3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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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.

20 Jun 2019

How to Paint Around Windows

Tips & Tricks for Painting Around Windows

When it comes time to paint the house, painting around your old wood-framed windows is oftentimes the most tedious part of the entire project. Painting wooden windowpanes and frames can be time-consuming and is often a messy, frustrating experience if you aren’t slow and steady, or you haven’t taken the time to properly prep the area.

If painstakingly taping your windows with painter’s tape doesn’t appeal to you, there are a few different ways you can protect your windows while you paint the frames. The methods below are faster than using painter’s tape, work just as well, and best of all, they don’t leave behind any sticky adhesive!

Here are 4 clever hacks for painting around windows:painting around windows

1. Masking Liquid

Masking Liquid H2O, a painter’s best friend, is an acrylic-modified, water-based clear coating that peels off of glass once it’s dry. Masking Liquid is easy to use both indoors and outdoors. To use this product, simply brush the liquid onto the edges of the glass, give it some time to dry to a gel-like finish, and then start painting. Afterwards, the masking liquid can be peeled away easy enough. We recommend using the sharp edge of a razor blade to slice the gel away from the edge of the frame, and then the flat edge to scrape the gel off.

2. Lip Balm or Vaseline

If you don’t have any masking liquid lying around the garage, it’s no problem! Regular lip balm or Vaseline can be used instead. Using a cotton swab or your fingers, apply a generous coat of lip balm or a thin coat of Vaseline on the areas you wish to protect from paint.

Once the paint is dry, simply wash off the protective coating with a dry cloth and some window cleaner.  This method works exactly the same way as masking liquid at a fraction of the cost.

3. Wet Strips of Paper

Wet paper strips, cut carefully using a paper cutter or straight edge to make sure the lines are straight, are a genius way to protect glass when you’re painting around your windows. The wet paper sticks to the window just like tape but is easier to get into position and a lot easier to remove around into the perfect position.

Here’s how to do it: Take carefully cut strips of paper – regular copy paper is just fine – and dip them into a tray of water. Make sure the strips are saturated but not falling apart, remove the excess water, and then apply the strips on the glass you wish to protect. The wet paper sticks to the glass easily and can even be moved around until each strip is positioned just right.

Once applied, dry up any excess or dripping water from the windows and then simply paint around the window. Remove the paper strips once the paint around them is dry—these paper protectors will likely dry at the same rate as the paint colour.

Additional Tips for Painting Windows

  • Before using any of the methods above, thoroughly clean the windows and their frames of dust, debris, and spiderwebs.
  • Fully remove screens – paint drips on screens are difficult to clean.
  • Have cotton swabs and a damp rag on hand to clean any messes up as you go.
  • Use a paintbrush intended for cutting in and painting in closed quarters. A 1.5 inch stiff angled brush will help out a lot, as stiff bristles are more precise and don’t splay out.
  • Work from the center outwards if possible and aim to paint rails (horizontals) before stiles (verticals).
  • Remove any paint drips from glass windows once they are fully dry using a razor blade or specialized tool like the MaxCraft Stubby Scraper made exclusively for removing adhesives and dried paint.

Big or small, a painting project is often a chance to get a little up close and personal with your home’s walls and window frames. Sometimes setting out to give the place a fresh coat of paint leads to other renovation projects. If, as you’re prepping your windows for a paint job, you realize that you might be better off replacing your old windows with new vinyl windows, the team of glass specialists here at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help! Give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

10 Jun 2019
how to fix a sticky sliding glass door

Sliding Glass Doors Sticking?

How to Fix a Sticky Sliding Glass Door in 5 Easy Steps

Is your patio door doing a lot more sticking than sliding these days? If so, it’s likely time to show your patio door a little TLC. Fortunately, fixing a sliding glass door that sticks is usually inexpensive and can be completed in just a few simple steps.

The most common reasons your sliding patio door is sticking is because it’s either full of debris (think crumbs, pet hair, bugs, dust, and dirt) or it’s time for new rollers. Either way, you’ll need to start with removing the door to get a closer look at what you’re dealing with.

