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4 Glass Updates to Make Before Selling Your Home

Glass Updates For Your HomeIf you’re thinking of selling your home in the next few years, you might consider investing in renovations. Renovating your home can increase its likelihood to sell, and can even get you a higher sales price.

On average, 75% to 85% of what you spend on renovations will come right back to you through an increase in your home’s value. Your return can be even greater depending on your location, the current housing market, and the type of renovations you invest in. Plus, if you don’t plan to move quite yet, you can enjoy the renovations yourself in the meantime.

People often focus on basic renovations like walls and carpets. However, there is also enormous potential to improve your home with glass features. These features not only impress buyers with their beauty, but they can also save buyers money by protecting other features of the home. Here are a few examples of ways you can modernize your home with glass.

Are These Utah Quirks Ruining Your Windows?

No one can deny that Salt Lake Valley is a gorgeous place to live. With sweeping mountain views, four beautiful seasons, and a low cost of living, it’s no wonder Utah is one of the fastest-growing states and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.

However, like any state, Utah has its quirks, and from the freeway speed limits to the thin mountain air, they can all take a toll on your car’s and home’s windows.

Below, we’ll list a few of these quirks and what you can do to address them so your windows stay clean and intact for years—and so you can keep loving your elevated Utah life.

Constant Freeway Construction

It’s no secret that Utah’s sections of I-80 and I-15 are constantly under construction, and sometimes it seems as though the entire Belt Route is always changing. The constant construction of Utah’s freeways pays off in the long run—for example, through lane expansion—but in the meantime, the construction causes countless delays, accidents, and car damage.

While you can’t control the freeway construction, you can control your own driving, which in turn affects how much (or how little) damage your windows and car incur. When maneuvering your way through construction zones on the interstate, drive the appropriate speed limit and increase your following distance for safety.

Admittedly, following the construction-zone speed limit can be hard, especially because almost none of your fellow drivers will follow this guideline. But construction-zone speed limits are lowered for a reason: along with protecting construction workers, they also keep your car from kicking up construction debris at higher speeds. Stay in the slow lane and reduce your speed as recommended. You’ll save much more than the doubled speeding ticket fine.

Truck debris in particular presents constant problems for your windshield in Utah, where trucks don’t have their own route like in many other Western states. But in construction zones, not only are there more trucks than usual, but the road itself also often has more creases, crevices, and bumps for trucks to rattle over, meaning that more debris can jolt from the tops of dump trucks.

Make sure you stay several car lengths behind trucks at all times, particularly in freeway construction zones. Otherwise, you may end up with a pockmarked windshield at the start of the summertime construction season with months more to go.

Constantly Fluctuating Temperatures

No one can deny that Salt Lake Valley is a gorgeous place to live. With sweeping mountain views, four beautiful seasons, and a low cost of living, it’s no wonder Utah is one of the fastest-growing states and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.

However, like any state, Utah has its quirks, and from the freeway speed limits to the thin mountain air, they can all take a toll on your car’s and home’s windows.

Below, we’ll list a few of these quirks and what you can do to address them so your windows stay clean and intact for years—and so you can keep loving your elevated Utah life.

Constant Freeway Construction

It’s no secret that Utah’s sections of I-80 and I-15 are constantly under construction, and sometimes it seems as though the entire Belt Route is always changing. The constant construction of Utah’s freeways pays off in the long run—for example, through lane expansion—but in the meantime, the construction causes countless delays, accidents, and car damage.

While you can’t control the freeway construction, you can control your own driving, which in turn affects how much (or how little) damage your windows and car incur. When maneuvering your way through construction zones on the interstate, drive the appropriate speed limit and increase your following distance for safety.

Admittedly, following the construction-zone speed limit can be hard, especially because almost none of your fellow drivers will follow this guideline. But construction-zone speed limits are lowered for a reason: along with protecting construction workers, they also keep your car from kicking up construction debris at higher speeds. Stay in the slow lane and reduce your speed as recommended. You’ll save much more than the doubled speeding ticket fine.

Truck debris in particular presents constant problems for your windshield in Utah, where trucks don’t have their own route like in many other Western states. But in construction zones, not only are there more trucks than usual, but the road itself also often has more creases, crevices, and bumps for trucks to rattle over, meaning that more debris can jolt from the tops of dump trucks.

Make sure you stay several car lengths behind trucks at all times, particularly in freeway construction zones. Otherwise, you may end up with a pockmarked windshield at the start of the summertime construction season with months more to go.

Constantly Fluctuating Temperatures

Like many other high-altitude states, Utah experiences constantly fluctuating temperatures, sometimes within the same week or even the same day. For instance, in May 2017, temperatures went from the high 80s to the low 40s and high 30s within a day or two—and as true Utah natives know, this type of weather fluctuation is well within the norm for nearly any season.

