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Conservatory UK articles:-

Conservatories as a house extension have been popular for many decades now but the same problems persist to this day with regard to water leaks, poor build quality, poor installation, overheating in the summer and excessive cooling in the winter. There are clear cut design reasons for these continuing conservatory problems that this series of articles tries to address.

 However, around 20% of all conservatory installations do work very well and provide a great house extension as an extra amenity room that can, if designed and positioned right with the correct manufacturer and quality control over its installation, work all year round. The vast majority, regretfully, do end up having problems during its first two years of life and many of the following articles on conservatory extensions will clarify and explain why this happens.

  • Conservatory Accessories
    Conservatories seem to be the number one house extension that has an ‘options list’ for accessorising the room. Many of these conservatory accessories are designed to overcome problems of climate control within the conservatory room itself.
  • Conservatory Awnings
    For the odd few days of great clear blue sky sunshine in the UK, installing external conservatory awnings are a great idea for extending the conservatory living space out into the garden. They are also great for creating shade into the conservatory to reduce over heating.
  • Conservatory Advice
    The best advice for any homeowner considering a conservatory is what is there primary motivation for having one in the first place and what else could you get for your money as many conservatoires cost the same per square metre as a proper well integrated house extension.
  • Conservatory Air Conditioning
    If you are considering installing air conditioning to your conservatory then quite simply the design has failed. The homeowner who had commissioned the scheme failed to ask the right questions to ensure the correct conservatory materials were used or the conservatory supplier failed to assess the site conditions correctly and failed to be proactive on the design advice for the benefit of the homeowner.
  • Conservatory Blinds
    Many conservatory suppliers and manufacturers will offer to supply and install conservatory blinds as an added extra for ‘up selling’ the deal to the homeowner. However, sometimes the choice of materials can be somewhat limited and very little thought is placed upon the actual performance of the conservatory blinds.
  • Conservatory Building Regulations
    Yes, but with conditions and requirements attached. Conservatories and the Building Regulations have always trod a delicate path for years ever since they were made as an exempt category under pressure from the conservatory trade itself.
  • Conservatory Base
    Conservatory bases and foundation techniques have evolved into many solutions over the years usually invented as a way of saving money on the construction and installation process. However, conservatory bases and foundations can be split into two distinct groups - Those that work and those that do not and have failed. It is as simple as that.
  • Conservatory Blind prices
    Conservatory blinds are usually a must for any house extension built as a conservatory. The can help prevent or at least delay over heating during the summer and act as an additional thermal barrier in winter. Most conservatory blinds are applied to the vertical windows but equally the glazed roof often requires bespoke made blinds that will also assist in creating a more balanced internal environmental temperature.
  • Conservatory Cost
    Conservatory costs can vary widely depending upon materials used, size, location, DIY, bespoke or mass produced. One of the cheapest ways to have a conservatory built is to do it yourself. An example could be a conservatory kit from Wickes. The opposite for a very high cost conservatory could be a bespoke made conservatory from a posh supplier usually building onto half million pound properties and upwards.
  • Conservatory Cleaning
    It is a fact that all conservatory roofs will get grubby or even covered in moss. After about its third year most conservatories start to look a bit tatty unless they have been cleaned once a year. Conservatory cleaning has become a bit of a niche market over the last few years as more and more people lose the skills to attempt manual work on their own homes. Office work seems to encourage this mind set.
  • Conservatory Climate Control
    All conservatory designs should be considering this aspect right from the start. Simply adding extra climate control devices or equipment to a finished conservatory such as air conditioning is a failure of the conservatory. All homeowners seeking a new conservatory should be discussing how the internal environment of the conservatory will be controlled without the need for expensive equipment costly to run with high energy demands.
  • Conservatory Curtains
    Very few conservatories would have curtains fitted. I don’t know why but it does appear to be a popular conception. Those that do seem to go overboard on the design patterns, use heavy weight materials and tie-backs with scalloped frilled coverings for the rails. It seems that homeowners with conservatory curtains have an all or nothing approach to this aspect of interior conservatory design.
  • Conservatory Designs
    Conservatories are perhaps the widest choice of design styles for a house extension there is. From Victorian, to modern glass box. From bespoke to kit. From timber framing to upvc. From single glazing to high tech engineered solar reflective triple glazing. So, how doe the homeowner select what is right for them and their style of dwelling house?
