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.

How to Build a Conservatory in a Conservation Area

Written by   |  Published January 23, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Building a conservatory can be a great way to expand and add value to your home. But before you get started, you need to make sure that you’re following any relevant legislation.

If you’re planning to build a conservatory in a conservation area, there are a number of regulations you need to be aware of.

Read on to find out more about conservation areas, and how to build your conservatory in one.

What’s a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area of architectural or historic interest that is protected by law. There are lots of different types of conservation area. These include:

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

Local authorities protect these areas by limiting property alteration, tree felling and demolition work in them.

Can I build a conservatory in a conservation area?

conservatory or extensionYou can build a conservatory in a conservation area. You can even do it without planning permission, but you do need to follow a number of regulations. These include:

  • Not building your conservatory on the side of your property
  • Ensuring your conservatory extends no further than 4 metres away from the rear wall of your house if it’s detached, or 3 metres away if it’s attached

For more conservatory planning regulations, visit doineedpermission.co.uk.

Planning guidelines say that you need to apply for planning permission if you’re building an extension on a property in a conservation area, and you want it to be more than one story. You also need to apply for planning permission if you want to put exterior cladding on your extension.

Conservatories are single story and don’t need exterior cladding. So if you want to build an extension in a conservation area, but don’t want to apply for planning permission, a conservatory is a good choice.
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Of course you can always apply for planning permission if you do want to build a conservatory on the side of your property, or further away from your rear wall. But you’ll have to wait for permission to be granted before you start work.

Even if you think your conservatory doesn’t need planning permission, we recommend that you speak to your local planning authority before you begin building. This is because conservation area regulations can vary between different planning authorities and change over time.

How do I contact my local planning authority or apply for planning permission?

To contact your local planning authority or apply for planning permission, visit your local planning authority’s website. If you’re not sure who your local planning authority is, you can find out using this handy tool.

If you’re ready to get started on your conservatory, but haven’t found a contractor to install it yet, you can use our online form. We’ll connect you with up to 4 local tradespeople, you’ll be able to give you a free quote.

How to Make Sure Your New Conservatory Meets Building Regulations

Written by   |  Published January 19, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

A conservatory can be a great addition to your home. It will increase the amount of space you have, and add significant value to the property. It will also increase the amount of natural light coming into your home, which can make it feel even bigger.

Building a conservatory is much easier than building a traditional extension. But it still has its tricky parts. One of these is making sure that the work you’re planning to do complies with building regulations.

Read on to find out more about building regulations and how to comply with them.

What are building regulations?

Building regulations are a list of design and construction requirements that most buildings have to meet. They are implemented to promote the health and safety of all people in and around these buildings. They are also used to make sure that buildings are relatively energy efficient, and meet the access and mobility needs of the disabled.

Does my new conservatory need to comply with building regulations?

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Conservatories do not normally need to comply with all building regulations. But they do need to meet certain requirements. They should:

  • Be built at ground level
  • Cover less than 30 square metres
  • Be separated from the existing house by external quality walls and doors
  • Have an independent heating system with separate controls
  • Not restrict ladder access to any high level fire escapes

Plus the windows, doors and electrics in the conservatory need to comply with building regulations. Electrical installations need to meet safety standards, and windows and doors need to meet certain energy efficiency, safety and ventilation standards. The structural opening between the existing house and the conservatory also needs to comply with building regulations. For more information on these regulations, visit the government’s website.

How do I make sure my conservatory gets building regulations approval?

You will need to seek building regulations approval before you start installing your conservatory. You can do this in one of two ways:
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1. Hire a ‘competent person’

If you hire a tradesperson on the Competent Persons Register, they will make sure your conservatory meets building regulations. They will self-certify their work and contact your local authority if needed. They will also give you a compliance certificate to prove the completed work meets building regulations.

2. Apply through a building control body

Another way to get building regulations approval is to use a Building Control Body (BCB). These can either be run by your local authority or privately.

