There are a few reasons you’re out looking for storefront glass. Maybe you’re opening a new location and are amidst exciting construction planning. Or perhaps you’re finally investing in stronger impact-resistant windows to better protect against storms and burglary. Maybe the last hurricane was a doozy, and you need glass repair or a full replacement.
No matter the reason, you know that commercial projects are typically much larger, extensive and expensive than residential projects. That’s why it’s important to decide carefully when choosing a contractor for your commercial storefront. It’s also why we're here to help make the selection process a little less stressful.
Here are a few things to consider when looking to hire a commercial storefront glass replacement company:
Check that your contractor is licensed and insured— and that they offer a guarantee on their work.
Contractors who work with commercial storefronts are often dealing with sheets of glass on a much larger scale than a company who primarily serves homeowners. Larger glass means a higher price tag, and more costly mistakes.
By ensuring your contractor is licensed and insured to work with commercial properties, you know you’re hiring someone with the knowledge needed for your storefront project. You can also rest assured knowing that your business is protected from lawsuits as the result of potential accidents on the job and expensive glass replacement costs. Without proper insurance and licensing, your business could be held liable if one of the contractor's employees is injured on the job or if materials you already paid for are damaged.
Additionally, it’s wise to ensure that the contractor offers a guarantee on the work. Without a guarantee, you could be faced with hefty repair bills if you have a problem in the future.
Also, you need to be sure that your contractor knows local commercial property building codes— which differ from residential.
Look for a company who will work directly with other contractors.
If you're in the process of building a commercial property, you'll be working with many different companies to get the job done. In turn, it's important that the contractor you hire to install impact windows or shutters is a team player. Your contractor should be able to communicate effectively with the other contractors hired for your projects and have experience working with architects, engineers and general contractors. If one person on the team is difficult to work with or communicate with, everything else will suffer.
Even if you are just doing a window replacement, it’s still smart to choose a storefront glass installer who has experience working with others. You never know if you’ll need to call in another company for support, and if one team member is difficult to work with or lacks the professionalism and communication skills necessary to work together, your project suffers.
Find a commercial contractor who offers a variety of storefront glass options.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to hurricane protection. You may go into the project thinking you want glass doors and find out later that one sheet of fixed impact glass is the better option. The last thing you want is to have to switch contractors at the last minute. That’s why it’s important to choose a contractor who offers a variety of different solutions from various manufacturers.
Popular products for commercial projects include folding glass walls, impact glass storefronts, impact windows and fire and safety-rated glass, and glass doors. Does the installer you’re looking into offer them all?
Even if you decide on one product— say, glass doors— make sure the contractor offers you a variety of options. When it comes to impact glass, you can typically choose between a few different finishes for varying styles and strengths. A company that offers just one option might not be best for you. Watch out too for the company who simply wants to tint or add a film to your glass as an upgrade, which can come with its own set of drawbacks vs. low-emissivity protection.
Be sure to ask about the brands the contractor uses and do your research independently to ensure it’s a manufacturer you can trust.
Look for a company that does custom installations.
Every commercial building and every project is different, but some require less extensive work than others. Standard-sized windows, for instance, are relatively low-lift to order and install for professionals who do this daily. But if your property has special needs for window sizes or glass types, you'll want to make sure that the contractor you choose has experience ordering and sizing custom measured/cut glass.
It’s also very important that the contractor you choose will be able to install custom glass features. The last thing you want is a company that orders the custom glass, yet doesn’t really know what they’re doing. Check to see if the contractor is knowledgeable on custom window installation and ask to see their portfolio or a few images of final installs of custom projects.
Seek a company that can also install other storm solutions.
In addition to installing a glass wall or doors for your storefront, you may want to upgrade your hurricane protection at your business in general. Afterall, if you’re going to have construction going on, you might as well get it all done in one fell swoop.
Now might also be the right time to upgrade your business’ commercial impact windows or to add sturdy hurricane shutters. If you’re not sure which would be the best investment for your storefront, read our blog, 5 Questions to Help You Choose Between Impact Glass & Hurricane Shutters. When you find a contractor with experience working with both, you’ll dramatically increase your business from turbulent weather and intruders— and not have to search around for multiple companies qualified to do different installs.
Learn More About Storm Solutions
When it comes to impact glass in SWFL, our team is well-known. Not only do we trust some of the highest-revered glass manufacturers, but we also pride ourselves in quick, long-lasting installs— including custom projects.
Looking to get an estimate? Head over to our commercial page or give us a call at (239) 288-0894 to request one.