What You’ll Need to Fix Your Sliding Glass DoorSticky Outdoor Patio Doors

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Screwdriver
  • Soap, water & rag
  • Stiff bristled brush
  • Silicone-based lubricant
  • An extra set of hands

Step 1: Remove the Sliding Door

First thing’s first: find someone to help you remove the slider from its tracks. This keeps things safer for you, and for the door.

Next, locate the plastic adjustment screw covers on the sides of the door, near the bottom. Pry off or unscrew the covers, and then adjust the rollers using a screwdriver, so that they move away from the door.

This will allow you room to remove the door. Standing inside the house with the door in the middle of the opening, have your helper on the opposite side slowly tilt the top of the door toward you. You should be able to ease the door off its tracks almost effortlessly. If there isn’t enough clearance, adjust the top rollers higher.

Step 2: Vacuum the Tracks

With the door removed and safely placed to the side out of your way, thoroughly vacuum the sliding door’s tracks.

Step 3: Scrub the Sliding Door Tracks

Clean the freshly vacuumed tracks with hot, soapy water and a stiff-bristled brush. A toothbrush or wire brush, like the kind used for cleaning golf clubs, work well. Make sure to clean off the top and bottom of the door you’ve removed as well.

Consider vacuuming once again if there is still a lot of debris that has come loose in this process.

Also take a quick moment to check all weather stripping for loose or damaged areas. Trim or weather stripping that is not secured tightly could be causing minor friction.

Ensure tracks are dried thoroughly before the next step.

Step 4: Lubricate the Tracks

Lubricating the sliding door’s tracks is the next step. All it takes is the application of a thin coat of lubricant to the top and bottom of the door track. We also recommend applying a bit in the door frame where the glass door latches, for good measure. Make sure to clean up any overspray to avoid a slippery floor.

Use a non-stick silicone lubricant on vinyl door tracks. If you have wood tracks, opt for a hard wax such as candle wax or beeswax instead of spray lubricant. If you’re ever unsure or don’t have the right product on hand, there are specific door track lubricants available at your local hardware store. Avoid oil-based lubricants, as these tend to attract more dirt than anything else.

Step 5: Inspect and Reinstall the Slider Doorhow to fix a sticking sliding glass door

The final step is inspecting the sliding door’s rollers and hardware. If they appear to be cracked, wobbly, or dirty beyond cleaning, you can pop off the rollers and bring them with you to the hardware store to find replacement rollers.

To reinstall the slider door, bring back that extra set of hands you used to help you remove the door and simply pop the door back into place, then adjust the rollers once more with the screwdriver. Pay special attention to this adjustment. If there is too much tension, the doors will be stiff to open, and if there isn’t enough tension, your door will wobble loosely in the tracks.

Finally, slide the door back and forth a few times to test your work and also spread the lubricant evenly through the tracks.

Voila! Now the whole family will once again be able to open the patio door with ease.

It’s easy to ignore a sticky sliding door in the winter when you aren’t using your patio much, but when the weather starts to warm up and you’ll be using your slider more often, making sure it’s functioning properly will ease a lot of frustration around the house.

Professional Patio Door Replacement

There comes a point where a sliding glass door is beyond a good cleaning. If it feels like you’ve completed all of the steps above, but to no avail, it could be time to call your local glass shop for a sliding glass door repair or replacement. The professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo can help with your patio door repair and replacement needs. Learn more about our sliding glass door installation services, and then give us a call at (250) 758-3374 if you have any questions, or schedule an appointment online.

 

25 Feb 2019

Ins and Outs of Cleaning Exterior Screens

Cleaning exterior screens is often one of those chores that just gets pushed to the very bottom of the to-do list. While screens work hard for us, there are plenty of household chores that get priority, and your time is valuable. So why bother with cleaning exterior screens? Do they even need cleaning? While it can seem like a small, frustrating task, it can make a difference to your home. Questions? We’ve got answers.

“Should I bother cleaning exterior screens?”