  • Conservatory Doors
    Most house extensions these days seem to include the demand for bi-fold door sets and conservatory extension doors are no different. The demand for bifold door sets has now began to effect the design of a conservatory house extension. The large open spans required for the conservatory doors require a long elevation of the conservatory in which to install them.
  • Conservatory Decorating ideas
    You would think that as most conservatoires are of a frame and glass construction there would not be many options or ideas for decorating a conservatory. However, there is often quite a lot of wall and floor surfaces within the conservatory extension that requires some thought on how to cover it or decorate it.
  • Conservatory Dining Furniture Tables and Chairs
    You are probably not going to like what I am about to say. If your conservatory is to be used as a formal dining room then I expect you have already made one of the biggest mistakes of your life. Let me spell it out - A fully glazed conservatory will not make a fully functional full year use dining room. You have not been advised correctly.
  • Conservatory definition
    As most conservatoires are exempt from Building Regulations provided they comply to a few basic requirements, the term ‘conservatory’ has been tested many times by other homeowners and house extension designers or architects in the past that often wanted a hybrid type of house extension using traditional house extension construction methods but want the freedom of design that a conservatory classification would bring.
  • Conservatory Doctor
    Look at any small claims court records or customer complaints at the CAB or Trading Standards, most building complaints relating to house extensions are for conservatories. It is my theory that is this down to the fact that most are constructed without any Building Control supervision or client advisor such as their own house extension designer or architect to maintain some form of basic standard or quality control.
  • Conservatory Design Software
    Conservatory designers, suppliers and manufacturers were one of the first enterprises to leap onto CAD software in presenting designs and 3D modelling for design and as a customer sales tool. Very much in the same way as kitchen designers, fitters and installers used ACD 3D modelling software.
  • Conservatory DIY
    If you have read any of my articles of loft and garage conversions then you will see that I do not favour DIY house extension projects. However, a conservatory is possibly the only house extension where I may bend to the DIY approach and this is for very specific reasons.
  • Conservatory Deals
    There are basically two types of conservatory supplier - those that operate locally and those that offer a national coverage. Both offer two distinct ways of selling to the public. To get the best conservatory deal requires two different approaches dependent upon the type of supplier.
  • Conservatory Extensions
    No in my opinion. Many will fail either structurally or by the homeowners expectations of how the space is to be used. This is mainly due to the way a lightweight glass framed structure works. If a conservatory provides a home with a clear 10 year run of trouble free living space then the homeowner has done very well in my opinion.
  • Conservatory Electrical Heaters
    Heating a conservatory is really against the rules of an exempt structure under the Building Regulations although this is a clear loophole. Most homeowners who are contemplating adding electric heaters to their conservatory are probably feeling a bit let down and now fearing the cost of adding expensive and highly inefficient electrical energy simply to us the conservatory during the winter months.
  • Conservatory Extractor fans
    Any homeowner considering installing an extractor fan within their conservatory must feel pretty upset at having to consider retrofitting such a device presumably to control or alleviate the overheating during the summer period. So, the question is, should this have been included as part of the original conservatory design to prevent using extractor fans?
  • Conservatory Extension Ideas
    All homeowners often need inspiration for a conservatory house extension and out of all the various types of house extensions out there, the conservatory is probably to most featured within the home improvement publications at your local newsagents. This can be a great place to start for getting some conservatory ideas.
  • Conservatory Examples
    All homeowners often need inspiration for a conservatory house extension and out of all the various types of house extensions out there, the conservatory is probably to most featured within the home improvement publications at your local newsagents. This can be a great place to start for getting some conservatory ideas.
  • Conservatory Furniture
    Have you ever seen a shop window display coming to the end of its promotional period? Have you noticed how faded and dried up the window items appear? Even within a short 8 week summer period. Well that is the reason why a homeowner should be considering very carefully what furniture they should be installing within their conservatory.
  • Conservatory Furniture Sale UK
    It would appear that conservatory furniture (including the cushions) gets replaced fairly often these days for both lifestyle choices and because it can tend to fall apart pretty quick due to the sunlight. Most conservatory furniture these days simply form part of any retail household furnishings selection. It is very rare to find a dedicated shop simply selling conservatory furniture.
