Choosing the right windows for your business is as important as choosing the right windows for your home. Finding a balance between warmth and openness in a cafe or restaurant is quite a challenge. Having a significant amount of light from outside makes for a more friendly and welcoming environment. The more windows, the more customers; and the more customers, the happier you are.
As your customers are sitting basking in the natural light, watching the chef toil over their signature dish, you are involved in a raging battle with the environment. You are battling to maintain your customers physical comfort.
Heating and cooling
Glass is a poor insulator so heat will be a serious issue in climates with winters, and cooling will be a challenge in hot environments. If you add a significant amount of glass to your facade, you will have to upgrade your heating and cooling plant. Recent innovations in heating and cooling have made it possible to heat and cool your space with ease, without revamping your entire system.
Dealing with condensation and glare can be serious issues also. Condensation is caused when warm moist air meets cool dry air. Correct window choice, good ventilation, and correct heat vent locations can help you deal with condensation and frost issues. Condensation build up collects dust and becomes unsightly as it builds and evaporates. In wood framed windows, standing water can lead to rot and eventual window replacement.
In summer and high temperature environments, dealing with heat and glare becomes a major issue. Reducing the amount of sunlight entering your space without limiting the light is the challenge. Tinting and shades, if well thought out, can be easy solutions to glare problems. Well placed shades and awnings can be design features, adding to the appearance of your establishment. Shades and awnings also allow you to add advertising space, highlighting and drawing people to your storefront.
If your are adding significant glass to your frontage, it will have a major impact on the structural integrity of your building. You will have to have architectural and engineering involvement at the very beginning of the design process. Their role will be to make sure you are meeting local safety codes. Your building is no good if it’s going to fall down or get shut down. They can also help you to develop a steadfast financial plan. Your budget is extremely important to whether you succeed or fail. Over costs on construction have destroyed many restaurants before they even get started.
Integration of an overzealous storefront can seriously impact your construction budget, so having a good, honest designer and contractor on your team will help you to put your best and most open face forward.