As you’ve learned in our previous blogs, extreme temperatures take a toll on both your automotive and residential windows, especially if a crack in the window or its seam lets water seep in, where it freezes and can crack the window more.

The first step in solving this problem is to invest in higher-quality windows, if you haven’t already. The thicker and more resilient your windows are, the less susceptible they’ll be to cracking and warping from extreme heat and extreme cold. 

You can protect your car’s windows by storing your car in a garage overnight instead of leaving it on the street. If you do leave your vehicle on the road on a spring night when you know the temperature is going to drop sharply, consider covering the car overnight to keep the windows a little warmer. 

Microbursts

Because of its altitude and mountain-desert climate, Utah is prone to huge windstorms that seem to arise out of the blue. Windstorms can happen any time of the year, though they’re more common in spring, summer, and fall, but they present a major danger for your windows both at home and on the road.

If you’re driving when a microburst occurs, you’re subject to dust flung at your car by high-speed winds. And, if you’re in a construction zone, your windshields are at even more danger from debris than usual.

Your residential windows are most endangered by fallen tree branches, especially if you live in a tree-heavy area like the Avenues, Sugarhouse, or Cottonwood Heights. Of course, ripped-off branches can harm much more than your windows—they might land on a fence, on the roof, or near a pedestrian.

You can’t necessarily predict a microburst, so during wind-heavy seasons, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Start by trimming your trees and any shrubs near your windows. You shouldn’t have any branches overhanging your house. Take care of dead or dying trees and branches as soon as possible—they’re more likely to blow down in a microburst and damage your house.

If you’re driving when a microburst occurs, take the same steps you would in a construction zone: increase your following distance so you’re less likely to get hit by debris from other cars. If the wind starts to rise when you’re on a road trip—especially if you’re trekking across one of the flatter stretches of I-80 toward Nevada—check UTA updates for warnings about windstorms.

Of course, sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, Utah’s quirks damage your windows anyway. When that happens, call on Central Glass Utah. We serve clients across the Salt Lake Valley, and we’re here any time you need a quick fix or replacement. No matter what you need from us, we look forward to helping you live a good life here in the Beehive State.

4 Tips to Choose and Manage Your Restaurant’s Storefront Glass

Your restaurant storefront says a lot about the quality of the business inside. Use entryway and window glass in creative and unique ways to make a statement that reflects your dining establishment’s standards and goals.

Your building is the first thing that potential guests see. Follow the tips below to create an inviting and brand-enhancing restaurant using glass.

Decide on Approachability

Visualize your front door from the perspective of your potential customers. How does your storefront appear from the parking area, street, sidewalk and adjacent businesses? No matter how your restaurant is accessed, guests should see a tidy, well-maintained building with clean glass windows and entry points. 

Family-friendly dining establishments are generally casual in nature. A front door made of glass allows patrons to glance inside. They may want to check on how crowded your restaurant is at the time. Guests may also wish to see if the restaurant has suitable dining facilities for their needs.

More upscale restaurants use double glass doors with minimalist or vintage brass hardware. Privacy of guests is more of a feature at a fine dining restaurant, so the glass front doors may be tinted or frosted in a way that limits the views of dining areas inside.

Entice Guests With Details

Do you want to entice guests who drop in on impulse after seeing your storefront? You must incorporate advertising on your windows and front doors to tempt diners. Neon lights, removable vinyl film and even posters can be placed on windows and glass doorways to advertise specials, menus and happy-hour details. 

In Manhattan, the storefronts of the “big” retailers and businesses are decorated with holiday themes throughout November and December. Window display creators go all out to make breathtaking scenes behind the glass windows. It’s an annual tradition for people in the northeastern U.S. to stroll down the New York City sidewalks and enjoy the various window animations and displays. Do something similar in your town, and create a window display tradition that gets people talking,

You definitely want to include front-glass-door stickers that promote the payment methods you accept. For people who use credit and debit cards, this information is a key factor in whether or not they will dine with you. Some people are too shy to come inside and ask about your specific payment methods. Don’t lose these people, but promote your options right at the entry point.

If you have won awards, earned certifications or joined business bureaus, place your stickers on the glass door or doors in a tidy, discreet way. If you’re going for a sophisticated front entry look, this step is not necessary, and may detract from the elegant, exclusive storefront you wish to display. Place stickers inside the restaurant near your host stand or framed up above it.

Consider Guest Comfort

Awnings installed over your glass entryway and windows help limit glare into the restaurant. Awnings also protect patrons from the elements, so a stop under your awning to get out of the rain may be enough to turn a mere passerby into a loyal customer. Awnings help you sell a certain image, whether you’re going for a vintage, seaside or modern restaurant look.

