Everything you Need to Know About Conservatories and Conservation Areas

Written by   |  Published July 18, 2017  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: ,

Installing a conservatory can be a terrific way to expand and add value to your home. However before you get going, you have to make sure that you’re following any relevant legislation.

If you’re planning to develop a conservatory in a conservation area, there are a variety of regulations you have to be aware of.

Read on to discover more about conservation areas and ways to build your conservatory in one.

Exactly what’s a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area of architectural or historical interest that is safeguarded by law. There are lots of different types of conservation area. These consist of:

  • The centres of historical towns and cities
  • 18th and 19th-century suburbs
  • Country homes in historic parks
  • Fishing and mining towns

Local authorities secure these areas by limiting residential or commercial property change, tree felling and demolition work in them.

Can I construct a conservatory in a conservation area?

conservatory or extension
You can develop a conservatory in a conservation area. You can even do it without planning permission, but you do have to follow a variety of policies. These consist of:

  • Not building your conservatory on the side of your home or business
  • Ensuring your conservatory extends no further than 4 metres far from the rear wall of your home if it’s removed, or 3 metres away if it’s connected

For a full list of conservatory planning guidelines, see the government’s Planning Portal site. Planning standards say that you have to make an application for planning permission if you’re constructing an extension on a home in a conservation area, and you want it to be more than one storey. You likewise have to obtain planning permission if you wish to put outside cladding on your extension.

Conservatories are single storey and do not need outside cladding. So if you wish to construct an extension in a conservation area, but do not want to apply for planning approval, a conservatory is a great option.

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Naturally you can always look for planning approval if you do wish to develop a conservatory on the side of your home, or further away from your rear wall. However you’ll have to wait for authorisation prior to you starting work.

Even if you believe your conservatory does not need planning authorisation, we recommend that you speak to your local planning authority prior to you beginning construction. This is since conservatory regulations can vary between various planning authorities and can change over time.

How do I contact my local planning authority or seek planning permission?

To find your local planning authority’s contact information, have a look at their site. If you’re not sure who your local planning authority is, you can find out utilising a tool on the Planning Portal. You must likewise use Planning Portal to make an application for planning consent.

If you’re ready to get started on your conservatory, but have not discovered a contractor to install it yet, you can utilise our online form. We’ll link you with up to 4 regional tradespeople, who’ll have the ability to provide you with a free quote.

5 Top Conservatory Blind Styles

Written by   |  Published July 13, 2017  |  Posted in: Advice  |  

Shopping for conservatory blinds can often a bit of a confusing process. There are so many different styles, colours, materials and manufacturers that it’s tough to choose which ones to pick.

It’s an excellent plan to begin by selecting exactly what kind of blind you want. Different types work well with different conservatory designs and materials. Selecting the ideal blinds for your conservatory can change it from an average to a great-looking room, so it’s worth investing time to get the right ones.

If you’re searching for conservatory blinds but are having a hard time deciding what you want, we can help. Read on to find out more about 5 blind styles you could use in your conservatory.

Venetian blinds

Venetian blinds can be fitted in conservatories. They are inconspicuous, practical and readily available in lots of neutral shades.

Venetian blinds are good at giving privacy without blocking out too much light, unlike roller and Roman blinds. And if you want to let all the light in you can quickly fold them up.

If you’re thinking about purchasing Venetian blinds for your conservatory, it’s a good strategy to purchase aluminium ones. This is because wood and plastic ones can warp in warm temperatures. Aluminium Venetian blinds are also light-weight so are appropriate for uPVC as well as wooden and aluminium conservatories.

Roller blinds

Roller blinds are an especially decorative type of blind. You can get them in various colours and patterns to match your conservatory palette and furnishings.

Roller blinds typically look the best if you fit one on each conservatory window. This has the added benefit that you can set the various blinds at different levels to let in the ideal amount of light.

