When seeking to commission the perfect glass extension for a home it is important to understand some of the basic issues to be addressed.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A GLASS EXTENSION
Quite simply, it is an extension to an existing property featuring a large amount of glass. The rest of the construction can be of steel, timber or brickwork, but the largest areas will be of glass. Modern technology has made it possible to use very large single sheets of glass safely. It is even possible to construct an almost frameless glass extension using special sheets of glass and a minimum of steel framing.
A glass extension is not a conservatory, and is quite different from a traditional brick-built home extension. As a consequence, it will be more expensive.
A glass extension can extend living space, or link two sections of an existing building or buildings.
When considering a glass extension it is important to consider how it will sympathetically blend with the current building and its surroundings, as well as the purpose it is intended for.
Glass extension can be far less intrusive than traditionally-built extensions and can often work very sympathetically with structures from many different periods.
Some people may have a very clear vision of how they want their glass extension to look and what they will use it for. Nevertheless, it is usually advisable to engage the services of an architect, or at least a structural engineer, as both can add to existing ideas and ensure that the appropriate building methods and materials are employed.
As well as having the option of choosing steel, brick or wood for use with glass, there are a number of different types of glass available. Different degrees of transparency and reflectivity are available, as well as variations in thermal properties.
Glass extensions will always employ the use of specially toughened glass so that where glass is used for ceilings it is tough enough to withstand the weight of someone walking upon it.
A glass extension is still a significant extension to an existing structure and will therefore require planning permission. There may be certain restrictions that are applicable, depending upon the area in which the extension is to be built and the type of building to which it is going to be added.
It will be necessary to undertake some basic research and engage in a dialogue with the local council planning department before finalising any plans, as they may have to be changed after consultation.
A glass extension will be more expensive than one using traditional materials. Price will vary depending upon size, construction methods, and the types of materials used, particularly if highly specialized glass is to be used.
The benefits of extending existing space with a glass extension are several. Apart from creating more space, glass will also make a dramatic change to any structure simply by letting in very significant amounts of light. Glass also opens up a building by allowing the scenery outside to interact with the interior.
By using the correct type of glass, warmth from the sun can be allowed in and kept in, reducing energy bills. At the same time, there are a number of different coatings and glass manufacturing techniques that can help to keep an environment at the desired temperatures.
Using glass can make a stunning aesthetic statement in ways that no extension using traditional building methods can.
A glass extension can be a thing of beauty and compliment and add to any structure provided it has been designed and built in a thoughtful and professional manner.
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