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3 Things to Ask a Potential Glass Manufacturer for Your Historic Renovation

Do you have a project that requires the replacement of historical glass? Given the potential historical, cultural, or personal significance of the materials in these kinds of projects, it’s especially important to find a glass manufacturer who can complete the project with skill, expertise, and a respect for the source material. Not sure how to determine this? Here are three pivotal questions to ask before agreeing to work with any glass manufacturing company.

701 Whaley Renovation Glass Flooring over Pool Historical Project

701 Whaley renovation. Glass floor over a historic pool. (Columbia, South Carolina)

1. What’s Your Experience with Historical Glass?

Determining a company’s experience is always key to getting the results you want. When you have a historical project that involves replacement glass, it’s even more important to ascertain that experience level.

When choosing a glass company, find someone who satisfies two important facets of the job: current safety compliance and appreciation for the nuance and aesthetics of the original glass.

In many cases, these historical projects contain glass and other building materials that are well over one hundred years old. When they undergo renovations, however, they suddenly have to meet or exceed current safety standards.

Ensure the glass manufacturer you choose for any historical job is completely up to date on current safety regulations and standards and today’s best practices.

(Want more information about glass and safety-related aspects? Check out this article where we discuss whether glass floors are safe,  and then explore everything you need to know about anti slip glass flooring.)

After getting assurances on the safety side, ensure the glass manufacturer is also highly familiar with historical glass in general. The idea here is that you want someone who understands and appreciates historical glass. Specific experience working around this material can help a glass manufacturer create something that approximates the look, texture, and feel of old glass—while still aligning with those essential safety compliance features.

To ensure the experience level you want, ask to see a portfolio of glass work done specifically on historical projects. A reputable, experienced glass manufacturer should be happy to provide photos, information, and insight about previous historical projects.

To discuss Jockimo’s previous historical work, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to discuss our arsenal of historical work, including our part in the 701 Whaley restoration project in Columbia, South Carolina.

2. Can You Closely Match the Historical Glass?

Whatever the specifics of your project, you need a glass company that has experience and expertise in the full replacement of historical glass. This means working closely with a glass manufacturer who brings not just technical expertise to the glass creation but a designer’s eye as well.

Whether you’re looking to try to completely replicate the historical glass or you just want to add something complementary into the historical renovation, you need a glass manufacturer who can work with you from this design perspective.

“Customers often come to us to help replace historic glass, but they want it to look as much like the old glass as possible,” says Tim Casey, owner of Jockimo. “These projects are always really fun for us. They allow us to get creative and to think outside the box.”

Choosing a company with enough relevant experience means you get more than a glass manufacturer; you get a partner who can work with you to create, to refine, and to execute the vision of what you want.

3. What Are My Options with This Historical Renovation?

waterloo clear glass flooring boy sitting on glass 2816 2000 2000 100

Another significant advantage of working with a company that brings expertise and experience is gaining access to their ideas and input. For example, perhaps you have an area within your historical project that you want to preserve and make visible but you don’t necessarily want to renovate. You could add a glass floor over that space. This creates a safe, preservative barrier between the area and people while still making the space underneath visually accessible.

Jockimo has used this technique numerous times in historical projects, including in many museums. For a more detailed discussion, of why glass flooring is often complementary to museums.

Ultimately, choosing the right glass manufacturer is about a lot more than just glass creation. You want someone who can partner with you and draw from experience to innovate, to bring new ideas, to let you know what is and isn’t possible, and, at the end of the day, to provide a flawless deliverable to your specifications.

Questions? Comments?

Are you currently looking to renovate a historical space and need the expertise of a decorative architectural glass firm? Reach out today.

We’re always happy to answer questions, to provide insight about your project, or to discuss the feasibility of recreating your historical glass needs.