When a homeowner chooses to make an alteration, restoration, or renovation to their property, the benefits often seem self-evident. Usually, a property improvement has a specific goal in mind – whether that’s adding a new bathroom or reconfiguring the layout of an interior space. During the renovation process, many homeowners will be faced with the choice of including one or more glazing solutions – from simple windows to more complex installations.
But rather than simply being an additional ‘bonus’ to a home improvement, glazing can in fact become the focus of an improvement in its own right. And when renovating a property with glass as the main focus, there are a whole host of benefits that may not be initially apparent. Here are some of the most significant:
Glass can increase the value of your property
With modern sensibilities and tastes in mind, many glazing installations will actively increase the financial value of your home. Properties featuring new, modern installations that offer both practical and aesthetic benefits are, generally speaking, more valuable on the market.
Sleek, well-designed, and well-maintained glass installations – particularly those with cutting-edge or high-end technologies, will add the most value. While most kinds of home renovations will, at a base level, add value, the timelessness and visual appeal of glazing – particularly unusual features such as frameless glass doors – can make a property significantly more desirable.
It’s also worth noting that when it comes more unusual features, glass solutions can also offer some of the most effective ways to increase the ‘luxury’ factor of a property. While unusual architecture inherently makes a home desirable, it can be impractical to execute in a property without a complete renovation. Instead, eye-catching and aspirational installations such as glass floors or glass staircases can be enough to elevate the interior design of a property, justifying a higher price point.
This is certainly something to bear in mind if you’re considering putting your home up for sale in the foreseeable future; it’s worth doing some additional research however and speaking to a property expert (such as a surveyor or an estate agent), as other factors such as location will also influence this factor.
Glazing provides vital natural light
On a fundamental level, the three main intended functions of a glass installation (whether it’s a window, door, or rooflight) are to provide some combination of light, ventilation, or access. While airing out your home is vital, and glass doors are arguably far more pleasant external access points, the most beneficial of these is undoubtedly natural light.
This is true for a number of reasons. Arguably the most subjective of these is the fact that natural light is, broadly speaking, the ‘best’ lighting option for an interior environment. Whether you’re showing off your interior design skills, or simply using a mirror in the morning, natural light is the most useful and authentic in an interior space when compared with even high-quality artificial lighting.
More significantly than this however, and more objectively quantifiable, is the enormous benefits that natural light can provide to your wellbeing. These are numerous and far-reaching, impacting our most fundamental biology in a way that influences both our physical and psychological health.
These benefits arise as a result of the impact natural light has on our circadian rhythms. These are the ‘body clocks’ that govern our basic body functionality and repeat in cycles that are generally meant to match the rising and setting of the sun. The type of light that the sun emits lets our bodies and brains know to produce the hormones that fuel us during the day, and when this light source is reduced, our bodies know it’s time to sleep.
Modern life, unfortunately, is geared to disrupt these rhythms. We use smartphones and screens, which emit the same kind of blue light wavelengths that tell our brains it’s time to get up, at all times of the day. We spend countless hours at work and home indoors, and if the interior spaces we inhabit don’t offer our bodies enough natural light, we can be denied a few fundamental benefits of daylight. These include:
Increased Energy Levels
When we ‘reset’ our circadian rhythms, we sleep better. We become tired at the right times (particularly if we deny ourselves access to screen stimuli late at night – a practice we all should adopt), and as a result we sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed. As this accumulates over time, our overall energy levels increase and become ingrained in our biological rhythms – meaning we have more ‘get up and go’ in our daily lives.
How productive we are comes from, in a basic sense, our energy levels and our ability to focus. Put simply, if we aren’t tired, and can focus intently, then we’re more likely to get stuff done more quickly.
When our circadian rhythms are balanced correctly, and our sleep pattern is regular and optimised, our higher energy levels contribute to a sharper level of focus. We get hungry at the ‘right’ times, and as a result we maintain levels of energy more consistently.
All of these things in turn make us more productive – and considering how many people now work flexibly from home, or choose to freelance, ensuring your home environment provides you with plenty of access to natural light has never been so important.
Improved physical and psychological wellbeing
Aside from directly impacting our energy and productivity levels, plentiful exposure to natural light also offers a significant boost to both our physical and mental health. Natural light provides our body with the ability to produce Vitamin D, which promotes overall health and strong bone development (our bodies need it to absorb calcium efficiently).
On a psychological level as well, many of us know the negative impacts a lack of natural light can have. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects between 4 and 6% of the population to a significant degree, and exposure to enough natural light is the primary solution.
We spend a lot of time – particularly in winter months – indoors, and out of direct sunlight. Installing additional glazing in our homes can increase the amount of daylight we experience to a degree that’s sufficient enough to reduce the effects of seasonal depression.
Glazing can add living space
For those looking to increase living space in a home, it’s not unusual to jump straight to the conclusion that extending (or adding entirely new) walls is the best, and possible only, solution. While this is undoubtedly a perfectly effective approach, it can also become costly, and these kinds of projects can involve a lengthy period of planning and construction.
What many property owners might not realise is that with glazing now viable as a construction material in its own right, it’s possible to create entirely new living spaces from glass alone. Using silicone bonding and other structural fixing techniques, the many benefits of glazing can be amalgamated in the form of a glass extension or glass living area.
Traditionally, the term ‘glass extension’ would conjure images of a simple conservatory – budget friendly, yes, but cold in the winter, baking hot in the summer, and very much no longer ‘en vogue’. The modern glass extensions of today, however, are elegant, minimal, and endlessly practical.
With technologies including low-emissivity, thermally-broken, and triple glazing, it’s possible to design an extension entirely from glass that provides a consistently maintained interior climate. Temperatures and light levels can be monitored and controlled, and ventilation can be increased or minimised as necessary. This can all be controlled manually, or even integrated with a smart home system.
The result is entire sections of a home that flood spaces with natural light, increase your property’s value, connect the indoors with the outdoors seamlessly, and provide inhabitants with all the boosts to wellbeing that come with these kinds of improvements.
Whatever kind of alteration you’re thinking about making, be it large or small, the above reasons are just a handful of the multitude that illustrate how glazing can transform not only your home, but your domestic life.