The BCB will check building regulations for you and apply for building regulations approval if necessary. With this option you will also be given a certificate to show that the completed work meets building regulations.

So now you should be clearer on building regulations and how to make sure your new conservatory complies with them. For more things to do before building your new conservatory, why not take a look at our information on conservatory planning permission?

Everything You Need to Know About Conservatory Planning Permission

Written by   |  Published January 16, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Many home owners have a goal to expand their property. This may be to add value to the property with a view to selling it and making a profit. Or it could simply be to expand their living space.

Building a conservatory is a great way to do this. Adding a conservatory will increase the area of your home and can create a whole new room. Plus it can be considerably cheaper and easier to build than a traditional extension.

However, there are a number of hoops you’ll need to jump through before you can build your conservatory. One of these is possibly getting planning permission. Read on to find out more about planning permission and whether you’ll need it.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is something you may need to get before you do a certain piece of building work. You can get it by applying to your local planning authority.

Your local planning authority will check if your building work needs planning permission. If it does, they’ll use local and national planning guidelines to decide whether to grant you permission. When making this decision they’ll consider the size and appearance of whatever you want to build, and its access, use and effect on your neighbours.

Do I need planning permission to build a conservatory?

You don’t need to apply for planning permission to build a conservatory adjoining your house if the conservatory meets a number of conditions. These include it:

  • Being no higher than 4 metres or the highest part of the house roof, whichever is lower
  • Not being on the front of your house or between your house and a road
  • Extending no further than 8 metres from your rear wall if your house is detached, or 6 metres if your house is attached
  • Extending no further than half the width of your house from a side wall

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You can find a longer list of conditions here.

If your house is a listed building, or is built on designated land, it’s best to contact your local planning authority before going ahead with your conservatory. This is because additional regulations apply in these cases. Designated land includes

  • National parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Conservation areas
  • World Heritage Sites

If you want to build a conservatory adjoining your ground floor flat, a converted house or a different type of building, you should also seek advice from your local planning authority.

How do I contact my local planning authority or apply for planning permission?

conservatoryYou can contact your local planning authority and apply for planning permission through your local planning authority’s website. If you’re not sure who your local authority is, the government has an online service to help you.

So hopefully you’re now clearer on what planning permission is and whether you’ll need it to build your conservatory. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t start building work unless you’re 100% sure you don’t need planning permission. If you’re still unsure, contact your local planning authority for advice.

Is an Aluminium Conservatory Right For You?

Written by   |  Published January 15, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Aluminium is a metal that is increasingly being used for conservatory frames. It used to be unpopular, as older designs had poor energy efficiency rates. But now most aluminium conservatories have good insulating qualities, and their popularity is on the up.

But is an aluminium conservatory right for you? We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros

Long-lasting

Aluminium is long-lasting. If an aluminium conservatory is installed correctly it can easily last longer than a uPVC or wooden conservatory.

Durable

Aluminium is durable. It won’t get damaged by water, sun or extreme temperatures. This contrasts with wood, which can rot or warp.

Easy to maintain

Aluminium is easy to maintain. You don’t need to treat it with anything, and can clean it easily with a damp cloth.

Flexible

Aluminium is flexible. Frame manufacturers can bend it to make circular or odd-shaped windows.

Strong and lightweight

Aluminium is strong and lightweight. This means that that your conservatory can be whatever height you like. It also means that its frames can be very thin. This will maximise your view outside.
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Another advantage is security. The strength of aluminium means that aluminium conservatories are very difficult to break into.

Recyclable

Aluminium is 100% recyclable. You can either reuse conservatory framing, or send it away to be melted down to make something new.

Cons

Expensive

Aluminium is expensive. An aluminium conservatory will cost you a lot more than a uPVC or wooden one.

Can be inefficient

Poor quality aluminium frames can be inefficient. Aluminium conducts heat, so poorly-made frames will let the heat out of your home.

