3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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27 Mar 2020
unbreakable glass

Understanding Unbreakable Glass

Can Glass Ever Truly be Unbreakable?

At Budget Glass in Nanaimo, we constantly get asked the question, “Does unbreakable glass actually exist?” The short answer is no, it does not. But there are products on the market that come very, very close. Below is our longer, more in-depth answer to the question, “Is there glass out there that can ever be truly unbreakable?”

Whether you’re upgrading all the windows in your home, building your dream home from the ground up, or you’re replacing a shattered storefront window at your business, chances are good that unbreakable glass is something that has crossed your mind. A type of glass that cannot be broken is an intriguing concept, and so is the idea of switching to unbreakable glass to strengthen the security of a building and protect the occupants inside from broken glass.

If you’ve even suffered through a break-in at your business or your home and have had to deal with getting a window replaced, your first thought might be making sure the next panel of glass you get installed is unbreakable!

Is Unbreakable Glass Truly Unbreakable?

First, let’s get this fact out of the way: there is no type of glass out there on the market that is truly unbreakable. However, there are two common window materials that are marketed as such: laminated windows and polycarbonate windows. While these materials can still break, they significantly help to keep your home, business, and family safe from shattered glass, home invasions, and stormy weather.

Two Types of Unbreakable Glass

Both laminate and polycarbonate windows are two very popular types of super resilient glass that are stronger and more durable than normal glass windows. They are also lightweight while being excellent insulators at the same time.

Laminated Windows

Laminated windows have a thin piece of transparent plastic – usually either polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) – manufactured in between two thin sheets of normal glass. During impact, the plastic layer stays in-tact and bonds the broken pieces of glass, resulting in a shatterproof product.

The glass of a laminated window will break, often creating spiderweb-looking cracks, but there won’t be piles of glass on the ground. Having the window in place is enough of a barrier to:

  • prevent a thief from entering
  • prevent a tree branch from crashing through
  • prevent occupants of the home from being struck by shards of broken glass
  • keep your home or business sealed up until a repair can be made.

Laminated windows are commonly used for windshields, skylights, and curtain walls. And when you take several layers of laminated glass and add them together, the result is bulletproof glass.

Polycarbonate Windows

Polycarbonate windows are made of fused panels of thick, sturdy, flexible polycarbonate (a type of plastic). There is no glass involved with polycarbonate windows. Given that these windows are actually plastic and not at all glass, a polycarbonate window is a lot more difficult to break than a standard glass window. The plastic absorbs the impact of whatever is coming for it, making it another great material that protects against break-ins, baseballs, birds, and branches.

It’s important to note that while they are marketed as being unbreakable, these two types of glass products cannot always stop a thief from entering your home or business. Determined thieves can always find a way in beyond windows, but specially reinforced windows such as the ones mentioned here go a long way in slowing down entry into the home, oftentimes until the would-be thieves either give up and move on to the next property, or law enforcement shows up.

A Note on Safety Glass

There are other types of glass on the market, such as tempered glass, toughened glass, and wire mesh glass, that are deemed or marketed as “safety glass”.  While stronger than normal glass, these types of glass should not be mistaken as unbreakable glass. The reason is because these products are designed to crumble upon impact.

Such crumbled glass is safer than jagged sharp edges, so these types of glass are indeed safety glass, but since the glass falls to the ground, safety glass certainly breaks. In the case of tempered passenger windows in a vehicle for instance, the desire would be for the window to break apart safely (crumble to pieces rather than shards). Tempered glass cannot provide protection against thieves, so if this is your goal, make sure you’re shopping for unbreakable glass and not safety glass.

Installing Unbreakable Glass Products

If you’re unsure if unbreakable products are right for you, consider the fact that both laminated glass and polycarbonate windows work double duty by increasing the security of a residence or business while also increasing energy efficiency and adding some sound deadening. They are also just as effective at reducing break-ins as they are at toughening up windows against stormy weather.

Such glass products should be considered by consumers looking to not only increase the security of the property, but also to protect occupants from injury resulting from broken or shattered glass. They are also perfect for storm-prone regions as well.

Two Ways to Switch to Unbreakable Windows

Looking for unbreakable glass for your home or business in the Nanaimo area? At Budget Glass, our professional glass and window installers have you covered. We can replace your existing windows with all-new unbreakable glass, or we can add layers of glass polycarbonate over top of your existing windows.

This simple addition to your existing windows is a more budget friendly way of increasing the security of your existing windows, without having to replace the entire unit. How does it work? We simply adhere polycarbonate products to your existing glass windows. These products reinforce your home or storefront’s existing standard windows while providing additional shatter-resistance without affecting your view outside!

Call Budget Glass for Unbreakable Glass Guidance & Installation

If you are currently dealing with broken glass or a shattered glass window affecting the safety of your home or business, call Budget Glass on our emergency line at (250) 755-6901 for immediate assistance in the Nanaimo, BC area.

Read More: Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

If you are not sure what type of glass upgrades are right for you, our window experts can guide you through the process. To learn how the glass professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help increase the strength and security of your windows with unbreakable glass, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

12 Feb 2020
triple pane vs double pane windows

Triple Pane vs Double Pane Windows

Are Triple Pane Windows Worth the Extra Price?

Whether you’re building your dream home from the ground up, or you’re looking into cost estimates of upgrading your old windows, chances are the topic of triple pane vs. double pane windows has come up in your research. Many of our clients at Budget Glass ask us if it’s worth paying the extra money for triple pane windows. And we understand why: the price difference can end up being thousands of dollars!

Here is our long answer to the common question of, “Are triple pane windows actually worth the additional cost?”

Understanding Double and Triple Pane Windows

Back in the day, a window consisted of a single sheet of glass sealed in a frame. Nowadays, these single-pane windows are slowly but surely getting replaced with double pane or triple pane windows.

