Windows are a very important part of any building project, particularly on a single storey extension or loft conversion. The initial reaction is you can never have too many windows and they can never be too big! The purpose of windows appears to be pretty obvious, light, air. But what is it about the design you choose that can make such a difference to the look feel and design of an extension or loft conversion? In terms of design you could choose a row of port holes or a whole wall of glass – so you really can make an enormous difference to your extension by choosing exactly the right windows for your new space. You really don’t always have to choose the standard. Other things to take into consideration when choosing your glazing options are privacy, safety temperature, security and of course maintenance.
Let’s take a look at some of the options available out there and see if we can inspire you to choose something a bit different…
Beautiful french windows (doors) are elegant and traditional. Assuming you will want to exit at the rear of your new extension to an outside space these could be the perfect solution. French windows are traditionally wooden, but aluminium options are available too, and glazing can be used either side of their installation to create an even better view. If you live in an older property with lots of gorgeous traditional features then french windows (which are actually doors) could be the perfect choice for your extension. They are classic and traditional in their design and would be perfect opening onto a deck, patio or cottage garden.
The doorway on a patio door opens to one side of a double panel of glass. These are mounted on runners for smooth and ease of operation. The doorway is smaller than french windows as only one side of the door opens. However you get lots of light into the room with patio doors. Patio doors are considered more secure than french windows as they are usually double glazed uPVC with aluminium frames and integrated locks. Easy to clean as they have two large panels instead of lots of individual windows.. With uPVC it’s very easy to keep the frames clean inside and out too. There are coloured frame options available to complement or contrast with your design your design inside and out.
These have become very popular in recent years and really do add an extra dynamic to a rear extension. The feeling of space they give is quite unique. Bifold doors create a whole wall of glass at the rear of your home giving you an unhindered view of the garden, courtyard or deck. This is achieved by having multiple panes or leaves that fold back on themselves so that the entire aperture is opened up. The doors are fitted on runners and when opened they fold at the same time for seamless operation. They don’t take up as much space as french windows and are replacing the traditional patio doors in terms of style and design. If you also have an outside space for dining and socialising then you really can open up the space and bring the outside inside! Perfect for socialising.
Roof or velux windows can be installed on a flat roof or a pitched roof. You can install them in a side return extension to introduce light from above when the installation of traditional windows is not an option. Also very useful in a downstairs bathroom or ensuite when your neighbours are close! Velux windows have a central pivot to enable opening. Very useful when you need to clean them! Putting velux windows in the pitched roof of a loft conversion is a good way to bring light into the room if you are not building a dormer. If you look at your neighbours homes we bet you’ll find a velux or two in the roofs. Pitched roof windows will also allow more light into the room than traditional windows due to their positioning towards the sun.
Having a domed skylight on the roof not only floods the room below with light but it is also a fantastic design feature. Domed skylights typically add more light to a room than a flat skylight window. The curvature in the dome’s design allows it to bend the light from the sun and adds just a little extra light to the room. You can have the option of having a window that opens too. Perfect for an en suite bathroom (unless you are surrounded by very tall buildings and people can look in!) We love domed skylights – they look very cool and modern and are a bit unexpected.
Part Glazed Roof.
If you’re building an orangery at the back of your home one of the features could be a part glazed roof. But you can also incorporate this design feature into any single storey extension. Glass roofs are generally considered to be more energy efficient and require less maintenance than traditional counterparts. Compared to a traditional roof structure, innovative glass products can provide ultra-effective insulation from heat, cold and noise. Having a part glazed roof really does add a stylish design feature to any single storey extension. Again the glazing on the roof will allow more light into the space than traditional windows due to their positioning.
These are for loft conversions. A dormer is an extension to your existing roof that projects vertically from the roof slope. The dormer creates more space in the loft and usually has windows installed to allow natural light and air to flood the loft room. Internally the dormer has vertical walls and a horizontal ceiling. If you don’t have a dormer added when converting your loft you can still have windows fitted in the slope of the roof, on either side or both so you will still have fresh air and natural light.
Lastly but by no means least…can we talk about round windows? This is such a stylish option. Round windows really can add that pure design feel. Not only will you achieve a huge circular unhindered view to the outside but inside it will also look like a masterpiece hanging on the wall. Externally and internally a round window is beautiful. The size and look of a round window and the unique design will be a fabulous option to any home. You can have a round window installed that pivots and therefore opens. Which is an added bonus. Curtains or blinds on the other hand are a bit tricky….
With any window you always have to think about your glazing options. Security is important as is visibility, if you’re glazing a door then you don’t want someone to crash through it – but remember you could opt for tinted glass, opaque glass even sections of stained glass. There are so many possibilities. So there you go, just a little insight into what is available. Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to do a little research and see what best suits your design. It really is worth spending a bit of time looking at design, budgets and availability. It’s not a cosmetic choice like sofas and wall colour. It’s design aesthetics. How do you want to feel in your fabulous newly built space? Be in control of your extension or loft conversion project. Push your design boundaries and make your home unique and exciting. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck!