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Installing composite door with sidelights

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by liftfan, 23 Feb 2020.

  1. liftfan

    liftfan

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    I have a composite door with full height sidelights each side like this:


    CD3E8214-5B82-4800-8574-A20E3A50F73B.jpeg


    Any top tips for installation?

    It comes with an aluminium coupler for each sidelight.

    I’m thinking sill first then I install the sidelights like any window (remove glass and fix with frame fixings into the med dense concrete blocks).

    D238175F-435C-43FF-B84E-6101066D183D.jpeg

    Or

    465394D0-4E1D-47DA-9193-B69EDEF24DE1.jpeg


    Then fix the aluminium lengths by:

    1. Predrill the upvc in four places.
    2. Low modulus Silicon along the length of the aluminium.
    3. Fix the aluminium to the sidelights with self tappers through the predrilled holes into the aluminium.

    Then fix the door frame to the aluminium couplers using the same method as above but offsetting the holes.


    Anyone done this and got any photos?
    Any recommended self tappers?


    Thanks!
     
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  3. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I have done it.

    You want to get some ‘Baypole’ screws to fix the Ali couplers to the window and frame, they need to be drilled through the frame first and into the coupler.

    Get yourself a pair (or 2) of the Irwin clamps to hold them tight while you fix them.

    I bolted one sidelight to the door, and the other sidelight to the coupler then sat those 2 on the sill (which needs to be perfectly level).

    also some big metal brackets for the sides:
    F4815873-C14B-47F6-B190-8E6F0E05DE6B.jpeg

    71446EAD-776A-4C5B-8E90-1C528AB17A66.jpeg

    B6781735-0702-4AFE-9CD5-9733E6B56CDE.jpeg

    16DBC474-4560-47A7-9C47-9DD58E10437D.jpeg
     

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  4. liftfan

    liftfan

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    Great info thanks Ian!

    A numpty question for you. When you say:

    I’m not quite sure what you mean.


    Did you screw the ali coupler into the sidelight (screw heads on ali side). Then screw the door frame into the ali coupler (screw heads on the door frame).
     
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  5. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I screwed the window frame to the coupler from the frame side, then the door frame to the coupler from the door side. Like this:

    E0F983CF-97C3-43EF-95DE-CDEFAA25FBBA.png

    The screws pull the coupler tight to the frame.

    I would have then screwed the other frame and coupler to the door but there wasn’t enough room in my living room so I did the last connection in their final positions, I fixed the coupler to the second window frame first, then clamped it and screwed the door frame to the coupler. Like this:
    47A8D42C-524E-4FAD-8434-62EE1E4C4F73.png
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2020
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  6. liftfan

    liftfan

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    I see! Thanks for taking the time to explain. Nice job!

    I’m guessing with Kommerling profiles it’s a Solidor like mine.

    I see your baypole screws on the carpet in the last picture. Can you remember what lengths you used?

    Also, where did you get those brackets from?
     
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  7. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I think I might have used 50mm from the door side and 80mm from the window side but couldn’t say for sure.

    The brackets were from Toolstation:
    https://www.toolstation.com/flat-connector-plate/p98772
    I couldn’t find the proper ones but they are very strong.

    Yes it’s a Solidor, that’s an Edinburgh and the other is a London. Both have a slight curve to them but not too bad.

    Have you got the Powerbar+ couplers?
     
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  8. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Oh, and I used the concrete screws to fix to the masonary but packed the gap tight to make sure the frame didn’t flex at all.
     
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  9. liftfan

    liftfan

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    Powerbar+ couplers... than stumped me. I had to do a google search which came up DIYNOT thread started by ... you!

    You’re famous!

    I think they are Powerbar+ though. I’m not home for a few days but when I get back I’ll take a photo.

    Thanks for the brackets link. I’m going to fit to a cavity wall and I’ll set back slightly into the cavity closer to avoid thermal bridging but I didn’t think I needed any brackets. Will look again though. I’m still not decided if concrete screws or frame fixings are the way to go.

    Thanks again.
     
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  11. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Famous at last!!!!!!

    I was plastering over the brackets otherwise would have probably gone straight into the brick.

    The Powerbar + things don’t have much info at all on the internet. They were totally different to what was on my other door but with the doors being in the same room I thought they would have looked daft.

    Best of luck and happy to help :)
     
  12. liftfan

    liftfan

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    They are Powerbar couplers:

    40E4D91A-8D83-438B-AE38-B1FE0E36892B.jpeg



    Here is one of Stu Cromptons brilliant videos. They install each section on the sill and then fix together. I think I’ll do the same due the weight of the thing.



    Not sure if they put silicone on their Powerbar but I will.

    In one of the comments on that video someone says they should “ pack the hinge side a few mm higher as it allows for a bit of clearance for bottom of latch side” . Stu Crompton says he does that as well.

    Are they talking about the sill? I thought it had to be perfectly level.
     
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  13. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I’m not sure what they mean.

    I put my frames in level and square, both doors did drop on the latch side after a month or so. I loosened the screws on the top 2 hinges and tapped a wedge in between the door and frame to square it up again, tightened the screws and they have been great since.
     
  14. liftfan

    liftfan

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    Quick question.

    Is it necessary to screw/fix the sill to the brick below or is silicone enough?
     
  15. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I put 1 fixing down through the sill on the inner side of both windows. I’m not sure if you have to but it seemed the right thing to do, just make sure water can’t hold around the screw heads.
     
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  16. liftfan

    liftfan

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    Thanks Ian.

    I installed the door yesterday but didn’t fix the sill. Would have been much easier if I had though as it would have stopped it moving when the door frame went in. As it is, the silicon has fixed the sill pretty well solid although I’m tempted to put a couple of concrete screws down through the frame and sill into the brickwork just make sure.

    The rest of the installation went ok although there were a few issues.

    I’ve had the door stored upright in it’s frame for a few weeks and I reckon it had already dropped in the frame such that the latch side was lower. So, despite getting everything plumb and level the door was not sitting right in the frame. So, I used packers against the aluminium coupler and also removed the bottom hinge and packed that out. It’s a good fit now. It is annoying though that the Solidor hinges are not adjustable.

    Also, the door threshold interferes with the coupler and kicks it out. Maybe I should have made the coupler shorter? See below:


    0D5CB133-C9EA-4640-B6D3-0314C7B6F78C.jpeg


    Here is the finished product without the trims in. You can see where I’ve had to pack the frame out against the couplers.

    2BEEB1C8-441D-449D-ACD8-1796E63FA662.jpeg

    I used 120mm Spax screws into the blockwork. Also 4.8 x 60mm and 80mm baypole screws to connect into the aluminium coupler and also up into the catnic lintel and they all worked really well.

    All in all, pretty pleased so thanks for all the help!
     
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  17. Ian H

    Ian H

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    It looks great, well done (y)

    Both frames should really fit tight against the couplers so I’m not sure why yours needed the spacers but I’m sure it will be fine. They told me the couplers were important because mine were very tall, I think they are 245mm so more at risk of bouncing.

    And I agree about the hinges, I was disappointed they didn’t have some fancy adjustment.
     
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