Plexiglass windows

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by reddog1970, May 17, 2011.

  1. reddog1970

    reddog1970 Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    Cape Cod
    Hi there,

    I am building a chicken coop and want to put plexiglass windows on hinges with hardware cloth inside. I have seen pictures of some who screwed 3/4" wood into the glass around the edges and then attached hinges into the wood. How easy is this to do? Should I pre-drill the holes? What type of screws? Do I need to use any kind of sealer?


  2. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    1st off [​IMG] and a warm [​IMG] from SE Pa., Amish country.

    I'm not sure about most of your questions, *BUT* from working in a hardware store I HAVE learned that you should pre-drill. Maybe someone else can answer the rest of your questions.
  3. Hope49_DH

    Hope49_DH Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    Plexiglass is prone to brittleness. Hardware stores do sell Lexan, which is polycarbonate, vs Plexi which is acrylic. Lexan is tougher. But the wood would be your best bet. Pre-drill the plexi with holes larger than the screws and preferably use a rubber washer on the screw so there is no stress on the plexiglass. You can use picture frame style u-nails or corrigated corner fasterners to make the wood frame as a unit, then screw the plexi on. If you want to get fancy, rout out the inner edge of the wood frame the thickness of the plexi and inset it before screwing.
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    x2 [​IMG] from San Diego

    The other benefit with Polycarbonate is it is UV stabilized. Wont deteriorate as quickly in the sun. Doesn't mean it wont deteriorate at all but the rate is slower. I wouldn't bother with a sealer, but if you do, use something for windows that can be removed in case you need to swap out the "glass".
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When I buy the acrylic pieces from Home Depot and screw screws into them, they do crack as you tighten them down.

    Hope this helps.

    Predrilling holes would hopefully prevent this.
  6. maclady

    maclady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2011
    Lost in Space
    Ok I did slider windows with the plexiglass. We routered the edges of the wood where the plexiglass would sit into it, predrilled the holes in the plexiglass very carefully, and then hand screwed in the screws. They are working great for us so far. I move mine quite often and no issues with cracks. Good luck making your windows. [​IMG]
  7. swatskee

    swatskee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    I just went through this all too.. I was going to make plexi-glass windows however that stuff is expensive!

    I found windowns that people were throwing away and used them.... FREE!
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Maclady's approach (just enclose it, don't drill through it) is the best, IMO. Sometimes you can find types of molding that already have a suitable thickness of rabbet taken out; it's worth cruising the molding section of the store if you don't own a router,anyhow, see what your store has. You need WOOD molding, not mdf and personally I'd stay away from the fingerjointed wood molding too (solid wood is best).

    If you're going to screw thru it, which is certainly quite doable, then yes, plexiglass must be predrilled. Be sure to drill the holes a little wider than the THREADS of the screws (this is different than drilling pilot holes into wood, where you'd size the hole to just the *shaft* of the screw) and be very, very gentle with your drilling. It helps to stay an inch away from the edge of the plexiglass. Then when you screw it to the wood, don't tighten the screw down too much, you can use a rubber washer or just be careful.

    Or, you can use clear plastic roofing panels if you don't demand great optical clarity -- do use the wavy filler strips, and follow installation instructions regarding predrilling and using the right fasteners, but it's real easy. Even the cheap PVC (Palruf, etc) panels are "not so bad" if used for WALL lights rather than roofing -- they are still not that temperature-tolerant or long-lived, but because they won't be exposed to much wind or (hopefully) to hail when they're being used as window panels, their brittleness and short lifespan isn't so much of a problem, and they *are* cheaper than the polycarbonate. I mean by all means the polycarbonate is *better* but while I'd really pretty much discourage anyone from using pvc for roofing I think it is a legitimate tight-budget option for WALL panels.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Cut a relief/dado/rabbit in the frame. I used some scrap plexi from some old advertising.


    I secured the hardware cloth to the frame inside so I could leave the windows open and still have security.
  10. Crazy4mypeeps

    Crazy4mypeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Quote:Wow, those are much simpler than the ones that I'm building. Wish that I had seen this yesterday. LOL

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