Conservatory FAQs

How long do conservatories last?

This varies according to the quality of the conservatory and installation work. If these are both high quality, your conservatory should last at least 25 years.

Can I use my conservatory all year round?

Modern conservatories are well insulated and have double glazing. This means that you can use them in winter, as well as in the warmer seasons.

With insulated bases and cavity walls, plus thermally efficient windows and roofs, heat can be retained in the conservatory, keeping the room warm. Pilkington Activ™ glazing also improves comfort, keeping conservatories warmer in winter and cool in the summer by excluding solar radiation.

How can I get rid of my old conservatory?

A good way to get rid of your conservatory is to sell it. Depending on its condition you may not make much money from it, but it’s an easy and financially viable way to get your old conservatory dismantled and out of the way.

Do conservatories need to be double glazed?

In 2002 the Government amended Building Regulations governing the replacement and installation of glazing units. For the first time, windows had to meet energy efficiency standards and tough thermal performance levels. For new window units you must have efficiency ratings of at least a level C.

What is uPVC?

uPVC is unplasticised polyvinyl chloride. It is a favourite amongst homeowners and manufacturers for its cheap production cost and excellent benefits. uPVC is used for window frames, conservatories and doors. In fact, uPVC can be three times cheaper than wooden frames and is also the most energy efficient option.

As well as this, uPVC is now available in a range of colours other than the typically seen bright white finish. It can also be recycled, is durable and resistant to changing weather conditions.

What are the other options for conservatory material?

Whilst uPVC is the UK’s favourite because it’s cheap to manufacture and has a number of qualities, there are also options available including aluminium and hardwood. Both are popular for various reasons.

Aluminium, as a metal, is the strongest and most durable material available for conservatories. On top of this it won’t rust, warp or crack. Hardwood offers a more traditional appeal and whilst it requires high maintenance levels, is perfect for conservation areas and listed buildings.

How can I get privacy from prying neighbours?

Whilst you may think conservatories are nearly all made from glass, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you live in a built-up area you could have a tiled rooftop to enable extra privacy, use obscure glass and even invest in blinds.

Be aware that solid walls are possible but if the conservatory is manufactured with less than 50% of glass, you’ll need Buildings Regulations approval.

Do I need planning permission?

Many conservatories fall under permitted development which means they don’t require planning permission. There are exceptions to this though, especially if you’re looking to have a large conservatory installed. Read our guide on conservatory planning permission for more information.

Do I need Building Regulations approval?

Most conservatories won’t require Building Regulations approval. However, if you’re planning a conservatory more than 30 square metres in floor space this may be required. If there is no linking door between the home and conservatory then Buildings Regulations approval will be needed too. For more information and to ensure getting everything right, speak to the local council or planning officer.

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