So aluminium conservatories have several pros and cons. If you think an aluminium conservatory is right for you, fill in our online form. We’ll put you in touch up to 4 tradespeople in your local area. If you’re undecided, have a look at our information on uPVC and wooden conservatories.

uPVC Conservatories: the Pros and Cons

Written by   |  Published January 9, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

The uPVC conservatory is one of the most popular types of conservatory in the UK. Which? have found that nearly 9 in 10 conservatory owners have uPVC frames. Many people choose it because uPVC is strong and lightweight.

But uPVC is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. To help you decide whether a uPVC conservatory is right for you, we’ve come up with a handy list of pros and cons.

Pros

Low maintenance

uPVC is low maintenance. It doesn’t need treating with anything, and you can clean it by simply wiping it with a damp cloth.

Durable

uPVC is durable. It won’t rot or warp when it’s wet, like wood can. It also won’t fade when exposed to sunlight.

Long-lasting

uPVC is long-lasting. If a uPVC conservatory has been built well with quality materials, it can last at least 35 years.

Affordable

uPVC conservatories are often cheaper than other conservatories, as plastic is generally less expensive than wood or aluminium.
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Energy efficient

uPVC is energy efficient. It doesn’t conduct heat, which means it’s an excellent insulator. uPVC keeps the heat in your home so you don’t waste energy or money.

Versatile

uPVC can be coloured. Many people choose white frames, as they have a clean, bright finish. But there are also lots of other options: uPVC can come in bright colours or made to resemble wood.

Cons

Brittle

Despite its durability, uPVC can become brittle over time. This means that under impact it could shatter or splinter.

Looks cheap

uPVC is a commonly used material, and can look cheap when compared to options like wood or aluminium.

Not environmentally friendly

uPVC is not environmentally friendly. Its production gives off carbon emissions and uPVC isn’t biodegradable.

So the uPVC conservatory has a range of pros and cons. If you think a uPVC conservatory might be right for you, fill in our online form and we’ll connect you with up to 4 tradespeople who’ll be able to give you a quote. If you’re not sure, why not take a look at our information on wooden and aluminium conservatories?

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.

What to choose for your conservatory roof

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

If you’ve chosen to invest in a conservatory then you’ll want to use it no matter the time of year. Of course, it’ll be a wasted investment if you’re only using it in the summer because there are a good six months of time when it’ll be used.

In terms of getting the most from your conservatory, a lot comes down to the conservatory roof you choose. Glass is a typical rooftop for the conservatory as homeowners see the possibilities of allowing plenty of natural daylight inside.

But what this also does is make the conservatory very hot in summer and cold in winter.

If you’re looking for something a little different, there are options available that’ll look great too.

Tiled Roof

With a tiled conservatory rooftop for your conservatory you’ll convert the space into a sunroom or garden room. Tiled roofs act as a natural extension to your home and will blend in seamlessly with the rest of the property – perfect for those with older homes.

Tiled roofs will also provide you with added privacy, which is great if you live in a built-up area. They also help you keep too much heat out of the conservatory so you don’t have a sauna in summer and heat will stay inside during the winter too.

Lead Roof

Some conservatories will benefit from a flat roof and in these circumstances, lead is often preferred. With a lead roof you create a classic and elegant appeal that’s suitable for any property. They look great from the upstairs of your home too and provide a superb aesthetic appeal.

Lead conservatory roofs are known for their sturdy and weatherproof properties, whilst also not needing much maintenance to keep them clean. The only downside is they can be quite costly and you may prefer the cheaper alternatives.

Solar Glass Roof

Solar power is something that’s really come into fruition in the last decade or so and there are thousands of homeowners nationwide investing in solar panels. They help produce environmentally friendly energy whilst slashing bills and even providing a guaranteed Government payment.

Solar glass is a great option for those with conservatories and helps to regulate the heat. They’ll keep your conservatory cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Basically there’s a glass coating that reduces heat radiation and will aid in reducing bills. You’ll also be creating an eco-friendly house.