These newer windows are more than just glass – they are a new technology that consists of two or three sheets of glass (panes) that are sealed together with a bit of space left in between them. This airspace is quite often filled with a clear, odourless gas like argon or krypton to provide further energy-efficient insulating properties. These multiple pane windows are sealed units or insulated glass units (IGUs).

Double pane windows are designed to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs by making it more energy efficient. The double panes provide a noticeable amount of added insulation to the home. In triple pane windows, the third pane adds another insulating barrier, creating the ultimate in energy efficient windows.

In Canada, multiple pane windows are required for all new buildings as per the National Building Code.

So, which is better?

Because double pane windows offer a home increased energy efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs, a lot of homeowners are curious if it’s worth it to pay a bit more to get triple pane windows, which offer even more energy efficiency.

The bottom line is that triple pane windows are only worth the investment if you plan on living in your house for enough time to benefit from the energy savings. In a mild climate like Vancouver Island, this could take up to 25 years, depending on your average heating and cooling costs.

Triple pane windows are also considered worth it for homeowners who are sensitive to cold drafts in the winter and want to avoid them at all costs.

It’s important to note that triple pane windows will pay for themselves faster through energy savings if you live in a colder climate. They make sense in places like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and in Northern BC where temperatures drop dramatically in the winter (in some cases they are actually mandatory!).

However, here on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, double pane windows – the building code standard – provide a very satisfying level of insulation for most homeowners, especially when they come with special low-e coatings that help further reflect infrared light, which keeps your heat indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer. The addition of the third pane in most Nanaimo homes would not make that noticeable of a difference where temperatures don’t really drop much below freezing (and when they do, it doesn’t stay cold for months at a time).

Advantages of Triple Pane Windows

All that being said, there are some advantages to triple pane windows. For example, they can:

  • Better resist condensation
  • Offer additional sound insulation or noise reduction
  • Help reduce your heating and cooling costs if you live in a cold climate where winters last a long time
  • Add value to your home if they are installed professionally
  • Provide extra room for more special coatings to be added to your window

Disadvantages of Triple Pane Windows

  • The energy savings from installing triple pane can take up to 25 years to equal the cost of the windows, depending on your average energy usage.
  • They cost more than their double pane counterparts by up to 30%.
  • They come with extra weight, so you will need to ensure your home can handle the extra weight.
  • They are only effective if all the windows are upgraded. If drafty skylights, front doors, and sliding patio doors aren’t upgraded or addressed, the energy savings from triple pane windows won’t be realized.

Costing Out Your New Windows

Triple pane windows can cost anywhere from 10 to 30% more than double pane windows, depending on things like any additional coatings and glazes that are requested, and whether or not your frames need to be altered to accommodate the larger, heavier sealed units. It might not seem like that much higher of a price for just one or two windows, but if you’re upgrading all of your old windows, going up to triple pane can cost thousands of dollars – which might have an impact if your renovation budget is already tight.

So, at the end of the day, are triple pane windows really worth the investment? If you have a small home and need to swap out a couple of windows, the above advantages might be worth it to you to spring for triple pane windows. However, double pane windows are more often than not more than sufficient for homes in our region’s mild climate.

For builders and remodelling professionals, the jury’s still out on this topic, with some companies only offering up triple pane windows, and some companies only offering up double pane windows. However, as federal and provincial codes continue to evolve and prioritize energy efficient building designs, we won’t be surprised if triple pane windows become standard issue for all new builds in the near future. We are keeping a close eye on this one, but for now, please know that our double pane windows with added specialty coatings more than meet the province’s minimum energy rating (ER) of 25 for the Zone 1 climate of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Professional Window Installation & Replacement

If you are still unsure if double pane or triple pane windows are right for you, our experts can guide you through this decision-making process, basing our expert opinion on current building codes, your current heating and cooling costs, and your budget.

To learn how the glass professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help with your window installation, repair, and replacement needs, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

21 Jan 2020
Budget Glass - Plate Glass on Live Edge Table

Plate Glass Uses & Benefits

10 Ways to Add Plate Glass to Your Home or Business

If you’ve ever window shopped around downtown Nanaimo, or browsed through Woodgrove Mall, you’ve likely peered through a plate glass storefront or two, installed by the glass professionals at Budget Glass. Plate glass, also called flat glass or sheet glass, is commonly used for everything from windows to windscreens.

What is Plate Glass?

Plate glass is a common type of glass used for commercial purposes such as storefronts, restaurants, and offices. It is also used around the home for things like large windows, glass doors, skylights, display cases, mirrors, and glass table-tops. It is unstained and single-pane, and each piece or sheet has a uniform thickness. Plate glass is most often flat and smooth, unless it is deliberately curved or etched during the manufacturing process. It is a soda-lime-silica glass, meaning it’s made of a combination of sodium carbonate, calcium oxide, and silica.

Plate glass is considered by many to be the first truly flat glass that was created (centuries ago!). The name plate glass refers to how the glass was originally manufactured. The process involved spreading molten glass across a solid, flat metal plate or table (cast iron and lead were both commonly used back in the day) and rolling it while it slowly cooled and a uniform, desired thickness was formed. The product was then sanded down as necessary.

In the 1950s a new manufacturing process was developed called the float glass method, which involved floating molten glass on top of a “bath” of molten metal (usually tin). The molten glass floats to the top as it dries, resulting in a smooth, immaculately flat piece of sheet glass without any additional grinding and sanding.
Although the float glass method has more or less taken over the plate glass manufacturing method, many builders and glass professionals still refer to the resulting product (float glass) as plate glass. The manufacturing methods and end product are more or less the same. Flat glass and sheet glass are additional terms that are often used interchangeable with the term plate glass.

Benefits of Plate Glass

Plate glass has a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • It can be custom cut to any size and shape, including rounded edges.
  • It can be manufactured into custom thicknesses, based on your needs.
  • It can be kept shiny, frosted for privacy, or etched for decoration.
  • It is easy to clean and doesn’t retain odours.
  • It is mold and mildew resistant.
  • It is engineered for exceptional quality and clarity.
  • It can be bent or curved in a variety of ways.
  • It has a clean, slick, attractive, high-end look.
  • It is a sustainable building material as it is 100% recyclable.

