Gila Window Film

While I do searches of this newsgroup and Goggle, I thought I would ask for options here. Not a home question but rather a small business. I have large windows in the front of my store approximately 15 x 11 that receives the morning sun which overwhelms the AC. I can't upgrade the AC and the landlord won't. Considering the costs, I really can't blame him, he really is a nice guy. Add in the summer commercial electric rates, I have to do something. So I am considering installing Gila window film . I am considering the light gray or the light neutral. My questions are: 1. How much visible light will it block? Numbers and opinions are welcome. There is an ordinance about how much of the windows can be blocked. Plus, I want people on the outside to see that customers are sitting in the store. I really don't have a great concern about seeing out . I have a competitor right across the street, de-emphasizing him is not a bad thing.. 2. My signage could use a bit more contrast so is the color noticeable from the outside? Especially the gray. I realize that this is contradictory to number 1 but that is the way it is. 3. Right now there is no awning on front of the store which will change the amount the amount of light coming in the window. I wonder how dark the film will look in shadow. The awning isn't planned for the immediate future. Long story and completely out of my control. Anything else I should know or is there another solution? TIA Bob - real email is bob (at) moondoggiecoffee.com
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Before you go off half cocked. Find out what kind of glass you have. Some store front glass will BREAK when film is applied. My ex boss decided to put film over dark windows. West facing in Phoenix. The offices on the west side of the building approached 95 degrees in the summer time. Every contractor he called said the same thing put film on the windows at your risk. NO guarntee on window breakage. Pretty expensive if they break.

The lighter colors will block 10-20% of the visiable light and are worthless for heat gain. (My opinion) Cloudy days you will see a decrease of natural light.

Your sign will be dimmer. Less noticeable.

That will depend day to day as the sun moves. Awning sounds like it might be the hot ticket here.

I suggest that you contact pros in your area and ask them for a bid for doing the work. Permission from the building owner in writing and advance. There may be issues that you have not thought of.
Interior solar shades with your stores name and/or WE'RE OPEN on them might be a better solution. They can be raised in the afternoon and the winter time will not be dark.
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There is type of shade available which is sort of like sun-filtering screen. You could still have your signage visible and the screen behind it. Ask anywhere that handles window treatments. We chose not to use it in the house since it was transparent when packlit and we wanted the privacy w/o draperies.

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Saw some kind of drapes as I walked by a store last week. I was able to see right into the store, but it was obvious that they cut the sun down immensely compared to a couple of neighboring shops. The drapes looked extremely sheer, but not like a traditional fabric.
I've been trying to solve the same problem with my living room window. I haven't seen this type of drape offered by the usual retailers (JC Penney, etc). My next bunch of phonecalls will be to a few commercial window places. You might want to do the same.
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Spend some time at the Gila site and look around. They have at least two types of film, one that will result in a darker window than the others, and even reasonbly good, not great, photos showing what the diffs look like. Also read carefully - Some reflect a lot of heat, others reflect UV, and they don't necessarily do both.
http://www.gilafilms.com /
As someone else mentioned, there are also glass considerations to take into account: That's pretty well spelled out on their site, too. I do think you can find what you need, though; just be sure to read it carefully. I used the darker heat resistant film (highest heat resistance) for my back porch windows (4 facing west) and the living room windows. Personally I don't think it's bad to look thru, and I love not having to see the windows reflected in the TV before sundown or every time a car passes by at night. The only downside I've noticed is that if I open the back porch windows (standard sash windows) and the two films line up as in when they're fully opened, it not only does darken it to look like it's story out, but it also almost turns them into a dark mirror - irritating - but I don't think that's your issue. Do be sure it's compatible with the glass you have though. It goes on easy and works well - I love it.
HTH,
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Install the Gila "bronze" film on the outside of your windows. It will reduce the incoming sunlight but you can still see out. If you don't like the results, you can easily remove (and reuse) the film. Follow the instructions carefully.

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things. 1 I need people to see in so as not to get question on the window coverage issue. The building inspector has made people remove signs. 2 I really only need to block the heat anything else is a bonus. I would like to get a little more contrast to my sign painted on the outside of the window but that is completely secondary. Gila is sending me samples to try out. I'll let the group know how it works out.
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