Decorative Glass: A Classy Way to Upgrade Windows

Written by Posted On Sunday, 22 July 2007 17:00

When we hear the term "curb appeal" many of us think of how the front yard is landscaped, the way the exterior of the house is painted, or the entryway. Nowadays, though, homeowners are investing in decorative glass or stained glass overlay products that create exceptional and uniquely-designed windows and doors that are eye-catching from the inside and out. The exquisite look creates privacy while at the same time offering aesthetic appeal to a home.

SGO Designer Glass is a decorative franchise company based in Orange County. The company has 300 affiliates that offer a full range of different types of decorative glass to a wide range of commercial clients as well as homeowners.

"What we provide them with are things like traditional stained glass which is pieces of glass held together with lead," says Nick Neonakis, VP of SGO Designer Glass.

But stained glass isn't tempered and therefore frequently won't meet code because of its lack of durability. So that leaves homeowners unable to use stained glass in certain areas of the house such as shower doors and some windows. So, the company also offers etched, carved, and different types of cast glass that has an overlay applied to it. The overlay is a process that the company invented to give an alternative to traditional stained glass. SGO Designer Glass takes Mylar films, colors and applies texture to them in its factory in Orange County.

"Then those are cut into various shapes and then peeled and literally adhered onto the face of solid tempered glass and then this is finished off with an adhesive-backed-lead-strip system. So when it's done it looks just like traditional stained glass," says Neonakis. The end result with this product is that it will offer added protection and durability because the glass is tempered.

The beauty of this product is that it can, if you want, leave with you when you sell your home. Some additional modifications need to be made, but that way, if you choose a very personal decorative look such as something that has a religious connotation, you can take it down before the house is listed for sale.

"We will have a new piece of glass cut and tempered, put the work onto it, and then we will install the new piece of glass up against the existing old glass in the window and then we have special clip systems that fasten it to the frame. So when the homeowners leave if they so desire they can detach the clips from the frame and take their glass with them," says Neonakis.

It might surprise you to learn that this concept of designing won't save you money over traditional stained glass; in fact, it costs about the same.

"It has a lot of technical properties that traditional stained glass does not have such as [the fact] that it's solid, it's UV protectant, it's airtight, waterproof, etc.," says Neonakis.

This type of overlay product will cost about $100 per square foot depending on the intricacy of the design and other installation considerations. If you opt for the much less expensive alternative -- a sticky, decal type product that adheres to your window, Neonakis says be prepared for vast differences.

"It's a different type of product where that is sort of a cling, stick, decal. The overlay is something that is permanently bonded and fused on to the face of the glass along with bevels and lead and things of that nature. So it's virtually indistinguishable from traditional stained glass," explains Neonakis.

Neonakis says the overlay product takes a few weeks to complete, but the money and time spent are well worth the end result. For more information, visit .

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or [email protected]. Visit for more information.

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