The two main drawbacks of plate glass are that it is less shatter resistant than its tempered glass counterpart, and it doesn’t insulate very well, so you wouldn’t want your entire house done in plate glass windows. However, there are still many uses for plate glass. Check out our top 10 recommended ways to use plate glass:

  1. Room Dividers or Partitions – Transform open concept layouts using clear or frosted glass room dividers made of plate glass. The effect can work well in waiting rooms, lobbies, front counters, offices, and even residential properties.
  2. Storefronts – Many of the storefronts you see are plate glass, especially in shopping malls where the desire is to have the floor to ceiling look, but the insulating properties of a tempered, double-pane insulating window aren’t required.
  3. Restaurants – Large glass dividers made of plate glass can help section off portions of a restaurant without making the space feel small or cramped. The glass will add a modern touch and will fit in with any existing design choices and colour themes.
  4. Family Heirlooms – Use plate glass to create a shadow box for family heirlooms like pocket watches, metals of honour, silver spoons, and more.
  5. Child Artwork – Design a few custom frames or boxes for your children’s paintings, 3-D crafts, and trophies. Their creations and achievements deserve to be displayed!
  6. Display Cases and Counters – Install custom-built display counters in your next small business or storefront to give your shop a boutique feel while artistically protecting your products.
  7. Custom Tabletops – A custom-cut piece of plate glass can be added to many a sturdy object to quickly create a one-of-a-kind table using upcycled household items or reclaimed wood.
  8. Protecting Your Wooden Furniture and Antiques – A wooden desk, bedside table, or dresser made out of exotic or reclaimed wood can be protected using plate glass, which also gives the item a shimmery, refreshed, contemporary look.
  9. Works of Art – In some instances, plate glass itself isn’t used to display art – it becomes the art, based on where and how it’s installed, and any patterns etched into its surface, etc.
  10. Kitchen Cabinets – Replace your kitchen cabinet doors with plate glass to start showcasing your dinnerware and stemware.

Professional Plate Glass Installation & Replacement

Getting custom plate glass work done is easier than you think! All you have to do is provide the measurements of the glass you need, and our glass professionals will cut your glass to order. If you are not sure about the type of glass you need, or how thick it should be, our experts can guide you through your project, including suggested edge work to keep your project clean and safe.

To learn how the professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help with your plate glass installation, repair, and replacement needs, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

12 Dec 2019
how to clean up broken glass

Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

6 Ways to Clean Up Broken Glass Safety and Effectively

It doesn’t matter if the sound came from a dropped dinner plate, a knocked over wine glass, or a tree branch coming through a window – hearing glass smash is always a cause for concern. Because even a small bit of broken glass can become a safety hazard for people in the proximity. Another reason for concern? If you hear broken glass before you see broken glass, you don’t know exactly what has broken – or how. And if you see it break, you still don’t quite know where all the pieces have landed until you’re able to get down for a closer inspection.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to clean up broken glass, without contaminating your regular household broom!

But first, safety! When approaching a pile of broken glass, you can never be too careful to avoid the sharp, dangerous mess. No sudden movement – don’t go straight for the mess. First, make sure everyone near the smashed glass carefully backs away from the area. If there are people without shoes on, everyone should play it safe and stand still until the designated cleanup person acts. If that person happens to be you, for safety’s sake, reach for a pair of rubber gloves if you have them, then get to work!

Here are 6 clever hacks for cleaning up broken glass around your house. Simply reach for whatever is closest to get the job done. The following tips work well once the largest pieces have been picked up and discarded.

1. Damp Paper Towel

Fold a few pieces of paper towel, dampen, and then gently press down on the pile of broken glass. The broken glass should all stick to the damp paper towel that’s protecting your hand. Simply dispose of the paper towel, and the job is done! The damp paper tower trick is also great at safely packaging up the shards for the garbage can.

2. Bread

If you don’t have a roll of paper towel, but you have a couple slices of bread, use them much like you’d use the paper towel, by gently pressing the slices of bread into the glass. Bread is soft and moist, which are both elements that attract and hold the broken glass. White, brown, or multigrain – it’s all good to go!

3. Potatoes

Use a large raw potato cut in half lengthwise to pick up glass shards from the floor. The potato’s moist flesh acts just like the bread or damp paper towel would have. Potatoes go after even the tiniest pieces, and of the 3 methods mentioned on this list so far – protect your hands the best. Toss the potato when finished, then check the floor for any starchy residue left behind.

4. Tape

As you’d imagine, tape – either masking tape or duct tape – works just as well as the above mentioned methods. To use tape to clean up broken glass, simply wrap your gloved hand with tape several times, sticky side out. Then brush up the glass with your taped, gloved hand. Duct tape is strongest but any kind of tape will do.

5. Vacuum

A vacuum can be used to help clean up any lingering shards of glass near and on the carpet. In fact, if you suspect there could be broken glass hiding in the piles of your carpet, a vacuum is essential here, used only after you’ve carefully picked up the pieces big enough for you to see. Go forwards and backwards to ensure all pieces are collected!

After vacuuming, clean out the dust compartment or replace the bag right away, instead of waiting until it’s full. You want that broken glass to become a distant memory!

6. Dedicated Broom & Dustpan

If you work, live, or play where there is a higher chance of broken glass, consider having a dedicated dustpan and broom on hand to use for cleaning up broken dinnerware and windows. This is instead of risking getting glass caught in your normal household broom and inadvertently spreading it throughout the house the next time you do a regular sweep.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

  • If the only thing around you is your regular household broom, be sure to thoroughly rinse it after each time you use it to clean up broken glass.
  • Broken glass can travel much farther than you might realize. Always look beyond the area where the glass has broken, by about 15 feet. Move furniture if need be to ensure you’ve gotten every last piece.
  • Broken glass should always be disposed of mindfully. Either wrap it in newspaper or other padding, and take out the trash immediately after cleaning up the glass. This is to avoid other members of the household or your coworkers from using their hands or feet to create more space in the trash.
  • Consider keeping broken glass separate from the regular trash altogether if your municipality has a facility for glass recycling.
  • Remember to clean off the soles of your shoes or slippers!

