Author Archives: Emily Rivers

Emily Rivers

About Emily Rivers

Emily Rivers works for Quotatis as a Content and Social Media Executive. She informs customers of the latest developments in a range of products so they can make the best choice for their homes. For more information about Emily visit her Google+ profile.

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.

Why it May be Time to Put a Roof on your Conservatory

Written by   |  Published May 2, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Conservatories have been popular for so many years now that you see them everywhere. They are the perfect space for relaxing with your family, whether it’s around the television or the dining table.

But the one problem that homeowners often face is that they can get cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.

It’s likely that you’re having this problem if you’ve got a conservatory. So how can you solve this problem? The answer could be to put a solid roof on it.

Why a solid conservatory roof?

Putting a solid roof on your conservatory helps increase the thermal efficiency of your space. Although they look great, the nature of the large panes of glass in conservatories mean that they lose heat very quickly. And in the summer, they get too hot when the sun is streaming in.

A solid conservatory roof makes it much more pleasant to use your conservatory all year round. During the winter months, you’ll notice the difference in warmth, whereas in the summer the roof will reflect the heat so you stay cool.

How long does it take to install?

If you use a reputable solid conservatory roof company, you can have a beautiful new roof on your conservatory within a couple of days. In just a few hours, the installers can have the exterior of the roof up and water tight.

Make your conservatory more attractive

After a few years, traditional conservatory roofs start looking old, dirty and tired. Whether you need the solid roof to allow you to use the space all year round, consider getting a solid roof on your conservatory to help bring it back to life and keep it looking fresher for longer.

Solid conservatory roofs are much easier to clean than traditional roofs and require far less maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, they can look great and turn your conservatory into a stylish looking glazed extension.

Whether you want a solid conservatory roof for its thermal efficiency benefits or just to update your conservatory, ensure that you get up to 4 quotes from reputable companies so you get the best price.

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.

Do you Want a Conservatory or Extension?

Written by   |  Published October 4, 2016  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: ,

What’s best for your home? A conservatory or extension? As house prices continue to rise and admin costs get bigger, more of us are looking to stay in our homes.

But families are still growing, so we need more room. That means extending your property in some way.

So how do you choose between a conservatory or extension? To make it easier, here are some things you’ll need to consider.

How much room do you need?

Is your family expanding? Are you going to need extra bedrooms? If this is the case, it might be best to go for a full two-storey extension.

But if you just need extra living space rather than bedrooms, then a conservatory might be the answer. A conservatory will certainly be cheaper and you don’t need planning permission in most cases.

Think about your home’s character

What kind of style is your home? One thing that can go horribly wrong with extensions or conservatories is that they don’t match with the character of your home.

conservatory or extension Although conservatories can add up to 5% onto your home’s value, if it’s ill-placed it could do the opposite.

Tip: To keep a conservatory or extension looking like it’s always been part of your home, consider laying the same flooring throughout the downstairs.

Consider light

If your home is light-deprived at the moment, a conservatory can be the perfect answer since the glass roof and large windows will let lots of light in.

Light will also create some heat in the winter, which helps as conservatories do get cold in the later months of the year. But if you don’t want to heat a conservatory in the winter, an extension could be a better option.

The cost of a conservatory

You don’t need planning permission to install a conservatory, so you make a saving there over an extension.

Expect to pay between £4-10,000 for a conservatory. You could add 5% to your home’s value, so could easily recoup the cost.

Extension costs

You’ll have to make a planning application with an extension, which can take between 12 and 16 weeks. It also costs money, whether you make the application yourself or your builder does it for you.

Expect to pay between £1,200 and £1,500 per m2 for a single storey extension. Then, for a two-storey extension, add 50% extra to the build cost. But you could add 20% to the value of your home, which is 4 times than a conservatory.

So, a conservatory or extension?

It’s your decision. You’ll know whether a conservatory or extension will suit your needs, but bear in mind that a conservatory is considerably cheaper than an extension.

If you don’t need extra bedrooms, a conservatory could be a perfect way to add living space without spending thousands.

