What to consider when adding a glass extension to your home

Glass Extension
Glass extension, Bridge of Don

What to consider when adding a glass extension to your home

Thinking of adding a glass extension to your home?  We’ve put together this blog to help you get it right…

While you’re spending more time indoors over the Winter months, the idea of adding more space and light to your home, as well as improving its value, may become more appealing. Although adding a conservatory has been a popular choice for some time, unless it includes extra heating and cooling it can be cold in Winter and too hot in Summer. A glass extension offers a more attractive and temperature-controlled alternative.

 

What is a glass extension?

Glass extensions usually comprise a ‘box’ made up of two glass sides and a glass roof or ceiling, but there a range of styles you can go choose between, depending on the style of the property it’s being added on to. More of that later.

They can be installed quickly and easily by specialist or local contractors. The glass panels are held together with a specialist adhesive resin known as structural silicon.

Most glass extensions now use high-quality double glazing made with a thin coating of metal oxide on its outside (also known as Low-E glass) - to allow heat and light to easily enter, while preventing around 80% of the heat from escaping. This way they can be cosy in the winter and comfortable in the Summer.

 

Why get a glass extension?

First and foremost, a glass extension is a great way to offer a seamless view of your garden and accentuate the connection with the outdoors while remaining warm and dry indoors.

A glass extension also adds a Wow-factor and more glamour to your home. That will also add to its value beyond what a simple footprint extension would bring.

Another purpose is to use a glass extension to connect two or more areas of your home.

Period properties often have smaller windows which constrain how much natural light can enter. Adding a glass extension can add a lot of natural light, open up space and add a modern touch to a period home.

 

Style options

While a simple glass box is always the first design option, there are others to discuss with your architectural designer to help the extension blend in well with the rest of your home.

If you don’t fancy a 100% glass design, you can balance the extension with steel or timber frames.

When there's not a lot of room outside, a lean-to extension is a good option as it will still open up the space and bring in extra natural light. Rather than adding a side return extension with rooflights, you can maximize the light by going for a glass roof, made up of either a single piece of glass or glass panels.

You can bring the outdoors even closer, weather permitting, with an ‘open-aspect’ glass extension – in which the outside glass ‘walls’ are glazed bi-fold doors. Two sets can allow the entire extension to be opened up.

When it comes to choosing a frame style, the thinner they are the more stylish your glass extension will look.

The exterior and interior appearance of your glass extension can also be customised with different glazing finishes. Powder-coated aluminium is a good option, but we can show you other ones.

Whether the glazed panels are fixed, bi-fold or slide open can also make a big difference to the style of your glass extension. We can show you examples of each.

Finally, a solid roof or a brise-soleil (sun shield) can be added to prevent too much sun from entering the extension. Or blinds can be used to control the light and heat, as well as add privacy when required.

Ultimately, the options are vast, so chat to your designer about what you’re looking for, so they can suggest appropriate options to choose from.

 

Ventilation

Your glass extension can be designed to use natural methods, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning for ventilation.

Trickle ventilators can be built into the frames of the glazing and a small, outward-opening window at high level can allow more ventilation without opening a door.

 

Heat control

Thinking about heat control in your glass extension starts with how not to lose heat via the glazing.

The higher the performance of the glazing, the less heat will be lost and the better the acoustics in your extension will be. So it’s worth paying more for a high-performance system with minimal frames and a low U-value (rate of heat loss). Low E (emissivity) glass should be specified as standard to minimise heat loss.

Once you’ve minimised what will be lost, underfloor heating is a good option, but you should think carefully about the position of the thermostat. Perimeter trench heating can also work in conjunction with underfloor heating, depending on the size of the extension.

Including shading via an overhanging roof, brise-soleil or canopy allows solar gain in the Winter when the angle of the sun is lower and prevents it in Summer when the sun’s higher.

 

Planning permission

In Scotland, you don't need to apply for planning permission if your extension meets the rules covered by 'permitted development'. They depend on how many storeys your extension will have.

If your glass extension will have only one storey, you don't need planning permission as long as:

  • It's located at the back of the house
  • It doesn't go back further than 3 metres if it's a terraced house, or 4 metres if it isn't
  • The height of the eaves (where the wall meets the roof) is no higher than 3 metres
  • It's not higher than 4 metres, including sloping roofs
  • It doesn't cover more ground area than your house does
  • It doesn't take up half the 'curtilage' – the grounds behind your home
  • It isn't within a conservation area

For the details relating to your home, get in touch for a chat as we have extensive experience in working with the Planning departments in several local authorities and can advise accordingly.

