Glass extensions: Pros and Cons

Glass extensions can be a stunning contemporary addition to a home. With a fully glazed extension you can utilise the huge advancements in glass technology to create a modern, open space in your property. There are however quite a few challenges when exploring a structure without traditional walls and ceilings.

Glazed extensions offer the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience, perfect if you’d like to maintain some of the benefits of a conservatory but replaced with a more solid and integrated structure in your home.  Indoor-outdoor living is the concept of having less defined boundaries between the two spaces with a seamless transition between them. You can find out more about it here on our blog Indoor-Outdoor Living.

Although bringing the outdoors inside can have fantastic benefits for your home and wellbeing, it’s important to consider how you’ll maintain privacy. There are various blind options you can consider, both manual and automatic, including ones fitted to be concealed in voids within the ceiling to prevent them from being visible when not in use. Homeowners can also look to clever landscaping and utilise the unrestricted view of the garden to cleverly position trees and foliage that can help to add some coverage.

An important thing to consider when thinking about a glazed extension is energy efficiency. Your extension will need to comply with building regulations around thermal performance and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Glass specialists are able to offer glass designed for thermal retention to help keep the extension warm in colder periods, whilst shaded glazing can help alongside blinds to prevent direct summer sunlight creating an unbearably warm room.

Glass buildings are visually beautiful when paired with a modern property and equally effective when they contrast a Victorian building; however, they do carry further practical worries for renovators. Although glass design should always allow pieces to be removed and replaced, the maintenance and cleaning will be more than what is needed by structures of traditional materials. There are added challenges when planning the interior space as you won’t be able to integrate furniture or necessities like plug sockets into the glass walls – glass structures work better when used as social or leisure areas such as a lounge or dining room.

If you’re feeling put off by the practical problems of a glass extension, don’t worry!  There are many ways that you can maximise the use of glass in your extension whilst using more versatile building materials for the structure. Glass roofs are a great way to get natural light into your home, they pair well with many property types and can create a statement feature in a kitchen or living space. On our blog The right glass roof for your kitchen extension in London we talk about the different types of glass roof and how they can compliment your project. Alternatively, you may want to consider well placed skylights that can offer access to light and added ventilation via the roof of your extension.

In Croydon we designed this beautiful extension to replace an outdated and underused conservatory. The homeowners were keen not to lose any of the light or outdoor views that the conservatory provided, so when designing the extension, we included large crittal style doors, a skylight and floor to ceiling window to create a bright open space that also works as a functional kitchen dining area.

Although some people do look to big glass features such as complete walls or roofs, full width doors are a great alternative if you’d like a similar effect but with less practical implications – and considerably more budget friendly. In Wandsworth we designed a rear extension with full-width bi-fold doors. When open, the doors offer a seamless transition between the living / dining area and garden. The floor levels are maintained between internal and external areas and the bi-fold door running track has been recessed into the ground.

Bifold doors offer unrivalled access to the outside, functional with the wow factor many seek when incorporating glass on a larger- than-average scale. However, if they aren’t the style for you, this ground floor extension in North London showcases stunning full width crittal style doors that span the entire impressive width of the room. To find out more about this project and if full width doors are a better option for your extension, head over to our blog Full Width Glass Doors – Pros & Cons.

If you’d like to know more about a glass extension or discuss alternatives that may be better for your lifestyle, budget or home get in touch with our team today on 0207 043 2378 or email us at hello@hometales.co.uk. You can also book a free consultation via our live diary here for a free, no obligation quote. We look forward to discussing your project in more detail.


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