Finally, once you’ve finished cleaning up the broken glass and otherwise securing the area, you’ll need to eventually get the glass replaced if it was a window or door, or otherwise essential to your home or business’s sense of safety, security, and comfort. Call Budget Glass Nanaimo for help repairing and replacing your broken glass.

For emergency glass repair in the Central Vancouver Island, called Budget Glass Nanaimo at (250) 755-6901.

If your glass repair job isn’t time sensitive, schedule an appointment online with one of our glass specialists, or call us during regular business hours at (250) 758-3374.

15 Nov 2019
foggy windows need replacing

Foggy Windows

3 Reasons Why Your Windows are Foggy (And What You Can Do About It)

Windows Keep Fogging Up? Here’s Why:

In this blog post, we’ll go over the three main reasons your home’s windows appear foggy, and outline several ways you can fix foggy windows.

What Are Foggy Windows?

Foggy windows are windows that appear to be wet due to water droplets that have built up on or inside the window. Sometimes the moisture present can be so prevalent that it looks like a fog has formed and you can no longer see through your windows. The culprit? Condensation that occurs when humid air meets a cool surface, or when there is a large temperature differential between the indoors and the outdoors. During this time, water in the air (humidity) starts to collect on cooler surfaces.

What Causes Foggy Windows?

There are 3 main ways condensation makes your windows appear foggy:

  • Condensation on the exterior of the window. This is simply a product of the morning dew or when the A/C is running high and the temperature inside is much lower than the temperature outside. Exterior condensation can occur on both single-pane and double-pane units.
  • Condensation on the interior of the window. This is simply the humidity of your home (moisture from cooking, showering, and occupants breathing) being drawn to your windows. Interior condensation can occur on both single-pane and double-pane units.
  • Condensation trapped in between your windowpanes. This happens with aging double-pane units and is usually the result of a broken seal. In this case, condensation from the early morning dew and your home’s humidity is seeping in and getting trapped inside your once-sealed double-pane windows.

What Can You Do About Foggy Windows?

Exterior Condensation

Foggy windows that are the result of condensation from the outdoors will clear up on their own, after the morning chill is gone. There is no real action to take here, aside from waiting things out.

If you’re serious about getting rid of the exterior condensation affecting your view of the morning sunrise, consider a product such as RainX.

Interior Condensation

Foggy windows that are the result of condensation from the moisture inside your home can be resolved by taking a few simple steps. Start by ensuring your windows are clean, and that what you suspect is condensation is actually condensation – and not dirt, kitchen grease buildup, or other grime creating the illusion of foggy windows.

If cleaning doesn’t help and you still get foggy windows as the day progresses, try the following remedies:

  • Run your kitchen and bathroom fans to expel moisture from your house.
  • Circulate the air with a general ceiling fan or oscillating fan.
  • Reduce your use of diffusers and humidifiers.
  • Open your windows to let out moisture.
  • Turn your heat up.
  • Check the condition of the weather stripping around your windows.
  • Use moisture eliminators (desiccants) in strategic areas.
  • Unblock your home’s fresh air intake if you have one.
  • Move houseplants away from windows.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier or air-to-air exchanger.

If windows are still foggy after all that effort, it might be that your foggy windows are due to condensation trapped inside your window’s sealed unit.

If this is the case, it’s best to treat the problem sooner rather than later. This is because foggy windows are more than just unattractive and inconvenient – they also can lead to water damage, mold and mildew growth, and floor stains.


Condensation Trapped Between Windowpanes

If you suspect your windows are foggy due to condensation in between your windowpanes, it’s highly likely that the window’s seal framing the edges of the glass is broken and has allowed moisture to seep in and get trapped.

A double-pane window contains insulating airspace sandwiched and sealed in between two glass panels. This airspace is extremely effective at maintaining a consistent temperature and reducing heat loss, especially when paired with a desiccant at the bottom of the window, and/or argon gas.

Most modern double-pane windows have an inner seal for protecting against moisture, and an outer seal for increasing the strength of the window. Once both seals weaken and crack open, condensation begins to seep into the airspace, creating the foggy, wet appearance you can’t just wipe away. At this point, a repair or replacement of your window’s sealed unit is required to fix the problem.

The seals of double-pane windows are not impervious to the elements, and eventually weaken due to age (think decades of exposure to sunlight, wind, and rainfall – over time, the window’s sealant hardens and starts to crack.) Seals can also break when there is water retention in the frame (improper drainage around the window).

Double-pane window seals last about 15-20 years. After this time, if a broken window seal is the only issue affecting the quality of your windows, only the window’s sealed unit requires replacing. This means you can leave the window frame in-tact and only replace the glass – it’s a faster, more convenient, and more affordable solution than replacing the entire unit.

Remember that repairing or replacing aging windows comes with many benefits in addition to eliminating your foggy panes! For instance, they can go a long way in increasing your home’s energy efficiency, thereby reducing your heating and cooling costs. Completely new windows can also improve the curb appeal of your home, as well as make it more secure.

Need help fixing your foggy windows? Call Budget Glass in Nanaimo at (250) 758-3374 for a free quote on sealed unit replacements, or schedule an appointment online.

 

15 Oct 2019
extend patio season with a sunroom

Extending Your Patio Season Using Glass

Enjoy your Patio Year-Round with these Upgrades

The fact that days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler, and kids are back to school doesn’t have to spell the end of your outdoor patio season!

In our previous post on Creative Ways to Incorporate Glass into Your Outdoor Spaces, we included a variety of ways to not only make your patio more beautiful – we also included ways to extend your patio season using glass.