 

Cost

Glass extensions for homes are a lot cheaper than they might sound. The cost is dictated by the design you choose and subsequent engineering and testing of the glass you might need shaped for your extension.

As a rule of thumb, you should budget for a minimum of £3,000 per square metre. We can give you a better idea of what yours would cost

There’s more information about home extensions here.

Contact us to arrange a chat if you want to find out more.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Our values are: People; Honesty, Delivery; Creativity and Friendly.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

Which is better for your extension – sliding or bifolding doors?

Which is better for your extension, sliding or bifolding doors?

Which is better for your extension - sliding or bifolding doors?

We’ve all seen them on many episodes of Grand Designs – those impressive sliding or bifolding doors which allow the proud self-builders to open up their main living space to the greenery and patio outside.
So it’s unsurprising they’ve become pretty popular for people planning an extension too.
But what exactly are they and what are the pros and cons of each?

 

Bifolding doors

Bifolding doors, also known as folding-sliding doors, slide and concertina together the open door panels. They can also include a standard door at one end, so you can go in and out without having to fold any of the panels.

Bifolding doors can open leaving the folded doors either inside or outside the room. Most people choose the latter to make best use of the space inside and avoid having to keep furniture inside clear of the folded doors.

Half-in, half-out is also possible to fit your space, but get in the way inside and outside.
Bifolding doors are very easy to install, even in small openings and are also very secure, as most feature multiple locking points and enclosed tracks to make breaking in more difficult.

 

 

Sliding doors

In contrast to bifolding doors, sliding doors open by moving to the side and, as the name suggests, simply sliding – leaving the panes behind one another.

Sliding doors don’t allow you to fully open the room to the outside but ‘pocket’ versions are available - which see the sliding doors go into the wall. They’re good when space is limited because they don’t need room to manoeuvre inside or outside, but can mean more solid wall in the room than you’d want.

Typical configurations provide a half, two-thirds and three-quarters opening, which are ideal for larger openings.

 

Sliding and bifolding doors compared

Both sliding and bifolding doors offer great benefits., Here are the factors to consider when deciding which is best for your extension:

  •  The view: sliding doors will offer the most unrestricted view of the outside most of the time, especially with just two large panels, one sliding over the other. By contrast, bifolding doors will only offer a full view when completely open.
  • Access: If access versatility is your priority, bifolding doors are best as they can open the whole space or as many panels as you want or need. Bifolding doors are also better for creating a level threshold for wheelchair users to cross and no lip for others to trip on.
  • Thermal performance: thermal bridging, so some sliding doors can be better at keeping your previous and pricey heat in. But performance varies with materials used.
  • Installation cost: Bifolding doors can work out more expensive than sliding doors, but cost depends on a number of factors including the manufacturer and the materials used, so speak to the designer about all the options and their cost implications.

 

Confused? Contact us to discuss your space and which option would suit it best.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

How to start planning a home extension

ow to start planning a home extension

How to start planning a home extension

Extending your home is one of the biggest projects you’ll ever take on in your life, so to avoid coming to grief like some of the couples in Grand Designs you need to plan your extension thoroughly.

There’s much to consider on such a complex project, starting with your reasons for doing it.

 

What are your goals?

Because extending your home will need you to commit a significant amount of financial, time emotional resources, it’s worth starting by sitting down and asking yourself, and anyone else involved, what you’re hoping to achieve.

Maybe you need more space for your growing family, add a proper home office, want to bring an elderly relative to live with you, make your retirement home a bit more spacious or add value to your property with a view to selling it on before retiring.

Whatever your goal/s, you need to be clear and agreed on them from the start with whoever else needs to be involved.

 

Is a home extension the best way to achieve your goal/s?

Would moving house to a bigger one be a cheaper and quicker way to create space for your growing family? Or adding a heated outdoor shed in the garden be good enough for the home office you expect to be working from for some time yet?

If adding value is your goal, speak to a well-recommended local estate agent - as they can give a professional view on how much value your planned extension would add to your home. That would allow you to calculate the cost/benefit of the project, at least in the short-term.

If you decide building an extension is the best solution, read on.

 

‘Permitted development’

In most cases, you don't need to apply for planning permission if the extension meets certain rules. This is called 'permitted development'.

These rules depend on how many storeys your extension will have.

