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Bring the Outdoors In with Moving Glass Walls I still have the scene vividly imprinted in my mind of the villa on the Pacific side of Costa Rica where our group met a couple of years ago. It was perched a mile up a rocky mountain road on the edge of a jungle, home to howler monkeys and exotic birds. Walking through the main house, mesmerized by the panoramic ocean views and infinity pool that somehow magically touched the beaches and waves below, we were oblivious to where the house ended and the outdoor world began.

Perhaps it is similar experiences with vacation homes, resorts and fabulous climates that have propelled the popularity of moving glass wall systems. Known by many names, these are the large glass paneled walls that easily slide or fold out of sight and eliminate the barriers between outside and in. Matched with the popularity of contemporary and transitional homes already filled with big glass windows, thin frames and sleek muntin bars, these multi-slide and folding glass door systems are all the rage.

Who would have thought it with the extreme temperature ranges and seasons of North Texas? I wonder if it’s like going out and buying a convertible sports car after renting one for a week in California? That joy-ride would be year-round fun in La Jolla, but just how many days will you actually drive around with the top down in Dallas? Well, ok, I guess we can include all the days when the windows are rolled up with the heater or AC blowing full blast. Of course, that is why infrared or portable heaters, and fans and misting systems, are essential add-ons to Dallas outdoor living spaces!

Actually, it is a bit ironic that we are now striving to bring the outdoors in after decades spent eliminating baby boomers’ backyards. Pushing the envelope of allowable building footprints, new Park Cities home have postage stamp backyards that can be easily mowed by weed-eater. With video games, social media and overly structured sports schedules, today’s kids don’t have time to play outside anyway. So these moving glass walls aren’t really for the children, are they?

So what is it then that makes them so popular? Is it nostalgia for the backyard family cookouts of old or reminiscing of vacations past, or simply the desire for additional square footage or a simpler entertainment area (that we don’t have to keep all that tidy or have decorated to the hilt)? You know, I’m not quite sure.

But I love them!! They are really cool!! And, they seem to help bring family and friends together even if it is just lounging around on a weekend afternoon watching football games and grilling burgers. Ahhh, . . . simple, wonderful, unstructured play time – maybe that’s what we are really trying to catch up on.

At Davis-Hawn Lumber & Architectural Millworks, we’d love to help make those fresh air, backyard dreams of yours come true with Jeld-Wen, La Cantina and Milgard sliding and folding glass wall systems. More affordable than ever, our window and door specialists are excited to show you the possibilities!

Build to Last,

Dave Reichert and the Davis-Hawn Team

(Keith Nelson & Mike Maddox – Window & Door Specialists)