In this post we share even more ways you can use glass outdoors to enjoy your outdoor spaces well after the sunshine of summer starts to fade. Here are our top 6 ways that custom glass features can help you enjoy your patio year-round.

1. Sunrooms

Sunrooms are without a doubt the grandest way to extend your patio season. Adding a sunroom to your home essentially means adding an entirely enclosed space made of glass to the exterior of your property. Sunrooms provide additional square footage to your home, add more natural light, and allow you to enjoy the scenery of the outdoors year-round. As a Four Seasons Sunroom Distributor, our staff can answer all of your questions about adding a sunroom to your home.

See Sunrooms: What You Need to Know to learn more.

2. Enclosed Patios

If a sunroom isn’t feasible due to your budget or you just don’t have the space, consider an enclosed patio instead, where you simply add a glass roof (patio cover) and glass walls, and voila!  You can also create enclosed outdoor spaces that are independent from your property using this method, resulting in a glass gazebo. Glass walls surrounding your outdoor seating area will protect everyone from both wind and noise, while frosted glass has the bonus of adding privacy.

3. Patio Covers

Glass patio covers are probably the No. 1 thing homeowners can do to extend their patio season here on the “Wet Coast”.  Affixed to the side of your home, a glass patio cover acts as a large awning to shield the area underneath against rain and snow. They are perfect for BBQ areas or outdoor kitchens. Patio covers are as beautiful as they are functional, and with so many custom glass patio cover options available, you are sure to find something that complements your current space and house exterior.

4. Glass Pergolas

A glass pergola acts much like a patio cover does – in fact, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, a glass pergola is a freestanding structure (not attached to your home). Glass pergolas are not as structurally sound as a patio cover, but they are helpful for outdoor areas that are more than a few steps away from the back door, and useful when you’re unable to affix something to your home’s exterior. They are also portable in some cases. For example, in the event you move, you can dismantle and take your pergola with you.

5. Sliding Glass Walls

If your home’s architecture supports it, go for a sliding glass wall that connects your interior to your exterior living space. With this option, the wall that leads to your patio is replaced with not just a sliding glass door, but an entire wall! When combined with a patio cover and a few outdoor patio heaters, you can successfully blend the beauty of your backyard with your home’s interior. Perfect for dinner parties and just life in general!

6. Glass Firepit Surround

Firepits are becoming increasingly popular in fall and winter when open fire bans are lifted, especially on cool nights. Don’t allow wind to disturb your fire! A wind guard for your firepit made of glass can help you enjoy the warmth and beauty of the fire while protecting the fire from gusts of wind.

A glass fireplace surround added to your traditional firepit won’t keep the rain out, but it will help reduce the wind from putting out your flames. At Budget Glass, we can provide you with a custom-made glass fireplace surround using the measurements you provide us. Our experts can also help you pick out what type of thickness and edges will be suitable for your glass project.

More Ways to Extend Your Patio Season

In addition to the above mentioned glass features, you can also extend your patio season by doing things that will encourage your family to want to be outdoors in the first place, such as:

  • Plant fall veggies
  • Enjoy your favourite hot beverages outdoors
  • Buy patio heaters
  • Create a cozy space with furniture, pillows and blankets
  • Keep the area clean and inviting
  • Add a covered outdoor kitchen
  • Install a hot tub
  • Keep up nice lighting year-round

Just because the weather gets rainy and windy here on Vancouver Island in the fall, you don’t have to pack up the patio furniture just yet! Consider adding glass to your patio to protect your outdoor living space from the elements. Doing so might just make your patio your favourite place to be year-round.

The above suggestions are just a few of the ways you can extend the potential of your patio into the fall and winter seasons using glass. Contact the glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo to receive free quotes of any or all of the above project ideas. Call us (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

22 Sep 2019
upgrade your windows to be more energy efficient

Low E Coatings or Reflective Glass?

Two Ways to Upgrade Your Windows and Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

If your windows haven’t been replaced in years and it feels like your energy bills have been steadily increasing year after year no matter what you do, it might be time to consider upgrading your windows to double-paned sealed units made of Low E coated glass or reflective glass to slow down the transmission of heat into and out of your home.

What is Low E Glass?

Low E stands for Low Emissivity. In the glass and window industry, this term refers to glass that has been treated with a coating during the manufacturing process, which is intended to reduce the amount of infrared and ultraviolet rays entering your home through your windows. The coatings do not affect the amount of visible sunlight coming into your home.

In other words, Low E windows have a transparent, thinner-than-human-hair coating that helps keep summer heat out and winter heat in.

How Does Low E Glass Work?

The primary function of Low E glass is filtering out harmful solar radiation (ultraviolet rays). When such solar radiation hits a piece of glass that has a Low E coating, the coating is essentially acting as a sunscreen and blocking harmful UV rays. So how does this impact your energy costs? It’s simple – when regular glass is swapped out for Low E coated glass, less air-conditioning is required in the summer, and less heating is required in winter. Comfort levels go up, while costs go down.

In colder weather, Low E helps trap solar heat in the room. In other words, in the wintertime, Low E coated windows act as a mild insulator, helping to improve drafty windows and reflect the heat in the room back onto the occupants. Low E glass works the same as after-market window film, but it is applied during the glass manufacturing process – before the installation of the glass –  rather than being retrofitted onto existing windows.

Two Types of Low E Glass: Soft and Hard

There are two types of Low E glass: soft and hard coated, and each comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Hard-Coat Low E Coatings – These passive Low E coatings are manufactured using the pyrolytic process, resulting in a pyrolytic coating that is sprayed on and then fused to the glass during the production process. The hard coat is very durable and allows the glass to be tempered or accessorized with a blind in between panels, for example.

With hard-coated glass, the U-values will be higher, so the window won’t be as energy efficient. Hard-coated Low E glass also has a higher solar heat gain co-efficient, so more summer heat and light will be allowed to pass through. Hard coats are more ideal for extremely cold climates.

