Cabinets in Front of Windows, with Glass Doors

It may sound strange, but it can work out well. May 28, 2010

Has anyone ever heard of this: a customer wants me build a cabinet using a glass panel instead of a back and to hang the whole thing in front of a window so the interior of the cabinet will be naturally illuminated? The window is a southern exposure meaning that there will be a lot of direct sunlight. I am in need of help.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor C:
No, I have never heard that one before. Just when I thought I'd heard it all.

From contributor B:
I'm not sure, but you may want to check the code on that one. My gut tells me that restricting a potential escape route (window) would be a code violation.

From contributor P:
I did one like that once. I was beyond dubious, but it ended up working out fine and looking great. I think they even used it in the sales brochure when it came time to sell the house, and the new owners love it.

From contributor E:
I did that once, with a glass back and glass doors on a tall china cabinet. It turned out looking good. Obviously, you can't block an egress window, but this was a fixed-glass window in a living room. People who want specialty items like this just need to pay the premium price that it takes to engineer and build it.

From contributor S:
I think it's a great idea. I would be concerned about dust/dirt, spider webs and other insects, and condensation. For those reasons, I would build-in a way to take the glass back out (or swing it open?) to allow for easy cleaning. Have fun with it and make some money.