Conservatories in the UK – The Amber Windows Guide

Apart from transforming your living space, a modern and well designed conservatory will become an asset to your property too, by becoming an ideal spot for your family to hang out, increasing your living space, and adding style.

Although Wooden Conservatories are available too, uPVc is the material of choice for the majority of conservatories built nowadays. Both of them will create an eye-catching conservatory and are available in a wide spectrum of colours such as natural stains and Anthracite Grey as many homeowners are now opting for alternative finishes. The wooden conservatory requires much more maintenance than a uPVC one. Although wood looks stunning at its best, it will age naturally, paint will need to be reapplied, and finally, if not treated well, the wood would need replacing too. uPVc is the most popular choice of material as it can last a lifetime if maintained properly. It does not require repainting, and is easy to clean. This means you can relax and enjoy your conservatory instead of worrying about what you will need to do to keep it looking fresh & new.

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How Will You Use Your Conservatory?

This is probably, the first question any reputable conservatory builder will ask you. Most individuals hardly think about this question when planning to have a conservatory. Answering this question is essential when selecting the window openings, door types, glass, Roofing Options, base options, Design, size, and lots more.

Conservatory

Garden Room Conservatory

Your brand new conservatory, apart from being an Extension of your living space, will link with your garden too. In fact, many people think about the conservatory as an ideal way of bringing the garden into their home. A uPVC Conservatory can also provide a warm environment ideal for propagating exotic plants. You can create something amazing with proper ventilation, heating, and directional orientation.

Family Room Conservatory

Are you exasperated of trying to keep a space, free of other family clutter and children’s toys? Get rid of the tension by offering them a room where they can enjoy their turmoil. You will discover the meaning of peace and tranquility and you will have your room back to enjoy while the rest of the family descend on your new family room. A conservatory family room is also an ideal space for teenagers seeking privacy, and for kids to do their homework.

Dining Room Conservatory

Dining Room Conservatory

People often consider the conservatory as a romantic dining area. Imagine enjoying drinks with your friends under the night sky, while the outdoor lights exhibit your beautiful garden.

An illuminated and ventilated dining room is the ideal place for summer barbeques and family gatherings. Neutral colors will make your room look brighter and bigger.

Kitchen Conservatory

Kitchen Conservatory

Having the conservatory attached to your kitchen is perfect. It allows you to keep an eye on your kids while cooking. It also feels comfortable to know that you will soon enjoy tea while sitting on the comfortable chair under the sunshine. The kitchen is the most important room of your house and the best way of increasing the space needed is by adding a kitchen conservatory. This extension will provide you with ample light and space to relish Italian style dining and spectacular views.

Choice

Most properties and gardens will be able to accommodate some sort of conservatory. You will wonder how you lived without it, once you have enjoyed one of your own.

Conservatory, orangery or glass extension?

There are lots of confusion regarding what a conservatory actually is and how does it differ from a glass extension or an orangery. Many of us believe that orangeries and conservatories look approximately identical. However, there are some fundamental differences in both their construction and design.

First, a conservatory is not too integral in character and much simpler in construction than the orangery. The latter is a substantial permanent structure, featuring more brickwork, and will seamlessly blend with the characteristics of your existing property. Traditionally, the conservatory consists of a large glass surface in general, and offers improved views of your garden. In contrast, the orangery, generally thought of as less exposed, offers more private space. Orangeries and conservatories are similar as they typically have a Secured Door between the newly built structure and the main building. This is unlike glass extensions that provide a continuation of the space in the main building.

Types of conservatories

The large number of designs and styles to choose from will confuse you when you first plan to purchase a conservatory. Here are some options for you to choose from.

Edwardian/Georgian conservatories

Also referred to as Georgian conservatories, Edwardian Conservatories are very popular among homeowners because of the way they conserve space and as they are pocket friendly too. The Edwardian type, usually rectangular or square in space with a high sloping roof is suitable for most types of properties. It provides maximum space for interior furniture and fittings, thanks to its 90 degree corners. The timeless appearance and airy feel of the Edwardian conservatory allows it to blend well with both Modern and traditional home designs.

Gable-fronted conservatories

Gable-fronted conservatories are a variant of the Edwardian style. They are alike in the sense that their structure is square or rectangular shaped, permitting an excellent use of internal space. The roof design is the major difference between the Gable-fronted and the Edwardian conservatory. The front panel of the roof of the Gable-Fronted Conservatories remains upright, instead of sloping back to the centre as on an Edwardian conservatory. This maximizes the amount of light entering the room and gives an impression of increased height. The cathedral like appearance of the Gable-fronted conservatory, along with its large interior space and dramatic front elevation, adds distinct style as well as a sense of grandeur to the home.

Victorian conservatories

A steeply pitched roof with beautiful ornate ridge details and a bay front are the primary characteristics of Victorian Conservatories, which also give it a rather classical appearance, not suitable for more contemporary and minimalist designs. Victorian conservatories are available in two designs: One features a more rounded appearance along with a bay front featuring five main windows, suitable for homeowners intending to add a large living space to their existing home. The other type of Victorian conservatory has an angled front with three main windows. Victoria conservatories are considered more luxurious and elegant than other conservatories, and are priced higher.

Lean-to conservatories

The Lean-to Conservatory is the simplest of all conservatory designs and the most affordable too. It also matches all types of properties, from country cottages to traditional and modern designed houses. The basic idea is to construct a rectangular glass box onto the side or rear of your home, attaching the longer side to the property. Compared to other conservatories, this model allows maximum sunlight to enter the house. The lean-to is suitable for homes with limited space or small homes. You can have it as large as you want, even extending it along the entire rear of the house. Thanks to its understated and clean lines, it has traditionally been the popular choice among homeowners preferring minimalist and contemporary designs.

