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The leading architectural trend nowadays is large glazing, providing rooms with a healthy amount of natural light, improving living comfort and having a significant impact on the well-being of residents. Joinery that meets these requirements is currently the bestseller. It might seem that having large windows is all about advantages. But do large glazings also have disadvantages? In this post we will try to answer this question.
Size of windows and regulations
Is the number and size of windows a matter of law or an individual decision of investor who can decide for himself how many and how big windows he wants to have? It turns out that the law clearly specifies the issue of windows, specifying the minimum requirements for buildings in which people live. And so in accordance with the regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure every room which is intended for human occupation (that is intended to be occupied by the same people for more than four hours a day) should have permanent access to daylight. Such rooms in residential buildings are probably the living room, bedroom or office, but not necessarily the bathroom and kitchen.
So we know that the law clearly indicates which rooms must be equipped with windows, but is their size an individual decision of the investor? Well, no. This is also defined by the Regulation, giving the minimum area of all windows in a room:
“In a room intended for human habitation, the ratio of the window area, calculated in the light of the frames, to the floor area, should be at least 1:8, while in another room where daylighting is required due to its purpose – at least 1:12.”
According to the regulations, it is therefore possible to install both a single, larger window with an area of at least 1/8 of the floor, as well as several smaller windows, whose total area will be correspondingly large. Fortunately, the document does not indicate any restrictions on maximum glazed areas in a building.
No windows or small windows
As mentioned above, from a legal point of view, it is not allowed to have no windows in a building intended for people staying there at least 4 hours a day. As we mentioned above, from the legal point of view it is forbidden to have no windows or to have them too small. Lack of natural light does not only adversely affect the well-being, but can be dangerous to human health. From problems with concentration, to headaches, mood deterioration or insomnia – these are all effects of insufficient amount of natural light. It doesn’t sound encouraging, so already at the stage of designing a house every investor should think carefully about the placement and size of their woodwork.
Advantages of large windows
So let’s focus on the advantages of having large glazing. The first of them, providing a whole range of health benefits is the large amount of natural light coming through large windows. In addition to comfort and well-being, bright, maximally illuminated interiors also look more aesthetically pleasing. They appear larger, more spacious and more homely. In an interior illuminated by natural light, you simply want to stay. Large glazings, especially in the form of terrace sliding doors, functionally connect the interior of the house with the outside space, thus creating a natural extension of the house and inviting household members and guests to spend time on the terrace. But the benefits of large windows don’t end there! Another, slightly resulting from better illumination, is the possibility of heating the rooms with solar energy on colder days, which, as we know, are not lacking in our climate. In order to make maximum use of solar energy to heat the air in the house, large windows should be placed on the south side, where the sun shines the longest and the strongest. It is worth once again emphasising the aesthetic value of such solutions. Large glazings can become a beautiful decoration of the house, opening it up to the space around, inviting nature inside.
Disadvantages of very large windows and glass doors
Of course, while extolling the virtues of large windows or patio doors, one cannot ignore the challenges that such a solution brings. Always when deciding on the purchase of a particular woodwork, one has to take into account both the pros and cons of specific solutions. When writing about the possibility of reheating rooms with the natural solar energy coming in through large glazings, one has to remember that in hot summer months the solar energy coming in through the glazing may work against us, and the temperature may significantly exceed our expectations. Of course, if we think about this at an early stage and provide our large windows with an external window cover, such as an external roller shutter, the problem will resolve itself. The situation is different in winter. Every window is a partition through which heat can escape to the outside. Similarly, a large window or terrace door is a large partition through which more heat escapes. Currently, every window available on the market meets the thermal insulation standards specified in the building law – however, when planning large glazings, it is worth choosing joinery with very good heat transfer coefficients.
Some investors who want to choose large windows for their houses are concerned about safety and uninvited observers. Large glazing means a higher probability of forcing through an obstacle in the form of glass as well as prying eyes of the neighbours. However, even these problems can be solved. Privacy will be ensured by appropriately selected both external and internal shields. However, it is worth taking care of safety already at the stage of choosing the woodwork and bet on anti-burglary solutions. Anti-burglary mushroom cams, special catches and laminated reinforced glass – the combination of all these elements means that even a large window or terrace door will provide the household with safety.
How big should the windows be?
Of course, house designers usually choose their size according to the size of rooms, so that their dimensions are in accordance with the law, but also provide an appropriate level of natural light. The current dominant trend is to choose large glazing, especially in the form of large sliding patio doors complemented by fixed windows, the so-called fixes. Such a combination will ensure a unique design of our interiors, and the household will guarantee a bright and cosy place, ideal for spending time with the family.
How to install large windows?
Installation of large windows does not differ significantly from installation of smaller, standard size windows, although the process is slightly different. The window structure and glass arrive separately at the building site. First, the openings are prepared, structural elements are assembled, the frame is sealed with the wall, and at the very end the glazing is installed. Due to the large size, and thus the significant weight, the team assembling such woodwork should be trained in the assembly of such solutions and have the necessary tools and machines to carry out the assembly of large-size woodwork. So if we are determined to enrich our house with fashionable large glazing it is worth considering all pros and cons already at the design stage, and then find a reliable company that along with a high quality product will take care of its proper installation.