Since 1980 there have been no minimum building regulations for space standards in new housing built in both England and Scotland. The lack of regulations have led to new UK homes being the smallest in Europe, with the average room size of a UK new build being 70% smaller than that of France and new homes being just over half the size of those built in Denmark. These home builders market these new builds based on the number of bedrooms, not the size, meaning you’re likely to be getting a much smaller home for the same, if not a higher price than an older listing.
If you’re looking to get the most space for your money, investing in an older property and renovating seems like your best bet. The reality of new build housing is also inspiring many homeowners to ‘improve don’t move’, creating their vision in their existing home rather than trying to find it elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple with planning permission sometimes restricting extensions, you have to concentrate on how you can use the existing space inside.
In the last year with people spending more time at home, the popularity of sliding and bifold doors has increased at a rapid pace. Fitting these to kitchens, diners or conservatories can create the perfect multifunctional space, bringing the outside in and filling your home with natural light making it feel bigger and more inviting. But opening up your home like this often compromises your privacy, by using Switchable Glass, you can maintain a light and airy space with the benefit of privacy on demand. Switching from frosted to clear is as simple as the touch of a button or even by saying ‘Alexa, turn on my glass!’.
Whilst our switchable products don’t completely block out sunlight, they are ideal for common areas of the home like bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms etc. as they get rid of the harsh and usually irritating solar glare when frosted without plunging the room into darkness! We even offer a retrofit Switchable Film which can be applied to any existing windows or door systems, a quick privacy fix with little disruption to your home.
Homeowners with smaller floorplans often look to adopt an open plan layout, but again whilst creating the illusion of a larger space it sacrifices any privacy. By installing Switchable Glass Room Dividers, you can create a more functional space, which allows natural light to fill your home without the need for an open design. We’ve seen these at their best as partitions between bedrooms and ensuites, which can’t always accommodate windows or skylights so instead benefit from light from the bedroom windows. In their off state, their frosted nature provides privacy to users without blocking out light and can be switched to clear when not in use to make the room seem larger.
If you’re looking to bring light into your hallway or entrance hall, using Switchable Glass Doors throughout your home can add a modern yet practical solution. We can manufacture Smart Glass doors with sound insulating glass, providing both visual and audible privacy to any room. We have recently started offering Crittall style doors and partitions after the surge of interest in the standard industrial style glass features seen in many homes, but ours also provides privacy!
Flooding your home with light seems straightforward, but what about those rooms below the ground? Many older listings, especially terraced housing, feature large cellars or basements that are yet to reach their full potential. Some are lucky enough to have small low-level windows but most are void of any natural lighting. Whilst you can’t install a skylight into your cellar, you can install a Switchable Glass Floor into your home! In an exciting barn conversion project, we helped create a smart glass staircase above the property’s bathroom as it wasn’t possible to install a window. The staircase was cleverly positioned under a skylight so that at night the stairs could be switched to clear allowing for hours of stargazing from the bathtub.
If you’d like to find out more about how our switchable technologies can maximise the space in your home, get in touch via the form below or call +44(0)1226 361 306.