The short answer is yes! It might be surprising, but dirty screens will have a shorter lifespan. Since screens act as a barrier, there’s a whole host of outdoor particles that can degrade the fibres once they get stuck to the screen. Salt from ocean air is one example of this. If you’re living on the West Coast, this will be an important one! Cleaning exterior screens can reduce how often you’ll need to replace them.

Keep your windows looking great while keeping the bugs away with tidy screens!

“What else can cleaning exterior screens do for me?”

Aside from protecting your investment, cleaning exterior screens does several other things for you. Perhaps one of the most notable is improving your air quality. Opening your windows for some “fresh” air doesn’t help much if that air has to go through a dirty screen full of dust and pollen. Screens can also be home to mould build-up, especially when they’re regularly exposed to moisture. All of these things will be headed straight into your home with even the slightest breeze. Cleaning exterior screens will help improve the air you’re breathing by preventing these particles from coming inside.

Another reason to clean: a better view! Regularly removing dirt and debris will make your screen seem less noticeable when you are looking out of your windows.

Clean screens give you a better view!

 “How do I go about cleaning exterior screens?”

Cleaning exterior screens can be pretty simple. You can either clean them one at a time, or you can do them all at once. If you do them all at once though, make sure you label them as you remove them so you can reinstall them later. Before you begin, remember to be gentle and don’t push on the screen when you’re cleaning. Too much pressure will wreck them! It’s also a good idea to check for holes and damage while you’re cleaning exterior screens.

First, lay the screens down on a flat surface. To protect them, lay them on an old towel or bed sheet. Vacuum each side of the screen gently with a soft brush attachment. Cleaning exterior screens with anything other than a soft brush attachment isn’t a good idea, as it can damage the screen.

Next, stand each screen up and gently wash each side of the screen with soapy water. Be sure to use a eco-friendly soap, especially if you’re washing outside! A soft cloth or sponge does best.

Now you’re ready to rinse! Use a hose or place them in the shower for a quick, thorough rinse. Either way, make sure the setting is low so you don’t damage the screens.

Finally, let your screens air dry. You can gently use a towel to take up excess water, but make sure they’re fully dry before you reinstall them.

No harsh chemicals required, so keep your cleaner eco-friendly!

“When should I be cleaning exterior screens?”

Depending on how your home is situated, cleaning exterior screens should be done at least twice a year. The best times to clean them are late fall, before winter hits, and again in spring. If your home is located particularly close to the ocean or somewhere with a lot of dust and pollen, cleaning exterior screens at the beginning and end of every season is a good choice.

 

Cleaning exterior screens might not be the favourite chore, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult. And with so many benefits, it seems even easier to add it to the list! Eventually, even after cleaning exterior screens regularly, they will need to be replaced. When it’s time to say goodbye to your old screens, or you have a window that you’d like to add a screen to, give us a call. We’ll be happy to come take a look, measure, and get you a perfect fit!

01 Feb 2019

Sealed Unit Replacement and Winter Storms

What does a sealed unit replacement and winter storms have in common? To get to the answer, we’ll have to do a little exploring. This winter has already seen some crazy weather, and it’s only half over. While Vancouver Island is no stranger to soggy, windy storms, they can cause damage to our homes. In particular, high winds and heavy precipitation are a recipe for trouble when it comes to windows.

What is a sealed unit replacement?

Before we can answer our question, we should take a look at what a sealed unit is and what a sealed unit replacement does. A sealed unit, in short, is the glass part of your double paned windows. It has a gas-filled pocket between the layers to help prevent heat from getting out (or in), which helps with insulating your home and improving your energy efficiency.

A sealed unit replacement is what we do when your glass is broken or your windows are fogging between the layers. It’s a budget-and-eco-friendly way to keep your windows going at peak efficiency. A sealed unit replacement does have limits though, as there are some damages that are better repaired with a complete window replacement.

Installing a sealed unit.

How does a sealed unit replacement relate to winter storms, though?

