Is a Highly Glazed Extension suitable for your Property?

HIghly glazed extension in London


What is a highly glazed extension?

If the total area of glazing exceeds a quarter of the floor area, your extension will be categorized as highly glazed. If you are feeling brave and don't care your neighbours will know what you are up to half of the times, you could consider creating a frameless 'box', constructed entirely of glass supported by a framework of glass beams. Alternatively, for a totally transparent effect, the glass panels can be held together by clear structural silicone glue.

If you don't have an exhibitionist streak or have a flock of pigeons living on your roof, you might want to compromise by building a traditional brick wall extension with an entire wall composed of sliding glass doors which open up to the garden. 

A glazed extension with a wall of sliding glass doors

Glass extensions and planning permission


If you live in a Victorian or Edwardian house, you might think that adding a vast amount of glass on it will make the council planners throw your planning application straight out of the window. Strange as it may sound, planning officers are not at all opposed to the idea of glass extensions being added to period properties. This is because the transparent nature of the glazed extension makes it almost invisible, preserving the integrity of the original building. 

If you have ever owned a conservatory, you might worry about your glass extension being too hot in summer and freezing in winter. Luckily, a modern hi-tech glass has exceptional thermal qualities and is incredibly tough. While a highly glazed extension will cost on average 30% more than a traditional one, the good news is that it will add significant value to your home, as it will appear brighter and more spacious. 

Extension with a glass bridge and glass banister railing

Materials and safety

Glass does not have to be used exclusively for the exteriors. Glazed staircases, railings and even balconies can easily be integrated into your home extension project. When it comes to materials and safety, some rules have to be followed. Modern double-glazed units consist of two sheets of glass, one being 12mm thick and the other one, made of toughened glass, being 6mm thick, making it strong enough to walk on.

Modern double glazed glass has high thermal performance, achieving low U-values, which is a crucial factor when it comes to complying with Building Regulations. Argon-filled, low-E double glazing reflects up to 60% of direct heat from the sun, keeping the room cool in summer and warm in winter.

To ensure your extension complies with Building Regs, always appoint reputable extension builders to carry out the work. 

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