All About Glass Installation and Repair
The simple act of looking out a window is easy to take for granted. When your windows fog over with condensation from the inside, develop an unsightly coating of algae, or sustain impact damage, they obstruct your beautiful views of the valleys and vineyards below. In some cases, you may find you have windows that are too small to provide the amount of light that you prefer, leading to the need for a new installation. To ensure your satisfaction and continued enjoyment of your space, it is essential to find a resource for glass installation and repair that inspires your trust.
At B&L Glass, we’ve been delivering a luxury-class service to Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties for six decades and counting. Forging strong relationships with area architects, homeowners, and contractors, we provide a highly refined service for installing and repairing glass. From large panoramic windows in corporate offices to custom installations of luxury windows for homes, our team has the skills, knowledge, and quality supply connections to create highly satisfying results that reflect the vision you have in mind. Whether it is time to upgrade old windows to something newer and more energy efficiency or you need a glass repair to fix cracks and other damages, our team is up to the job.
At first glance, the process of installing a new window or glass door might seem simple, and the same goes for a small window repair. However, there is much more to know about this process to ensure that you not only choose the right service but are also fully satisfied with the results. Let’s explore everything that you need to know about glass installations and repairs.
When Do You Need a Professional’s Help with Installing Glass?
Around the house, there are many things that we might classify as “DIY material”—activities and repairs that are easy or only moderately challenging for the average homeowner to complete without professional assistance. Embracing the DIY spirit is a way to save money, learn new skills, and get involved in the maintenance of your property. However, glass repair is one task best left to the professionals.
When should you call for help from a proven glass installation business, and why is professional help necessary?
- Window repairs: Windows are much more complicated than they appear from the outside—and much heavier. To achieve a proper seal for weatherproofing and energy efficiency, a professional’s experience and tools are necessary.
- Fixing interior doors with glass: There is a fine line between setting up a beautiful new glass door and looking at an empty frame after accidentally breaking the pane during installation. The creation of these doors also requires a professional’s input.
- Re-imagining front doors: Glass designs in front doors are common and popular. Are you choosing the right design for your home? Considering factors such as the size of the entryway, the type of door that you’d like to use, and even the angle of the sun is a necessary step that demands a competent professional partner.
- Supporting offices and other commercial glass requirements: Partnering with another business to support your own is a smart move, as it provides accountability and transparency for the project. It also opens the door to more innovative designs.
- Unique glass installation needs, such as the glass in garage doors and skylights: Leave it to the professionals to work at heights and in precarious situations. Skylight repairs and installations require a practiced approach to safety.
By turning to a professional team for your installation needs, you can count on quality outcomes—and, if you choose the right partner, a guarantee on workmanship.
Two Types of Glass Installation for Windows
When you hear an installer talk about making a “pocket” installation or recommend going “full frame”, what do they mean? There are two different approaches to installing windows. Each has pros and cons and is well-suited for particular situations.
- Pocket installation. In a “pocket” installation, the old glass in a frame comes out, and your installer adds the new window into the existing frame. The interior and exterior appearance of the window remains the same—only the glass changes. This pathway is a faster and more cost-effective option for replacement, but it is not an option for new windows as it requires a frame that is already in place.
- Full-frame installation. The opposite of a pocket installation, a “full-frame” installation is just what the name indicates: the creation of a brand-new window frame from scratch. It is also possible to make a window smaller or larger depending on factors unique to each home. For the creation of bespoke, luxury windows, full-frame installation is the way to go. For contractors and architects, partnering with an experienced window framer in the planning stages of a project can lead to sharing innovative and exciting design ideas for this installation type.
What about other kinds of glass installations? Most doors with glass undergo custom manufacturing to provide a secure anchorage for glass. However, it is also possible to modify solid wood doors to accommodate different glass types in a variety of shapes.
Special Considerations to Make When Choosing Glass
Choosing the right glass is one of the most critical yet often-overlooked tasks that installers perform when planning a new installation or making a replacement following damage. What they consider:
- Style. Style can range from the physical appearance of the glass, i.e., frosted or etched, to the arrangement of panes in the window. While a large part of a window’s aesthetic appeal comes from its framing, your choice in the style of glass matters, too. In some cases, a certain style choice is essential for privacy.
- Strength. Ideally, your window should never need to withstand an impact—but if it does, can it stand up to the test? In some areas, “hurricane glass” is a favorite of homeowners as a simple luxury upgrade for peace of mind. Using both tempered glass and a form of lamination, this glass can withstand some severe natural incidents.
- Energy efficiency. Though not a concern for interior doors, efficiency is a critical consideration for exterior doors with glass and windows. Modern solutions, such as double-glazed and gas-insulated glass, reduce the amount of heat that escapes or enters the home through the windows. The result is a more efficient home and lower utility bills.
- Noise. For those who live near busy streets or in areas where exterior noise is a problem, choice of glass matters. Solutions such as double-glazing help to create a quieter interior atmosphere and a calmer home.
How do you know which product is right for you? At B&L Glass, our team can provide you with valuable insights on this topic and many others.
The Installation Process, Explained
When you contact a professional team to work on windows for you or your business, what is their process? While every team has some preferences regarding technique, a typical window installation process will proceed as follows:
- Measurements and consideration stage. Your installer will need precise measurements of the window that they will create or replace to ensure a snug fit and glass panes of the appropriate size. Now is also the time to consider what you want your windows and the glass to resemble.
- Finalization of your choices. Your professional partner will confirm everything with you and ensure that the installation plan receives your approval.
- Removal of your old window. After protecting the interior of the home, and barring inclement weather, the team will remove your old window. Your contractor will take care of disposal.
