How To Choose A Conservatory For Your Home
Read Our Useful Guide Before You Buy
Home owners wanting a cost effective way of adding ground space to their properties should consider installing a conservatory.
Not only is it cheaper and less stressful than moving it also allows the home owner to enjoy the garden no matter what the weather brings.
Installing a conservatory of any size is a large financial investment and depending on the construction materials, building work required, the choice of bespoke or standard ranges will reflect the overall project cost.
The most obvious use for a conservatory is to add additional living space which can be for dining or relaxing.
There is now a growing trendy for larger more social able kitchens which has had an impact on how orangeries and conservatories are added to our homes.
If the home owner wants a larger open plan kitchen then access through a single door will not be adequate. The way forward would be to open up the back of the property to create the open plan design. To do this would require substantial alterations and would mean applying for planning regulations.
A conservatory also makes a suitable room for a home office, gym or children’s play room.
Finally keen gardeners can use a conservatory to house plants and bring on young plants.
Styles that fall into this category include the Lean To Conservatory, Gable End, Victorian and Edwardian designs. All of which will compliment modern and period properties, with different glazing options and brick work all can be installed to your own specifications.
For a totally modern and up to date conservatory then look no further than a Livin Room or Veranda design.
The Livin Room differs due it its roof framing system which is plastered internally to give a perimeter ceiling all around the inside, and gives the room a solid feel of an extension.
The Veranda conservatory is based on the lean to conservatory design but has the unique feature of an additional extended glass roof. This extended roof provides a glass roof over the outside area, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors even in bad weather.
The contemporary solution for the home owner who wants space, glass, privacy and a more solid feel to the extension on their home. An orangery will be made to look like it is part of the original house rather than an additional add on.
Due to the work involved in building an Orangery you will find these are more expensive than adding a modern or traditional style conservatory.
The Garden Space
Be careful to consider how much of the garden you are prepared to lose to install a conservatory. Bigger isn’t always better. The conservatory should be in keeping with the size and design of the original building.
Heating and Lighting
These are two major factors that you should address at build stage. Under floor heating has becoming very popular choice as it allows the home owner to use the wall space where a heater would usually go to place furniture or have as an opening into the garden.
Lights play an important part in creating the ambiance of the room. Orangeries, Verandas and livin rooms will benefit from fitted ceiling lights.
All or nothing tends to be the choice. South facing conservatories will naturally benefit from blinds, keeping the heat out and also protecting the interior from sun damage. Window dressing also provide the room with privacy. It is always best to use of professional blind company to make and install your blinds.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to choosing your new flooring. If you are extending from the kitchen creating a large open plan space then considering natural stone or other water resistant flooring is a wise move.
Wood and laminate both work well in a sun room, wooden flooring will be more expensive than laminate but it will also last longer and is a better product.
Carpets can be used in a conservatory but they tend to get dirty very quickly and also can be rather warm in the summer months. Consider using rugs to soften the flooring and add texture.
Roofing and Glazing
Conservatory roofs are available in glass or polycarbonate. The polycarbonate roofing is light weight; durable and very strong in fact it is 200 times stronger than glass and virtually shatterproof. There is also a choice of colour finishes including heat guard which helps limit the build-up of heat within the room.
Ask your installer about self-cleaning glass if you decide to have a glass roof fitted.
Conservatories are available in a variety of materials which includes; timber, uPVC and aluminium. It is important to choose the right frame for your property be advised by your installer to which material will best suit the design and style of your home.
DIY or Call In The Professionals
Depending on your skill sets and budget this will determine if you consider building the conservatory yourself. DIY conservatories will be initially be less expensive, but remember to factor in your time and any additional help you may require in helping with the ground work or electrical work for example.
If you prefer you can employee a professional outfit to do the work for you. Choose your supplier carefully check their credentials and warranties before signing any paper work. It is also advisable to get at least 3 quotes from different companies. When comparing quotes ensure the product quality is the same across all 3 quotes.
When planning permission will be required:
• The house is in a conservation area, national park or designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
• The conservatory is not at ground level.
• It is a terraced house.
• The volume of the house will be increased by more than 15 per cent or 70 cubic metres, whichever is the greater.
• The house has already been extended.
Usually it will be exempt from building regulations provided it is:
• Built on to a domestic dwelling and divided from the rest of the house by a door that complies with the requirements for an exterior door.
• Under 30 m sq in floor area.
• A single storey.
• Built at ground floor level.
• Glazed in compliance with safety glazing requirements of approved Document N of the Building Regulations and BS6262 Part 4 1994.
• Not within 1 m of the boundary.
• Fitted with a roof that is 75 per cent glazed and with walls that are 50 per cent glazed.