A great way to add functional space to your home without doing a full-blown extension is by adding a Conservatory. Conservatories are great spaces to connect with the outdoors and also have functional living space for entertaining, relaxing, and anything else you enjoy in your home.
These structures are simple enough and they are basically just a large room made of windows. When you start getting into all the details however, you’ll quickly realize there is a lot more to it. The Types of Glass, how windows and doors open, the position of the conservatory as it relates to the sun, the glazing, the roof and your plans for using the room are all factors you need to consider. These elements can influence cost as well as your ability to use the room for its intended purpose.
Conservatory ideas can be hard to visualize so we’ve combined some of the most common structural options chosen.
Windows are a key component on a conservatory because they make or break the scene as well as the energy efficiency of the space. Glazing will account for the majority of the conservatory walls and ceiling. If you add Windows that let energy escape or do not reflect sunlight adequately, then you could be impacting on being able to use your new conservatory all year round. That being said, there are lots of choices when it comes to windows including style, shape, glaze, and operation:
Bi-Folding doors: These types of windows are suitable for both residential and commercial applications. The openings are flexible and customizable not to mention great for air flow in the conservatory.
Patio Doors: Glass sliding doors are a great space saving consideration and can really bring the outside in. You can enjoy uninterruptable views of your garden from the comfort of your new conservatory.
Tilt Turn Windows: These are European style windows that tilt inward or outward on the conservatory. They can also be hinged at the bottom to open in a different direction.
Skylights, lanterns and roof vents are another option to consider especially in warmer climates. Heat rises to the top so having a way to vent it out is important for good air flow and comfort. Skylights can either be fixed or operable depending on your needs. If your conservatory opens up to a rooftop for example, having access through an operable skylight would be very convenient.
Light reflection on position of your conservatory are crucial considerations when you’re talking about glazing. If your structure is facing constant sunlight for example, a higher U-value is better for reflecting afternoon sun. For cloudier or overcast climates, a lower U-value would suffice.
Because your new conservatory will be mainly made from glass you will be flooded by plenty of light and you will enjoy un-interrupted views of the outside. Historically this amount of glazing would mean that your conservatory would be cold in winter and like a sauna in the summer months. Lots of progress and innovation has been achieved over the last few years with manufacturers making great strides to reduce the problem with the introduction of more efficient double glazed windows which are filled with Argon which helps to reduces heat transfer internally and externally.
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