Soft-Coat Low E Coatings (Soft-Coat) – These softer Low E coatings are manufactured using something referred to as the Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) process. The coating is applied once the pre-cut glass is off the production line at room temperature in a vacuum chamber. Soft coats need to be sealed in an insulated glass or laminated unit. In many cases, argon gas is used as the insulator. Soft-coat Low E glass has lower emissivity than hard coats and better solar control performance.

With soft-coated glass, two coats are required, and extreme care must be used during the handling of the glass as it is being installed. For this reason, soft-coat Low E glass is more expensive, but it’s ultimately better for milder climates.

Not all types of Low E coatings are compatible with all types of climates, so in order to be effective, the type of coating selected must match its intended purposes. Coated windows should also be installed by a professional glass specialist for best results, and then maintained properly so they can last for years to come.

A glass specialist can help you determine if Low E windows will work with what you are trying to achieve when you upgrade your windows, or if a coloured reflective glass, such as a bronze reflective glass, might add a more decorative touch.

Bronze, Silver, or Gold Reflective Glass

Another way to reduce your heating and cooling costs by upgrading your windows is to switch out the regular glass of your sealed units with reflective glass that contains a metallic coating on the surface. Like Low E coatings, reflective glass can be used in windows to control solar energy radiation. This not only protects your eyes and your skin from sun damage, it also helps protect your furniture and carpet from fading. Reflective glass also helps regulate the home’s indoor temperatures.

Reflective glass comes in a variety of thicknesses, allowing property owners to control its strength and colour. It can be cut, bent, tempered, heat-strengthened, and laminated without affecting the coating.

Unlike Low E coatings, which you cannot detect on your windows, some reflective glass such as bronze reflective glass is a different shade, so it alters the look of your home or building as well as your view out the window. Reflective glass also gives a mirror-like appearance from the exterior of the building, so in this sense, in addition to lowering your home’s heating and cooling costs, reflective glass can add more privacy and a decorative touch to your home.

Considering new windows to enhance the look and comfort of your property and increase its value? The good news is that by upgrading your windows, you can drastically reduce your energy bills and increase the comfort inside your home!

Talk to Your Window and Glass Specialists

To fully maximize the money-saving potential of upgraded windows and/or sealed units, we recommend talking to your local window and glass experts who can help you decide between Low E coatings or reflective glass. They will go over the following factors with you:

  • Insulating performance,
  • ROI and initial costs,
  • Installation process,
  • Warranties, and
  • Effect on occupants.

The glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help by selecting and installing the right low e coated or reflective windows for your needs. We always guarantee the quality of our products and installation, ensuring your glass work is done right, on time, and within budget. Call Budget Glass for a free quote on sealed unit replacements.

Call Budget Glass Nanaimo at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online to start saving money on your energy bills!

30 Aug 2019
creative outdoor glass uses

Class up your Backyard with Glass

8 Creative Ways to Incorporate Glass into Your Outdoor Spaces

At Budget Glass in Nanaimo, it’s no secret that We Love Glass – and one of the reasons we love glass so much is because of how it’s such an elegant, functional, and versatile building material. When it comes to residential glass, we believe the material is good for so much more than just the four walls of your home.

When it’s added to your outdoor living space, glass can help your patio stand out, help show off an attractive table, or accent and protect your pool area, for example. There are a number of ways custom glass features can enhance the look and feel of your outdoor space. Here are the top 8 ways custom glass features can take your patio to the next level of class and comfort.

1. Glass Walls

An outdoor seating area is made instantly cozier and more private with the addition of a sandblasted or frosted glass privacy wall or two. By adding glass walls and privacy screens around your patio area, you’re essentially protecting the area from nosy neighbours and shielding the area from wind, noise, and in some cases – mosquitoes. Try adding solar-powered coloured LEDs at the base of the glass walls, which can add a little something extra to the evening’s ambience.

2. Glass Door

Replace your standard sliding glass door with a custom-made pivoting glass door. A pivoting glass door in place of a standard slider door or French doors can instantly add an impressive and modern touch to your outdoor design. A pivot door is a swinging door that opens via a spindle in the centre of the door frame, as opposed to being affixed via hinges to one side of a frame.

Pivot glass doors are usually larger and heavier than regular doors. Glass pivoting doors can be frosted for privacy, or clear for optimal views. The spindle is usually hidden so as not to obstruct the view. With hands-free operation, some pivoting doors are also functional when your hands are full of drinks and appetizers for your guests.

3. Glass Patio Cover

Glass patio covers protect you and your guests from harmful UV rays in the summer months and shield you from the rain in the fall months. This allows you to extend your enjoyment of your outdoor patio.

As beautiful as they are functional, patio covers made of glass are an easy way to incorporate glass into your backyard décor. The best part is that with so many custom glass patio cover options available, there is plenty of opportunity to get creative with your patio cover design. Budget Glass in Nanaimo can help you choose from:

  • Aluminum or wood framed patio covers
  • All glass, partial glass or all aluminum roof
  • Clear, bronzed or opaque glass

4. Glass Pool Surround

Adding a glass railing surround to your backyard pool in place of a chain link or picketed fence provides a stunning design element to your outdoor living space. Glass railings are an elegant way to provide a beautiful safety feature to any space. They are also strong, durable, easy to clean, and shatterproof.

With a glass pool surround, your backyard instantly becomes more serene when there isn’t a big and bulky barrier obstructing the path to the pool. This not only makes the area more attractive but keeps the occupants of the pool that much safer.

Glass railings are another area where you have customization options in terms of framing material and colour, and whether you’d like to have top-rail framed glass panels or topless glass railing options.

5. Glass Tabletop

Instead of buying a patio table from a Big Box Store, why not make a glass tabletop using a piece of custom-cut glass? Ordering a custom-cut glass table (i.e. plate glass) is more cost-effective than you’d think, and glass tabletops are always in style.

To make your own glass tabletop, start by choosing what you’d like to use as your table base – from oak barrels, to engine blocks, to framed boxes, to old stone statues – and then order a custom-cut glass top from us here at Budget Glass Nanaimo. Simply provide us with the measurements you need, and we will cut your glass to order.

