Taking Stock

The Presidential election tomorrow has led to an interesting condition in the glass industry, especially among retailers and smaller glazing contractors. It’s actually one I’ve not seen before. Many of the glass shop owners and managers with whom I have spoken during these past two months or so have told me the same story: their warehouses and back rooms are full of glass ordered specifically for jobs they have already been contracted to do. They are ready to schedule and complete them, but the building owners are not. They don’t want the glass installed, not yet anyway. Some of the glass replacements are a result of usual breakage, others a… Read More »

Five Ways COVID Will Change Contract Glazing Contracts

Few things have had such broad and wide-reaching implications for all aspects of life as COVID-19 has. It has permeated just about every piece of it, including how we conduct business. Contract glaziers are no exception. COVID-19 will force changes in contract language and open items to interpretation that have never even garnered a glance before. Here are some of the areas you’ll want to review in your contracts in light of COVID-19: Force majeure: Most contracts between general contractors and their glazing subcontractor have exceptions to deadlines, etc., for force majeure. COVID shined a light on exactly what constitutes force majeure. Is it having the virus in your workforce… Read More »

In and Out Merger

Almost everything is different due to COVID-19, an unwelcomed visitor upon this planet whose appearance has lasted far too long. While the pandemic doesn’t change the most important things in life—the people you love (assuming they have not sadly been a victim of it), the morals you hold and the faith you live by—a lot of other things will and have changed. Here’s an updated list of what industry and business items are going out and what’s coming in as a result of what we are experiencing. This is an open list, so if you have any suggestions for other items that should be included, please send them in and… Read More »

Putting Action on the Table

About 15 years ago, I wrote in my column in USGlass magazine to warn about the dangers of non-safety glass used in furniture, particularly in glass table tops. After going through all the safety and moral reasons why safety glass should be necessary, I ended with a prediction. I predicted that it would not take long for an accident or high-profile event involving glass furniture to occur and bring negative and wide publicity to the industry. “Then,” I opined, “we will lose control of the dialogue and the solution to this problem in much the same way the safety glazing laws originally came about in the late ’70s and early… Read More »

No Place Like Roam

I think our wonderful USGlass magazine editor Ellen Rogers summed it up best. She was chatting at our virtual networking event on Thursday evening as part of GlassCon Global-Glass Expo VE when she said it, and she was right. “You know,” Ellen said, “I really didn’t think I’d ever miss traveling. I do a lot of it and it can be a hassle. But getting to connect with people I hadn’t seen in months at the show and to enjoy a virtual happy hour together, just reminded me how much I miss being with everyone.” For Ellen, and all of us here, “everyone” is the glass industry and we miss… Read More »

Some Updates—Codes and Otherwise

Judging by your response to the recent blogs in this space, there is widespread concern about glass railings. These concerns generally center on safety issues, dealing mainly with those who do not know the proper codes and/or installation procedures or are deficient in installation skills. Our industry wasn’t the only one to notice this problem. The International Building Code’s (IBC) Section 2406 is being rewritten to define terms such as guards and handrails. Previously, the section used terms such as guardrails and railing in-fill panels. During a recent glass conference code update, industry consultant Thom Zaremba explained that glass in guards must meet the load requirements of 1607.8. The glass… Read More »

A Clear Choice

So when Hurricane Isaias came through Virginia last week, he left a little (but memorable) present in the form of hundreds of gallons of water deposited swiftly in my basement. His parting gift led me to venture out to my local hardware chain store in search of a generator that could power a wet vac just in case the electricity went out. I have been retail-deprived since the whole COVID-19 crisis began, opting to do most necessary shopping beyond groceries online. So when I set foot into my neighborhood Lowes for the first time this year, the differences the pandemic had wrought were clear. Well, they were almost clear. I… Read More »

The Nerve, the New and the Negative

A nerve was hit last week, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time. Luckily it wasn’t a result of a visit to the dentist nor an encounter with a pushy person. No, the “it” was this blog last week that hit quite a nerve. I heard from tons of people with examples, stories and horror about scenarios, all surrounding the improper installation of glass railings. You can read the original here. Both the number and the passion of the responses surprised me. So we have a myriad of problems around this issue. The first is the prevalence of the issue. As I said last week, there… Read More »

Railing Against Railings

Is it just me or have you too seen an avalanche of shoddy new glass railing work? The increased use of such technology is a natural outgrowth of the desire for breathtaking views from smaller spaces and a desire to make vistas ever wider. Whether categorized as glass railings, glass windscreens, glass balconies or glass side rails, they all involve floor-to-waist glazing that offers transparency and views while providing a degree of separation and protection. It’s the increased protection part that bothers me. Am I the only one who has seen some incredibly awful and possibly unsafe railing jobs done out there? I saw a picture of one this weekend,… Read More »

It’s Not Unusual

Hard to believe that July is happening while I am still waiting for April, May and June to occur. The only thing usual during this time is the unusual, and the only thing ordinary is the extraordinary. I will explain. The ordinary things we usually do—the haircuts, the beverage sipped from the coffee shop table, sending the kids off to summer camp—they are all quite unusual now due to the world’s microscopic guest star—and I don’t mean guest star in a good way. Just about everything we do has been disrupted. And like any good open, laissez-faire ecosystem, disruptors are ripe to take advantage of the change. The report I first… Read More »

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