Roman blinds

Roman blinds are likewise ideal if you want to add colour to your conservatory. Like roller blinds, you can pick colours and patterns that match your conservatory. Roman blinds are good at keeping your conservatory cool and shaded but as they are rather heavy they’re not usually suitable for uPVC conservatories.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds are another option to consider if you want conservatory blinds. They have several draw options, which enables you to change the light levels in your conservatory easily. They are also relatively light-weight so are great for uPVC as well as wood and aluminium conservatories.

As they are made from fabric, vertical blinds can fade, unlike Venetian blinds. However, you can buy and fit replacement blind slats easily to smarten up your blinds if you need to.

Pleated blinds

Pleated blinds can likewise be fitted in conservatories and are the ideal option if you fancy creating a contemporary look. They have a fixed tension system, which makes them less likely to flap around in a breeze. They’re made from fabric and fold away neatly when not being used.

So if you want new conservatory blinds, you have lots of types to choose from. Now you know a bit more about the various types of blind around, you ought to be closer to finding and fitting the perfect blinds for your conservatory.

Why a Wooden Conservatory Could Work Wonders for Your Home

Written by   |  Published June 13, 2017  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: ,

wooden conservatory

If you want to invest in a conservatory then your main concern will probably be the extra room it’ll make. But a conservatory won’t just provide space to use throughout the year, it’ll also lend charm to your property, both inside and out.

With lots of conservatory styles available, it’s clear that different designs suit different properties. For this reason, it’s crucial to think carefully about all of your options to be sure you pick the right look.

uPVC conservatories are constantly popular, particularly because of their cost. They’re by far the least expensive option around and are very low maintenance.

However other property owners like the appearance and appeal of a wooden conservatory. They’re not excessively pricey and look great, especially on older properties.

Wooden conservatory benefits

By selecting a wooden conservatory you’ll quickly enhance the character of your home and add a beauty that improves both the outside and inside.

Wooden conservatories are pleasing on the eye and with an attractive surface, are unrivalled in visual terms. You’ll have this long-lasting appeal for years. Plus nowadays, wooden conservatories need considerably less maintenance than they did before.

Kinds of wooden conservatory frames

Many property owners appear to pull back from wooden or timber conservatories because they’re scared that they’ll be too pricey. But this is no longer the case. Of course, some woods will be more pricey than others. But do not assume you’ll have poor quality with a cheaper wood.

A few of your wood choices include:

Idigbo: This West African wood looks similar to oak but is far more affordable. Idigbo is also lighter and lasts longer, and in the UK is the most common conservatory timber.

Luan: Generally this is viewed as an affordable alternative to pine and comes from the Philippines. Since it’s a plentiful wood it’s readily available at a relatively low cost. It will also last well for over twenty years.

Brazilian cedar: This wood works as an alternative to mahogany, so you can get a gorgeous dark wood for your money. It’s a low-cost choice and ideal for conservatories.

Maintaining your wooden conservatory

Timber has been used in the building market for countless years and it’s easy to see why. Doors, windows and conservatories all gain from wood due to its resilience, resistance and visual appeal.

The bright side is that wood doesn’t need the level of maintenance that you’d anticipate. However, it’s important to treat it every couple of years. This will keep the wooden frames in prime condition and guarantee they look excellent.

4 of the Best Budget Conservatory Renovation Tips

Written by   |  Published March 1, 2017  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: ,

If you’ve had your conservatory for a few years, it’s likely that you’re feeling a bit bored with it and you’d love to give it an update.

There are plenty of things you can do – like paint the exterior, re-roof it or change the window and door handles. But all of these cost money.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to update your conservatory and they’re budget-friendly. Read on to find out about our top 4 conservatory renovation tips.

1. Give your conservatory a spring clean

Don’t underestimate the power of a good old clean. Do a deep clean of the inside and out.

If you really want to make an impact, you could hire a professional to clean the roof and check the guttering, but this drives the price up. If you’ve had your conservatory a few years without having the guttering looked at, it might be a good idea to get a pro in to take a look.

