Choosing the Right Glass Company
Did you know that glass windows as we know them are only a few hundred years old? While the history of glass stretches back thousands of years, it has traditionally been very challenging and expensive to make. Modern glass production methods only date back to about 1950. Before that, the process was more time-consuming and challenging, limiting the number of potential applications in both the home and the business. Today, however, advanced technology, modern manufacturing methods, and computer-aided design enable a wider range of options to create both visually interesting and highly functional installations.
The story of the long legacy of glassmaking wouldn’t be complete without considering the most important part of the process after making the glass — installation. Today, glass installation companies are the primary link between the most stunning modern glass options and the property owners who want to find new ways to beautify their spaces. Windows aren’t the only places to use glass within your home or business, however. What if you have a cracked glass shower door that needs repair, or you want to install a new skylight to flood an interior space with natural light? Finding the right Napa County glass company will open up all these options and more at once.
What do you need to know when looking for a glass contractor? What can these services do for you, and what should you expect from them? Join us as we break down everything you need to know about choosing a glazing business.
When Should You Look For a Glass Shop?
First things first: when do you need to reach out to a glass business in the first place? The stereotypical broken window because of an errant neighborhood baseball is one obvious reason, but there are many other times when you should consider contacting a trusted local resource. Here’s a quick look at a few of the key times to find a good all-around glass company.
- When it’s time to replace or update the windows in your home. There are many exciting options to explore today with more energy-efficient glass. It might be time to find out if your home could benefit from such upgrades.
- When you’re a business owner, and you’d like to create a modern office interior with more glass, such as dividing walls and meeting rooms.
- When you need repairs, not only on windows, but on other household glass, such as shower doors, sliding glass doors, and other applications.
When you have a unique idea that you can’t find in “off the shelf” products. Do you want a solid wood front door with glass inlays to let light into your entrance hall? Do you have a specific type of window glass installation you want to explore? If so, you’ll need an experienced glazier to get the job done.
What Can Glass Companies Do For You?
Not all Sonoma County glass businesses are the same. Some strictly specialize in windows, while others prefer only to handle repairs. Some only deal in specialty glass or focus on more unique products such as double-glazed windows. Before you select, it is important to gauge what a contractor does, how well they perform their work, and how flexible their service may be. Shower door repairs, for example, might be too “niche” for some contractors who work primarily with windows or other exterior glass solutions. Take the time to investigate what services a business can offer. For convenience, finding a “jack of all trades” that can deliver exceptional assistance in any glass application may be the best choice.
Exploring New Elements of Design With Your Contractor
One of the most exciting opportunities to come from working with a dedicated glass installation business involves the opportunity to design customized glass solutions. Whether you’re making these selections yourself or you represent a client eager to fill their space with exciting visual elements, a good team can provide insight on multiple levels. What should you expect from a contractor regarding custom work?
- A wide range of product options. Beyond windows, what about glass doors? Do they do custom tabletops to fit unique furniture items? Look for versatility in skills and experience.
- A track record of prior work with examples of successful designs. Don’t just take someone’s word on custom capabilities. Ask to see examples of what’s possible to inform your own design decisions.
- An end-to-end service. Custom work shouldn’t involve juggling multiple teams. Prefer companies that keep it all under one roof.
- Accountability and flexibility. Sometimes, you may change your mind — or there may be delays in the production process. The best glass companies are those that communicate with their clients openly and honestly while accommodating changes whenever possible.
When choosing a business in Santa Rosa for glasswork, take the time to have a conversation about some of these topics as you gauge the company’s suitability for what you have in mind.
Solving Common Problems with a Local Glass Company
The opportunity to renovate, remodel, or fit out a new home is always exciting, but it is far from the only reason you may need to find a Napa glass company. Repairs are often just as important as finding the right products for a new installation. Some of the most common reasons to call for help include:
- Persistent condensation on the inside of windows. Cloudy windows are a common problem, and it’s a sign that you may need a replacement to address problems with the seals around the glass.
- Damaged glass tabletops, including cracks and chips. In some cases, an experienced team can recreate a one-of-a-kind tabletop designed to fit a specific furniture item, so damage does not have to be the end of an heirloom.
- Broken shower doors and bath enclosures. An accidental slip and fall could lead to sudden damage that makes it difficult or dangerous to keep using the shower as-is. Still, a glass installer can quickly fabricate a replacement panel and install it in no time.
