FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most “Frequently Asked Questions” Solar Innovations® receives.  If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for below, please contact the Solar team.

What makes Solar so special?

Solar Innovations® has successfully provided quality, custom manufactured glass structures, skylights, windows, and doors since 1994. We are motivated daily by a constant drive to better our products, as well as ourselves. Our customer service and professional staff offer top notch solutions that are second to none, but don’t just take our word for it. Throughout our website, you can see testimonials by existing customers, check out successful project completions in our product gallery, view some of our accolades and awards on the Solar blog, or read more about our core values, Green LEED Gold Certified Manufacturing Facility, or Green Product offerings.  You can also Contact Us for more information or to discuss your upcoming project.

Does Solar complete field measures via site visits during the quoting process? Do I meet with someone directly?

Solar Innovations® offers several different purchasing options, including pricing for field measures through one of our distribution channels.  If you believe you would like a site visit or a field measure, please mention it to your Solar representative and they will adjust you pricing package and project schedule accordingly.  If you are working with a general contractor in addition to Solar Innovations®, a field measure by your construction professional should be adequate.

What projects can I visit? Are there pictures of similar products available?

For those seeking real world examples of Solar Innovations® products or project inspiration, we recommend starting with the Project Gallery.  There, customers can sort by color, application, structure type, or location to view similar projects of interest and ideas from completed projects in their own state.  Upon request, Solar can also provide prospective customers with further information regarding visits to commercial sites open to the general public. On occasion, it may be possible to schedule appointments to private residencies.

What is the price of a Solar Innovations structure? Does Solar provide a budget?

Solar Innovations® offers standard structures with flat pricing, modified standards featuring a custom touch for an additional fee, and completely custom structures, uniquely designed and manufactured to match the individual’s desires and needs. With each optional increase, there is a corresponding increase in the project’s price and lead time.

Does Solar Innovations offer standard colors, sizes, and/or pricing?

Solar Innovations® currently offers seven standard paint finishes and two anodized finishes, as well as vinyl and wood clad options.  Solar Innovations® is a custom manufacturer, which means that our customers are not constrained by standard sizing.  For more information regarding the coloring, sizing, and pricing of a potential project, please complete a quote request form or contact your sales representative.

Is it possible to lower the price of my Solar Innovations® project?

The Solar Innovations® team of experts will walk you through every decision, providing the information you need to make the best choice for your project.  Weighing your budget against the functional and aesthetic options available to you ensures you receive the correct custom manufactured product, created specifically for you, value engineered to meet your budgetary needs.

What are the standard lead times on a Solar Innovations® project?

Solar Innovations® is a custom manufacturer of multiple product lines.  Because each product is unique to the project it is being designed for and so many options are available, lead times will vary based on current workload, material lead time, and team availability.  For lead time regarding a specific project, please contact your salesperson for more information.

What is the Solar Innovations® Warranty? Where can I get a copy?

Warranty information is available for review in the Warranty section of the website. For your convenience, you may download an aluminum or vinyl product warranty below.

View the Solar Innovations® aluminum warranty.

View the Solar Innovations® vinyl warranty.

What samples are available?

For your convenience, Solar offers a wide variety of samples that may include glass, frame finish, and working corner samples. In an effort to be both financially and ecologically responsible, Solar Innovations® requests all glass, corner, and working samples be returned to our corporate office for reuse and recycling.


**Please also note: all provided samples are CONSIDERED PROPRIETARY PROPERTY OF SOLAR INNOVATIONS®.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN RECEIVING THIS SAMPLE, TO ENSURE DISCRETION IS UTILIZED TO PREVENT MISUSE OR COLLUSION WITH REGARD TO THE DESIGN OF THIS SAMPLE.  SHOULD YOU FAIL TO COMPLY; SOLAR INNOVATIONS® WILL SEEK ANY AND ALL LEGAL REMEDIES.  COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK LAWS APPLY.

Are the shipping costs included in my quote?

No, shipping costs are not calculated into your quote total, but an estimated cost is provided with your quote. The two lines above the total indicate the estimated prices for shipping and crating.

Is Solar Innovations® “Cradle to Cradle”?

No, Solar is not “cradle to cradle.” Solar Innovations® is a finished goods manufacturer, whereas the “cradle to cradle” program is based around raw material manufacturers.

What is the recommended maintenance of Solar's Operable Doors and Windows?