4 Ways to Stop Condensation in your Conservatory

Written by   |  Published July 5, 2016  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: ,

Condensation is a problem around the home for many of us. It forms when moisture builds up in the air and hits cool surfaces, such as windows.

Since conservatories are mostly made of glass, you might find that you have an issue with condensation in your conservatory.

Now that we’re more aware of the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, advances in technology mean that our conservatories are air and water tight. This is great for our energy bills and to stop us from getting wet, but it does mean there is less ventilation.

If you want to tackle condensation in your conservatory, you’ve got to find ways to get more ventilation. Read on to find out our top 4 tips to combat the problem.

1. Open your windows

The best thing you can do to tackle condensation is open your windows. If you have a bathroom or kitchen near or in your conservatory, make sure the windows are always open when you’re showering, washing up or cooking.

Steam will escape through the windows before it has time to cool and create moisture. This will stop you from getting mould on your walls and ceilings.

2. Make sure your window dressings don’t trap condensation

Of course you need blinds or curtains in your conservatory, but make sure that they allow for some air flow. If they don’t, they can trap moisture between the dressing and the window, causing condensation.

3. Install trickle vents

If you need new conservatory windows soon, consider installing windows with trickle vents as they help to increase air flow in and out of the area. It’s also a good idea to keep doors within your home open to let air circulate instead of trapping it in the conservatory.

4. Consider a dehumidifier

If you have a real condensation problem in your conservatory, it might be worth looking into buying a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is a machine that draws moisture out of the air to stop it hitting the windows. Depending on the size unit you get, they can be expensive, but you can also hire them over the winter months when moisture can be a bigger problem.

If you need repairs done to help combat condensation in your conservatory, fill in our form below. We’ll put you in touch with up to 4 local companies who can give you a competitive quote.

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.

6 Materials for your Conservatory Flooring

Written by   |  Published May 10, 2016  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags:

When it comes to your conservatory flooring, you want to make sure you achieve the look you’re after as well as stay in budget. There are plenty of options to choose from that will complement the room as well as being practical.

We’ve put together 6 of our favourite conservatory flooring materials for you to choose from – whether you’re after wood or stone, there will be something for you.

Granite

Granite is a very strong material that is known for its striking colour and looks fabulous when polished to give a high gloss finish.

If your conservatory is going to get a lot of use, granite might be the perfect choice as it is hardwearing as well as stylish. Just ensure you’re not going to drop anything breakable onto the floor!

Marble

Marble is one of our favourites here at Quotatis – it is elegant and stylish, and adds a luxury feel to your conservatory. Marble is an excellent choice for anyone who will use their conservatory for entertaining family and friends.

It does come with a price tag, though – marble conservatory flooring is one of the most expensive options, and could set you back £60 per square metre. But if it’s in your price range, you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are an excellent option if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to marble or granite. These days, you can choose ceramic tiles that have a marble effect but cost much less.

There are so many colours and patterns to choose from that whatever your style, you should be able to find something to suit your needs. And at an average of £10 per square metre, they’re a snip compared to other conservatory flooring options.

Bamboo

If you’re not familiar with it, you’re probably thinking that bamboo flooring must be very weak and not a very good option for rooms that get a lot of traffic. But that’s not true.

Bamboo is a great choice for conservatory flooring as it is hardwearing. But it’s also good for the eco-conscious amongst us, as it can be recycled and is harvested at 5 years rather than the decades that hardwood takes to mature. Expect to pay around £25 per square metre.

Cork

Cork is an eco-friendly way to floor your conservatory and can produce some fantastic results. It feels warm under the feet and will never lose its shape. It’s a natural insulator so you should find you feel warmer in your conservatory without having to turn the thermostat up.

Another great thing about cork is that it retains its elasticity and never loses shape. It’s also resistant to mould and damp, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the floor regularly.

Oak

Oak is another luxurious flooring material that is well worth it if it suits your budget. Choose from a rich variety of colours and grains to get the exact style you want as there are so many species of oak from around the world that there will definitely be one for your needs.

All of the conservatory flooring materials we’ve put together here have their own advantages and will look great in a conservatory. It’s just up to you to decide which one suits your budget and the style that you’re looking for.

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.