Building a glass box extension is a great way to create extra space and bring natural light into our homes. Most designers use it to connect the in and outdoors while bumping up the price of the property. It is one of the best home improvement projects for the average homeowner.
Just like most construction projects, there is no fixed price on a glass box extension. It’s easy to get an accurate cost for the glass, timber, and rails, but there’s much more to it than that. There’s still a foundation to lay, electrical work to complete, and insulation works to finish before showing it off to friends and family.
Generally speaking, glass extensions are usually more expensive than conventional buildings. Anyone looking to complete this project will have to pay extra for the structural plan, and construction-grade glass isn’t cheap either. However, the result is always worth the time, money, and effort.
For best results, I recommend using laminated safety glass for the project. It is an extra-strong material made by fusing two or more glass panels with a layer of PVB in between the glass. This process involves heating the panels in high temperatures while exerting pressure to create a super-strong product.
Other times, tinted glass might be the perfect solution, especially when privacy is a big concern. This type of glass has a protective filament that filters UV rays, reduces heat from sunlight, and brings design aesthetics to the project.
Building a glass box is not one of those DIY projects. The materials used in these projects are weighty, fragile, and require a high level of accuracy. Any mistakes would lead to huge losses and massive delays.
To avoid this mess, engage an experienced builder to execute the build.
Cleaning is the only regular maintenance needed to keep the glass box looking good. And, that starts with ensuring a minimum of 1% slope on the roof. Any water that falls on the panels will wash away any debris, leaves, and dust on the glass roof.
I recommend getting a stable ladder, pressure horse, and glass cleaning products to get the job done. It is also important to check if there’s enough space to prop the ladder for safety reasons.
Alternatively, consider outsourcing the job to professional window cleaners if DIY cleaning is not an option.
Unless the glass box is made of thermal glass, hot summer days can be unbearable in the sunroom. The sunlight heats everything in the room, raising the temperature considerably. And most builders will recommend using a fan or installing high ventilation points in the extension to let the hot air out.
Heating the glass room during winter is equally challenging. Most of the heat escapes through the glass or joints, which raises the heating costs. To puzzle out this issue, install thermal blinds and a burning stove to make the room usable during the winter.
A glass roof might sound great on paper, but it can pose a serious challenge during the summer. Most people use glazing systems to reduce the “greenhouse” effect in the glass box. But it’s worth noting that this treatment uses opaque films, which means no more stargazing.
It is also possible to install a skylight or retractable roof instead of a glass roof. That reduces the heating problem in the summer and still allows natural light into the room.
Walk-on glass should be toughened and laminated to make it safe. It is also a good idea to use glass with a non-slip coating. Usually, they come with sandblasted round spots that allow people to walk on the glass safely.
Glass roofs are a great idea when looking to bring more natural light to a basement or a room under an upstairs terrace. It is also good to have a walk-on aquarium in the sunroom to give it the wow effect. But these complexities also come with serious safety concerns. So, be sure to order the right glass for the job to avoid nasty surprises later.