Twice a year, clean the frame and glass with non abrasive glass cleaner. For glazing products other than glass, consult the manufacturer listed on your paperwork for how to maintain your glass — some glass cleaners can damage glazing surfaces.  
  • Once a year, inspect all gaskets for separation and ensure tightness of seals.
  • Once a year, inspect all sealant joints for separation and ensure tightness of seals.
  • Once a year, inspect intersections against adjacent structures for movement. Verify sealants and flashings have a complete seal.
  • Use only GE Silpruf sealant of matching color to replace failed sealant beads.
  • Once a year, apply silicone spray to all hardware to ensure smooth operation.
  • Consult Solar Innovations, Inc. for any required touch up paints or abnormalities.
  • Clean all tracks of debris each time they are opened.
  • Note any rough spots during operation. Damaged tracks must be straightened or filed smooth immediately.
  • Note any irregular wearing of hardware (including hinges, trolleys, and wheels) and replace if the worn part is affecting product performance.

Why do I have condensation or water build up?

What is the recommended maintenance of your structures?

Twice a year, clean aluminum frame and glass with non abrasive glass cleaner. For glazing other than glass, consult manufacturer — glass cleaners can damage some surfaces.

  • Once a year, inspect all gaskets; look for separation and tightness of seals.
  • Once a year, inspect all sealant joints; look for separation and tightness of seals.
  • Once a year, inspect intersections against adjacent structures for movement. Verify sealants and flashings have a complete seal.
  • Use only GE Silpruf sealant of matching color to replace failed sealant beads.
  • Consult Solar Innovations® for any touch up paints required.
  • Consult Solar Innovations® about any abnormalities that may be noticed.
  • LIMIT walking on sloped glazing; walk directly on vertical glazing bar caps instead.
Remember that glass is a reduced friction surface, and walking on it can be hazardous, particularly when glass is wet or coated in pollen. Safety equipment should be worn, and only experienced glaziers should attempt to walk on glass slopes.

Where should I locate my greenhouse?

A greenhouse’s placement should be determined by sun exposure, considering that most plants require six hours of sunlight each day to bloom.  A greenhouse can either be a freestanding unit or attached to your home. An attached greenhouse is more convenient, as you can avoid inclement weather when necessary. Attached greenhouses may also be less expensive to build and provide easier access to utilities such as water, electricity, and any required heating/cooling source. When locating a greenhouse one should also consider any regionally specific variations in outdoor temperatures that will affect heating and cooling costs. Detached greenhouses allow for more flexibility with regard to size, shape, and exposure to the sun.

What type of glass should I choose?

Because it comprises the majority of your structure, which glass you choose for your project is an incredibly important decision — almost as important as the type of structure one chooses and as important as the accessories chosen.

In many situations, the glass selected for the roof is different than the glass selected for the walls. A tinted or more reflective glass is often used in the rooftop to improve heat retention during cool months and limit heat gain during warm months. Clear glass is often used in walls to improve the views from inside and out. Consult with your Solar Innovations® design specialist to select the correct glass for your structure.

What utilities will I need to incorporate for my greenhouse project?

Most structures require some form of heating and cooling system.  If you include any automated systems, plan to use the structure after 5:00 pm in the winter months, or want to include lighting or outlets, electricity will need to be incorporated as well.  One should also consider how the plants will be watered inside the structure (a hose or automatic humidifier both require a water line).

What greenhouse accessories do I need?

Solar Innovations® offers a full line of greenhouse accessories including heaters, coolers, ridge ventscirculation fans, various bench types, plant hangers, humidifiers, watering options, and control systems.  When you discuss your project with Solar’s design staff, they will work with you to determine the appropriate accessories in accordance with the purpose and location of your structure. Combining the right accessories, glass and structure is the key to creating a perfect environment, and Solar Innovations® is committed to this mission.

What is the best environment for plant life in a greenhouse?

The species of plant you will be growing determines the best environment for your structure.  For example, an orchid greenhouse needs a vastly different interior climate than a vegetable greenhouse. If low light plants are being grown, retractable shades are the preferred method to achieve the maximum benefit.  If the selected plant material requires a high amount of humidity, a humidifier is recommended.  An evaporative cooling system is implemented in most greenhouses, whether residential or commercial, because otherwise temperatures can easily soar over a hundred degrees in the heat of summer.  Meanwhile, during the winter months a greenhouse should have its own heating system or at least a separate zone from the rest of the building.  Acceptable heating options for a greenhouse are gas, oil, electricity, or forced air*. (If forced air is selected, perimeter baseboard, hot water heat is the preferred method due to its uniform performance and consistent temperature distribution)

Because there are so many variations in plant life, there are a multitude of greenhouse options and accessories available from Solar Innovations®.  Please contact one of Solar’s greenhouse specialists who will be able to walk you through the entire decision process and explain all the options available to you.