These are just a few examples of problems addressed by glass companies in Sonoma and Napa, but they aren’t the only ones. Don’t live with cracked and broken glass when you could quickly replace it with something equivalent or better today.
How to Choose a Glass Company in Santa Rosa
Knowing what the right contractor can do for you, how do you go about the process of selecting a team to support your needs? It’s not as easy anymore as dusting off the old phone book and picking out the first local listing you find. Instead, you should evaluate any potential provider of window installation and other glass services with care. How should you do that?
- Ask about licensing and insurance coverage. Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a service provider, it’s crucial to know that any business you choose has the proper permits to carry out work while also protecting you from any unforeseen incidents. It’s always a red flag if you can’t easily learn about a business’s licenses.
- Ask about experience and service capabilities. How long have they worked on glass? What services do they provide? If you have something specific in mind, ask during this early stage.
- Request testimonials or references and read third-party reviews. Try to balance the viewpoints you see to come to a clearer understanding of the company’s reputation among its past clients.
- Learn about the company’s on-the-job safety and procedures for working on a home or business. For example, if undertaking window replacements, how does the business protect your furniture and home from the outdoors? When working at heights, such as when installing skylights, are they capable of doing so safely?
With a thorough selection process, you can trust your choice and make a smart investment for a better outcome.
Important Questions to Ask a Glass Contractor
As you go through the selection process, you may find it useful to come ready with a few questions to ask your contact at any glass company. Besides the advice outlined above, there are some specific inquiries may be useful in determining that a business is the right fit for what you have in mind. Try these questions:
- Do you require payment for quotes and estimates, or will you provide some free insight into how much I should budget for this service? If so, how much do you charge? Some estimates may be free, while others which require extensive measurements and on-site visits may not be. When you may not have much financial leeway, however, it’s always a good idea to ask upfront and to know right away.
- Do you subcontract, or do you employ all those who will work on my property? Ideally, the answer you get back should be “we never subcontract.” With subcontractors, it’s harder to oversee the quality of the work performed, and accountability becomes more challenging. Though not necessarily a dealbreaker, you should always ask.
- What kinds of glass do you use? There are many types of glass used for different purposes and applications throughout the home. Not all are suitable for the same uses. Find out what types and brands your chosen installer uses.
- What happens if something goes wrong with the installation after you leave? In other words, does the business provide a warranty against defects in manufacturing and workmanship? You should hope to see protection for your investment.
With the answers to these questions and more, you can select someone for glass door installation with confidence in their capabilities and cost-effectiveness.
What to Expect During Window or Glass Installation from a Professional Glass Company
What are the processes? What should you expect from the pros when they visit your home or business? The answer will depend primarily on what type of work you’ve requested. For example, a shower door repair may take very little time altogether, although a brand-new installation will take longer due to the need for new framing. On the other hand, installing brand new windows may take the better part of a day. When working with a glass company, you should expect several things from the actual service experience:
- Clear communication about the timeline. How long the installation will take, and what it will involve, is important information. Expect and ask for time estimates so you can better plan your day around the service visit.
- A prompt arrival to the job site. No one wants to wait for hours for a team to arrive. If you can’t get a firm appointment time, a small window is preferable to one that lasts all afternoon.
- Safe, swift, and effective work characterized by respect for your property. All these points are especially true for window installations, which may require safely covering and protecting furniture and other items in the room from the elements.
- A clean space left behind after a job well done. The only thing left after your team leaves should be the new glass — not dust, debris, and footprints.
Although it may seem that choosing a glass provider is difficult and complex, the right answer may be closer than you think.
Make the Right Choice and Enjoy a Better Home
There is a lot of information to consider when selecting a business to install new glass or carry out repairs. However, there is good news — with a solid selection the first time, you’ll always know who to call for help. In Napa and Sonoma counties, one of the most trusted names in this industry is B&L Glass. We’re proud to say that we’ve served the region for more than 50 years, and over our decades of service, we’ve perfected a complete service that covers everything from handrails to doors and windows and beyond. If you can think of it in glass, we can supply and install it for you.
At B&L Glass, we’re excited for the opportunity to work with homeowners and business managers alike to deliver the glass solutions they need, both basic and bespoke. Find out more about the different services we offer today, or get in touch to discuss the kind of project you have in mind.