Guide to Installing Glass: With and Without a Crane
June 7, 2017
The Pros and Cons of Including Large Panel Glass in Your Design
Light, after floorspace, is the most desirable quality in a home. Most people dream of having light drenched rooms and unhindered views out. Glass technology has come on leaps and bounds. Triple glazing is now often more insulated and efficient than some exterior walls. Glass itself has also comedown in price and lead time. But the ability to produce large format panes comes with the challenge of installing them. What savings you make on the glass, you spend on the installation.
Let there be light!
Your options are to either have the glass put in by hand, or craned.
Hand installation has the advantage of being able to reach spaces in densely populated areas, or hard to access buildings, or interior spaces. The drawbacks are size. Can the piece fit through the doors and corridors en route to its destination and can it actually be carried? Glass is exceptionally dense and heavy and in order to carry it, workmen need at least 90cm walking room each. So if this is your only option, you will need to have multiple panels to cover a large area. This method is cheaper than using a crane, but you’ll need a lot of workmen on site, and you will probably still need a parking dispensation if you don’t have a driveway, so that the van or lorry can be parked nearby.
This client had to have multiple panes along a side extension. Rather than consider them an imposition, we matched the colour to the kitchen island and tied them into the design.
Having a crane lift glass onto a roof or over your property into the garden is generally the easiest way to convey panes. It’s not cheap, and you’ll need to coordinate with several departments of the council to get a licence, reserve a parking bay, and redirect traffic and buses if necessary. But this is the best way to assure the desired seemless finish.