Many householders choose to have decorative glazing in their windows or doors. It adds personality to your home along with a splash of colour on an otherwise plain canvas.
Stained glass became popular in Victorian homes where the pictures were of birds or flowers. Many can be seen today in Victorian and Edwardian homes, particularly in the glass panelled doors leading from the front door into the hallway.
Another popular method of decorating windows is lead lighting. Leaded windows are made up of small sections of glass that are supported by the lead, or rather the lead cames.
Not all coloured windows are of old fashioned birds, flowers or religious scenes. You can have modern designs for these things or you can use patterns and abstract shapes on your glass.
In this guide, we’ll tell you about decorative glazing, what affects the cost, how you can save money on decorative glazing, what’s involved in fitting decorative glass, how to find and hire a glazier and what questions to ask them.
Plus, we’ll answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
How Much Does Decorative Glazing Cost?
Stained glass costs anywhere between £200 and £1,000 per square foot. As decorative glazing is done on a bespoke basis, decorative glazing companies don’t publish their prices online.
The cost is based on the number, size and shape of your windows, or the design you choose. The cost of decorative glazing can easily rise into thousands of pounds.
The best way to get a quote is first of all measure the window or door you want for the decorative glass.
Choose a Design
The more intricate a design is, the more money it will cost. If you’re on a budget remember to keep the design as simple as possible.
Request quotes online or over the phone. Be sure to give as much detail as you can about your windows and the type of design you’d like.
This will make the quotes you receive more precise.
Once you’ve ordered your window or door glass, expect it to take between four and six weeks until delivery. As each piece of glass is hand-crafted, the time it takes will depend on whether you have chosen a simple or complex design.
If you want quotes for decorative glazing use HouseholdQuotes. Simply fill in our online form and tell us briefly what you need.
We’ll then find decorative glass companies to give you no-obligation quotes.
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What Affects the Cost of Decorative Glazing?
Several factors will affect the cost of decorative glazing. We take a closer look at these factors below to help you set a budget for this type of design project.
Number of Windows
If you only want one window in a decorative pattern, for example, a hallway door, this will cost less than if you have three window panes decorated on a bay window.
Size and Shape of Your Windows
If you have windows that are standard sizes and shapes, the work will be much easier for the craftsperson creating your design. If you need irregular sizes or shapes this will cost you more because it will take longer to fabricate.
Complexity of the Design
Again, like the size and shape of the window, the complexity of the design will also have a bearing on the cost. A simple design won’t take as long to create as a complex design and will therefore be cheaper to produce.
Your Choice of Decorative Glazing
Stained or lead glass is often found in period buildings. They are also often seen in bay windows in a combination of leaded and stained glass.
Stained glass is created when colours are added to the glass as it is made and then shapes and patterns are cut out for a design.
Leaded windows can be designed in intricate patterns but they are often found with vertical and horizontal stripes creating smaller individual panes.
Coloured glass is created by colour coating plain glass, using a film overlayed onto the glass. The film is like cellophane.
After it is applied to the glass lead strips are applied so the window looks like an authentic stained glass window.
Bevelled glass is created when cuts are made into the glass at an angle. Usual designs are patterns or diamond shapes.
Etched glass windows normally have obscured glass with a transparent pattern. The patterns are created by sandblasting or from a mould.
Textured glass is often used when a householder requires privacy. Natural daylight soaks through the glass, but you can’t see through it.
The texture is created by sandblasting or etching.
Sandblasting is used to create opaque glass. It is the sand being blasted by a machine onto the pane which removes the surface of clear glass and gives it a frosted look.
Georgian or Astragal bar
Georgian bars help to create a window that looks like it is made with individual small windows. However, the windowpane is whole and the Georgian bars are placed in the middle of double-glazed panes.
That means you have the effect of individual panes with the ease of cleaning just one complete window pane.
Astragal bars also have Georgian bars on the inside of the panes, but astragal bars on the exterior are placed over the glass and are often used in period properties for a more authentic look.
Large Company or a Local Fitter
A large company will spend some of their profits on advertising, either on television or in magazines and newspapers. Their overheads are bigger than a local fitter.
Large companies will often group buying and installation. It means you buy from that company and don’t get the choice to buy your glass elsewhere.
If you find a local fitter you can buy the glass where you choose and the fitter will install it.
If you live in London and the South East of England you will pay more for services. Expect to pay between 10% and 20% more than advertised average prices.
How Can I Save Money on Decorative Glazing?
There is a market for second-hand front doors with stained glass. Prices range from £20 to £500.
Buying a door this way means you don’t get to design your own glazing, but it can save you a considerable amount of money.
If you can’t afford a designer option, you can buy film that you install over your glass to give you a decorative window. The film is available in a variety of patterns including frosting and stained glass effects.
Prices start from around £10 for a piece of frosted film for a bathroom window or an engraved pattern for a hall doorway.
