles around it)? If so how would it be glazed to avoid long term cracking as the building shifts or earthquakes happen?

closet window picture window frame

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you want to leave the existing wood frame and remove the wood sash (the operable portion of the window).

Yes, this can be done, but it’s difficult. Glass is stopped (set) into a frame and the frame is nailed into the opening. I’d recommend you purchase a custom sized vinyl frame from a window shop and have them install it.

If you don’t want to do that, I’d install pre-glazed double pane glass between a pair of “stops” (small pieces of wood). You’ll need glazing blocks for the glass to sit on and glazing tape to seal between the glass and the new stops.

Also, I’d pre-paint the new stops before they’re installed to help rot and decay.

As you can see, this is complicated. Often it is easier to remove the entire window and reinstall a new window. Contact your local window company and they’ll give you a bid both ways.

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