If you’re not sure what type of glass or what thickness you need, our experts can show you the shapes and edge work options suitable for your glass project.

It’s possible to add a glass tabletop to an existing table as well, which can make a standard patio table more stable, more attractive, and easier to clean up.

6. Glass Artwork

creative uses for outdoor glass

Glass installations don’t need to be some sort of super-structural additions to your outdoor spaces – they can be added completely for art’s sake! A custom etched-glass artwork can quickly become the focal point of your entire backyard.

We believe stand-alone pieces are a fun way to incorporate glass into your outdoor décor and might just become a conversation starter. Just take a look at one of our staff’s custom glass accents in his own yard:

7. Glass Water Wall

A glass water wall or waterfall looks similar to a water fountain, but the water is piped upwards and falls from above while being splayed across a large sheet of glass (smooth or textured) before it falls back down to the collector dish below. The constant trickling water down the decorative glass of a water wall creates a glimmering, soothing effect, especially when combined with lights and your favourite plants.

8. Glass Lanterns

Don’t overlook your backyard’s lighting design! Combine any of the above creative uses for glass in your backyard with a lighting solution also made of glass to round out your look. By operating more than just your standard exterior light, you can add a touch of coziness and variety to the space.

Solar-powered outdoor lanterns add the perfect finishing touch to your outdoor living space and can truly tie all of the glass art and accents together for one unified backyard oasis. Hang glass lanterns from trees, add a couple to your steps, and place one to serve as a centrepiece for your glass table-top.

Your backyard will be looking like a magazine spread in no time!

The above suggestions are just some of the ways you can get creative with your outdoor spaces using the elegance of glass – our favourite building material! If you have an idea on how to use glass design in your backyard design, the custom-cut glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help. We believe glass is a clean and elegant addition to any outdoor living space. Call us (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

15 Jul 2019
Parts of a window - Budget Glass

Parts of a Window

Window Terminology: Understanding the Various Parts of a Window

If you’re thinking about replacing or upgrading the windows of your home or office, chances are the glass specialist or installer you hire might use some specialized terminology when discussing your window needs with you. There are more parts to a window than you might realize, and it helps to have a basic understanding of all the items a glass professional might refer to in the quotes they provide you.

Below is some window terminology to help you understand the parts that make up a window. After all, when you’re shopping for new windows, it’s better to have a clear picture.

Window Terminology

Window terminology can be divided into a few categories, such as the parts of the window frame, the glass itself, and the various safety and security features. Let’s start by taking a look at the parts of a window’s frame:

Window Frame Parts

  • Window Frame – A window frame holds and supports the entire window within the wall. Made up of smaller parts like the sill, head, jamb, and apron. Usually made out of vinyl, wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Window frames come in standard sizes or can be made custom.
  • Sill – The lowest part of the window frame, the sill is sometimes called a ledge or a stool. It’s often wide enough to store items on if the wall and frame are deep enough and the sill is flat.
  • Head – The highest or top horizontal part of a window frame.
  • Jamb – Each vertical side of the window frame is called a jamb.
  • Jambliner (or Jamb Liner) A strip placed on the jambs to buffer the glass and the frame.
  • Apron – An optional decorative trim installed beneath the windowsill that can aesthetically frame a window and add dimension.
  • Casing – Another term for trim, casing refers to the decorative molding (framing) around a window that covers up and conceals the gap between the wall and the window frame.
  • Panel – A broad term referring to a rectangular section of a surface, for instance, of a wall. A window panel can be made of several panes.
  • Fixed Panel – The panel of a window that is non-operational, such as on a single-hung window, a piece of decorative stained glass, or a sidelight. An entire window can be a fixed panel window, i.e. a window that doesn’t open. A term often used to describe shower doors.
  • Hinged Glass Panel – In a window with blinds that snap in between two panels of glass, the hinged glass panel is the panel that opens inward to allow for cleaning. In a shower glass door, the hinged glass panel is the part that swings or slides open.

Window Glass Parts

There are a variety of components that work together to hold window glass in place.

  • Pane – An individual sheet of glass in a window.
  • Sash – The moveable parts of the window that contain the glass. Sashes can be vertical or horizontal.
  • Mullion – A structural element that combines two or more windows together.
  • Muntins – Strips of material used to create the visual effect of multiple panes of glass.

Single-hung or Double-hung?

  • Single-Hung Window A type of window that opens via a single sash at the bottom of the window. When opened, single-hung windows are flush with the wall.
  • Double-Hung Window – A type of window that opens from either the top, bottom, or both via two operating sashes. When opened, double-hung windows are flush with the wall.
  • Check Rail: On a double-hung window, the check rail is the part where the bottom part of the upper sash and the upper part of the lower sash come in contact (the middle of the window).

Additional Parts of a Window

There are several important parts added to most professionally installed windows that improve their performance, safety, and security.

  • Lock Handle– The lock located on the jamb to allow the window to be locked.
  • Operator– A crank handle for opening and closing the window.
  • Sash Lock – A locking mechanism that engages with the sash lock strike to reduce rattling.
  • Weep Hole– A place where water and condensation can escape.
  • Weather Stripping– Used on some style of windows to create a weathertight seal, usually made of a combination of rubber, vinyl, felt and metal materials.
  • Balance – A counterbalance weight to keep some single-hung and double-hung windows open.
  • Screen– A fine mesh made from fiberglass or aluminum that covers a window to keep out insects.
  • Shades, Curtains and Blinds – Various types of window coverings that create privacy and protection from the sun.
  • Hinges – Metal parts that allow the window to open and close by pushing and pulling rather than sliding. The location of the hinges varies based on the type of window.
  • Window Film – A thin material that can be applied to window glass designed to protect inhabitants from UV rays and help regulate interior temperatures.
  • Exterior Aluminum Cladding – A factory-applied finish on exterior windows that help protect wooden windows from the elements. This is not required of vinyl windows.