Location is also a key feature of guest enjoyment. When your restaurant location has a spectacular view, it adds to the patrons’ overall experience. Design all windows and front glass entryways to take advantage of the scenery when possible. If your restaurant has no such view, use interior glass, light fixtures, and decor to create the exciting, soothing or upscale atmosphere you want your guests to experience.

Glass shades, blinds or drapery should be used on any windows that let in too much light. No one wants to blink their way through a meal, unable to see the person across their table due to the angle of the sun. Create a schedule so that window treatments are routinely raised and lowered to create maximum guest comfort.

Glass is not the best insulator, so use insulated glass and window treatments to help block out cold and heat during winter and simmer. One great idea is to create a vestibule in your entryway. A vestibule is a small room created to house the front doors, with a second set of doors leading into the actual restaurant. The separate entry room helps keep extreme cold or heat out of the dining space while people enter and exit comfortably. 

Know the Local Codes

In many areas of the country, there are strict rules governing the signage on your building, including its glass windows and doors. If you’re in a historic district, there are even more regulations concerning signage and lights.

Check with local codes before investing in glass-mounted displays, treatments and neon lighting to be sure the enhancements are allowed. A commercial glass professional will have more tips to help you create an approved storefront and entryway of shiny, welcoming glass.

Contact the glass experts at Central Glass Company to create a glass entryway that shows your pride in your business. We have many commercial glass options including insulated glass perfect for Utah’s extreme climate.

Light Up Your Life: How Windows Contribute to Improved Mental Health

Woman in Window - Windows and Mental Health | Central Glass CompanyIf you’re struggling to keep up with ordinary daily challenges, you might talk to your doctor or even your counselor about why you have trouble concentrating or why you’re feeling down. These professionals can give you necessary help and advice. As you consult with these professionals, you can also care for your mental health by speaking with a window specialist.

Natural light has an extraordinary effect on your mental health. If your home is dark, has bad window treatments, or does not have very many large or well-placed windows, it’s time to consider what increased daily light could do for your life. Here’s how windows can boost your emotional and mental well-being.

Decreased Energy Use

You might think it silly to tout cost savings as a method of increasing your mental health, but it’s true. Many people who feel blue or stressed worry about their finances. Natural lighting is one of the easiest ways to reduce the electricity usage in your home, therefore reducing your monthly bill. If you can enlarge your windows or simply leave the treatments open more, you can enjoy beautiful lighting while saving money.

If you’re worried about heating and cooling loss, know that modern windows are more efficient than ever—having large windows shouldn’t make much of an impact on your heating bills if the windows are high-quality.

Check around your house, especially the rooms you consider to be “dark” like those on the west or north sides, and see if you can expand or enlarge the current windows to bring more light to the room. These “dark” rooms benefit the most from natural light because they will have less direct sunlight throughout the day, making them pleasant to work in, as they won’t have much glare or thermal heating.

Physical and Mental Healing

One 1984 study showed that patients who had large windows with a view of nature recovered more quickly from surgery than those who did not have access to natural light. They also needed fewer painkillers during recovery.

Further scientific research is being done on how light can be an effective pain killer. Some more modern studies show that exposure to yellow light (one of the light colors in the spectrum of white, natural light) can temporarily slow neuron response to pain receptors. Those with chronic pain may eventually have an alternative to opiates and other heavy pain medication.

Increased Productivity

Many new office buildings place a priority on natural lighting simply because studies show that employees at work are generally more happy and productive in the presence of plenty of natural light. Instead of the yellowish green of interior lighting, natural light inspires more energy and nature positivity about the work environment.

Studies show that people who are exposed to natural light during the day better at problem solving and mental clarity. Spending all day in a dark or closed off room has the opposite effect: all workers without windows perform less effectively.

The same principles apply at home. Do you have trouble working in your kitchen because it’s too dark for you to feel inspired? It might be worth it to expand your one small kitchen window into a larger bank of windows, even if it means losing a cabinet or two. If there’s no room for a window, consider installing French patio doors or doors with windows to improve the light quality in dark rooms. 

You could also speak with a glass company about the possibility of installing a skylight if you have no walls for additional windows. Skylights can even be used on main floor rooms in a two-story house through the use of mirrors that direct the light down a tube and into the room. 

Decreased Depression

Natural light brings with it a feeling of cleanliness and ability. It also boosts the production of vitamin D, which can help combat feelings of depression.

Exposure to natural light can release a natural antidepressant called serotonin. Serotonin is a mood-booster, and it is more available to people who spend longer amounts of time in the sun. With clear, large windows, sunlight pours in, allowing for all the benefits without the harm of UV rays, since modern windows are treated to prevent UV light from entering through the glass. 

