Quickslide’s Adrian Barraclough shares the latest in overhead glazing.
A significant change in recent years has been the broadening of demand for overhead glazing solutions. Where once all that was generally available were the ubiquitous tilting roof lights that are ideal for sloping roofs, now the market is awash with overhead glazing panels of every size and shape and everything in between, that are ideal for flat roofs.
One of the key drivers for this is the revolution that has taken place in the conservatory sector: the basic lean-to, Edwardian and Victorian styles of conservatories have been replaced by more sophisticated structures, not least the ‘Orangery’ which, whilst bearing only a passing resemblance to their country house namesakes, have nonetheless changed the game. Again, influenced by such programmes as Grand Designs, homeowners are now more ambitious in their visions for increasing the living space of their homes, with some fantastic options offered for letting the light into conventional extensions.
The leading light (sorry!) in this charge for brighter, airier living spaces are lanterns and roof lights, both fixed glazed solutions that are designed simply to allow in more natural light to brighten up what might otherwise be dark and dingy extensions. The importance of these shouldn’t be underestimated: so many extensions have been built to add space, which then becomes under-utilised because they are dark and inhospitable. The addition of roof glazing changes the fundamental nature of an extension, and inexpensively too.
A traditional conservatory remains an attractive option because of the ability to add space quickly, inexpensively and often without any requirement for planning approval. But increasing numbers of solid walled and roofed extensions are being built instead as the glazing options – vertical and overhead – blur the lines between these options.
It has never been more important to understand just what options are available when helping a homeowner to decide on their new extension. When they come to you excited about installing bi folding doors or sliding doors, make sure they understand that adding rooflights is important to ensure light is spread evenly throughout the structure, thus preventing shadowy corners. And if you’re building a raised patio or deck area, consider glass balustrades for uninterrupted views as well.
As an example, our rooflight offer is fixed flat units that provide exceptional thermal insulation, light transmission and noise reduction, with the choice of double or triple glazed units. They are supplied in a slim and elegant aluminium frame which is simplicity itself to install. And, whilst you would hope that rooflights might avoid accidental damage these allow the glazing unit to be replaced without removing the frame. We also offer a choice of glass and would always recommend self-cleaning, such as Pilkington Activ. Believe me, it’s worth the little extra it costs.
The upshot (sorry, there I go again) of all this actually is ‘Glass is Good’; use that as your mantra when talking to your potential customers, commercial or private, include as much glazing as you can in any of your pitches and watch the work come rolling in!