Shopfront glazing can be an exciting, transformative time for many shop owners. It’s an opportunity to make an important decision that can determine everything from how potential customers perceive your store to how much money you will spend in the future.
Even with all the enthusiasm many shop owners possess when making substantial changes in their shops, this can still be a confusing time. The smallest of details seem semi-permanent, and each decision is embedded with both your shop’s aesthetic and longevity.
When it comes to shopfront glazing, here are a few questions that need to be addressed above all else.
1. How Secure is the Glass?
One of the first things shop owners should look at is how secure their glass is.
Many a shop owner have made the mistake of finding out their shop front is flimsy glass after having it shattered by a rogue pebble or umbrella handle.
Glass security is the most important factor that absolutely cannot be overlooked. Picking a glass that isn’t secure could be more expensive than you think. On top of having to repair frames and re-order new glass if an accident should occur, you could also find yourself in a situation where the shattered glass injures a customer.
When seeking a safe and secure glass, look for safety glass. The way safety glass works is that the glass is laminated and composed of layers of glass and plastic that are held together by an interlayer.
It still looks crystal clear, but in situations where regular glass would shatter into hundreds of pieces, it simply absorbs the shock and keeps glass shards from flying everywhere.
The short answer: Always use safety glass for a shop front and always ensure it complies with Australian standards.
2. How Thick is the Glass?
Glass thickness is extremely important for safety concerns, as well as the overall lighting aesthetic of the store interior.
A common misconception that many shop owners have is that the thicker the glass, the better.
While the logic behind this reasoning makes sense, it misses the point that not all glass is created equal. This is why it is incredibly important to understand how secure your glass is, while also aiming for a perfect balance between security and creating a welcoming environment. Many glaziers are experts at identifying the smallest of nuances that will impact the overall security of your glass.
The ideal glass thickness should be calculated based on the m^2 per Australian standards.
Many shop owners have difficulty finding the perfect glass, and installing a non-compliant glass would only create problems down the line. This is why it’s important to utilise a certified shop glazier to ensure that the glass complies with all standards.
Again, ensure that safety glass is selected. If you install a thick glass that isn’t safety glass, it’s broken shards could result in serious damage or injury.
The short answer: Find the perfect glass based on Australian standards, or hire someone that will.
3. Does it Come With a Glazing Certificate?
Once installed, your glass must come with a glazing certificate to show that it complies with Australian standards. This way your exposure to legal risk is minimised.
The short answer: Use a professional glazier that will provide you with a glazing certificate to prove that it complies with Australian standards.
4. Can I Have my Frame in a Particular Colour?
Installing a new shopfront glaze is an opportunity for shop owners to get creative.
This means you can choose a nice white frame that makes your shop front “pop” and give off an ambience of cleanliness and novelty, or a sleek black frame that exudes luxury and modernism, or whatever else you wish to convey.
This brings about the question of whether or not shop owners can customise the colour of their frame.
Having a different frame colour shouldn’t be an issue, especially if you are using a professional glazier.
In fact, the option is pretty standard in most packages. Most glaziers get perimeter channels powder coated and the pricing can be arranged and included in the glazing package.
The short answer: Yes, having your frame in a particular colour is fairly standard among professional glaziers. Just ask!
5. Is it Worth Using a High Performance Coating on my Shopfront?
When it comes to your shop front longevity, the choice to install high performance coating or not is often an absolute. The answer as to whether or not it is worth it can be subjective. For example, a store that is situated out in the sunlight can benefit much more from a high performance coating than one that is located indoors.
Additionally, having a high performance coating can reduce the solar heat gain inside the store, helping to lower your electric bill and ultimately keep your store cooler.
However, if your store is situated indoors and is not exposed to direct sunlight, having a high performance coating on your shopfront isn’t as critical a decision. You could very well skip out on the high performance coating and you will likely not see any change in the longevity or temperature of your store.
The short answer: Yes, if your store is located in direct sunlight high performance coating is beneficial. If not, it’s not required.
These questions are points that every savvy shop owner should consider. Whether you own one storefront or multiple, it’s important to know how the smallest of details can make a tremendous impact on not only how customers perceive your store, but also how much money you end up spending on future repairs and related bills.
Keep in mind that having a professional glazier on your side not only greatly reduces the learning curve of what needs to be done and reduces the amount of time it takes to do it, but also adds an experienced member on your team who can make personalised recommendations that will be perfect for your store.