Whether you are undertaking a self-build, completing a renovation or adding an extension, your scheme will inevitably involve some element of glazing.
With the growing trend for breaking down the boundaries between home and garden, getting this design detail right is crucial.
Choosing between systems and suppliers can be a daunting prospect – particularly as the finished result will be one of the most visible elements of your scheme. Here’s how to pick the right partner for the work.
Ideally, you should involve a glazing specialist as early as possible in the creative process. It’s easier to work through the options available on a blank canvas than it is to try to mould a solution into an existing design.
Any reputable supplier should be prepared to work closely with an architect or builder to provide the technical documentation needed to progress the project.
My advice would always be to see the product in person – whether in a showroom, at an exhibition or by visiting an existing installation. There is nothing like testing the doors and windows and seeing how they feel to help you make a decision on which one is right for you.
Finding a supplier with a wide range of choices who can recommend the best system for your scheme – and not just the one they sell – is key.
I believe that looking at the firm’s past projects and talking to their clients is a good way to understand what their capabilities are. There are several factors to consider ahead of selecting glazing and it’s a fine balance between performance, quality and, ultimately, budget.
It’s important to get as much detail as possible about the products you’re considering – including who will install them and how. Only by ensuring you understand exactly what the quote entails you will be able to compare like-for-like.
Although it can seem challenging if you are not familiar with the terminology used, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you deem necessary. This decision will have an important impact on your property and therefore your lifestyle moving forward.
Once you have selected your preferred system, contracts would be written up and CAD drawings and product specifications created.
Before you buy
As for manufacturing sizes, these can either be taken from the project plans or measured during a site survey. At IDSystems, we find the split between approaches is 50:50, as some of our customers want the reassurance of having the opening measured prior to placing the order. However, by waiting for the space to be completed before you submit the sizes, you’re likely to lengthen the lead time.
When it comes to installation, one of the most significant questions to ask is who is going to be fitting the products. I’d recommend hiring a company that supplies and installs the doors themselves – rather than relying on unexperienced third party fitters.
Having identified the ideal system for your project, you’ll want it installed and operating properly. In general sliding doors, bifolds and slide & turn units are highly specialist items and as such they require expert fitting.
While it may be tempting to opt for a supply-only arrangement to save money, I wouldn’t recommend this unless your builder has proven experience fitting the specific model you are purchasing – mistakes during this stage can prove rather costly. It’s worth bearing in mind that a supply-only service may diminish any warranty.
Edward Stobart is head of projects at IDSystems. For 12 years he has worked closely with thousands of self-builders and renovators. Liaising with builders and architects, he is able to offer advice and support on a wide range of industry leading, award-winning glazing solutions that are bespoke to each scheme.
For more information about IDSystems call 01603 408804 or visit their website.