Quickslide’s Adrian Barraclough advises on selecting the right glass.
Up to now my guess is that most of the time you have been quite happy to use the glass supplied by your window supplier. And indeed, if you use a decent supplier, the right insulated glass unit will be supplied to comply with regulated performance and safety considerations.
But with a little bit of thought you can offer so much more to your customers by simply offering some of the value-added glasses that are available. The fact is that in recent times some amazing products have been developed and, far from being affordable only by a wealthy few, many are in the mainstream. In fact, if you have installed any conservatories almost certainly you or your customer will have specified self-cleaning glass.
Although this amazing glass doesn’t actually dissolve bird’s poop the minute it strikes, it will take care of organic mess, continuously and over a period of a few days, using a combination of its magic coating and rain, which will wash off the residue. It’s always possible to spot conservatories and roof windows fitted with this glass, the most popular being Pilkington Activ, the first on the market, or Bioclean from Saint Gobain.
Perhaps your customer has a particularly sunny outlook from their home: if so, when building extensions and other projects recommend the use of solar control glass in windows, entrance and especially sliding doors to reduce over-heating. Even in average UK summer temperatures heat gain can make a house uninhabitable so anticipating this will win you huge appreciation from your customers.
Another regular problem that can be improved by choosing the right type of glass is noise. If you are installing windows in a home that is close to a busy road or railway for example, why not suggest using special ‘acoustic glass’ instead of the standard stuff. This laminated glass uses special interlayers that are tuned to absorb noise, from the outside or indeed, from the inside if the kids are that noisy!
When considering urban living, security can also be a major concern. So as well as discussing high security locks with your customer (see my column in the last issue) you can also offer further peace of mind by suggesting laminated glass in all vulnerable areas. Security laminates will use two or more sheets of tough interlayers that remain totally invisible when installed, yet which will be virtually impenetrable to all but the most determined intruder.
Many of these glasses may be combined of course: security or self-cleaning with solar control, for example. Whatever the needs of the job, it’s worth looking in to the right kind of glass.