- Fitting of the new window. The team will engage in a test run to ensure that everything aligns appropriately and will sit flush and level once they have installed it. After the fitting, the installation process will proceed.
- Quality control and testing for a perfect fit. The team will thoroughly test the window to ensure that everything aligns properly and that there are no leaks or gaps.
How Long Does a New Glass Installation Usually Take?
Questions about how long installation will take are common from both homeowners and contractors. The answer depends on several factors, including whether it is a full-frame installation or not. The number of windows to install also impacts time estimates.
In most cases, even very large windows do not take more than a few hours for a professional team to install. In special cases, such as with the installation of custom windows that will be framed from scratch, the process may take a day or two. Every home is different, so your installer should provide you with a clear time estimate before beginning work.
What Happens When Glass Is Damaged?
A reliable glass installer is essential to know—in fact, their expertise extends beyond situations in which you want to install a brand-new window. When glass in one of your doors or windows sustains damage, you should take action to correct the problem right away. We’ll explore all the reasons for doing so below, but first, let’s learn what happens when glass is damaged, whether by an impact or by internal stress cracking.
Damage to glass beyond superficial scratches can ultimately affect its structural integrity and, over time, compromise the entire pane. Even a simple crack can rapidly become a problem because glass expands and contracts in reaction to temperature changes. Those changes can cause a small crack to grow larger until the entire window is unsafe. One solid impact could break the glass, creating even more problems and a more urgent repair need.
Although impact-resistant windows can take some hits, damage still requires a replacement, or else the glass won’t be at full strength in case of another incident.
Why a Prompt Replacement or Repair Is Always the Right Decision
Imagine that you have noticed cracks or other concerns in the glass of a window that has recently sustained damage. It now has a crack or a crater, and it doesn’t look nearly as good as it once did. Is this issue primarily aesthetic, or should you take action as soon as possible to prevent other problems?
While a glass repair is always an immediate concern when the window has broken open, it is still vital to avoid delays in engaging repairs for any broken glass. By getting a repair sooner, you can:
- Create a safer space and remove the hazards caused by the potentially-sharp edges of cracked windows. Some cracks are sharp enough to cause cuts if you or someone else in your home or business touches them. Damage may also leave jagged edges and glass stuck in the frame. A prompt repair eliminates this hazard.
- Preserve the energy efficiency of your home. Glass often plays a role in the energy efficiency of your home. Cracks and other damages could compromise the thermal integrity of the glass or allow air to leak outside.
- Restore the aesthetic appeal of your space and eliminate the distractions caused by damage. Let’s face it: broken glass is always unsightly, and when you want to enjoy the view from your window again, a fix is the only option. This principle is true for glass in doors, too, and quick repairs deliver the added benefit of keeping out the elements.
Which Kinds of Window Glass Repair Are Possible?
Do all glass repairs concern immediately replacing broken glass with a new pane or a brand-new window? Not necessarily: with help from a skilled contractor, you can tap into a valuable resource for several cost-effective repair options in addition to complete replacements. These options might include:
- Scratch repair. Not all scratches can be fixed, but it is sometimes possible for a team to repair surface-level nicks and scuffs or to make them practically invisible. Deeper gouges and severe scrapes may require a replacement of the pane.
- Single-pane replacement. Do you have a window or door with multiple glass panes throughout the frame? If just one of the panes breaks, you shouldn’t need to replace the entire structure. A single-pane replacement is a quick and cost-effective way to repair the glass and restore its look.
- Insulation repair. In double glazed windows and other options that use a special construction method to provide better energy efficiency, the insulation will wear out over time. The result is a drafty window and spiking power bills. Insulation repair is the simplest solution.
Your glass repair provider should be able to provide a cost-effective replacement service based on the type of window and its level of damage.
How to Tell When It’s Time to Contact a Glass Replacement Company
It’s easy enough to know when it’s time to start searching for a professional to create a new window or glass installation for your home or business, but what about when you need help with a complete replacement? Use the following signs as guidelines for when to reach out:
- Your windows look their age or are permanently stained or fogged due to long-term issues. If you can’t get your windows to look better no matter how diligently you clean them, it’s time to think about replacement.
- You need an immediate replacement due to severe damage. The neighborhood-baseball-flying-through-the-window scenario might be a movie trope, but such things can and do happen. When a window sustains damage to the point of breaking, find a professional team to start correcting the issue as soon as possible.
- You want to boost the appeal of your home. If you’re thinking about selling soon, it is a strong idea to consider investing in window upgrades for efficiency and aesthetics.
Choosing a Business to Provide You with a Local Glass Repair
Though glass installation and repair may seem simple, there are multiple factors and decisions for home and business owners to consider. Preserving your views and creating a luxury atmosphere with a tailored approach to natural lighting requires a professional’s experience, not to mention a trusted supply of the quality glass that your project requires. For specialized installations and very large panes of glass, your installation team’s experience becomes even more critical—you don’t want to watch your investment shatter before your eyes. With the right service provider, achieving excellent results and fast repairs with glass windows, doors, and more is simple.
At B&L Glass, we believe that our 60 years of experience is our greatest asset, but our past work does not limit our vision for what is possible for our team to achieve for new clients. From arranging completely bespoke glass installations to carrying out a swift repair on a heavily-damaged window, we rely on industry best practices, the latest tools in the business, and cutting-edge techniques. With a passion for making our client’s dreams into reality, we deliver superior service and luxury glass solutions in Napa, Marin, and Sonoma counties.
Do you need assistance with designing a new glass installation or securing a door glass repair? Our team is ready and waiting to hear from you today. Submit a request for a quote with the specifics or let us know what you have in mind. Contact the B&L Glass team today for friendly assistance and battle-tested insight.