Polycarbonate Roof

Polycarbonate conservatory roofs are also deemed as eco-friendly and this material can reduce the sun’s glare by a whopping 86%. What this does is ensures your conservatory isn’t a suntrap with extreme temperatures. In the winter the conservatory will also be an insulator and stop heat escaping, thus reducing your bills.

What you need to know about your conservatory planning

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

There are many different ways you can get more space in your home and no matter the reason; conservatories are always high up on homeowner’s lists. Of course, people choose a conservatory for a multitude of reasons, be it for more space or even to impress potential buyers in the future.

A conservatory is perfect for the summer months and gives you an opportunity to enjoy your garden with a superb extension. In the winter you’ll also have an incredible area to relax and keep warm and cosy.

However, like any home improvements you may invest in, a conservatory can be a pretty daunting task for many. The moment planning permission and Building Regulations are mentioned you’re likely to see people coming down with anxious sweats.

Planning Permission

You’re probably reading this expecting the worst. Perhaps you envisage months of problems as neighbours try to protest your extension and anticipate a wealth of cost for planning permission. But fortunately, this is rarely the case.

In fact, for many conservatories planning permission is simply not needed. This is because they’re regarded as permitted development.

To be honest, the only times there tend to be any problems is when the property is listed or you live in a Conversation Area. On these occasions you will need to get planning permission and often it’ll only be accepted if you adhere to certain aesthetic regulations.

If you are ever unsure on your rights or want to know a little more on planning permission to ensure you stay in the law, make sure to contact your local planning officer.

Building Regulations

So we’ve explained that planning permission isn’t really a deal breaker, but how about Building Regs? What many homeowners get confused with is thinking planning permission and Building Regulations are one and the same. They’re not. You always need to adhere to Building Regulations.

Building Regulations cover things such as safety, fire escapes, ventilation and the electrics. Whist you need to comply, you won’t really need to worry about it, as the company you choose for the conservatory should know Building Regulations inside out.

The size of your conservatory

The overall size of your conservatory needs to be considered, not just because of planning departments, but also in relation to your own property. If you leave yourself with a tiny garden because of the extension you’ll have to think about whether it’s worth it.

Remember, your conservatory can suit any purpose you need. Whether it’s an extension to the kitchen/diner, or an extra living space for the evenings, you can enjoy the conservatory throughout the year.

Before you go ahead with any plans, mark out the area you wish to extend and look at whether this is going to leave your home with a small garden afterwards.

Conservatory air con: Why it’s vital

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

A conservatory has many uses and homeowners invest in one for their own reasons. For some, it’s the appeal of making better use of their garden that puts a conservatory high on the list. With large glass panes you can bring in plenty of natural light and create an excellent transition between the inside and outside.

In the winter months you can enjoy a warm and cosy environment too as the latest in double glazing helps to retain more warmth inside.

But there is one aspect to a conservatory that people don’t consider. In the height of the summer, up to 30kW of heat can be let inside, creating an uncomfortable level of heat.

To counter the problem, conservatory ceiling fans are quite popular, but in reality they’re not helping to solve the issue. Instead, hot air is simply circulating the conservatory. Fortunately there is an alternative for you to consider; a conservatory air con unit.

The benefits of conservatory air con

In any part of your home that’s particular hot or humid, the best way to cool it down is with air conditioning. Of course, preferably you would open windows and doors but this isn’t always feasible.

Conservatory air con is perfect for those who want to enjoy a cool conservatory, but don’t want pollen or insects getting inside. Essentially, you can enjoy a light and airy conservatory no matter the time of year.

Most air con units aren’t a one trick pony either and with a simple switch you can heat your conservatory too. This is particularly useful in the winter months.

Wall mounted conservatory air con units are typically most popular and they’re fitted high up where you’ll see the most benefit. This is one reason that a conservatory air con unit is preferred to traditional radiators, which need to be sited near the ground.

With an air con unit you can enjoy your conservatory whatever the time of year and won’t have to worry about extreme temperatures ruining the environment.