  • Conservatory Fans
    The UK summer can often be well above 23 degrees for a couple of months and when combined with open blue skies and direct sunlight into a conservatory will result in the conservatory overheating. Those that have had ridge or top automatic venting built into the design of the conservatory right from the start wont suffer too much while others seek redress to the heat using conservatory fans.
  • Conservatory Foundations and Footings
    As most conservatories are exempt from Building Regulations approval or inspection, there is no set standard you can quote for the conservatory foundations or footings. In other words each conservatory supplier and installer will construct what they think will be suitable foundations for the conservatory.
  • Conservatory Floor Tiles
    Probably yes. Floor tiles of whatever material and design are generally very robust and retain their colouring making them an ideal choice for a conservatory. As most conservatories are seen and used as a sort of ‘garden gateway’ they tend to get a lot of use for accessing the garden so any conservatory flooring need to be durable and easy to clean. Therefore hardly ever do conservatories have carpets.
  • Conservatory Glass
    For a conservatory to be exempt from the Building Regulations they need to meet certain requirements and the quality and standard of the glass or glazing is one of them - perhaps the most important at that. Most conservatory suppliers are very good on delivering and installing the correct glass for conservatories as many perceive this to be the biggest risk factor to health and safety.
  • Conservatory guttering
    If you look at most conservatory designs, they tend to have well integrated guttering systems forming part of the fascia or eaves details. They are very rarely your typical household plastic type by Marley or Osma for example. This makes most conservatory guttering systems from conservatory suppliers using patent glazing systems part of the conservatory design details.
  • Conservatory glass roof panels
    Most higher end conservatories will have glass glazed roofs laid as panels - usually double glazed with safety or toughened galls as per the Building Regulations for exempt status of the conservatory. A glass roof conservatory always has a nicer higher quality fee both externally and internally than polycarbonate.
  • Conservatory gutter brackets and clips
    Most conservatory gutter systems have the guttering fixed direct to the fascia rather than using guttering brackets and clips or, the conservatory fascia Is an integral moulded element including the guttering profile all designed for ease of installation.
  • Conservatory gardening
    Many homeowners simply focus on have the conservatory space as an extra part of their house or as an extra room. Many fail to forget that due to the extensive glazing the new room will have extensive views of the garden that may not be well presented or cared for.
  • Conservatory heating or heaters
    Well first off the conservatory space should NOT be heated at all for compliance with the exempt status under Building Regulations except for some very notional heat input. However, everyone does install some form of heating as it will be too cold to use in the winter months.
  • Conservatory heating solutions and options
    Many conservatory suppliers and installers will not offer any advice on conservatory heating solutions and options. This is to keep the installation simple and cost effective in order to be competitive. Conservatory heating is also breaking the exempt status under Building Regulations so you can understand why most conservatory suppliers will not want to mention this.
  • Conservatory heater reviews
    The internet offers lots of sources for viewing reviews of conservatory heating much of which is not solely limited to conservatory uses. Most mobile heating appliances that can be used within a conservatory can also be used elsewhere in the home.
  • Conservatory how much
    Most bespoke conservatories installed by specialist suppliers usually forming a division of the replacement window company as well, can be just as expensive as having a properly built house extension when extending a property into habitable room space for example.
  • Conservatory heat loss
    You can only be considering heat loss from a conservatory if the thing is to be heated in the first place. Most conservatories are meant to be unheated for compliance under building regulations for the exempt status which most conservatories enjoy.
  • Conservatory ideas
    House extensions are a very common way obtaining extra living space and many homeowners consider a conservatory extension but very often lack ideas. Conservatory extensions are possibly the best example of the broad range of designs there can be for a house extensions so having a few conservatory design ideas beforehand can prove very useful in selecting the correct conservatory for you.
  • Conservatory insulation
    The term conservatory by definition means a highly glazed structure (walls & roof) and as most glazing elements have very poor thermal performance when compared to a highly insulated structure, is it worth or even possible to insulate a conservatory any further given the amount of glazing?
  • Conservatory interiors and ideas
    Most conservatory interiors seem to have the same style much of which is influenced by the furniture. Most homeowners tend to avoid expensive quality finishes for the conservatory interior and for good reason of avoiding sun beaching.
  • Conservatory ideas gallery
    Looking through gallery photographs and images is a great way of obtaining conservatory ideas. Most architects and house extension designers web sites will have a gallery photograph section showing images of previously completed projects.
