frequently asked questions
Woodworkers FAQ sheets cover almost anything and everything you need to know about joinery. Please feel free to download and use them to get answers to all the questions you ever had about joinery. If you need further help send us your inquiry using the form on this page.
21. VISTA DOORS
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT VISTA DOORS?
The Vista combines the energy efficiency of double safety glazing with the sunlight and privacy control of venetians in a sealed maintenance free unit. It is unique in that it has single slide control to operate both the up and down motion of the venetians and their opening and closure actions. Added to all these advantages is the carefully thought out design that conceals the venetian blades in the timber head of the door when they are fully retracted so that a clear unobstructed view is provided. No other product combines all these advantages and colour co-ordinates the venetian timbergrains with the Surian Red Cedar door frame to ensure the warm beauty of timber throughout. Vistas can be used for any application where a single light door is ideal, such as multi fold doors, french doors or as single doors. Vista doors are 50mm thick compared to normal 40 or 35mm thick doors giving them a stronger, more substantial appearance. The approximate weights of the Vista doors are 720mm-35kg and 620mm-29kg. The Vista door was developed by the Woodworkers Company and is only available from Woodworkers distributors.
ARE THEY EXPENSIVE?
No. While the cost of a single Vista door is 147% more than an ordinary single light door, the cost is significantly cheaper than the cost of installing shutters, curtains or venetians to achieve the same privacy result. The Vista double glazed sealed unit provides thermal and sound control, enhanced security, privacy and sun control in a single unit. For comparison purposes, consider the costs of providing all of these advantages separately. The Vista door is clearly a better designed unit with lower maintenance that costs approximately 30% less than the DIY alternative. Apart from the additional unit costs of Vistas, the costs of hanging them in bi-folds, french doors and single door applications is no more expensive than conventional doors.
WHAT SIZES DO THEY COME IN?
Vistas come in standard door + casement sizes only. They cannot be custom made although minor size adjustment is possible by trimming the joinery. Only Surian Cedar timberwork with matching aluminium woodgrain venetian blades are available. No other timber species or colours are available.
WHAT ARE THE SOUND AND ENERGY ADVANTAGES OF VISTAS?
When people talk about the energy efficiency of doors and windows they take into account the framing materials, the glazing and the seals. Timber exudes visual warmth, but is also a good insulator compared to straight aluminium. You can easily feel the difference in temperature between aluminium and timber by simply touching the surface of each frame. However, the largest energy loss is through the glazing not the frame. Vista glazing consists of 2 outer layers of 3.2mm clear toughened safety glass, positioned 19.6mm apart by perimeter desiccant channels that absorb moisture within the sealed unit to ensure fogging and condensation does not appear within the visible glazing. The Vista double glazed unit reduces the transfer of temperature from one side of the glazing to the other. This transfer relates to the loss or gain of air-to-air heat transmission, and for glass, this is called the U-value. Warm air always moves towards cold air therefore if you have substantial heat outside the building, and the door has standard 6mm glass a large percentage of that heat will transfer though to the inside. With the double glazed Vista panel the air space between the two panes of glass provides insulation to minimise the loss. The overall heat transfer coefficient, or U-Value, of the double glazed unit is 2.7. This favorable figure is less than half the value of a single sheet of 6mm clear glass, which has a U-Value of 5.9.The acoustic or STC value of the double glazed unit is 33 which is again better than 6mm glass, which has an STC rating of 30. This means it has similar sound absorption to laminated glass.
WHAT IS THE WARRANTY ON VISTAS?
The Vista unit is warranted for 5 years subject to standard Woodworkers warranty conditions detailed on FAQ Sheet No.3 The Venetian unit has been performance tested to 10,000 cycles in a controlled testing laboratory.
ARE THEY SUITABLE FOR FULL EXPOSURE TO WEATHER?
No. The Vista door is an engineered construction that has a solid timber core faced with 5mm facings of Surian Cedar. The head uses a cedar ply facing to conceal the venetian blind. While this form of construction is used for the majority of doors available in the market place, it differs from most other Woodworkers products that use only genuine solid natural timber throughout that can never delaminate. The Vista door is therefore best used in protected situations onto covered verandahs or where substantial overhead protection is available. If exposed to high temperature the absorbed heat, within the glass, may cause the plywood face on the top rail to bow up to 3mm. This is not considered a defect, as it is not detrimental to the structural integrity of the door, and is just a potential consequence of having a fully concealed Venetian blind. The glues used in vista doors are certified external grade but we would not expect a long lifespan in full weather unless special attention is paid to build protection with multi layer paint coatings. All Vista doors come pre-sealed with primer coats of Sikkens HLS 077 finish to nurture and protect the timber. Subsequent coats must be compatible with this primer and we recommend at least 3 coats of the Sikkens Filter 7 finishing system (refer FAQ 1 Finishing recommendations).
HOW DO THEY OPERATE? WHAT SIDE OF THE GLASS PANEL IS THE CONTROL SLIDE?
The Vista uses an ingenious magnetic system to link the external control slide to the internal operating mechanisms. This permits the sealed glass panel to have no perforations to preserve its thermal performance. The inner and outer components are linked by strong magnetic attraction through the glass layer so that no physical connection is necessary to convey movement commands. The system is robust but can be sabotaged by quick, jerky movements that can disconnect the magnetic bond. If this happens the bond is quickly re-established with a quick jerk in the opposite direction (note however that slow movements will only cause the magnets to repel each other). Normal movement of the control slide should never create problems but the slide should not be allowed to become a child's plaything as it will wear out the mechanisms prematurely. The Vista warranty does not cover service calls to repair magnetic disconnections caused by rough treatment of the control slide but our staff are available to advise on simple DIY rectification procedures if required. The Vista panels are made so that the control slide can be fitted to either side of the panel, allowing the slide to be positioned to suit the aesthetics of the unit. For example, french doors would usually have the slides to the hinge side of each door, whereas bi-folds would normally have them uniformly to one side on all panels.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE GLASS OR VENETIAN MECHANISMS BREAK?
Woodworkers carry replacement glass sealed units that are simply inserted into the door if any problem occurs with a Vista door. Vista doors require no more maintenance than conventional timber doors and, provided they are correctly painted and installed initially, will be durable long term. Note: It is important that Vista doors are only moved during the installation process with the venetian blinds fully retracted into the door head. If units are moved while the venetian blinds are not stowed they can become entangled within the sealed glass and are irreparable without the complete removal of the glass panel and its replacement. Incorrect handling of the Vista door will void its warranty.