Buyers guide to glazing

Open up your home with contemporary window options

By Amy Hodge | 28 March 2017

Open up your home with contemporary window options.

One of the biggest areas to consider when planning a renovation or self-build is the glazing. If it’s not done well it can have a negative impact on your project, but with careful thought you can completely transform your home. Whether you’re undertaking a contemporary build or renovating a period house, there are plenty of glazing ideas to help improve your property, from modern roof lights and light-introducing fixed glazing, to energy-efficient windows that complement traditional facades.

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Roof Maker (0116 214 7154;


Modern benefits

Houses have come a long way from the days of timber-framed single glazing, with its draughts and lack of heat retention. The development of double-glazing in the 1950s and subsequent evolution of modern techniques have transformed how we’ve come to use glazing products in our homes. ‘There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing new windows,’ says Jill McLintock, product manager at Everest Home Improvements (0800 044 8535; ‘This includes energy efficiency, understandably one of the top priorities for homeowners today.’

Timber, PVCu and aluminium are currently the most popular options for windows. New techniques have helped make timber-framed windows a more energy-efficient choice, with contemporary frames engineered to strengthen them, to prevent rotting or warping. But timber can be expensive, one reason many self-builders opt for PVCu, which can be designed to look like timber without the cost. You can even install traditional sashstyle windows that incorporate the benefits of PVCu while retaining a classic look for a period property.

For a modern build, aluminiumframed windows are an excellent addition. Renowned for its strength and durability, the material allows for slim frames, making it an ideal choice for structural glazing if your build requires a large expanse of glass.

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Clearliving (01606 45109;


Light from above

Another way to use glazing in your home is through a roof light, which lets the sun flood into a space. It’s a great option for flat-roof extensions or to brighten up a loft conversion, while a retractable version allows you to take advantage of summer weather and can open up a roof to create an indoor-outdoor room. Similarly, walk-on roof lights form a terrace and still permit light to filter through to your home, while pyramid roof lights act as a striking architectural feature.

For rooms without windows, why not consider installing a sun tunnel – they cost around one-third the price of a roof light and are an efficient and easy way to brighten up a corridor or box room. These work by reflecting light down into a space and are great for adding light to areas where fitting a traditional window isn’t possible.

When it comes to installing your chosen glazing product, be aware that it isn’t a DIY job. ‘Always employ an experienced specialist glazing company,’ says Brad Lester, director at Maxlight. ‘Not only will they have a wealth of knowledge and experience, they’ll also ensure that the correct thickness and type of glass is used.’