Custom Metal Products of Distinction Since 1909


How To Safely Remove & Clean Air Vent Covers
Posted Thu, August 17, 2017

how to safely remove air vent covers

Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft has been creating and designing custom fabricated metal products since 1909. While our products are built to last for generations to come, when purchasing a custom grille design, it is important to understand the proper methods for upkeep and maintenance.

Whether your home or office contains linear bar grilles or decorative metal grilles, keeping them clean and intact is vital to their longevity.

Clean Grilles and Covers for Better Air Quality

The majority of households and offices do not regularly clean their air vent covers. It’s a commonly known fact that one should change their air filters several times throughout the year; but many don’t know that the grilles or covers should be cleaned once a month along with biannual removal and deep-cleaning. A properly maintained air vent cover makes a world of difference in air quality and HVAC efficiency.

How to remove and clean air vent covers

Once a month, grilles should be lightly cleaned. There are a variety of options for cleaning processes including vacuuming with a brush attachment or wiping with a soft microfiber cloth.

Twice a year, air vent covers should be removed and cleaned. When removing covers from the ceiling, make sure to protect your eyes from falling debris. Placing a drop cloth below the vent is also a good practice to allow for easy cleaning after removal. Covers can be washed in soft dish soap and warm water with a soft, microfiber cloth in order to remove all dirt and grime from the surface. Properly dry with a soft towel after washing. Larger vents may need to be cleaned in a bathtub.

When removing any air vent cover, the first step is to turn off the power to the HVAC system. Next, hold the cover in the middle and carefully remove all screws. Do not pull on it, as this could damage the surrounding drywall or flooring. If you cannot get a proper hold on the cover, carefully use a flathead screwdriver to pry it out. 


how to remove your air vent covers infographic

If you’re in the market for custom metal grilles for your home or office, we recommend taking a look at our product catalog. Our waterjet and laser technology allow our team to create one of a kind designs for your home or business. Contact us for any questions or requests for your custom grille needs.

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The Business of Fabricated Metal Solutions
Posted Thu, July 20, 2017

Fabricated Metal Solutions

No project is the same and each brings its own opportunities for creativity and problem solving. During this commercial project, we had a typical request for expedited prototypes and production of 2,000 linear feet of decorative fascia grilles as well as a custom formulated powder coated color match. However, a unique architectural design posed a challenge we have never faced before. Read more about the project and see how we came up with a solution that matched the architect's aesthetic vision.  

Custom Fabricated Metal Solutions Case Study


This project showed our commitment to detail, quality of work and flexibility with our projects. If you're needing custom fabricated metal solutions for your project, contact us today or download our catalog

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Custom Ornamental Bronze Grilles
Posted Fri, July 7, 2017

Custom Ornamental Grilles

Coco Architectural offers custom fabrications for ornamental grilles and other products. In a recent project located at 80 8th Ave, in New York City, we created several custom pieces for the client, including a custom ornamental bronze grille over the entrance, a bronze header and jamb assembly for the Newsstand, and a custom bronze radiator enclosure with bronze bar grilles in the lobby.

Here at Coco Architectural, we offer upscale custom metal fabrications for a variety of different industries. In the 80 8th Ave project, our craftsmen created a custom ornamental bronze grille to protect the windows over the entrance of the business (shown above). The unique decorative twist on the custom bronze bars added a grand entrance feel to the business. 


Coco installation

Our specialized CNC Waterjet services allow us to offer unlimited possibilities for any metal work on custom orders. Waterjet cutting is often used during fabrication of machine parts but can also be used for custom-perforated metal sheets and other architectural metalwork. In this project, we created custom waterjet lettering for the newsstand area and cut the brake formed bronze header and jamb assembly to complete the look.


Finally, as all of our work is custom for each project, we provided a satin bronze radiator enclosure with custom linear bar grilles in the main lobby, rather than your basic cookie cutter HVAC products. The aesthetic impact on the space and functional performance of the grille is very important to us, so we leave no detail untouched to provide our clients with a flawless, functional piece.

If you’re interested in custom ornamental grilles for your project, we can help your ideas come to life. From choosing metals for your project to matching unique designs with our waterjet and laser technology, we can add unique details to your commercial business or home to make your space feel complete. Browse our product catalog to get started. We are more than happy to speak with you directly by calling us at 631.482.9949.

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Blackened Steel for Architectural Design
Posted Tue, June 20, 2017

Some say the beauty is in the details. Along with custom metal work for your projects, Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft offers a variety of finish options like antiqued, brushed, mirrored and even blackened finishes to bring the project together for a complete look. 

