Garden Room, Somerset

Architect Ann Ross had no hesitation in recommending VELFAC composite glazing for a stunning garden room extension to a traditional Somerset cottage:


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‘As a practice, we have used the VELFAC system for many projects over the years, including my own home,’ says Ann, Architect and Director of Hetreed Ross Architects: ‘As a result we are very familiar with the VELFAC system – it is well designed, neater than all-aluminium alternatives, and offers a slim frame construction with the same profile on fixed and opening units. VELFAC is also a very flexible system in terms of both colour choice for interior and exterior frames, and unit sizes and combinations.’

A key feature of the new garden room is a large VELFAC bi-parting patio door which opens to offer uninterrupted views across the valley to the hills beyond, and which is flanked by full height window units on both front and side facades. There is also an outward opening hinged door on the north façade. This creates an almost fully glazed extension joined to the cottage with traditional stone walls, and with cedar-clad corner posts and a flat membrane-covered roof.

‘Our client wasn’t aware of composite glazing until we suggested VELFAC,’ says Ann, ‘so we took her to see the VELFAC system ‘in action’ at my own home, where I’ve installed a variety of different units. I could also demonstrate the contemporary finish VELFAC provides, which was exactly what our client wanted – a deliberate contrast to the existing cottage – and she is delighted with the end result.’

As the garden room faces south-west, standard VELFAC double glazed units provide all the insulation required to ensure the interior stays warm and draught free, even when internal doors are open. An overhanging roof prevents excessive sunlight but, says Ann, ‘the glazing actually provides lots of helpful solar gain which dissipates through the rest of the cottage, helping ensure an even temperature throughout, even when the garden room doors are open. In-built, standard trickle vents also provide sufficient ventilation, in combination with the existing windows in the room,’ adds Ann, ‘so we didn’t need any smaller opening lights – the large glazed units work very well.’

As the cottage features traditional timber framed windows, the owner was keen to use the same shade of light green on the external VELFAC aluminium frames, which VELFAC could supply. Internal timber frames are finished in a clear varnish (‘with the lack of visible fixings another advantage,’ notes Ann) adding character to the room and also complementing the wood flooring which matches the existing part of the room. As a result, the frames become an integral part of the room design, and underline the skilful blend of contemporary and traditional styles which make the garden room so successful.


Sector: Extension to a traditional cottage

Architect: Hetreed Ross Architects

Photographs: Hetreed Ross Architects,

Builder: Bath Style Ltd

Specified for:

  • Contemporary, flexible design
  • Slim frames
  • Proven performance
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Different frame finishes, inside and out