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Do you think that highly glazed rooms are cold & bad for heat loss? But I'd love loads of light...help! Any advice?

11 replies

ilikeyoursleeves · 18/02/2010 22:10

We are planning our extension and to the rear of the house the architect is proposing 2 nearly fully glazed walls on a 3x3m single storey. So one wall has floor to ceiling windows (2m width) and the adjacent wall also has floor to ceiling windows 2m too. I like the idea of this to let in loads of light but it's north facing so I'm worried the room will be freezing? My neighbour said that her conservatory is a nightmare (also faces north) as it's always cold and we'd almost have the same amount of glazing.

What do you think? Should we just go for normal (biggish) windows instead of the floor to ceiling job?

OP posts:
Pannacotta · 18/02/2010 22:18

Unless you get some fabby and expensive glass which helps prevent heat loss you will find it VERY cold!
We had a conservatory in our last house with faced North East and it did get cold in the winter (and we didnt have any winters like this one while we lived there).
We put in decent insulation and thick column radiators to heat the space, which did work but the gas bills were very high...

taffetacat · 18/02/2010 22:36

We've just finished a refurb and had lots of glass put in as the whole point of our house is the view. Our kitchen has floor to ceiling glass on one wall but we are south facing. Although of course there hasn't been any flipping sun all winter......

We also have a very big picture window in our living space, its all open plan, so on the same wall as the kitchen glass. There is a limit to the amount of glass planning will allow due to heat loss restrictions. In our area, I am sure there is a specialist council dept that can discuss it with you from an energy perspective. There are certainly stringent guidelines on insulation, both cavity wall and roof ( so much so we have no loft space any more ).

The areas where we have lots of glass we have underfloor heating which provides a good, even heat. Even this winter the bills haven't been that bad. With radiators, a plumber/heating specialist will tell you what the minumum btu is you will need to adequately heat the area. And... this area used to be a conservatory which was boiling in summer and freezing in winter as it wasn't properly insulated or heated. Even on the coldest day this winter its been lovely and warm.

Elibean · 19/02/2010 13:10

We're doing almost exactly the same, also North facing. Heating engineer advised adding a couple of rads as well as underfloor heating....so we're providing a little over the BTU requirement, in case. We're also plumbing in for extra, in case we want to add rads in the future.

Our doors aren't quite floor to ceiling, but not that far off - and two sets of 3 doors across the whole back of the house - and we're having 9 roof windows/veluxes above. If you have windows, the sun should warm from above even on NOrth facing...except on really cloudy days. My friend has this situation, and she says it makes a huge difference if she closes the blinds or not.

ilikeyoursleeves · 19/02/2010 20:34

We are going to get a wood burning stove in this room too, do you think that would be enough to keep the room toasty or are extra radiators needed too?

OP posts:
GrendelsMum · 20/02/2010 11:01


The stove will only heat the room when it's running (well, after about 45 mins or so of running). So it's fine if you're going to run a wood-burning stove when you're in there. Do you already have a wood-burning stove so you know the practicalities?
ilikeyoursleeves · 20/02/2010 16:50

No I don't have a stove, I haven't a clue about them other than they look nice and eat wood.

I got the detailed architects plans today and he has put 2 radiators in the room where the stove will be. But I am thinking I might have the windows going from about knee height to ceiling, rather than from the floor. THat way it might be a bit more heat efficient, not lose too much light and we'd also be able to put eg, coffee table next to a wall rather than it sitting in front of a window IYKWIM.

I am also in a dilemma about knocking down a wall- ARGH. I need to decide soon so we can get the plans submitted. What's better- L shaped open plan kitchen diner living space or a separate kitchen and diner/ small living space?

OP posts:
GrendelsMum · 20/02/2010 17:12

You've got the key info about wood stoves then!

No, the problem I meant is that you've obviously got to go in, light them, keep an eye on them for 10-15 mins or so while they're getting going, and then it takes about 45 mins or so before you start feeling the benefits. So if you are going to sit in the room for an hour, you end up thinking 'no point in lighting the stove then'.

How about spending more money up-front on fabby glass like Pannacotta suggests, and know that your gas bills will be lower long term?

RustyBear · 20/02/2010 17:26

We have glass doors nearly the whole length of our sitting room (you can only see half of them in this picture), plus another big window at the end. It's not very cold; we have three radiators in the L- shaped sitting/dining room but we don't use one. But it's not north-facing (east & the end window is south, though that end doesn't get that much sun because of trees & the house next door) They were very expensive to curtain though, and I do find it a bit of a pain not having much wall to put furniture against.

ilikeyoursleeves · 21/02/2010 12:44

The room the stove will be in will be a kitchen diner thing so we will prob be in there a lot, ie the stove will be on a lot!

Hmmmm didn't think about the cost of curtains either. Argh.

OP posts:
bobdog · 21/02/2010 15:10

We have large floor to ceiling glass double doors small children and a dog.

In two years the dog has scratched the bottom of one panel and a grown up has put two/three long scratchs half way up the other panel, we're very careful people but I wonder how tatty it will look in a few years. I've definately changed my mind about lots of glazing in planned extension. Cleaning is a pain with finger smears/snot/mud etc.

I love all the glazing in magazine shoots but it is generally very new. Like youir idea I'll be going for a low wall in the extension.

narmada · 22/02/2010 13:22

Mightn't be too bad if you opted for triple-glazing, and maybe under-floor heating too? although not sure how economical this would be to run...and fo r sure it would puff up the installation costs a bit...

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