Improved Sleep

Exposure to bright, natural light during the day improves your circadian rhythm, especially if you get the light in the morning. Since the sun rises in the east, try to leave window treatments open on your east-facing windows in the morning.

The more exposure you have to the sun’s natural lighting, the better your body will be at creating melanin and feeling tired after the sun has gone down. Your home should not be a refuge from the natural cycle of the day, but should reflect it as best as possible. 

Natural lighting benefits your home value and appearance, but even more importantly, it benefits your health. Many mid-century and early modern homes did not place a priority on maximizing lighting in the home, but you can make the change and experience all the positive results. Contact us at the Central Glass Company for more information on how to bring more light to your home.

Original Historic Glass: Preserve or Replace?

 

When you own an older home, you can enjoy the charm of yesteryear. Many homeowners enjoy the exquisite woodwork, unique windows, and beautiful open staircases. If you have original windows in your home, you probably love their unique craftsmanship and design, but you’re less fond of how old windows are draftier and require more maintenance and repairs.

So, how do you know if it’s better to say goodbye to drafty old windows, even though they are uniquely beautiful? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of replacing historic windows and what options you have to preserve your homes natural character. 

Should You Restore Old Windows?

The short answer is yes.

Old windows follow a different design than modern ones. They are built with wooden frames, sashes, and sills. These windows were designed to be easily repaired by homeowners. Each part of the window is removable, and parts for the window used to be common at general stores. 

Times, of course, have changed. Windows are now installed as a single unit. However, you don’t have to be daunted by your lack of old window knowledge. You also don’t have to replace old, drafty windows because they have a poor energy efficiency. Instead you can:

  • Replace broken, foggy, or brittle glass. You can replace the glass in old windows. It’s as simple as removing the window from the sashes, removing old glazing (the putty that hold the window pane in place) and setting the new pane in.
  • Repair broken frames and sashes with new wood. Have the rotted or damaged wood replaced, or simply cut away wood in poor repair and fill the window with wood putty. You can also sand, strip, and repaint each window, and it will glide easier.
  • Add weatherstripping. Older windows have settled into themselves, so to speak. Many have sealed themselves shut over the years and don’t open at all. With the right care, however, you can (and should) weatherstrip your windows so you don’t have to live with windows that do not open.
  • Replace the weight systems so they open easily. Old windows opened and closed with cord and weight systems in each side of the window. Many times, sadly, the cords have been cut by previous owners who did not know that old windows are still valuable. 

Restoring windows is a big job, but it is less expensive than replacing all the windows in your home. Generally, the cost of entire window replacement would take more years to pay for itself than you have left in your house. So, if your original windows are in good shape, keep them.

It’s also a great option for those who want better energy efficiency in their windows without losing the original charm. Custom glass companies can provide replacement panes in the sizes you need. Old homes have quirky, interesting window shapes, and you can still enjoy them when you choose replacement glass instead of replacement windows. 

Restored old windows have a long lifespan. As stated above, each separate component of the window can be replaced. This means if something breaks in the future, you can easily get it repaired. Properly maintained, these windows will last as long as your house does. 

Replacing the glass and broken components in your historic windows is also an earth-friendly choice. When you do not throw away old wood windows to replace them with new ones that used valuable resources to manufacture, you are reducing your energy footprint. 

What About Stained Glass?

Stained glass windows are one of a kind, and unlike plain windows, can be costly to restore. Glass pieces can be exactly colored and cut to look like the originals, but it usually requires a professional and can be more costly.

If you have a stained glass window that is drafty, consider installing a Plexiglass insert over top of the glass inside the interior frame. You’ll still be able to see the stained glass, but it will be protected until you can hire someone to restore the window fully. 

When Are New Windows a Better Option?

Sometimes, sadly, old windows can’t be saved. Generally, this happens when there’s been years of neglect, resulting in dry rotted frames and termite damage. For most homeowners, repairing this extensive damage is just out of reach. 

New windows are also an excellent selling point for older homes, should you decide to sell. If you’re “flipping” homes that are in complete disrepair, whole-home replacement takes less time and look better on paper when selling. 

You can still find new windows that mimic the style of your old house. If you’re replacing only one window, you should choose a window that uses wooden frames and sashes so it can be painted like the rest of your windows during routine maintenance.

 

For more advice on whether you should repair or replace your historic windows, contact us at Central Glass Company. We can provide the glass for you to get started!

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What Our Clients Say

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I had 2 windshields replaced on my previous car at a different glass company. I went back there and got an estimate for this windshield but thought I would get a second estimate from Central Glass. I am sure glad as it saved me over $140. This is now my glass company of choice.

- Steve

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