Conservatories are currently a popular addition to homes in the UK and Europe. However, their fashion value is far outweighed by their inherent usefulness, the value they add to your home and the pleasure that is associated with having one. For those without conservatories, planning them can be a confusing and overwhelming process and this concise guide is designed to set you on the right path and provide enough information to encourage you that adding a conservatory to your home is an excellent decision learn more.
Planning your Conservatory
Building a conservatory takes considerable planning and forethought and there are a number of decisions that need to be made before homeowners get to the exciting part that is choosing a design, building materials, finishes and decor. The most important initial considerations include:
oSelecting a location for your conservatory and deciding on the direction in which it is going to face: Because of the impact of climate on conservatories, it is best to consider this when making a decision. The purpose for which the room is meant is also important. Bear in mind though, that there are steps that can be taken in terms of the structural materials and glass that can reduce the impact of the heat or cold to which your conservatory may be exposed.
oEstablishing whether or not you need planning permission to build your conservatory: While most conservatories in the UK do not require planning permission, provided they meet a number of requirements, this is not always the case and it is definitely better to check this before you embark on the project.
Choosing a Conservatory Design
Although possibly overwhelming, this is in some ways the most exciting part of planning your conservatory. Although there are numerous designs and combinations of designs that are available on the market, sifting through them needn’t be a chore. There are a number of practical methods that can help narrow down the choices:
oConsider the age of your house. Certain conservatory designs are better suited to older, more traditional homes, while others, with clean, minimalist and modern lines would look out of place on anything but a new property. Examples of more traditional conservatories include the gable-fronted and Victorian designs, while Georgian conservatories and many of the combinations are better suited to modern homes. There are also those that could be suitable for both, like a P-shaped design.
oConsider the size of your home. Conservatories are supposed to enhance your home, as opposed to dominating it, and this is integrally related to its stature and size. Because of their dimensions, P-shaped conservatories are better suited to grander properties while a Victorian or Georgian design can be modified to fit many homes.
Choosing the Structural Frame of your Conservatory
While choosing the structural frame of your conservatory may seem like a minor decision, the outcome actually has a considerable impact on your conservatory. The materials most often used in conservatory construction are timber, aluminum and PVCu. There are four main ways that structural materials may affect your conservatory:
oInsulation: Some materials insulate better than others. While timber is the worst conductor of heat, and thus the best insulator, aluminum is the worst insulator. PVCu transfers moderately less heat than aluminum, but considerably more than timber.
oAesthetics: Again, the aesthetic value of the various building materials is subjective and is often dependent on the style of your home. PVCu and aluminum are not suitable for older homes as they are incongruous with a traditional look. Timber on the other hand is ideal for older homes, but may look out of place in a more modern and minimalist environment.