What Is a Glazier?

What Is a Glazier?

Additions and Remodels
Windows
By Ani Mouradian June 21, 2021

And When You Might Need One

 

On the list of professions that you might not know exist, are the kind and detail-oriented folks who cut, shape, and install glass and they go by the very cool name, glaziers. Here are answers to some questions that may arise, like who is a glazier, what kind of jobs do they do, how much does a glazier cost, why are they important, and what sets a great glazier apart?

Besides the function of the see-through barrier between the indoors and out, windows and glass have developed many uses and features in the modern day. They are a deciding factor in how well our homes and buildings retain heat - which not only affects our comfort level but can also affect our energy costs. With global warming changing our climates and in some places, like Los Angeles, ironically making winters colder than usual, it might be an apt time to think about our windows and the people who work with them.

What Is a Glazier?

A glazier is who you’ll call when you have any home project that involves glass. Well, nearly any. More specifically, a glazier is a tradesperson whose line of work includes a range of glass services including window replacements, glass repairs, and cutting and installation of new windows, skylights, doors, and other glass fixtures. Glaziers are often exposed to the elements as their work is in demand year-round and sometimes has them many stories high installing windows for industrial buildings. The work is physically demanding as most glass parts need to be tucked into place by hand and can often be quite large and heavy.

Glaziers should have an aptitude for mechanics, decent math skills, and the ability to interpret and visualize construction blueprints and architectural drawings. The job also requires attention to detail because glass installers need to measure for a perfect fit, cut accordingly, and finish fit glass and mirrors perfectly to avoid costly mistakes. According to US News & World Report, glaziers are ranked #5 in Best Construction Jobs in Construction based on job satisfaction, salary, work-life balance, and stress, however, it is important to note that it also has a high job-related injury rate due to potential cuts from broken glass and falls from scaffolding and ladders.

What Is a Glazier?

What Is a Glazier?

There are a few specializations within the trade that, along with experience, can set one glazier apart from another.

What Type of Jobs Do They Do?

As we continue to enlighten ourselves about glaziers, let’s throw in some trade terminology as well. Glazing is construction jargon for the installation of glass surfaces. So, it follows that glaziers glaze. For a more inclusive list of the kind of jobs that a glazier might be hired to do Glass One Professional Glass Repair provides the one below:

  • Remove any old or broken glass before installation 
  • Follow blueprints and design specifications
  • Glaze and reglaze buildings
  • Assemble and install windows and doors in buildings
  • Assemble and install shower screens and metal-framed sliding closet doors
  • Assemble and install security screens and doors
  • Assemble, install and glaze/reglaze commercial glass surfaces like shopfronts, windows, or toughened glass 
  • Assemble and install mirrors
  • Assemble, install and glaze unique fixtures that may be suspended or overhead
  • Repair and install leadlight panels
  • Apply film patterns and designs to glass
  • Apply weather seal or putty around pane edges to seal joints

 

Besides glass, however, glaziers are also knowledgeable in working with glass substitute materials like acrylic, granite, plastic, or marble for installations, as well as with films or laminates that improve the durability of the glass. Their jobs may also include mounting steel or aluminum frames and hinges to glass doors.

What Type of Jobs Do Glaziers Do?

What Type of Jobs Do Glaziers Do?

Why Do You Need Them?

Glass has many uses in everyday life. For example, insulated and specially treated glass keeps in warm or cool air and controls sound and condensation. Tempered and laminated glass makes doors and windows more secure by making them less prone to breaking. Glaziers specialize in installing these different glass products.

When You Might Need to Hire a Glazier?

When You Might Need to Hire a Glazier?

Many modern home designs opt for glass gates that have a sleek and inviting look. As we spend more time at home as a society, glass balcony enclosures and sliding glass balcony doors will also be growing in numbers to create a warm environment to enjoy the outdoors even in the winter. Skylights will also be popular as homeowners decide to add value to their homes with more natural light.

Seeing as glass is used in numerous places in our homes, you will probably have a glazier work for you at some point. Installing tempered windows for added safety upon breakage, tinted windows to reduce heat infiltrating your home, or aluminum windows for energy efficiency and durability are just a few types of windows that you might want to consider replacing older-make windows. Most importantly, all of these home projects require a glazier to professionally fit and install.

How Much Do Glaziers Cost?

The hourly rate for glaziers in the US ranges between $12 to $31, with fewer cases where the rate may go up to $40 an hour. The average window glass replacement cost is $375, with a range of $300 to $800 depending on the size and material of the glass to be installed.

How Do They Fit in within a Larger Project?

Some glass installation projects may take months to complete, while others may take a few hours. Either way, installation of windows, doors and other glass-wear is recommended to be done in the earlier stages of a remodel. This is because window and door installation goes hand in hand with foundation and exterior calculations, which is important in establishing the safety of your home’s structure.

Specialty Skills and Classifications

Although a career as a glazier does not require certification in most states and the highest education level required is a high-school diploma, more and more employers are upping expectations for professionals. Many prioritize math and design skills in a glazier, as well as experience with state-of-the-art construction equipment. This is why some construction unions and professional organizations that oversee hiring require multi-year training and apprenticeships.

Precision Glass Cutting and Other Specialty Skills Amongst Glaziers

Precision Glass Cutting and Other Specialty Skills Amongst Glaziers

Connecticut and Florida are the only states in the United States that require glaziers to be licensed. Therefore, if you're not in those states and want to hire a professional glazier you can instead take into consideration various classifications within the trade that can be an indicator of a match for you. Some forms of accreditation in the United Stated are the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician certification program and the Glazing Contractor Certification from the North American Contractor Certification program.

Besides the overarching skills of good hand-eye coordination, great balance, and strength, some skills that set glaziers apart from one another are the materials they have more experience working with. This leads us to the things you should know before hiring a glazier.

How to Choose the Right Glazier for You

In many cases, large pieces of glass for windows or gates are precut and arrive ready for installation. Even then, it takes precision and strength to slide the glass in place. In the case where you might have a unique job that requires the glazier to manually cut the glass themselves, be sure to ask if they’ve done similar jobs in the past. You should also ask to see pictures of those jobs, to compare the level of difficulty or styles to your own projects.

It’s also helpful to know whether the glazier has experience working with the kind of glass you plan on installing, be it tempered, acrylic, aluminum framed, or vinyl. They may have four years of experience, but have never done a glass balcony enclosure before. You can start by reading reviews left by previous employers or homeowners. In the end, make sure your glazier can picture and execute your project with know-how from prep to finish.

How to Choose the Right Glazier For Your

How to Choose the Right Glazier For Your

We hope that with this peek into the occupation you’ll give more consideration to who you’re next glazier will be. Whether it's you or your general contractor that will do the vetting, hiring someone who cares about the safety and wellbeing of your family is important for every trade - whether they are a plumber, a tiler, and even a glazier.

Written by
Ani Mouradian

Written by Ani Mouradian

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