Glazings, Creative Details
and Window Location
Double or triple glazing, argon-filled windows and reflective films and coatings are among the energy-efficient glass options to choose from. You'll also find a spectrum of decorative treatments. Andersen, Kolbe & Kolbe, Caradco, Eagle and other manufacturers offer "art glass" lines. Finely crafted in beveled and stained glass with brass and zinc caming, art glass is often fabricated in panels mounted on the interior side of a fixed or casement window. Electronic privacy glass is another option offered by most major window suppliers, including Pella and Hurd. A film of liquid crystals is sandwiched between sheets of laminated glass. Flip a switch, and the crystals relax into a random frost pattern; hit the switch again, and a current of electricity causes the crystals to align, clearing the glass. Such innovative technology doesn't come cheap, however. The manufacturer, Viracon, cites a price of $150 per square foot installed. Lower-priced privacy alternatives include etching and sandblasting. Costs start at $5 per square foot for in-shop frosting and sealing by a glazing specialist, and increase depending on the complexity of the frame and grille. Another traditional option is glass block (about $14 per 12 X 12 X 3 7/8-inch wavy-finish clear block). While glass block needs no additional tooling to be effective, a skilled installer and some supplemental structural work may be required in some situations. New on the market are acrylic-block windows. A vinyl-framed, 28 X 36-inch unit with 8-inch blocks by Hy-Lite costs about $230.
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