2. Add new blinds

Blinds can give your conservatory an entirely new feel, and they needn’t break the bank. These days, there are plenty of styles to choose from and they come in a range of colours. Try pleated blinds for a soft but modern look that allows you to control how much light you want to let into the room.

3. Put your own stamp on it

It’s easy to forget about furnishing your conservatory properly. Most people tend to put odd furniture in there that they’ve banished from other parts of the house. But why treat your conservatory as an afterthought?

During your conservatory renovation, think about moving furniture that you actually like into the space. Add other knick knacks that will help make your conservatory feel like a space that you will enjoy spending time in.

4. Try painting the house walls

Paint the adjoining house wall of the conservatory a bold colour to make a statement. It will give your conservatory a new lease of life and make a feature wall, adding interest to the room.

Choose a colour that compliments elements like the window frames or shelving and radiators.

These conservatory renovation tips will help you overhaul your conservatory without having to spend a fortune. Whether you choose to incorporate all of these ideas or just one, they will make your conservatory a much better place to relax in.

7 Ways to Design the Best Conservatory

Written by   |  Published June 7, 2016  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

conservatory or extension

Conservatories used to be dedicated to growing plants, but these days they are used for much more. A conservatory has now blended in with a garden room, orangery and sunroom, so you can get the best conservatory by taking all the parts you like the most and putting them together.

To get the best design, there are 7 things you can do to help the process along.

1. Think about how you’ll use it

What is going to be the main use of your conservatory? This will affect your design. If you want to do your gardening in your conservatory you’ll have very different needs compared to if you want to entertain in there.


2. Make the design work for you

The design of your conservatory should reflect what you’re going to use it for. You’ll want to ensure you have enough floor space if you’re going to use it as an entertaining room.

And whether you’re going to grow plants in your conservatory or use it as an extra living space, you’re going to want to make sure that the design allows you to get the right amount of light in to make it a beautiful space for you to enjoy.

3. The best conservatory faces north

Yes, believe it or not. You might think that a south-facing aspect makes the most sense, but during the summer the sun can burn through glass and the rays are magnified. The air will also become uncomfortably hot and dry, and can encourage pests and disease.

Of course, you can still benefit from a south-facing conservatory, but investing in blinds is a must.

4. Don’t forget about ventilation

Think about adding roof vents so you can release build up of hot air, which will be vital if your conservatory is south-facing. You can add in low vents to draw out low-level air, but of course, doors will do this too.

5. Glass

Don’t bother with effects like coloured glass, especially as this could clash with the furniture you choose. Clear glass will allow excellent views into your garden. If your conservatory is north-facing, buy low-emissivity glass to reduce heat loss, while if your conservatory is south-facing you could benefit from solar-controlled glass.

6. Heating

If you’re planning on growing plants in your conservatory, you’ll need to think about the temperature the plants will need to grow. It’s not just about what’s comfortable for you! If you want to grow tropical plants like palms, you’ll have to heat your conservatory to the same temperature as the rest of your home, i.e. 21C.

If you’re using your conservatory purely for growing, keeping a winter temperature of 10C in your conservatory will enable you to grow Mediterranean plants that will flower all year round.

7. Consider planning regulations

Most conservatories will not need planning permission as they’re under the Permitted Development rights. You just have to make sure that the conservatory is not over a certain size and height. But if you live in a conservation area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there will be further conditions that you’ll need to check first.

You’ll get the best conservatory you could have asked for if you take these design features into account. Discuss your options with a reputable conservatory installer who will be able to advise on what is best for you.

Simply fill in the form below to get in touch with up to 4 conservatory companies.

How to Care for your Conservatory

Written by   |  Published February 6, 2016  |  Posted in: Advice  |  

Conservatories are pretty low-maintenance, but there are some things you should do to keep it in tip-top condition. As long as you follow advice from the manufacturer and use our basic tips listed here, your conservatory should last for many years to come.

