I have big Eichler windows and small children - a dangerous mix, I'm sure you'll agree.
I nearly keeled over when I found out how much it would cost to replace all the floor to ceiling windows with double glazed windows, so I'm falling back on "Plan B". Plan B is the covering of all the windows with a safety film. I have read and heard of the benefits of these coatings but I would like a recommendation from someone who has installed this protective film already. Please let me know if has lived up to it's reputation of safety. I live in the Bay Area, so local purveyors of this service would be most helpful.
The resilient layers of high-tensile polyester, aggressive adhesives, ultraviolet inhibitors and scratch-resistant coatings provide exceptional blast mitigation and impact resistant capabilities – with thicker films offering greater protection. Not only do these clear films help hold broken shards in place, the ultraviolet inhibitors help protect your merchandise and valuables against fade damage.
anyone happen to know a good vendor? (esp. in the east bay)...
E-mail directly at: red AT redneckmodern.com
You don't say how much the quote was for or where in the Bay area you are located.
I had my fixed glass windows replaced with frameless, insulated glass (versus low-e or e-squared). The change helped in safety, heating costs, and (unexpectedly) sound insulation. It was during the last economic downturn. I'm not sure the economy changed the price much, but it made them more immediately available for quotes and "smaller" jobs like mine (versus commercial sales).
By way of background, after being told someone in Palo Alto had replaced theirs for about $25k and had to break up the expanse into smaller windows, I was sure my only option was to use film. So I got the film quotes and asked for the replacement glass just for comparison. I was quoted about $11k for putting double-pane insulated glass in the standing panes (vendor 1) and an additional $2k to have single pane tempered glass put into the original sliding doors (vendor 2). I went with the glass replacement rather than film. Seven or so years later, I am still happy with my decision to replace the glass rather than just film it (which was about half the cost). I still have replacing the bedroom/bathroom window units on the "to-do" list.
What type of glass and price were you quoted? What film were you considering (we had been looking at a 3M product)?
jake... were you able to keep the huge expanses of glass in one piece? for instance, one of my windows is 8'X10'... like you, i was under the impression that this would need to be broken into smaller panels... true? false?
I'm quite interested in answers to all of the above. I have large panels of glass and was considering film for some of them. I didn't realize low-E was even an option (from a cost or practicality standpoint). Thanks!
I looked into 3M's options. Film and its installation seemed pretty reasonable. Also, 3M can do a safety film on one side and a UV protective film on the other, as I recall. I believe that at the 3M film site, they have a list of authorized installers searchable by zip/city. They'll measure and provide a proposal for free.
After pricing new safety glass windows to replace the originals, we decided to have the clear 3M film put on instead. It was sooo much more reasonable, addressed the main issue we had (safety for our kids), and didn't alter the look of the house (the replacements would have needed cross support beams in some areas - yuck!). We have had them for about 6 years and feel that the film was one of the best upgrades we have made. High praise considering the multitude of projects we have tackled including (but not limited to) the Unico forced air heating and cooling system with foam roof (awesome!) which required a tankless Rinnai water heater (major disappointment- failed 3 times in 5 years and takes ages to get hot water to the bathrooms), cork flooring (faded miserably, scratched easily and dented - we are now replacing it), kitchen and bath remodels, 6 new sliding glass doors, landscaping and upgraded electrical system.
Look in the phone book for 3M dealers in your area and get a few bids. You won't regret it - pretty inexpensive peace of mind for you and your little ones.
Hi, wife of Prefab here. Geez, do I relate. Our daughter was 2 when we bought our Eichler. Both my husband and I are insurance geeks, so we see danger everywhere! Our Eichler is actually "new" being a vintage 1973, but I still have tons of untempered single pane glass all over the place. First thing I did when we moved in was to have the windows my daughter could crash into coated with film from (then Eichler Network Member) Sun-Check since the film does reduce the risk of breakage and if the glass does break, it breaks in a "safer" way (sounds like an oxymoron, I know). Yes, it also protects the furniture and us against UV rays too, but I really just wanted to protect my daughter. I also employed some simple risk management strategies such as no ride on toys in the house or yard, to prevent her from getting up a bunch of speed and crashing into a glass door or window either in the house or when playing outside on the patios. I placed low profile furniture (eames chairs, knoll bench) to block her path, too. Fortunately, so far, so good. She's 8 now and we haven't had a problem but now I've had to add "no gymnastics in the house!" to my risk management plan. I try to remember that lots of kids have grown up in these houses without a scratch (caused by the HOUSE), so the odds are in our favor. It makes me relax...a little. Worry, worry, worry. Thank heavens for window film and anti-depressants! Brook