So, you have the perfect home, you’ve put a great deal of effort into achieving an impeccable interior and a stunningly green garden, your home is a combination between comfortable and stylish, on trend and completely you. Are you ready for a little extra space? For most, we adore and feel extremely proud of our homes, however as the years go by we may find ourselves yearning for a few extra square metres of living room. Since the cost of moving homes is ever increasing, many turn to home improvements and to buy a conservatory is one of the best ways to improve your home living area.
Adding a conservatory to your home is a practical solution if you are looking for ground floor leisure space. Conservatories give you the ability to increase the living area in your property usually without having to jump through planning permission hoops. The result leaves you with a brand-new room in the home without the costs typically associated with building an extension.
If this is the first time you are buying a conservatory you may be unaware of the do’s and dont’s, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when choosing and purchasing the perfect conservatory for your home.
Types of conservatories
Gone are the days when a conservatory was only of use during warm seasons, they are now designed and manufactured using materials and efficient glazing to create optimal temperatures all year round. Since the weather is no longer a factor how do you choose the right conservatory for your property? The type of conservatory you’ll need will typically depend on the intended function, placement on your property and the look and style you desire. Whether you are looking for a brick-built conservatory, a full uPVC frame or featuring bi-folding or sliding doors, we’ve listed some of the most popular types below:
The lean-to conservatory is also sometimes referred to as a Mediterranean conservatory or sunroom. The design of a lean-to conservatory is simplistic and compact. The sloped roof is the signature of the lean-to conservatory allowing rain to quickly run off it. The angled roof is attached to the long wall of the home making the lean-to style suitable for properties restricted by height, including smaller terraced homes and bungalows. With the ability to fit neatly into tight corners and spaces, this clean and minimalist conservatory can work for a variety of homes.
The Victorian conservatory has that highly sought after classic look and feel, old meets new with the use of uPVC material combined with multi-faceted walls, ridged glass roof and the elegant finishing characteristic of the Victorian era. This type of conservatory is particularly complementary to traditional homes and, with some custom design work and modernization, a Victorian conservatory adds a wink of charm to newer properties.
Much like the Victorian style, an Edwardian conservatory features traditional finishing creating a timeless look. The flat-walled, rectangular/square design allows for maximum use of space. Because of its simplicity, an Edwardian conservatory provides a true outdoor living space with clear views towards to garden, the straight forward design also lends to the conservatory being suitable for both modern and traditional homes. Due to the generous floor space provided it accommodates large dining and lounge furniture.
T-shaped conservatories compliment large homes and gardens. The central section of a T-shaped conservatory juts out, similarly to a large porch, giving you the ability to have more than one distinct room i.e. a lounge and dining area. T-shaped conservatories provide complete panoramic views of your garden and are perfect for large families.
L Shaped conservatory
L-shaped conservatories combine the Edwardian and lean-to style, creating an aesthetically impressive extension which wraps around the property with a floor plan that makes the conservatory functionally versatile. Due to its large proportions, this style of conservatory is best suited for bigger homes and it does utilise garden space well compared to some other styles of conservatories.
P Shaped conservatory
P-shaped conservatories are created by combing a lean-to conservatory with a Victorian conservatory, giving you the ability to create two spectacular living areas. P-shaped conservatories are best suited for large detached homes; many families who buy P-shaped conservatories often use the rounded part of the conservatory as a lounge area and the narrow section as space for children to play.
Buying a conservatory
Buying the right conservatory offers a host of benefits, conservatories typically increase the value of a property, add a touch of luxury to a garden and make the home a more spacious place for comfortable living. Conservatories are an investment and therefore when buying a conservatory it is important to consider the factors below:
The intended purpose of the conservatory will have an impact on its design. Conservatories are an investment, it’s important to scale up or down the design to your exact needs to avoid unnecessary overspending so that your conservatory is fit for purpose. Many people choose to buy a conservatory as a secondary lounge space in the home, for relaxation and entertaining, TV and games. Others utilize conservatories as a scenic family dining area, tucked away office space and in some cases a luxury kitchen or guest bedroom. We recommend seeking a consultation from a good conservatory supplier; they will visit your home and evaluate your property, letting you know what you’ll need to accomplish your goals.
