May 31, 2013

Want an Extension? What Glazing is Right for You?

Written by Rebecca Clayton

How to Improve Natural Light in Narrow Properties
"Single storey rear extensions open up living spaces to the garden"

When extending a space light, and therefore glass, will be an essential component of any modern design. Glazing applications to extensions on residential properties can be designed in a plethora of variations and types. Which type of extension that is good for each project will depend on the space available, the garden, the house and each has their pros and cons.

Single Storey Rear Extension

Single-storey rear extensions open up living spaces to the garden. Incorporating large opening glass elements, such as minimal frame sliding doors or sliding folding panels, will open up large parts of the living spaces, creating an open flow between the gardens and living spaces.

Walk on rooflights above a single storey extension can create a useable roof terrace above, further extending your recreation space.

Double Height Rear Extension

Similarly to a single storey extension, this can open up the living spaces on the ground floor and then add a further bedroom or bathroom space above. If using minimal framed sliding doors to the base, fixed structural units can be used above for a brilliant continuation of design on both floors. An alternative option would be to use sliding minimal windows to the upper floors with fixed balustrades integrated into the framing; these can be used to create a contemporary Juliette balcony effect.


A basement renovation, if possible, will add a whole further floor to the property and in some properties increase the usable living space by at least a third. If you are able to extend this under the rear garden, this increase in space could be considerably more.

Bringing light down to this sub ground level is an important aspect of making it a welcoming, usable space. Using light wells with minimal windows sliding doors or fixed glass panels will bring in huge amounts of natural light from above. Alternatively, fixed walk on units, either below a garden space or in the floor of the ground floor will bring in large amounts of vertical light.

To allow light to transmit through a space using internal glass panels as partition spaces is a great idea, using privacy glass for moderated privacy.

[Read more in our article: Glass in Basements]

Roof Extension

Extending over roof spaces can provide further external spaces, such as balconies or roof terraces, or extending over segments of the roof will add bedroom or bathroom space. These higher elements will have greater views than below floors so the use of glass here will have a huge benefit. If extending to incorporate a balcony, glass balustrades will appease planning officers looking to maintain the original design of the building.

Using minimal windows sliding doors to balconies as sliding windows will maintain views out and walk on rooflights on roof terraces will maintain good natural light to spaces below.

Side Return Extension

Side Return extensions make great use of what is often dead space to the side of houses, used as storage or passage to rear gardens. By extending out to party walls you can open out the rear downstairs of normally narrow properties.

The use of glass here is important and can usually create a much lighter space than you had previously. By using glass roofs you get as much natural light to the space as possible and incorporating large glass elements to the rear can create a much better connection to the garden making this external space much more accessible.

These relatively small renovations and extensions can make a huge difference on how a space is used.


Garden Rooms

Detached Garden Rooms create a private retreat from the main house, great for home offices, media rooms or a separate living space for growing children.

Again, using large opening glass elements such as minimal windows or sliding folding doors will open this extra space to the garden. If used as a home office natural light is proven to be a huge factor in productivity so using large glass elements is essential.

Contact IQ Glass UK to find out more

+44(0)1494 722 880