Winter storms are nothing new to BC. Wet coast, best coast, right? Most times, your windows can weather these storms with ease, but sometimes these storms can be a big hazard. In fact, a big winter storm caused a power outage of nearly 2 weeks for some people, right here in our backyard. Sometimes, high winds and heavy rain can cause damage to the sealed unit in your window, whether it’s a crack, dent, or something else. If this does happen, a sealed unit replacement can save you from having to replace your entire window after a storm!

West coast winters are wet!

Is there a way to tell whether a sealed unit replacement is the right choice?

Wind drives rain deep into places it might not otherwise go. After a windstorm, you should first make sure it’s safe to go outside. When it’s safe, you should visually inspect windows and frames for dents and cracks caused by debris, such as branches. Make sure to look in the less obvious places around your frames too. Watch for fog or condensation between the panes and look for any wet spots that may indicate a leak.

If you have sustained damage to the glass, but your frames are undamaged and there’s no sign of leaks, sealed unit replacement may work for you. If you’ve found leaks, drafts, or damage to the frames, you may still need to replace the whole window instead of the sealed unit.

Fog or condensation between the layers is something that needs to be addressed.

A sealed unit replacement can be a fantastic way to save yourself some repair money if you’ve sustained storm damage. If you haven’t already, you should also talk with your insurance broker about what coverage you may need for serious damages caused by storms. Severe winter weather is becoming more frequent, so make sure you protect your investment. Think a sealed unit replacement might be right for you? Need a second opinion on whether your window should be completely replaced? Give us a call!

11 Dec 2018

Top 3 Signs That Say It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

We all know that we should replace our windows at some point, but when is the right time, really? Most windows have a reasonably long life span. Newer vinyl windows can last upwards of 15 – 20 years and will do their job well for the duration of that time. However, there are a few cases where you should replace them sooner. Here are our top 3 signs to watch for!

Windows Don’t Open, Close, or Lock

If you are having issues with opening, closing or locking your windows, you should consider replacing them. There are a couple of reasons why this is something you should watch for. Windows are important for your safety and for your comfort, so mechanisms that don’t work can be hazardous.

In the event of an emergency, such as a house fire, windows offer important exit points throughout your home. If they can’t open easily, this significantly impacts your ability to use them for this purpose. Windows that don’t close or lock properly also impact your home’s safety.

Windows also provide comfort to your home. Being able to close your windows in the winter lowers your heating costs and keeps you cozier when it’s cold outside. Opening your windows allows for natural cooling of your home by allowing hot air to escape in the summer, reducing your cooling costs. Windows that don’t work can actually cost you money in the long run!

Windows Are Leaky, Sills Have Damage, Or Collect Condensation

Damaged windows need to be replaced. If you can see significant damage in the sills or frames, such as rotting wood, it might be time to replace your windows. Light damage can sometimes be repaired, so if you’re not sure, book a consultation to confirm. It’s important to deal with rot right away though, as it can easily cause further damage to window structure if left alone too long.

Leaks or significant condensation are also an indication that your windows need replacement. Water damage is dangerous for your home’s structural framework, as well as your health. Consistently wet areas can harbour mould, which can affect your air quality. It can also cause hidden rot. While some condensation can be normal, significant condensation can indicate a problem, and should be looked at.

Energy Efficiency

If your energy costs are increasing, it may also be time to replace your windows. This can be a sign that the windows in your home have lost their insulative properties. Old windows, especially single pane windows, are extremely inefficient at keeping heat in during the winter. Replacing your windows with energy efficient ones can save you quite a bit, even more if they’re on the most efficient list!

Older windows may be the more obvious choice to replace but there are some cases where other types of windows can reduce your energy efficiency. Cracked windows of any type will lose their ability to insulate effectively and should be replaced. Sealed unit windows with condensation between the panes have also lost their ability to insulate and should be replaced too.

 

Windows are an important part of your safety and comfort, so if your windows are showing any of these signs, you should consider repair or an upgrade. If you’re not sure whether something should be replaced or repaired, or you’re ready to upgrade and want to book an installation, give us a call. Our team is highly skilled and experienced, and we’re happy to help! Contact us today!