What is a blackened finish

Black oxide or blackening is a conversion coating for various materials like stainless steel, copper and copper based alloys, zinc, powdered metals and silver solder. It is used to add mild corrosion resistance for appearance and to minimize light reflection. The process includes a series of chemical baths or heat until it reaches the desired color. 

How it works

The process of blackening is done in primarily two different ways. Cold blackening is a  process we use here at Coco Architectural.  We add a cold finish on mechanically polished metals and then submerged it in a blackening chemical. We also add a clear lacquer to the metal to add an extra layer of protection. Hot blackening is the process of using a machine that spreads a thin layer of black oxide onto a product’s surface and is heated to the desired black finish. 

Why blackened steel

Blackening not only protects the steel from rusting, but the look is undeniably chic. The blackened finish also gives projects an industrial, edgy look in commercial or high-end residential projects.You may have seen black accents on a fireplace or stairwell or blackened pieces that complement large commercial facilities to create unique architectural elements.

We can create customized fabrication options for unique installations. Our offerings are adaptable to all of your job requirements including new construction, remodeling, and historic renovations.

Like the Linear Bar Grilles and Perforated Grilles, our custom metal products are manufactured with the same standard of excellence and our commitment to total customer satisfaction. If you're thinking about adding blackened steel to your project, download our catalog and request a free quote.

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Linear Bar Grilles Keep Guests Comfortable at NYC Event Venue - Case Study
Posted Tue, May 9, 2017

Guastavino’s is a timeless NYC event venue that was built over a century ago. Over the years, they have hosted private events for everyone from Disney to Dior, but their space had a serious ventilation issue. Read the Guastavino’s case study below and learn about their challenge to keep guests comfortable in extreme temperature changes during events. See our solution that worked aesthetically with the venue and was functional in solving the problem. 


Having similar problems with your commercial building or architectural project? Contact us about your project needs and we can get a quote started for you. 

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Decorative Grilles in Brooklyn Heights Historic Neighborhood
Posted Thu, May 4, 2017

Decorative Grilles in Brooklyn Heights Historic Neigborhood

The development of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood as a residential district began in the 1830s when ferry steamboats first became popular. Uniquely located as a hub for these ferries, the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood became America’s first suburb. Most buildings in the neighborhood are built pre-Civil War and some before the turn of the century. 

Historic Brooklyn Heights style of front door

Courtesy Brooklyn Historical Society @brooklynhistory

Today, the eastern boundary of the He­ights follows a curved line representing the separation of the old 19th-century residential homes and churches, to the business center of Downtown Brooklyn.  To see a full map of the heights neighborhood, click here

Preserving Brooklyn Heights 

The Brooklyn Heights Association was established in 1910, and its  first address included fighting economic challenges and the new construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. However, throughout the years, as the old charm and beautiful homes were sought out for by residents and property owners, the association began fighting for the preservation of the neighborhood. In 1965, the New York Landmarks Preservation Act declared Brooklyn Heights the first historic district in NYC.  

Brooklyn Heights Historical Society       Old image of Brooklyn Heights

Courtesy Brooklyn Historical Society @brooklynhistory

19th-century architectural elements in Brooklyn homes

Restoring the look of these homes and their interior elements is something residents in the old Brooklyn Heights neighborhood are passionate about. If you have ever been in a 19th-century home you would notice that during this period of time, molded cast iron, bronze or brass grilles were designed to cover air vents for architectural reasons. Why were these intricate grilles so important? Most homes in the 19th century only had fireplaces for heat, and if you had central heat, that was something homeowners wanted to show off. These intricate ventilation covers added eye-catching elements to the room that drew everyone’s attention.

If you’re passionate about preserving the look and historical elements in your home, Coco’s ability to custom design architectural grills make it easy to match vintage grilles, much like what you would see in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. Our metal crafting selection offers many options—choose from several popular materials that can match the existing grilles, including:

  • Aluminum— finished in a satin, mirror polish, clear anodize, anodized color, baked enamel color (liquid or powder coat) or a primed for field painting.Brass— available in satin and mirror polished finishes, as well as several shades of statuary bronze, antiqued and blackened bronze.
  • Bronze— available in satin and mirror polished finishes, as well as several shades of statuary bronze, antiqued and blackened bronze.
  • Stainless steel—finished in a satin, blackened, or mirror polish, or prepped for plating.
  • Steel—prepped for plating, or available in a primed finish, blackened, or baked enamel colors.

Want to see more of our historical renovation grille projects? Check out the Beacon in Jersey City, New Jersey renovation blog to see some of the custom work we can do for your home or business. 

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