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Rehabbing a free-standing 2 car garage (that I really use as a shop). Sides are T1-11 (basically 1/4 plywood) that has rotted out due to grading issues and firewood piled against it. I fixed problems, and now am up to replacing T1-11. Board need to be 4'x9'. I started hunting down 4x9, but as you can imagine, costs lots more than 4x8. Then I got the idea to run a "ribbon" of windows across the top 1'. That would give me security, light, and let me use 8 foot boards (I really like the light issue, since I will be eliminating all existing wall mounted windows).

My problem: Want a simple, inexpensive solution that will last for a bit. No need to be super insulative (it is a metal roof and the 1/4 wood walls are doing zero). I was just going to run Plexiglas with a C-Channel on top and a Z-Channel where the "window" meets the plywood. But...not sure if that's strong enough or a good long term solution

The roof only overhangs the wall by about an inch, so can't go out very far. The garage is really a pole barn, so no real structural issues to address with this change.

Anyone done something similar? Got any better ideas? I am looking to avoid the expense of sheathing, wrap, and siding (doing too many other home repairs right now). I can deal with "skip the half a** windows...just get the 9 foot boards and get used to florescent light..." That said, I would prefer the daylight.

I considered building single pane windows, but I think that will become a maintenance issue within a year of installing it.
 

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Call me crazy, but... If you installed these upside down with the handles to the outside, you could open them in the warmer months, leave them open, and get ventillation and light. Close them up at the end of the season and you get the shop sealed, but with some light. My contractor installed similar ones with screens in them so it keeps the bugs out of my basement. Just a thought.

I don't think anyone could easily climb through them, and if they were that determined, they would get in anyhow.

http://www.lowes.com...Id=3683856&pl=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Beaker - Reasonable suggestion, but it's two walls at 32' each, and I would have to frame out for each window. I am hoping for somthing simpler and easier (though the ability to open them for ventilation is very appealing)
 

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You might want to price out Plexi or Lexan. first. Like to 3/16 min. Also can be tricky to cut. Need a good table saw and a real good blade.
Installing is easy outside stop [3/4"] and keep it in place with inside side stop silicone the exterior.
Take a look at Habitate for humanity warehouse. You just may bump into a few windows for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You might want to price out Plexi or Lexan. first. Like to 3/16 min. Also can be tricky to cut. Need a good table saw and a real good blade.
Installing is easy outside stop [3/4"] and keep it in place with inside side stop silicone the exterior.
Take a look at Habitate for humanity warehouse. You just may bump into a few windows for cheap.
I was thinking Lexan for strength. I had hopes of getting it in 12" x8' lengths and then putting it up with z channel on bottom and a stop behind it. Was pondering if I could run a rubber washed screw through it for additional stability every two feet.

The T1-11 is about $25 more per sheet for the 9', so every 4 feet is another $25. I had hopes of it being a cost wash, but that would mean I could find Lexan for $25 for 4 sq feet (or at least come close)
 

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You might want to price out Plexi or Lexan. first. Like to 3/16 min. Also can be tricky to cut. Need a good table saw and a real good blade.
Installing is easy outside stop [3/4"] and keep it in place with inside side stop silicone the exterior.
Take a look at Habitate for humanity warehouse. You just may bump into a few windows for cheap.
Plexi cracks. Lexan is expensive.
Here's another thought. If you want light, but don't care about the view, what about cellular lexan panels. They're much cheaper, and can be cut with a knife to shears.
 

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I don't know the cost, but I had polycarbonate light panels installed in my polebarn upstate, and it is the best investment I could have made. I can work easily inside with the door closed, not requiring any additional light on sunny day. It was installed in a J-channel on top, with Z- channel on the bottom. Mine was 24", but I do believe it's available in 12".
 

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I was thinking Lexan for strength. I had hopes of getting it in 12" x8' lengths and then putting it up with z channel on bottom and a stop behind it. Was pondering if I could run a rubber washed screw through it for additional stability every two feet.

The T1-11 is about $25 more per sheet for the 9', so every 4 feet is another $25. I had hopes of it being a cost wash, but that would mean I could find Lexan for $25 for 4 sq feet (or at least come close)
Yes, you can. AFA 12" width, you take 4x8 sheets and rip them 95% depth and fold them over
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know the cost, but I had polycarbonate light panels installed in my polebarn upstate, and it is the best investment I could have made. I can work easily inside with the door closed, not requiring any additional light on sunny day. It was installed in a J-channel on top, with Z- channel on the bottom. Mine was 24", but I do believe it's available in 12".
Sounds very good (good to hear it is working for someone). Any ideas for a source? How are they holding up durability wise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, you can. AFA 12" width, you take 4x8 sheets and rip them 95% depth and fold them over
Fold it over? Like rip it close to through and then fold to "crack it" along cut line? Why not cut clear through? chipping?
 

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Fold it over? Like rip it close to through and then fold to "crack it" along cut line? Why not cut clear through? chipping?
yes

eta: when cutting all the way through sometimes the blade will grab the work and snap a chunk out of it, usually if it isn't tight against the fence
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Any opinions on Polycarbonate double wall? It seems to offer a bit of insulation and added strength for same cost; I'm just concerned mold will grow inside it.
 

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It's used in greenhouses all the time. It won't grow mold of you don't let it rain inside. A word on polycarbonate though. Get something made for outdoor use and be sure that the UV protective coating faces out.

edit: and attach it like vinyl siding. i.e. drill oversized holes and do not overtighten the fasteners. It expands and contracts in the heat, and if not allowed to move a little, it will buckle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On the T-111, try to get fir if its still available. Holds up much better than the pine and seal the ends really well.
Thanks for advice. I did not even know this stuff existed until I got the house. I looked at garage and thought "who used paneling for sheathing?"
 

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Remember the Expansion and Contraction! The panel must float in the frame, the longer the panel, the more float you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Remember the Expansion and Contraction! The panel must float in the frame, the longer the panel, the more float you need.
Rlitman and LIAmmo: Thanks for the heads up on the expansion/contraction. I guess leave some room in the top of the J channel then? Each piece will be 4 feet long/wide by 1 foot high. I had thought about silicon on the backside of the z channel between the channel and the back of the poly - bad idea? the silicon will pretty much lock it in place, so expansion could then be a problem.
 

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You might want to price out Plexi or Lexan. first. Like to 3/16 min. Also can be tricky to cut. Need a good table saw and a real good blade.
Installing is easy outside stop [3/4"] and keep it in place with inside side stop silicone the exterior.
Take a look at Habitate for humanity warehouse. You just may bump into a few windows for cheap.
The guys i know spray their cut line with WD40 and use a little trim saw . Works good for them .
 

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The guys i know spray their cut line with WD40 and use a little trim saw . Works good for them .
I have used my Dewalt 18V cordless circular saw, carbide blade(normal rotation), on top of a piece of scrap wood. I just set the depth 1/2" below, and go nice and easy on the progress. Haven't had any issues yet. I use 1/4" lexan hinged panels as windows in my hunting boxes.

The material they used on my pole barn is fairly thin and wavy, but strong, kinda like fiberglass panels you use on top of an awning. It is just opaque enough to not be able to clearly see what's going on from the other side. It sits in a 3/4" channel because of the wavy design, which gives it strength vertically. I do believe that they come in 3' sections, and overlap very well. No sealer was used.
 
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