Glass has served it's traditional role in homes for hundreds of years. Whether as a window or door, Glass has proven itself as an effective weather barrier and inexpensive way to let natural light into a space. Over the last 20 years, advanced glass materials have been used as cook tops and even counter tops, but this is not the end of the line for this material. Corning is working on new advanced types of glass that will provide unimaginable options for your new home in the future. In the very near future, you will see things light light-sensitive glass that can shade a room on a sunny day, or even glass countertops that can serve as a display for your computer or smart phone. Here is a video we found from Corning that gives you a peek at what is next for Glass...It is not just for windows anymore, and if you are thinking of building a Custom Home on Cape Cod, you should take a look!
Windows are a key feature in any New Home, Renovation or Remodeling project. However, balancing the curb appeal, desire for natural light, and the need for energy efficiency can be difficult. Many of the leading national window manufacturers are working hard to achieve all of these features in their new lines of windows for 2012-2013. Features such as higher insulation values, coatings that allow light to penetrate, but block the summertime heat gain, and custom colors, grilles, and materials are all becoming standard offerings. Also, here on Cape Cod, we have to contend with the requirements for impact-rated glass or "hurricane" windows for any new home or addition within 1 mile of the beach. Andersen offers their StormWatch series of windows which meet this requirement, and still offer all of the style and performance of standard windows.
Here is an article from Housingzone.com that discusses the new trends in windows:Window Trends
Almost all of our new customers ask about the need for hurricane resistant windows. Many people have heard that this is a requirement to build a new home on Cape Cod, however this is not entirely true. The need for hurricane or "impact-resistant" glass in a home is determined by an imaginary line drawn around the Cape, running 1 mile inland from the mean high water line at the coast. The state calls this area the "Wind Borne Debris Zone."
Impact-resistant windows are very expensive, running at least twice the cost of traditional windows, and provide protection against flying debris that could damage a standard window, and could subject the home to substantial pressure differentials in high wind conditions. If a window breaks under these conditions, the pressure differential could cause the windows on the other side of the house to completely blow out. However, the building code allows for a much less expensive alternative, which consists pre-cut OSB panels with a specific screw pattern that can be left at the house, only to be installed in the case of a storm. This is a good alternative, but it does require that the panels be installed and removed with every storm event. You should also check with you insurance company, as there may be substantial differences in wind deductables and rates based on the use of impact glass vs. wood panels.
Here is a link from the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards listing FAQ's about the wind borne debris zone, and showing the map of the acutal zone: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dps/inf/bbrs-pdf-ppt-faq-wind-borne-debris-regions-all-ma-12-20-07.pdf
If you are thinking of building a new home or contemplating a major renovation on Cape Cod and would like to know if your home falls in the wind borne debris zone click here to find out: CONTACT US