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7 Ways to a More Energy-Efficient Home this Fall

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Windows

Steel Front Entry Door Painted with Decorative Glass

Steel Front Entry Door Painted with Decorative Glass

The official start of fall is just around the corner and has many homeowners considering ways to prepare their homes for the cooler temperatures ahead. The good news is that there are many simple ways to make your home more energy-efficient without emptying your wallet, as well as bigger changes (like replacement doors and windows from Innovate Building Solutions) that will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Innovate Employee Spotlight: Design Consultant Lille Burton

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block, News, Windows

Glass Block LillieLille Burton has been a member of the Innovate Building Solutions team in the Columbus, Ohio division for the past four years, and chances are, if you stop by the office, she will be there to greet you! When it comes to her job, Lillie enjoys the family-like atmosphere and working with a variety of people across many different projects. Aside from bringing her creativity to work every day, she prides herself on being laser-focused on customer service, a philosophy that is shared by the entire Innovate team and is a major contributor to its tremendous nationwide success.

Benefits of Using Acrylic vs. Glass Blocks for Windows

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block, Windows

Slider windowsSo, you’ve decided to freshen up your windows with a new look but now the debate is on…should you use acrylic blocks or glass blocks? Innovate Building Solutions is a nationwide supplier of both acrylic and glass block products and we believe that choosing the best product is really based on our customers’ personal needs and expectations. In the sections below, we’ll help you weigh the benefits of both options based on your budget, overall goal for the space, and priorities for function.

Egress and Glass Block Windows provide the solution for an apartment building in Columbus Ohio

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block, Windows

What do you do when you need security, energy efficiency and egress all in the same basement window openings? Such was the challenge facing Richardson Rentals for their apartment building in the Worthington area of Columbus Ohio. The solution (developed by the Columbus Glass Block division of Innovate Building Solutions) was to combine glass blocks with vinyl hopper style egress windows. Learn more below about the design and installation approach used for this project.

Vinyl hopper egress window surrounded by glass blocks

Vinyl hopper egress window surrounded by glass blocks

Understanding Vinyl Replacement Windows & Glass Block Window U and R Values

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block, Windows

U values of different types of windows

U values of different types of windows

Choosing the best vinyl replacement windows or glass block windows can be tough. Not only do you want to consider their looks, function and cost it’s also crucial to know how energy efficient the windows will be. While many people focus in on looks and initial purchase price often the homeowner can make the best long term choice by focusing in on a windows’ energy efficiency as well (it’s estimated that anywhere from 20 to 30% of all home energy is lost through windows and doors).


In the article below we’ll provide some of the basics to understanding how to evaluate window energy efficiencies and what types of window systems can be used to lower future home utility costs and make a home more light filled and comfortable.

How to Improve Ventilation in a Basement Remodeling Project

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Glass Block, Windows

Glass block vented basement windows for improved ventilation

Glass block vented basement windows for improved ventilation

If your basement has a damp, musty or moldy smell that makes you want to get out of there as soon as possible you likely have a ventilation problem. In fact according to the Environmental Protection Agency the air inside a home can be 3 to 5 times more polluted than the outside air.


Since basements provide a cost effective way to add space to a home without the large expense of a room addition the time to make a basement healthier can be when you do a basement remodeling project. In the article below you’ll learn the advantages of getting more air flow and air changes in a lower level space and also some of the most popular options to accomplish this objective.


Project Spotlight: How to Cost Effectively Replace an Old Bow Window with a 3 Lite Double Hung and Picture Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Windows

After - Picture Window with Double Hungs for Air Flow

After - Picture Window with Double Hungs for Air Flow


The problems with the current windows: Whenever Terry Ventura (a homeowner in the Brookpark suburb of Cleveland Ohio) entered the front door or sat in the dining room of her home she could see several problems with her old bow window.


  • The 4 equally sized windows were non-operable so she could not get fresh air in this east facing room (which gets a lot of sun and heat build up in the morning).



  • The old style awning covering the window reduced the amount of natural light and views to the outside.



  • The 4 single pane fixed windows with exterior storms where not energy efficient (they were the original windows built into the home) and Terry would see condensation on one of the windows between the storm and window sash.



  • The interior trim of the existing windows did not match the trim of the dining room.



  • The current sandstone sill was pitched towards the inside of the home causing water to damage the window box of the bow window.


Adding Cool Designs in a Glass Block Wall or Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block, Windows

Glass block pattern wall using Spyra design to move interior light

Glass block pattern wall using Spyra design to move interior light


A stud and drywall wall may serve the functional purpose of separating rooms but it doesn’t do much to add style or move light through the inside of a loft, single family home or commercial space. What’s getting hot now is to use glass block designs in wall or interior window areas to add interest, increase natural light and save energy. Here’s 3 designer options with to consider:

How to Choose a High Privacy Glass Block, Acrylic Block or Vinyl Shower or Tub Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block, Windows

Glass Block Shower Window with Colored Glass Blocks

Glass Block Shower Window with Colored Glass Blocks


Let’s face it – how to replace a shower window can be very difficult to figure out. Many bathrooms in older homes have wood or metal double hung windows right in the middle of the shower/tub area. While this was not a problem when these homes were built in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s (when more people took baths vs. showers) they just aren’t practical any more. The water from the shower penetrates the wood or metal frames in a shower and causes the frame to decay or rust. So how do you solve this problem without losing the benefit of natural light, increases safety and air flow and moisture control of having a window? Read below about 3 possible shower window options and their advantages and disadvantages.

How to install glass block windows in a commercial, industrial, factory or church building

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Windows

Although many people have seen glass blocks installed in for residential basement and bathroom windows there is a certainly mystique surrounding how to properly perform glass block window installation for commercial buildings. Check out the video below and read these 5 steps to learn the basic ways to properly accomplish this process.


  • Step 1 – Evaluate the type of structure surrounding the inside & outside of the window opening (masonry, brick veneer, steel, aluminum or wood buildings). Glass block windows can be installed in any of these different building types – although the process may vary between them.


  • Step 2 – Determine what materials the existing windows are made of (metal, aluminum, wood frames). In most commercial, factory and church windows removing the existing frames is the preferred approach as long as the framing is not tied into a surrounding structure that will be damaged if the frames are removed.


  • Step 3 – Measure the width & height of the openings. Longer & taller openings will require an aluminum channel style installation to allow for proper expansion & contraction. Most opening greater than 50 square feet require aluminum channels so the panel sections won’t break during the freeze/thaw cycle.


  • Step 4 – Use prefabricated commercial glass block windows strengthened with vinyl or steel reinforcing to reduce installation time, improve security, and minimize downtime & disruption for a business. In the old days most industrial glass block windows were mortared together by a mason contractor block by block once the window opening was created. This process takes a long time, can be messy and can lead a building that needs remodeling open too long. The pre-made sections can cut installation costs, improve the quality (shop built assemblies can be more uniform than site built windows), and can significantly reduce the amount of time a window area is open for a retrofit project.


  • Step 5 – Choose a glass block, general or maintenance contractor with expertise in commercial, architectural or industrial projects. Some commercial window projects can involve quite large areas that can involve challenges like protrusions through the window or they can be high off the ground. Projects like these may not be a good idea for an unfamiliar company maintenance department and may be best handled by an experienced general or glass block contractor.


Do you have any questions or input about how to install a commercial, industrial or church glass block window? Please comment below.



If you need more information about installing glass block commercial, factory or church windows visit Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888 or nationwide at or Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Cincinnati or Dayton.


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