 

If your extension will only be on one storey, generally you don't need planning permission as long as:

 

  • It's at the back of the house
  • It doesn't go back further than 3 metres if it's a terraced house, or 4 metres if it isn't
  • The height of the eaves (where the wall meets the roof) is no higher than 3 metres
  • It's not higher than 4 metres, including sloping roofs
  • It doesn't cover more ground area than your house does
  • It doesn't take up half the 'curtilage' - the grounds behind your home
  • It isn't within a conservation area

 

If your extension will have more than one storey, you don't need to apply for planning permission if:

 

  • It's at the back of the house
  • There's at least 10 metres between the extension and the boundaries of your grounds
  • It isn't higher than your home (excluding chimneys)
  • It doesn't cover more ground than your original home does
  • It doesn't take up half the 'curtilage' – the grounds behind your home
  • It isn't within a conservation area

 

Other approvals

It’s also a good idea to check with your council's planning department if you need to apply for planning permission as, even if you don't, there may be other approvals you'll need to get, such as ones relating to building regulations.

If you don't own the land your home is on, you may need to get the permission of the landowner.

If you live in a listed building you will probably also need to obtain listed building consent.

Don’t forget – it's your responsibility to make sure you get any necessary approval before work starts as you will be held liable for any work done without it and have to pay for any remedial work to remedy the situation! This is where a professional architectural design team or architect can be invaluable – being aware of the relevant rules and permissions required in different situations and areas.

 

Neighbours

Building projects are a major cause of disputes between neighbours. If planning permission is needed for your extension, your neighbours will have to be consulted by your local council, so it’s a good idea to let them know about what you’re thinking about from the start.

This way they can feel involved, are more likely to agree and your designer can take into account any feedback from them on limitations to the design they’d wish.

 

Find and brief a designer

While there’s no requirement saying you have to use an architect or architectural designer to plan and manage your extension, it’s clearly a lot easier and less stressful to have a professional draw up the designs and manage statutory permissions and your project from start to finish.

Finding the right one for you is a matter of asking people you know, looking at the websites of the relevant professional bodies and researching each firm’s past projects and their client testimonials.

When you first meet your chosen designer, it’s crucial you give them as much detail as possible on what you want from the project, any timings you have in mind, payment terms, and what penalties will be in place if deadlines are missed. They will then send you a detailed letter along with a contract to sign.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

 

To discuss your requirements or for more information please get in touch.

Planning permission secured for Steading Extension

steading extension design

Planning permission secured for this stylish steading extension

Planning permission secured for this stylish steading extension

Planning permission has now been secured for this styling steading extension in Aberdeenshire, which will add both character and style to this already tasteful property.

The brief was to extend the one bedroom property to provide more living space and two new bedrooms.

Our proposed new East facing, 1.5 storey extension, more than doubles the footprint of the original house. It provides lots of additional light on both floors, a new master bedroom with en-suite and the landing area opens out onto a large glass framed balcony with a fabulous countryside view. There are two new double bedrooms on the first floor and at ground floor level, there’s a new large open plan kitchen/dining/family/games room, which will open out onto a new decked/patio area.

 

Current steading
Proposed design for steading extension

Stylish steading extension design for Aberdeenshire home

steading extension design

Stylish extension design for steading home

Stylish extension design for steading home

All Design is currently working on the design of a steading extension for this home in Aberdeenshire, which will add both character and style to this already tasteful property.

The brief was to extend the one bedroom property to provide more living space and two new bedrooms.

Our proposed new East facing, 1.5 storey extension, more than doubles the footprint of the original house. It provides lots of additional light on both floors, a new master bedroom with en-suite and the landing area opens out onto a large glass framed balcony with a fabulous countryside view. There are two new double bedrooms on the first floor and at ground floor level, there’s a new large open plan kitchen/dining/family/games room ,which will open out onto a new decked/patio area.

 

Current steading
Proposed design for steading extension

Thinking of a Home Extension? Here are the Benefits…

When you need more space at home, choosing how to get more space can be a tough decision to make.  Conversions is one option, moving home is another, but if you have the space, a home extension could be worth considering too.

 

Home Extensions Aberdeen

 

There are many benefits - here’s our TOP TEN BENEFITS for extending the home:

 

1.  Save hassle by not having to move home.

2.  A space designed specifically for your needs.

3.  Have extra space to enjoy family time or ‘me time’.

4.  Mitigate the risk of losing value between selling and buying.

5.   Save time – often it is a quicker solution than moving home.

6.   An extension can add value to the property.

7.   Use the opportunity to modernise and remodel your existing home to make better use of space.

8.  Children can keep their existing friends without having to move schools.

9.   Keep the home you’ve always loved.

10.  A beautifully designed and constructed extension will allow you to fall in love with your home all over again!

See also our Top Ten Benefits for Getting a Loft Conversion.

 

Each year, All Design work with tens of clients in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to design and create more space for growing families.  We offer friendly and impartial advice to help our clients get the most out of their home. 

For more information on Home Extensions please contact us directly on info@all-design.co.uk  or call us on 01224 701576.