Weather seals

Your weather seals are possibly the most important thing to maintain on your conservatory. When you’re cleaning, make sure your weather seals are in place and aren’t damaged. Slide them back into place if they have moved, and if any of the seals are broken, make sure you call a conservatory company to get these replaced.

Fans

Fans are a great way to keep your environment cool in the summer when you’re using your conservatory the most. You can even use a fan that has a reverse facility so you can keep warm in the winter. But to ensure you don’t damage your conservatory, you must ensure that you install your fan at the right height. Make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but as a general rule, fans must have a minimum clearance of 180mm between the fan blade tips and any obstructions. The blades must also be no closer than 2300mm from the finished floor level.

Ventilation

Ventilation in your conservatory is important to minimise condensation, which can lead to mould in corners of windows and other places. Trickle vents, roof vents, and keeping windows and doors open occasionally can help, but make sure you keep your conservatory secure too.

Heating

Heating is another way you can keep condensation to a minimum in your conservatory. If you do get condensation, the conservatory should be kept slightly warmer. Heaters work best when they are mounted on dwarf walls beneath window units.

Blinds

Blinds can help provide shade and privacy, but they must be installed safely to ensure there is no damage to the conservatory. You should never fit blinds covering multiple roof panes with one blind across the inside of the glazing bars. This would trap heat between the blinds and the glass and could cause damage and discolouration to the roof members.

As long as you care for your conservatory well and don’t install blinds or fans incorrectly, you should be able to enjoy your conservatory throughout all seasons. If you do have any problems, make sure you get them repaired by a conservatory company before they get any worse.

Why choose a swimming pool enclosure?

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: ,

Swimming pools seem to have surged in popularity and now they’re not just for the rich and famous.

Even though Britain isn’t renowned for high temperatures during the summer months, swimming pools are now the fashion.

If you have invested in a swimming pool then you’ve probably found out that there are certain times of the year it’s not really suitable – namely the winter.

To ensure your swimming pool is something you can truly make the most of, perhaps it’s worth considering a pool enclosure.

As with anything there are pros and cons to it, so have a look at the facts and make your own decision.

Pros

With a swimming pool, one of the biggest considerations is safety. This is especially the case if there are likely to be small children or animals around. With a pool enclosure you can protect those who are likely to fall in.

You’ll also be able to keep the pool clean throughout the year. No longer will you need to fish out leaves, twigs and other debris that’s ended up in there. Instead you’ll simply be able to use it as and when you need to.

With a pool enclosure there are a number of options you can consider, making it easy to get something that’s stylish and fits in with your property.

Cons

Of course, if you have a swimming pool you probably won’t want to hide it away. After all, the enclosure won’t look as good as the pool itself. If you invested in a simple cover then you wouldn’t have to worry about an enclosure, but there’s also the hassle of constantly taking it on and off.

Cheap enclosures can also be easily damaged so if you’re going to invest, it’s worth spending a bit of money. Think of the weather it’ll have to endure at different times of the year. Take a look at all the pool enclosures and find the best one for your home. Then make sure to get the right price by comparing quotes from a range of companies.

How to heat your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

Conservatories serve as an excellent extension to your home but many homeowners have problems heating them up in the winter.

This is something you hopefully won’t have to deal with, by taking a look at our tips and advice in this article.

Of course, when it’s the summer you shouldn’t have to worry about a cold conservatory as the sun naturally warms it up.

But in the winter it’s common for homeowners to abandon the room because it gets too chilly.

Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to solve the problem. Let’s take a look at them.

Insulating blinds

You’ll need window furnishings of some sort in your conservatory, so why not choose stylish and insulating window blinds? Blinds do a fantastic job in the conservatory by locking heat inside. In fact, with the right blinds you can reduce heat loss by 46%, whilst providing a sophisticated appeal in your conservatory.