Types of Window Glass

You might come across the following terms used to describe types of glass or special styles of windows:

  • Insulated Glass Windows – Windows that have special components like argon (a type of gas) to help make them more energy efficient. Also commonly referred to as double-pane windows.
  • Vinyl Windows – Windows with frames made of vinyl instead of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Vinyl windows are easy to maintain, don’t require painting, and last a long time.
  • Laminated Glass– A super strong type of glass that resists breaking. If a laminated glass window were to break, the laminate prevents the window from shattering into shards.
  • Tempered Glass– A type of safety glass that has the same features as laminated glass but is heat strengthened and significantly stronger.
  • Low-E Glass– Low-emissivity glass that is coated to reflect thermal radiation. This type of treated glass bypasses the need for adding window film to regular windows.

Consult the Window Experts

For all your glass and window needs in Nanaimo and surrounding areas, the team of glass specialists here at Budget Glass Nanaimo are here to help! We are happy to answer any questions you have about choosing the best type of windows for your home or office. Call us at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

01 Jul 2019
birds flying into windows

Birds Hitting Your Windows?

11 Ways to Prevent Birds From Flying Into Windows

The sound of a bird, no matter how big, flying into your closed window can be quite startling. It can also lead to broken windows and inevitably, a few fallen birds. While keeping blinds and curtains closed at all times is effective at keeping birds at bay – most homeowners want to be able to look out the window from time to time! Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent birds from hitting your windows that still allow you to see out the window.

Let’s take a closer look at how to keep birds from hitting windows.

Why Do Birds Fly Into Closed Windows?

To start, it helps to understand why certain birds like robins and cardinals seem to aim straight for your closed windows. These birds are simply seeing a continuation of their habitat (more trees and open sky) reflected in your window.  Some species might also be mistaking their own reflections for other birds and go in for the attack.

To prevent broken windows in your future, and to perhaps spare a few birds’ lives in the process, Budget Glass Nanaimo has a few tips for bird proofing your windows – the bulk of these methods involve obscuring their reflection.

1. Paper Cut-outs of Birds

One cost-effective way of bird proofing your windows is to hang up paper cut-outs of other birds in the window. You can make these out of ordinary computer or construction paper. Not so into the DIY? Pet stores sell decals that are colored in an ultraviolet spectrum. These decals are transparent to human eyes but visible to birds.

2. Stained Glass or Other Adhesive Decalsstop birds flying into windows - bird decal

If birds aren’t your thing, consider dressing up the window a little bit with other types of obstructions, like stained glass art pieces, or other window decorations, like the reusable plastic decals found at most home décor shops, dollar stores, or craft stores. Even something as simple as multiple Post-It Notes will do the trick.

3. Films

Window films are fairly inexpensive and are applied like wallpaper to the exterior of the window to reduce reflection. Window films help protect your windows and the birds while making your windows more energy efficient at the same time.

One type of DIY window film we’ve heard people trying is dish soap, which, when thinly spread, creates an opaque film on the window. However, this type of film would need plenty of reapplications. Another approach is using window paint as a type of window film, which could be a fun project for the kids.

5. Window Treatments

A more permanent measure is installing manufactured glass such as UV-patterned glass or acid-etched glass – two types of commercially produced glass treatments. UV patterned glass is a glazing treatment that birds can see but humans cannot, which keeps your windows transparent and also helps with energy efficiency. Acid-etched glass obscures the transparency of the windows for both humans and birds. With this method, a chemical is used to etch a pattern or full opaque treatment onto the window. Acid-etched glass acts like film but is more durable and won’t scratch off.

 6. Adhesive Stripes

Rather than decals, vertical stripes might be more of the aesthetic you’re looking for. We recommend using 1/8″ window-safe white tape on the outside of the window spaced about four inches apart. You can also use black electrical tape in a pinch. There is also a specialty tape available at pet stores designed for this purpose, or you can use paint pens and stencils.

9. Bird Feeders & Baths

In addition to adjusting your windows, pay attention to what you have around your windows, such as bird feeders and baths. One approach is to keep feeders and baths far from your windows (more than 25 feet) so birds end up avoiding your windows altogether.

Alternatively, hang feeders very close to your windows. The feeders will draw birds in slowly, lessening the chance of them hitting your window at full speed.  This principle also works with wind chimes.

7. Netting, Screens, and Shutters

Beyond obstructing window reflections, you can also install physical barriers like thin dark netting, bird-safe screens, or shutters. All of these physical barriers can be customized to your window size and type, making them aesthetically pleasing. Sunshades and awnings also help reduce window reflections by shading the area.

8. Lighting

Exterior lighting can have an effect on birds and other wildlife and should be adjusted accordingly, starting with ensuring exterior lights are shielded downwards. Next, go for motion sensor lights to keep overall lighting to a minimum, and choose the wattage of your exterior light bulbs wisely to avoid over lighting. Warm-light LEDs are optimal.

Also try to keep interior lights off as much as possible so birds aren’t drawn to your home at dusk when the natural light starts to fade.

9. Plant Lifeplant in window to prevent birds hitting window

We have seen a few homeowners attach branches or small pieces of driftwood to the exteriors of their windows using suction cups and fishing line. This artistic approach gives birds something to perch on and draws birds in slowly enough so that they get what they are looking for without divebombing the window.

You can also plant trees and hedges or planter boxes near your windows to obstruct the view and also add privacy to your space.

If you have houseplants, consider moving them away from the window.

10. New Windows

When it comes time for installing new windows, talk to your window installers about your concerns about birds. Slightly tilted windows may be an option. When windows are installed at a slight vertical tilt facing downward, the window surface reflects the ground, rather than the sky and the trees. The tilt is subtle enough that homeowners don’t notice it.

11. Consult the Pros

If you need help solving the problem of birds hitting your window, the glass specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help. To learn more about our specialized glass, window films, and windows for homes and businesses, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.