Another way to save money is to keep your design simple and consider having small sections decorated, rather than the whole window or door.
Research what you want by looking at photographs online and once you’ve made your decision stick with it. Making changes after you have put in your order could cost more money.
You can also buy some types of glass on the internet if you have standard window sizes. For example, frosted and etched glass is available off-the-shelf.
Of course with this type of purchase, you can’t make up a design, you have to purchase the designs the manufacturer is selling.
An etched design glass by Pilkington that’s high obscurity (so suitable for a bathroom window) at 1000 mm x 1000 mm can be bought for around £325.
Textured glass of the same size is a lot cheaper and you can buy this type of glass at around £90 and tinted glass is around £95.
You can also save money by comparing quotes. Get at least three or four quotes for your decorative windows or doors.
Ask for the same design and size on each quote so that you can easily compare them.
When you want to find a glazier use HouseholdQuotes. Simply fill in the online form (it takes less than a minute).
We’ll then find glaziers to give you no-obligation quotes for your decorative glazing.
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What’s Involved in Fitting Decorative Glass?
If you have etched or sandblasted glass it must be installed so the unetched side is on the outside. Leaded and coloured glass should be installed with the colour to the inside of your home.
First of all, you will need to remove any glass that is still in your window frame. Wear gloves when you do this.
You also need to remove all the old putty. You can do this by using a chisel.
Make sure the whole area is clean and dust-free.
Add new putty into the window rebate. Press it in firmly and make it about 3mm thickness.
Now take the new decorative pane of glass and place it at the bottom of the frame. Push the glass gently around the edges into the putty.
Secure the glass by placing glazing panel pins. It is best to put them at intervals of around 200mm.
Make sure they are lying flat against the surface of the windowpane.
Next, take more putty and put it around the window rebate. Make sure to push it along the edge.
Wet a putty knife and smooth the putty carefully so you have a level surface. Make sure the putty is smoothed down in the corners.
Leave the putty to dry and enjoy your new decorative window.
How Do I Find and Hire a Glazing Company?
Seek recommendations from family, friends, neighbours and colleagues at work. It’s always nice to have a personal recommendation from someone who knows a glazier’s work is good.
Fill in your postcode and they will give you a list of FENSA approved members in your area.
HouseholdQuotes can help too. Fill in our online form and tell us what you need.
We’ll then find window and door installers to give you no-obligation quotes for your decorative glazing project.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Always get quotes in writing if you can. If you have telephone quotes ask them to either confirm the price to you by email or text message.
The questions we suggest you ask are:
- What experience do you have? It’s always useful to know if they are a well-established company or they are just starting. You might find that a newer company is slightly cheaper, or you may prefer to pay more for someone’s experience, especially where decorative glazing is concerned.
- Have you got customer feedback and photographs of any work you’ve done in the past? The tradesperson may have a portfolio to show you, or they may direct you to their website. Websites often have case studies, photographs, and customer testimonials.
- Are you a member of any trade associations? Trade associations will only grant membership to tradespeople with a good work record. They should also have a high standard of workmanship.
- Do you have public liability insurance? All tradespeople should have public liability insurance. Public liability insurance protects the tradesperson and yourself from any claims. Claims could be made against you for injury or damages as a result of an accident while your decorative glazing is being installed.
Use the checklist below to take the best steps to hire a professional to instal decorative glazing:
- Visit your planning department if you live in a conservation area and you want coloured glass in your exterior windows or doors
- Research the type of decorative glazing you want
- Choose a style
- Design your pattern and choose your colours
- Get quotes (HouseholdQuotes can help you with this!)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Coloured Glass and Stained Glass?
Stained glass is most often seen in places of worship.
Coloured glass is painted onto the plain glass and then the glass is fused in a kiln. Another method is to place a film overlay on the plain glass.
Coloured glass doesn’t have separate pieces which need to be held together.
How Do I Clean Decorative Glazing?
That means you should use a water-based glass cleaner and not an alcohol-based liquid or any other chemical components. You can also clean coloured glass with a white car demister pad.
Where Can I Instal Decorative Glazing?
Many people have decorative glass panels around the top of their conservatories or bay windows, but you can have decorative glazing on any piece of furniture made from glass.
Do I Need Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval to Have Decorative Windows?
If you are changing your window type you may also need building regulations approval. It’s always best to visit your local planning department and tell them what you want to do.
They can then advise you whether you need permission and how you can comply with the regulations.
Is It Possible to Buy Off-The-Shelf Internal Doors With Decorative Glazing?
Etched glass panelled doors for example start at around £270 for a two-panel etched glass wooden door. You can also find a nine panelled wooden door with an etched glass centre and a coloured panel border for around £460.
These types of doors are available in standard sizes, including height and widths of 762 x 1981 x 35 mm, which is the standard width of most internal doors, and 826 x 2040 x 35mm, which are larger.
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