  • Conservatory installation
    YES! Most conservatory suppliers and installers will try to be vague on the works required to install your conservatory but you really should be provided with a detailed specification of the intended works for the conservatory installation so that you can check and confirm that you are obtaining what you have paid for.
  • Conservatory interior designs
    This can often be limited to how you treat the conservatory dwarf walls and the existing walls of the host dwelling that are now internal within the conservatory itself. Do you leave it bare facing bricks or have it all plastered? Have you ever seen a conservatory interior design that has suggested the use of wall paper? - no, me neither.
  • Conservatory Association
    The main ‘conservatory association’ that most reputable conservatory suppliers and installers belong to is the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF)which is a trade association representing companies who make, supply or fit, glass and glass related products. - Note the term ‘Trade Association’ - These are bodies funded by the trade or their members themselves so it is not to be confused with a consumer lead protection body.
  • Conservatory kits
    Conservatory kits can be a great idea for the budding DIY’er and this will save the homeowner a lot of money but only if they have the time and skills to erect it correctly. If not then let an experienced carpenter or other experienced fitter install your conservatory kit right from the start.
  • Conservatory kitchen extension
    Conservatory kitchens or rather house extensions that are highly glazed appear to be in demand these days from design savvy homeowners. It seems that there are definite clear trends in house extension design and remodelling techniques. Every house extension that I personally complete seems to include for the same basic requirements being:-
  • Conservatory kitchen extension ideas
    The term conservatory kitchen extension does not normally apply to ‘bolt on’ conservatories as all conservatories need to be kept separated from the main habitable rooms of the existing dwelling if they are to be built without Building Regulations approval.
  • Conservatory kitchen designs
    There is a general constant theme running through most conservatory kitchen designs being the formation of a large family kitchen area that has a generous space for eating rather than a separate dining room, with lots of light from glazed sections within the roof and bi-fold door sets spilling out onto the private rear garden.
  • Conservatory kitchen diner
    If you are looking for a kitchen extension where the new area is to be a diner opened up into the kitchen, then a conservatory extension is probably the wrong choice as they can only be exempt under Building Regulations if they are separated by doors from the main house. Most conservatories would be unable to comply with the Building Regulations if they were opened up- into the kitchen.
  • Conservatory lighting ideas
    Lighting a conservatory can often be problematic due to the framed structure having exposed wiring for the overhead lights. Also, where can the lights be located? Can they be safely attached to the wall or roof framing? Giving some thought to how the conservatory will be lit before purchase is an important design consideration.
  • Conservatory leaks
    Conservatory leaks are very common both for new and older conservatory installations. The reason is quite clear. There are so many seals, joints laps and abutments, the opportunity for something not to sit quite right or be fitted perfectly is high so conservatory leaks are to be expected so it is nothing to worry about provided the leak is attended to by the conservatory fitters soon after discovery.
  • Conservatory manufacturers
    Most conservatory manufacturers are simply an extension of their replacement window business so the framing materials are usually powder coated aluminium or upvc. As the manufacturing process is very similar to the making of replacement windows and doors, the cutting and joining machines are also very similar.
  • Conservatory magazine
    There are actually not that many specialist magazines dedicated to just conservatories that you can simply purchase at your local High Street news agents. Most home improvement magazines will do a speciality piece or feature dedicated or focussed on just one type of house extension for example with conservatories being a very common return to topic. SO do look out for them.
  • Conservatory maintenance
    Most conservatories are in fact pretty low maintenance house extensions (unless they are of timber framing). Once a conservatory has been full rain tested and is proven not to leak, you can pretty much leave it alone and enjoy the space without the need for regular maintenance.
  • Conservatory lean to
    I suppose they are. They are usually the least expensive simply due to the simplicity of the design and the attachment process to the main dwelling house. Lean to conservatories are usually found on less expensive homes.
  • Conservatory meaning
    The term ‘conservatory meaning’ usually relates to one main issue. When is a conservatory classed as a conservatory to achieve exempt building status under the Building Regulations being one classification. This conservatory definition defines whether or not your conservatory supplier can provide you with a building structure as a home extension without the requirement to obtain formal Building Regulations as to its design and installation.






































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