Material & style
Before buying a conservatory online or from a supplier you should consider how you would like the conservatory to look in the context of your property, this will be determined by the materials you choose.
The frame of the conservatory will have a choice of materials; many opt for uPVC conservatories due to longevity, uPVC does not rot or rust and requires little upkeep, looking new for longer. Wood and timber frames are popular amongst those with traditional and listed homes, the natural grain of wood blends effortlessly into the gardens of older properties. The material used for the roof is another key consideration, popular options include solid roofing for a seamless flow from home to extension, however glass is the choice for a fresh airy space which lets in natural light and for a lower budget, roofs can be made from polycarbonate.
Sizing a conservatory
Conservatories can be manufactured exactly to your preferred measurements. To figure out what size you will need the first thing to consider is how to balance the building with your garden space. Conservatories look spectacular when in proportion with the garden and your property, aiming too big may increase internal space, but sacrifices overall appearance. Conservatories which are too large for the garden space can often look overwhelming and bulky, getting the ratio right is something your conservatory design and installation company can help you with. Another point to take into consideration when deciding on size is an estimate of how many people will be using the room at the same time. For example, if you have a large family that will use the conservatory for dining, work out the size of your extension based on the largest group you will have at any one time. A space that is too small in this instance can make the room feel uncomfortable and cramped.
Generally, you will not need planning permission for your conservatory extension except for larger structures that exceed the following:
- The structure covers more than half the area around the house
- The roof is higher than the highest part of the home
- The overall height exceeds four meters
If you are thinking about building a larger extension, account for the process and cost of planning permission in your schedule and budget.
Conservatory windows, doors & more
During the process, you will need to decide on whether you would like double glazed or single glazed windows and doors. Double glazing is best and provides thermal efficiency, preventing your conservatory from overheating during summer and being too cold to use during winter. Most people now opt for double glazing to get the most use out of their investment and permanent forms of heating can be added to the room, your installer will ensure that heating complies with building regulations.
The look of your conservatory will be completely in your hands, many people use the many style variants available for windows and doors as a way to make their conservatory look individual and unique. Choose between top hung or side hung windows, French, patio, bi-folding doors – so you can select styles that fit with your property.
The finishing touches add the details that can that can leave your friends, family and neighbours in awe of your new dream extension.
- Lighting – Integrated spotlighting can give a clean and contemporary look. Wire hung lighting avoids glare by highlighting specific areas in the room. Pendant lighting adds a traditional yet stylistic feel to the room.
- Glass – Choose between a range of coloured and patterned glass to perfectly reflect your personality.
- Frames, Colours and Finishes – Modern conservatories now come in a range of colours, not just white! Choose a frame colour that matches the style and appearance of your home.
- Cresting and Finials – Add a touch of luxury and elegance to your roof using these decorative items.
The planning and research stage of any building project is always the most critical, this is where you’ll put your thoughts to pen and paper – not forgetting the big decision that is deciding the budget! You’ll likely have many ideas, it important to narrow down your must-haves, this will make the process of finding a reasonable and accurate quote for your new conservatory simpler and ensure your vision is reflected in the final product.
We recommend taking time to research conservatory companies, reading reviews, checking accreditation and memberships to regulatory bodies, ensuring you seek consultation and services from reputable and trustworthy suppliers. Always look at reputable review sites such as Checkatrade to get an idea of how a company performs; choosing a company that really cares about its reputation is a great indicator as to the relationship you can expect.
Importantly, don’t leave your dream home improvement to anyone who comes knocking on the door – proper consultation, a reputable installer and after sales care do matter. A good conservatory supplier will not rush you into a sale, but take the time to fully understand your ideas and vision, sharing their expertise and knowledge to show you how you create your dream conservatory project.
To find solutions that best suit your needs, contact Bennbrook Windows