Using glass

An extensive national survey showed that we are interested in using more glass in our homes than ever before and in more inventive ways. Why? Well I think we live in an age where we have a better understanding of good contemporary design and glass can play an exciting part in creating that. 81% of those surveyed said they preferred lighter, brighter homes, 66% would like some form of glass extension and over 80% said they are more interested in incorporating glass into their homes than they were 5 years ago.

I love using glass. It allows you to connect to the world outside when used in external walls and allows dramatic architectural spaces when used inside in walls, floors and as staircase balustrading.glass1 Glass can also be an incredibly good environmentally friendly material. Most glazing today is made from a large amount of recycled material and after its use in years to come it can be recycled again and again.

Ok, when making decisions about glass you have to be careful to avoid solar gain (too much direct sunlight getting into your home, dramatically increasing the internal temperature to the point where it is uncomfortable which may then have to be mechanically ventilated back out again) and you don’t want to annoy your neighbours at night by causing too much light pollution when all of your indoor lights are on, but this is no excuse for not using glass. Good design can avoid these problems.

On my new place I’ve gone to town. The glazing contractor is installing huge bi-folding glass doors to my dining area so the space opens out directly onto my garden, a glass roof over my kitchen, glass balustrades up the staircase, a clear glass panel within part of the first floor to get natural light down to the darkest part of the ground floor, glass doors to bathrooms, a 6-metre long frosted glass walkway to access the loft bedroom and we have installed huge Velux (www.velux.co.uk) skylights in roof.

Budget

I know it sounds expensive but it isn’t. All of the glass in the house is costing less than 8% of my overall budget, which is fantastic value for money.

Glass can transform an ordinary house into a spectacular house. So, well before your builders start on site, if I were you I’d start making some

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