Looking to extend your living space and add more natural light? These glass extension ideas are just the thing to inspire a home renovation that adds both space and a sense of openness to any style of home. From modern barn conversions to period properties in need of extra space, a glass extension always delivers the wow factor.
For spaces large and small a glass extension is one of the most exciting ways to open up the layout of your home. As the popularity of open-plan kitchen and dining areas increases so does the demand for stunning glass extensions.
A dramatic glass structure across the wasted space of a side return, a contemporary glass box in a courtyard or elegant traditional-style conservatory added to the rear can all revitalise the feel of our homes, making them more suited to 21st-century living.
There are so many magnificent ways in which you can add space to your home with a glass extension. No longer restricted to the traditional white glass conservatory, there’s a wonderful variety of architecture that will increase your space and hugely improve your home life.
You might want to extend your living room, add a new kitchen-dining space, study or playroom. Done well, a glass extension can improve the flow of the entire ground floor and how the spaces are connected, allowing you to transform your living space with a more open and inviting feel.
Glass extension ideas
A glass structure is the modern hero of any home renovation project. Our edit of stunning glass extension ideas offers plenty of architectural inspiration for all property types and lifestyle needs.
1. Renovate with a sympathetic glass corridor
Would you ever believe this was once a run-down property? A dilapidated farmhouse and outbuildings, which hadn’t been updated for in over 30 years? Now it’s a charming farmhouse with an eye-catching extension. Keen to bring in more space and light, the owners of this farmhouse added an eye-catching extension. None as a sympathetic extension, the use of glass helps to unite yet differentiate the two existing buildings.
A glass walkway links the old to the new, and an arched zinc-clad roof on the upper storey holds the main bedroom, dressing room and en suite, and a light-filled kitchen and dining area below.
When choosing vast expanses of glass for an extension, Architect Peter Chiu of FC Architects shares his tips. ‘Be mindful of solar gain and over heating,’ he says. ‘If it’s west or south facing you’ll want a reflective coating to keep the space cool.’
‘Frameless glazing always has a frame. Ot’s just hidden or minimal. If you try and hide the frames all round, make sure the glass can actually be inserted and removed in case of breakages.’
2. Create a courtyard within a glass box extension
It’s hard to beat the ‘wow’ factor of a glass-box extension. Their ultra-modern design provides a bright living area, with unbroken views of the garden. They even work with period homes, but it’s essential to use the best-possible glass with a high-performance coating for year-round use.
Building solely with glass is costly, but you can achieve the look for less by using smaller panes and ultra-thin low-profile steel frames.
3. Extend out with a glass lean-to
Go out to the permitted boundary line for your extension but feel like you’re getting more from the space by choosing a glass roof. The single glass panel will make the space feel endless, and far less enclosed that a a timber framed alternative. Ensure to opt for the right glazing to ensure it’s not allowing the heating to escape throughout the colder months.
4. Square off available space
Interior designer Andrew Dunning of London Contemporary Ltd, says that modern glass box structures are favoured by English Heritage for use on listed buildings as they make a clear distinction between old and new. Constructed from structural glass, this version on a Grade II-listed terrace house cost around £42,000.
5. Maximise living space with a three-storey extension
This new-build traditional style detached house boasts an impressive modernist steel glass extension out onto the garden. The triple-height glass cube has been attached to an extension that is the same size again as the original house, and connected to it by an open-tread glass staircase.
The extension is grand but due to the open nature of the steel and glass structure the large-scaled design doesn’t feel oppressive in the space. Instead it creates volume, and as a largely glass structure, it bounces daylight around the rooms.
Do consider the practicality of a multiple-height space. ‘Warm air rises, so a double- or triple-height space will need good insulation, as well as suitable heating and ventilation,’ advises Nigel Green from architectural design firm Lusted Green. ‘However, they do transform the look of a house. And allow artwork and dramatic lighting to be displayed to full effect.’
6. Set your sights on the sky
The sky’s literally the limit when it comes to adding elegant glass extensions. Vast 4m-long panes of structural glass cut a dash in this modern garden room by IQ Glass and HUT Architecture.
Walls painted in off-black help draw attention upwards and out. The sliding doors are on a two-track system with one sliding and the other fixed plus minimal framework to maximise views. A similar glazing package would cost around £30,000.
When it comes to sliding door systems like these, you can go big – perhaps even bigger than you’d imagined. ‘With the majority of the designs on the market made from strong aluminium frames, they’re able to support huge panes of glass,’ says architect Simon Whitehead. ‘Minimal window systems from IQ Glass are available with sliding panes up to 8.5 square metres in size.’
7. Create rooms with a view
This exterior of a converted farmhouse demonstrates how a modern glass wall fronted facade can totally transform a traditional home. An architects vision the glass frontage is supported by rustic wooden beams to retain the character of the style of house, while integrating a more modern aesthetic with the thoughtful glass walls.
8. Add a subtle modern touch to a period property
This period village house Berkshire features a contemporary glass extension and modern interior. The light-filled glass extension offers a seamless transition to the outside via steps to a tiled patio area with flowerbeds. To maximise the glass features the house benefits from an additional side panel, across two floors, and a roof skylight.
9. Open up a corner with glass
Use a small extension to open up the corner of a room to flood the space with light. At the back of the house, leading into the garden means that you will not require planning permission because you don’t have to build past the permitted boundary of two metres out or above the existing roof height.
Using specialist glazed glass in place of structural brick walls allows for maximum light quality. Meaning no corner is left in the dark.
10. Preserve period style
Used as a light-filled dining room, this stunning orangery by Vale Garden Houses, prices from £40,000, features Georgian style glazing to match the main house, complete with classical columns and a deep entablature. The woodwork is painted in ‘Caribous Coat’ from Vale’s own Period Paint Collection.
‘It may be considered by many to put a very modern glazed structure onto a period house’ explains Lisa Morton, Director at Vale Garden Houses. ‘However trends do change and as a conservatory is expected to be around for several decades, this may not be appropriate for your property in the long term.’
‘Also bear in mind that a contemporary approach is not to everyone’s taste and a modern conservatory may be considered an eyesore to some when considering a house purchase, should you need to move. Personal tastes and approaches in style are best applied in the final decoration and interior design.’