Corner infill conservatories

A corner infill conservatory neatly fits into the area between two walls, offering homeowners an excellent way of utilizing outside space and converting it into valuable and superb additional living space. It will have minimum impact on your garden space as it sits on an inside corner. It is also a useful option where the property boundaries restrict the use of a projecting type conservatory like Edwardian and Victorian, or when the house structure does not permit other types of conservatories. The corner infill is pocket friendly, as it only needs two walls, which reduces its price considerably.

P-shaped conservatories

P-shaped conservatories combine the style of the Victorian and the lean-two conservatories. It is the best option for homeowners wishing to add a larger space to their property. However, because of its larger shaped proportions, the P-shaped conservatory is suitable for properties that have lots of outdoor space. It is possible to use the P-Shaped Conservatory as a single room or split apart into two adjoining rooms, allowing it to be used for a variety of uses such as dining area or additional living space.

T-shaped conservatories

The T-Shape Conservatory is more suitable for large sized properties. Available in typically Victorian or Edwardian design, the top part of the “T” joins the house and the central projecting part into the garden. Thanks to its huge and impressive projections, this kind of conservatory gives the illusion of bringing your garden in your home while creating an elegant, fabulous porch effect. As it has two separate sections, you can use the smaller section as a kid’s play room or a tranquil garden room, and the larger section as a living room extension or dining room.

Practical considerations

Your first task is to seek a conservatory design that both compliments the existing characteristics of your home and meets your specific needs. Having a conservatory built is not just complicated but also involves lots of decision along with a lot of research and professional advice. Here are the important things you should consider when adding a conservatory to your home.

Planning permission and building regulations

You might not need planning permission if your conservatory meets the below mentioned criteria:

  • It does not include raised platforms, verandas, or balconies.
  • No extension forward of the principal or side elevation should front a highway
  • Its height is less than the highest part of the roof.
  • Its height does not exceed four meters.
  • It does not obstruct a public road.
  • If your conservatory including your home and other buildings cover less than 50% of your total land footprint.
  • For detached houses, the orangery or conservatory must not extend more than four meters, and more than three meters for attached houses
  • Listed building consent needed if you live in a listed building

The above mentioned points provides an explanation of planning permissions, but you may need to consider other regulations such as:

Seeking Planning Permission

If you plan to apply for a planning permission on your own, you will have to complete a planning application form that requires several documents including location maps and plans. You have to wait for a reply from your local authority after you have paid the application fee and planning application form. You also need to pay a fee for full survey of your property to confirm if your plans are feasible. You also need to pay the architect to draft your drawings and detailed plans. Remember, there is no guarantee that the local planning department will approve your plan.

We, at Amber Windows, will take all the headache away from you by processing the planning application on your behalf if you purchase your new conservatory from us.

Building Regulations

There is one more area of consideration relating to the construction of your conservatory. You need not require Building Regulations if the floor area of your conservatory is less than 30 meters, is at ground level, and has an independent heating system along with separate temperature controls. Make sure your window glazing and power supply devices comply with the existing building regulations. If you still have any doubts, visit the Planning Portal for additional information

Glazing

The advantage of glass walls is that they allow in plenty of light. However, they let out or draw in heat rapidly, converting your conservatory into an igloo or spa depending on the outside temperature. Thankfully, the glass manufacturers have reduced this problem to a great extent by introducing double glazed windows with invisible gas inside them, usually Argon, which reduces transfer of heat. Our Amb-e-therm® Triple sealed (Amb-e-seal®) glass units with Argon gas incorporating Edge-Guard® technology provide high levels of energy efficiency to ensure windows are draught free and retain the warmth within your home.

Heating and ventilation

The ventilation and heating systems you use determines the temperature inside your conservatory and protects heat during the summer and chill during the winter from getting inside. Depend on your conservatory designer to calculate the heat gain and loss and provide you with his opinion.

Under floor heating is a popular choice you might wonder considering, particularly if you plan to use ceramic or stone tile flooring. Alternatively, you can extend your central heating system and fit further radiators. Use separate wiring and a separate thermostat controller, attached to the main boiler, for heating the conservatory. Electric radiators are more economical and convenient, as they do not need plumbing into your existing heating system.

You can manage ventilation with automatically or manually controlled roof vents, through air conditioning units, ceiling fans, extractor fans, or through windows. Your budget, the volume of your conservatory, and how the conservatory will be used (kitchens, for example, require a more efficient ventilation system) determines your choice. Large conservatories need to comply with ventilation requirements specified in Building Regulations.

Floors

The rule states that you should lay durable floors. However, this does not imply natural stone or ceramic tiles. Decide the purpose of the new conservatory before committing to the type of flooring. If you plan to create an impressive winter garden out of your conservatory, you should decide between natural or ceramic stone tiles, which are durable and spill resistant. If you plan to use the conservatory as a living space, then carpets, laminated flooring, or wood flooring are suitable.

Window Treatment

Apart from providing privacy and comfort, the choice of window treatment plays a major role in the overall appearance of the interior of your conservatory. Remember, you should be careful to protect furnishings from too much sunlight. Some of the popular choices include drapes and blinds. If you still have any doubts, get in touch with an interior decorator and seek his help. He will suggest the ideal window treatment that both protect your furnishings as well as enhance the décor of your conservatory.

For more inspiring ideas, take a look at the wide Range of Conservatories available at Amber Windows. You should take this opportunity to find out more about the prices of conservatories we offer.

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