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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on investment
Everyone is looking for value these days for their hard earned dollars. There may be no place where this is as true as it is with money spent on residential real estate. With home value still declining (although at a slower rate) when homeowners do decide to spend money they are careful where they are allocating their remodeling budget.
If you’re looking for some guidance on the right type of remodeling projects to give you the biggest bang for your buck an excellent reference source is the 2011-2012 Cost to Value report. This report is done through a group of collaborative surveys done by Realtor Magazine (who gets estimated resale value data through sales agents, brokers & appraisers), Specspan (an on line marketing and research company which host the on line survey) and HomeTech Publishing (a developer and publisher of construction estimating books and software). Here’s a recap of the conclusions, trends and some of the top home improvement & remodeling projects bases on their respective return on investments.
Colored and frosted glass block shower wall checkerboard design Glass block sizes and colors in a random window pattern
Glass block sizes in a random window pattern
Glass blocks stacked on top of each other – that is the single glass block design known by most people. The cool thing is this building material doesn’t only provide a means for a functional window, shower, wall or bar (with one block stacked on top of each other) – it can create a one of a kind window, shower or wall design through the use of patterning as well. Here’s 3 tips to turn an ordinary project into an extraordinary one.
Why have a boring vinyl replacement window when you can have a beautiful window by choosing decorative window options that can make your home stand out? The reality is a vinyl replacement window doesn’t need to have the look of a boring looking white box anymore. Learn below how you can use both decorative and designer window options to improve the looks and curb appeal of your home.
Arched window to add light and style to a 2 story foyer Interior view of a round top fan window in a living room
Creating style, flair and improving light transmission can not only help to “turn a house into a home” (like Luther Vandross might have said) – but it can create curb appeal and resale value as well. There is probably no better way to improve the look and increase natural light into a home than by using a decorative window.
There are many types of decorative windows but this article will focus on arched, round, palladian, circular and fan windows. You’ll learn the definition, advantages and disadvantages, types and uses of these types of decorative windows.
3 Panel Sliding Patio Door with Wood Veneer in a Family Room 2 Panel White Sliding Glass Patio Door in a Dining Room
Doors are added to a home to provide entry and exit, while windows are used to provide light and air – but a sliding patio door can be used to combine the best functions of both a door and a window (entry, exit, views & air). This type of door glides (or slides) within a track system and uses large pieces of laminated safety glass to provide expansive views to the outside. In this article you’ll learn the definition, advantages and disadvantages, and options in various sliding glass door styles.