Glaziers cut and install new glass panes and other glazing materials on a range of commercial, industrial and domestic premises. They also work on the repair and maintenance of glazing and glazed structures on buildings. The main areas of work are window fixing, window replacement and roof glazing.
For each job, the appropriate type of glass is selected according to its purpose, for example plate glass for a shop front or security glass in a bank. Glaziers working on a domestic household often work alone whereas on commercial projects, a team of glaziers works together to fit and replace glass and glazing units.
A number of tools are used including suction pads to carry larger, heavier panes, and chisels and pliers to dislodge old glass, beading and putty from frames before new panes are fitted. Diamond or wheel cutters may be used on a job for small adjustments and shaping, but normally glass will have been measured and cut to size in a workshop beforehand.
Glaziers finish a job by ensuring the fitting is weathertight by using sealants, rubber strips or lead and aluminium flashing. Glaziers often work alongside other tradespeople such as carpenters and joiners.
Glaziers may be involved in the fabrication of glazed units such as timber- or UPVC-framed windows and doors. Some may work on specialist glazing often found in historical buildings, such as churches.
Glaziers may also work fitting replacement car windscreens. See Motor Vehicle Body Repairer for more details.
Glaziers work a 39-hour week, although out-of-hours work is common for emergency replacement of broken glass.
Glaziers work both indoors and outdoors in all weathers, often at heights; ladders, scaffolding and suspended cradles are frequently used. Protective clothing, such as gloves and hard hats are worn when working on building sites.
Travel from site to site is common, as is working away from home for short or long periods. A driving licence may be necessary.
To be a glazier you should:
Glaziers work for firms that sell, cut and install glass for construction companies, local authorities, public organisations and shopfitting companies. Some glazing firms may specialise in conservatory construction, glass roofing or other aspects of glazing. Many glaziers are self-employed and may work on a sub-contract basis. Others specialise in domestic glazing, emergency repairs for shops and offices or building restoration.
Progression is normally to technician or supervisory level, overseeing a team of glaziers, or movement into specialist work.
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