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Fitting Plate Glass Doors to an Extension

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 15 Oct 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Glass Doors Plate Sliding Extension

Those huge panoramic glass doors to the garden look fabulous on all the house television programmes, don't they? But what's the reality of fitting them, what's available and are they practical in day-to-day use?

It's quite hard to generalise about large plate glass doors because most of them are sold as complete systems. So fitting them and maintaining them will be different for the different manufacturers and often their different product lines too.

The most important point is to decide on your product and, most importantly, size, before going too far with the extension build process. Note that if you live in a conservation area, or other zone where there are restrictions on building, you may have to show the planners your choice of window to make sure it's not going to infringe their regulations.

There are three main categories of door mechanism, sliding, folding and casement opening.

Folding Plate Glass Doors

Within the folding category there are many different mechanisms but the most important thing is to work out where the hinge point is. Do you end up with the folded doors mostly on the inside of the house, the outside, or equally spilt between the two?

If they end up outside the house you might want to build out a lip or peak on the roof of the extension to protect them from the elements. If they end up mostly on the inside, remember that you won't be able to use some of the floor space because you'll need to allow room for the folding action. This might make you reconsider the dimensions of the extension.

Casement Style Glass Doors

With casement doors you do still have this problem but it's only in the areas of the windows that open. If you keep the panes to either side the fixed ones then you only have to keep the central space clear.

If you feel you this might be restrictive, consider having one opening door at one end of the run of glazed doors. Then you can place furniture up against the rest of the run, like a dining table and chairs, without it having to be moved when you open the doors.

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are much better in both these respects than folding or casement windows, but many people don't like having to have a fixed pane. The ideal is to have the whole side of the extension completely open. Also the sliding mechanisms have a habit of sticking if they are not maintained properly. Note that 'frameless' doors often aren't what we would understand frameless to mean.

Most frameless doors do not actually have door frames as such, but there will be a trim around the plate glass door, often metal, sometimes plastic, to protect the edges of the glass panes from chips and other damage. This is obviously practical but spoils the purity of the design

Truly frameless doors and glass walls are available but at a tremendous cost. The walls are either glued together or fixed with metal brackets and the joints sealed. The doors have to have metal fixings for the hinges and closing mechanisms, of course, but are otherwise devoid of trim.

Plan and Specify Before Building

The approach to getting the effect you want at the price you need is to choose the format that best suits your needs and select a short-list of products. Once you've looked at all the information and seen them in action if possible, make your choice but then make sure you design the opening in the extension to fit their standard product line.

If you find out at a very late stage in the extension build that you need to order custom plate glass doors, the price will be through the roof and your dreams could go out through the door.

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tell me if a neighbour has a loft extension without disturbing the roof is it right or legal that he;s running water from the loft joins my pipe work should he not have his own down pipe.
pam32alfred64 - 15-Oct-16 @ 6:56 PM
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