Radiators

Radiators have always been the traditional way to heat any room in your home and are easy to install. You can have them connected to your central heating or even have electric storage heaters. As you’ll only use them in winter you won’t have to worry about an extortionate energy bill either.

Free standing heater

Free standing heaters are often best for smaller conservatories and are pretty cheap to run. They’re easy enough to use as well and all you need to do is plug them in. then just remember to turn off before going to bed.

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is something that’s becoming increasingly popular with homeowners all over the country and acts as the perfect long term solution. Underfloor heating is installed under the conservatory flooring as either wires or panels. As heat naturally rises you end up with an even distribution of heat whenever it’s switched on. You also get a lovely warm floor too.

How to stop condensation in your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

Condensation is always a problem in our homes and the conservatory is no different. Most of the time the doors in your conservatory will remain closed, which means there’s little ventilation and unfortunately this means condensation will naturally build up.

Condensation is formed by water vapour in the air coming into contact with a cold surface. So those large glass panes are the perfect place for condensation to settle. It’s typically a bigger problem in the winter months when the outside temperature drops dramatically.

As your conservatory will have been designed to be both water and air tight, they’re particularly prone to condensation.

So how can you solve the problem with condensation?

Ventilation

With adequate ventilation you can reduce condensation build-up. Try to keep the conservatory as warm as you can but with ventilation allowing the water vapour to escape your home.

Trickle vents

Some homeowners look at trickle vents to solve the problem of condensation. Trickle vents are fitted to your windows and help create air flow in and out of the room.

Condensation catchers

Another option is to invest in a condensation catcher. These help tackle damp problems as you cut the fabric to the length you need and line the inside of your windows. Excess moisture will collect in the fabric and you can then squeeze it away.

Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is one of the most popular options for controlling moisture in the home as it effectively draws moisture out of the air. There is even the option to hire one if you don’t want to buy one.

However you aim to get rid of excess moisture, try to air the conservatory during the day and keep a fairly even temperature. If you shut the door and effectively leave it sealed for long periods of time, you will end up with condensation. This can be damaging to your home as condensation is one cause of mould.

How much is a Victorian conservatory?

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

It’s fair to say that Victorian conservatories are the most popular design in the industry with their pitched rooftops and ornate detailing. They provide a beautiful sense of style and sophistication that’s unmatched with any other design.

The Victorian conservatory is both attractive and practical in offering plenty of extra space in the home. There are also a range of sizes to choose from and a variety of materials to pick in order to create your perfect conservatory.

Fortunately you won’t have to spend a ridiculous amount on a Victorian conservatory either and there’s enough to play with so you benefit from adding a wealth of value to the home. Obviously ensure getting a number of quotes for the Victorian conservatory though to ensure the best prices and a great deal.



What is a Victorian conservatory?

Conservatories really became a British phenomenon during the Victorian period, mainly as a way of keeping and cultivating exotic plants. At the time they weren’t generally used to create extra living space and their large glass panes were perfect to provide plants with natural sunlight.

This same style and appeal has lasted to modern day. The main reason is because it’s so in keeping with the design of many homes and fits in perfectly. With pitched roofs and octagonal bay windows, the Victorian conservatory blends seamlessly with urban and rural properties.

How much does a Victorian conservatory cost?

As with any conservatory you might consider, the cost is going to vary considerably depending on your budget. Obviously conservatories range in size and this is going to be a major factor in determining your final outlay.

If you live in a Conservation Area or listed building then the chances are you’ll need a hardwood frame conservatory in order for it to blend with your property. Hardwood does bring up your final cost though, as does aluminium which is typically the most expensive frame material.

If you want to keep your costs down then a uPVC conservatory is the best way forward. This cheaper material doesn’t lack in quality either and you’ll have a beautiful finish that’ll last years.

With a Victorian conservatory, expect to spend anywhere from £225 to £3,000 per metre squared. A smaller conservatory made from uPVC will see you spending under £6,000, whilst the most expensive and lavish designs can be upward of £35,000. It all comes down to your budget and preferences.