I am looking for information on the cost and complexity of using storefront or comercial windows for an addition I am planning. I have noticed that lots of high end homes use these for residential applications. Any information or experience would be useful.
I would assume you are speaking of new/unused windows? Contact some of the larger glass suppliers in your local area and ask. (Not necessarily Pella or other home brand stores)
Cannot see a reason why it would not work for residential.
Just to be aware, (as in interesting fact), some old buildings will sell off or give away their large glass windows when remodeling. I would never install these, as the larger the glass surface of old windows, the glass actually shifts and sags over decades. This makes the top portion actually thinner than the lower, and more prone to breakage. A professional stained glass artist informed me of this.
I agree on the used issue. I do have a local window guys but they do your typical residential windows. With the energy code getting more restrictive modern windows are required.
Look at houzz.com contemporary style and you will see the use of storefront. I want to know how much it costs and how hard it is to do?
I think perhaps I am misunderstanding some terminology here.
"Store front" windows that I am aware of are simply plate glass. You cannot open them and they are not double pane so they are not particularly efficent. Why would you want a single pane glass window?
Commercial store front windows are not just single pane glass any more. They are energy efficient and heavier/thicker grade than house hold windows, (where someone could actually lean against them and not break them). Usually not trimmed out with wood, they have strong metal framing which would lend itself to more contemporary home designs.
Commercial buildings are usually under different building codes, so everything often costs more. Again, I would ask around to commercial builders in YOUR specific area to see who they use and recommend to get pricing. This is very cost specific to any one area as to competition and current businesses that use them.
Large windows are also rated for wind as the larger surface area has to either withstand local wind speeds or flex with it. This is why multiple, smaller windows can actually be stronger than one large window.
Talk to a glass shop, no reason they couldn't make up a set for you. The frames are very modular so they can make about any size you want. They are double pane glass.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Scottslaf it would help to know where you are. Put it in your profile as I have done so we won't have to ask again.
I rented a place once years ago where the owner had replaced the large front window with plate glass from a store. It was funny. Under certain environmental conditions you could see a faint outline of the store's name. But it was a tough piece of glass and we never had a problem with it.
Glass sagging? The glass would have to be well over a hundred years old for that to happen.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bob Fleming,
I get it now. You are just talking about what used to be called 'picture windows' but in different dimensions.
If you go to any window manufacturer web site and check out their window galleries (I happened to check Marvin) you will see many examples of what you are looking for. If you supply them with the size you want they will give you an approx. cost. Your local dealer can do the same.
Conrad, while stained glass does sag, regular window glass does not. It is just that some of the older glass was made irregular.
Metwo and Bob, you are both right about the glass sagging over time.
I took this as true just from whom I heard it from and their experiences....but obviously they also believed the myth. Sorry and thank you for correcting this information.
Thanks for all the great information. I just talked to a guy at a window shop today that does store front type and the pricing matrix is glass sf and linear frame footage, makes sense. There is a bit more labor because of onsite assembly and not just nail fin type installation. Bottom line looks to be competitive with factory made windows. There are lots of examples of the use of these on houzz.com under contempory and modern style exterior, check it out. Still looking for someone who has had these installed in their home? Thanks.
I thought this was facinating when I learned it! Glass is a liquid at extremely high temperatures (like glass blowing) and retains some of that effect when solidified. It takes though many, many years for glass to move so to speak...Otherwise you would not be able to have glass to stay up in buildings that are hundreds of years old.
My house is a 1960 built custom home which has storefront (plate glass) windows across the north side. They are approx 7' wide and 9 feet high. I love them but only because they face a truly breathtaking view. Without it, I would not recommend them for a couple of reasons. Because they are not double pane (insulated glass) they are not very efficient. They do radiate both heat and cold, but perhaps not to the the extent one would expect. The house is 4000 sq ft and my heating and cooling bills are about the same as my neighbors smaller homes with typical windows. I believe the difference is twofold: this house was very well insulated, both walls and ceilings (it wasnt typical to insulate walls in 1960, now it is); and secondly: the architect designed lots of energy efficiency into the house like deep overhang eves, north-facing glass walls, etc. If you get west setting sun through those windows, oh boy, I cant even imagine...
One other thing I would never have expected: birds do occasionally hit them. While they are too strong for a bird to break, their beaks act like a bb gun hit. A tiny hole appears on the outside, and a cone shaped void appears on the inside. Looks just like a bb gun was fired upon it. These cannot be repaired. The solution we have found is to order tempered panes (it may even be code now that requires it, some of the panes in this house are tempered, some not. The ones not tempered get pock marks, the tempered ones take the hits without incident. One final note, they expand and contract slightly as the temperatures rise and fall and they make a small amount of noise, but nothing that's annoying. Its just a subtle popping you can hear if the room is quiet. Again, I love them, but they are not cheap, and only justified by the view north, without direct sun. Best of luck with your project!
Some stained glass windows sag because the lead came that surrounds them sags and has to be replaced. There are decals, available at wildlife stores to put on windows and keep birds away. They are somewhat effective and don't look bad since they look similar to clear contact film. This is a very interesting discussion and raises an issue that is worth considering.
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