Designing a luxury home that has an innovative, stylish design whilst being eco-friendly and cost-effective can be quite a challenge.
It can be tempting to reduce costs by importing cheap materials from foreign countries like China but buying cheaper materials isn’t always the best value for money. Often, these can actually end up costing you more money in the future (as well as your reputation).
Products that fail to comply with Australian safety standards are destroying homes and leading to personal injuries. In extreme cases, even death may result for both the people installing the materials and the people who have to live with them after the project has been completed.
The Real Cost of Cheap Glass from China
If you don’t mind compromising on the aesthetic look of your project, you can purchase Chinese stock glass that comes in set sizes. The major downside to these glass panels is once the tempering process has completed it is impossible to cut the glass.
Importing Chinese glass can provide you with significant savings in your frameless glass project but you will have to compromise on the aesthetic looks of the glass due to the glass coming in set sizes. This could compromise the layout of your project as well.
Imported glass and hardware products have improved immensely over the past 5 years so much so that a lot of the cheaper materials imported from countries like China are as good as locally sourced materials but beware as there is also a large proportion of Chinese stockists whose materials fall below the required standards.
The issues associated with these inferior products can include:
- Nickel sulfide inclusion making the glass prone to randomly exploding.
- limited adjustment preventing you from making necessary changes to get a perfect finish making your project look cheap
- Hardware clamping plates that become loose over time making your installation unsafe
Morally you need to be aware that some Chinese manufacturers offer poor working conditions for their staff which can have a huge impact on their health and well being which can also impact the environment in a negative way.
The regulations for manufacturing in China are different to Australian regulations so you may find it fails Australian safety regulations.
When installing glass it is important to remember that some locations are more prone to accidents.
When the glass is at risk of human impact (shower screens, glass doors etc) you must use Grade A safety glass (Australian standards of AS1288 2006 and AS 1288-94) to ensure the glass breaks safely on impact.
There have been a number of reports of inferior quality glass exploding for no apparent reason. This happens due to the imperfections in the glass namely nickel sulphide inclusion, chipping, microscopic scratches and expansion when exposed to the heat of the sun or even over time with heavy use.
You can watch a report on Channel 9’s A Current Affair programme about the potential risks of imported glass.
Why Choose Bespoke Frameless Glass
When you choose to use bespoke frameless glass you have the flexibility to create a modern and aesthetically pleasing design which expresses the personality of your client whilst complementing their home in a stylish and functional manner which has a real wow factor.
Bespoke frameless glass also ensures that each pane of glass is specifically measured to suit that space. Accurately measured glass minimises water leakage and maximises the asthetic appeal of an installation.
Frameless glass in the bathroom definitely benefits from using bespoke materials as the design needs to maximise the space.
The hardware you choose for your frameless glass design is an important consideration that can make or break the whole look of your project.
By choosing a bespoke option you can ensure the hardware is appropriate for the environment you will be using it in and is suitable for the type of glass you need for your project.
The contractor will discuss your metalwork and glass requirements so the materials are tailor-made for your project ensuring you have the beautiful and innovative look that gives the property a luxurious, contemporary style.
For some projects, it may be necessary to use ceiling brackets or stabilising bars to ensure the glass is installed safely. By using a bespoke frameless glass contractor they will advise you if this is necessary for your project.
Keep Costs Down without Compromise
Less Detail – By reducing the number of shapes, holes, notches and cutouts in your designs you can save time and money.
Clear and Detailed Drawings – It is vital you implement 3D CAD and high-tech 2D drawings with as much detail as possible so your contractor can fulfil your requirements to the letter. That way, your materials will end up perfect first time without any need for costly adjustments.
Prior Consultation – The earlier you engage your contractor in your project the better. When your contractor is involved early on in a project he can help provide the details for each specific product.