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glass side return - advice please on washing access

(7 Posts)
slowandfrumpy Tue 04-Oct-16 23:01:17

hello. I have hired an architect to help me design a side return and a loft (actually, he's not a qualified architect, and he's not RIBA certified, but that's another story). So, re my side return.

I told him I wanted a glass side return. He has drawn me a glass side return, but when I showed the plans to the window cleaner (who has worked this middle class side-extensiony area for decades) he told me they were nightmares to keep clean and asked me how I'd get access. There's no side access, and no support to walk on the roof, and no bathroom window to lean out of. He pointed out that the neighbours tree overhangs the roof and will dump leaves on it, and that the only way I could feasibly clean it would be to call someone like him out four times a year to do it with an extendable pole.
I asked the 'architect' about his plans for cleaning the roof. I don't think he'd thought about it and he said if I didn't like the idea of hiring the window cleaner regularly then I should just have velux windows instead.

So my question is: how hard are side return glass roofs to clean? Do you have a glass side return with difficult access and stare up at bird poo and leaves? Does self cleaning glass work?

Wrinklytights Wed 05-Oct-16 23:31:19

Not as posh as a glass side return, but my parents have a conservatory built in their side return, which is v inaccessible - house built on a steep hill with steps at the side so back garden is about 6ft lower than ground floor. They pay a window cleaner to come out every few months and clean the roof for £20 a time. Not a major expense really. I would ask yours how much he charges and see if that's a cost you can live with.

user1471549018 Thu 06-Oct-16 08:40:31

self cleaning glass needs quite a good pitch to be able to function, so wouldn't be suitable if you're planning a flat roof. If window cleaners can get to it I don't see the problem?

origamiwarrior Thu 06-Oct-16 08:52:45

Again, I'm not sure what the problem is - surely you're not planning to clean your own middle-class glass side return anyway! Just get the window cleaner to do it. The problem comes when you have a glass extension that needs scaffolding to be cleaned....

We have a glass roof conservatory (it isn't self cleaning), and a window cleaner, but for some reason he's never cleaned the roof (I must ask him next time he comes why!). Can't say I particularly notice any muck on the roof - having just looked, there is some, but I hadn't been aware of it until now. I think the weather does a good job of cleaning it (we don't have any trees nearby).

minipie Thu 06-Oct-16 09:09:59

I do see the issue but not sure why veluxes would be any better. We have an infill extension (similar to a side return in that it's surrounded on 3 sides and sheltered from the weather) and it has a velux which is constantly filthy.

YelloDraw Thu 06-Oct-16 09:39:41

I do see the issue but not sure why veluxes would be any better.

Because you can stand on a step ladder inside the extension and clean them from the inside I think?

minipie Thu 06-Oct-16 11:21:15

Ah I see. I suppose I could do that for my filthy Velux but I can't be arsed it would be filthy again within minutes.

OP, I think the key thing is having the windows - of whatever sort - at a decent slope. As that way the crud will wash off them more easily. And they will also be less prone to leaks. Having them flat looks great but means they will be far more prone to collecting dirt and leaking when it pours.

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