6 Reasons to use Self Supporting Glazing Bars

If you haven’t yet built your roof – stop. This blog will save you time and money.

In short, Self supporting glazing bars remove the need for any timber rafters on your roof. This not only means easier installation but a range of other benefits. Self-supporting glazing bars really are a must if you are looking for a quality, durable and cost-effective solution for your roofing project.

Do self supporting glazing bars cost more? No. They cost a small bit more than your average glazing bars however, if you cost the project all out, by the time you’ve included timber rafters etc into the overall pricing you’re looking at a saving using these bars. More detail on this later.

Below we will discuss the 6 reasons why you should use self support glazing bars for your roof.

Top Reasons to use Self Supporting Glazing Bars

  1. Last longer
  2. Faster to install
  3. Work with Glass and Polycarbonate Sheets
  4. More cost effective (saves money)
  5. Span up to nearly 6 metres
  6. Create a modern look

Click the reasons above to skip down to the section you wish to read.

1. Last Longer

Firstly, be sure to choose Self-supporting glazing bars that are manufactured in aluminium. This makes them very strong in comparison to most other materials. Plus, all the components that you get with aluminium glazing bars are also made from aluminium giving an exceptional lifespan for the whole system. So, although it may be a slightly bigger investment, to begin with, you will get on your money with the extra years that it will last you. Self-supporting glazing bars that are extruded from aluminium have a life expectancy of 30+ years; that’s worth every penny!

Once you have installed your roof, you won’t have to worry about replacing it any time soon. It gives you peace of mind.

With a Self supporting aluminium glazing bar, you don’t have to worry about any timber frames or rafters rotting over time.  Even a small amount of dampness can cause rot to start on a timber beam. In addition, aluminium doesn’t rust either.

2. Faster to install

Self-supporting bars are so simple and easy to install, it barely needs thinking about. With our Alukap-ss bars, it is just like a kit so installing just requires putting one piece together at a time. It can be done by any installer step-by-step even if they haven’t handled the products before, plus a DIYer could do it as well. Lastly, they are fast to put together meaning there is no time wasted and your roof can be up in no time!

Being self-supporting, there are no complicated timber joints needed to secure the bars down. All it needs is bolts and screws to fix it down. These are provided with the bars themselves so that’s one less thing you have to think about.

3. Work with Glass and Polycarbonate Sheets

You will find that lots of polycarbonate glazing bars tend only to work with multiwall and twinwall polycarbonate sheets. With Alukap-SS® bars you have the flexibility to work with both glass and solid polycarbonate as well as polycarbonate sheets. As aluminium self supporting bars are designed to be more robust, they can properly secure down the glass. This is an important factor as glass is over double the weight of solid polycarbonate and 10 times heavier than multiwall polycarbonate. With this weight, many glazing bars on the market wouldn’t cope.

Another huge benefit to Alukap-SS® bars is that they work with any thickness of glazing thus delimiting the options to choose from. With being able to use any sheet whether it be glass, solid polycarbonate or multiwall/twinwall sheets, and any thickness there really are no restrictions on what sheeting you go for. Popular glazing choices include 6mm glass, 16mm polycarbonate sheet and Axgard 6mm solid glazing sheets.

Alukap-SS Axgard, Axiome or Glass Glazing Graphic

4. More Cost Effective (saves money)

Self-supporting bars are very cost-effective bars, although it may not seem like it at first. Think about it. The bars themselves last over double the lifespan of PVC and rafter supported glazing bars, however, they aren’t double the cost. So, if you work it out over time it ends up being cheaper long-term. It may seem like a huge investment upfront when you initially purchase the bars however, it will be a longer time until you need to replace all the bars.

Use our Veranda Canopy Calculator to get an estimated cost for your roof.

Plus, with standard rafter glazing bars, you require timber to support them. The cost of timber plus the cost of the bars and all the fittings adds up. Then, you have the factor that the wood may not last as long as it can tend to rot away over time.

5. Span up to nearly 6 metres

Self-supporting bars can achieve some incredible spans with no rafter support. The bar is designed to incorporate its own rafter feature thus allowing greater spanning lengths. Depending on your roof, location and glazing, Alukap-SS low profile bars can span up to 3.4 metres. Then you have the Alukap-SS high span bars which can span up to a massive 5.5-metre length. This is unique as there are very few bars that can effectively span this length. At this length, being able to cut out the use of timber is a massive saver.

6. Create a Modern Look

This may entirely be a personal opinion but low cost softwood timber rafters can be limiting and look quite old-hat, and quality hardwood rafters are very expensive. (However,) aluminium works with both modern and traditional homes whereas timber doesn’t always work with both. Also, taking away the need to have wooden rafters means you have the same style internally as well as externally and it will all look like part of the furniture. It looks much cleaner if you have a skylight on your roof and there are no unsightly rafters. Also, with no rafters needed, you have a much greater design scope.

Aluminium bars are manufactured in either brown, white or powder-coated to any RAL colour which can look very minimalistic in modern homes creating that classy finish. Having wood on view is not everyone’s taste so using self-supporting glazing bars gives the perfect solution. Some people have tried to paint their timber rafters to match the surrounding walls and the bars themselves so just having the bars themselves saves a lot of time and money on paint and wood.

Another huge plus is that self-supporting glazing bars can span further than timber of the same size. So in any case, for larger spans, timber may not be an option. So, if you take away the overall size of the timber rafters you would use you are left will smaller profile beams which in turn look less intrusive and give you that clean style.

Bonus Reason: Source all from one place!

It goes without saying that when building a timber lean-to, there can be a lot of organisation required to purchase all of the necessary materials. Often these will be required from different suppliers and retailers which is an unnecessary extra hassle. Then you have the concern that everything matches and works together.

When buying self-supporting glazing bars you can simply purchase everything you need from one shop, like Clear Amber Shop. You can not only purchase it all from one store but you can get expert advice on the items you require and the best way to build your roof.

Need Help with your Glazing Bar Project?

If you are needing help building quote with self supporting glazing bars please get in touch. Our Team will be happy to assist on our Live Chat or you can email shop@clearamber.com where our we will provide you with all the advice and support you require for your project.

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