Tag Archives: conservatories

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.

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.

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.

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.

Can I get a conservatory for my listed building?

Written by   |  Published September 18, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: , ,

There are listed buildings all around the UK and many stipulations as to what can and can’t be done to the property. If your home is listed as a Grade I or Grade II building then it’s considered to be of architectural significance or merit.

If this is the case, it’s probably because the property is over 100 years old and as the owner, you’re now the custodian. This means you have a responsibility to look after the building and any changes you wish to implement will need planning permission. This concerns the whole building, including the interior and exterior.

So when it comes to a conservatory, although it’s permitted development for normal homes, it’s a different case with listed buildings. Instead you’ll need consent, known as Listed Building Consent. Without this consent you’ll be breaking the law and will be subsequently prosecuted.

How to get Listed Building Consent for a conservatory

In the same way you’d seek permission with a non-listed property, you’ll need to go to the local council. All councils are different so depending on where you live there could be varying procedures in place. Typically it’ll take eight weeks for a decision to be made on a Grade II listed building, with 21 days for neighbours to make any complaints.

Grade I buildings tend to take longer, with up to 13 weeks expected for a decision to be made. The council may even ask for advice from English Heritage.

If your conservatory proposals are accepted then you’ll be free to build the extension. Of course there may be certain criteria for you to meet as part of the acceptance. If you’re proposal is declined then you have an opportunity to appeal.

Choosing the right conservatory

Much of the criteria for conservatories with listed buildings involve the conservatory suitably matching the home. For this reason it’s important to get your proposal right and many homeowners get the help of an architect with experience in listed buildings.

Essentially, the conservatory will need to be designed with a similar look to the building. This includes the design functions such as the shape and size, as well as the materials you plan to use. Typically, homeowners in listed buildings will look towards hardwood conservatories with Victorian designs.

When assessing your proposal, planners will want to ensure the conservatory isn’t going to dominate the original building or create an unbalance in the grounds. The colour will also be a major factor in whether your plans are approved or declined. Keep the colours similar to the building and you have every chance of success in your application.

Consider an orangery

Written by   |  Published July 2, 2013  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: , , ,

The orangery is becoming more and more popular in the UK, taking a similar appearance to conservatories but holding a more elegant appeal. Orangeries tend to be larger than the conservatory and in many cases across Britain have actually become the preferred option.

Orangeries also have one fantastic benefit, in that they’re more suited to conservation areas and listed buildings, meaning planning permission approval is much more likely. This will typically depend on the design being up-to-scratch, but if you use hardwood for the frames you’re likely to be granted permission. On the other hand, conservatories may not be accepted.

With a wooden orangery you’ll create an elegant appeal and bring warmth to the installation. There’s no denying they look fantastic, showcasing a wealth of real quality. Of course, if wood isn’t for you though you could consider aluminium or uPVC for your installation.

uPVC would provide a cheaper alternative and still maintains excellent durability and weather resistance. Aluminium is the strongest of the three choices available to you but could also be the most costly, setting you back more in installations price.
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The orangery essentially gives you a stylish extension to your home which can be used for a number of purposes you may need. Whether it’s a dining room or garden room, the orangery provides a space for multi-purpose living that can be used throughout the year in all weather. You could even extend one of your rooms such as the kitchen to transform your home.

With orangeries you’re beautifully connected to the outside world too and with bifolding or French doors you’ll have an excellent design which looks great and allows you to make the most of space in the orangery.

If you’re thinking about the addition of an orangery to your home, then you should compare quotes from reputable professionals to get the best price possible. Experts always recommend receiving three or four quotes as a way to ensure getting the right deal available for you.

 

Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • Extending your home with a conservatory or orangery will add thousands of pounds to the value of your property.
  • An extension is preferred to moving home, because of the cost of estate agents fees, solicitor payments and stamp duty.
  • With dozens of styles and designs you can set your home apart from the crowd with a stunning conservatory.

Lean to conservatory

Written by   |  Published July 2, 2013  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: , , ,

The lean to conservatory is one of the most popular extensions for UK homes. This is for a number of reasons, from cost to ease of installation. Lean-to conservatories are also known as a Mediterranean conservatory or sunroom, being particularly suited to smaller homes and bungalows where there’s a small roof pitch angle.

If you’re on a budget, then the lean to conservatory could well be the right extension for you, as it’s much cheaper than the more fashionable Victorian, Edwardian or bespoke designs. On top of this, you can add over £9,000 to your home’s value, ensuring to at least recoup the investment when you sell your property.

The lean to does exactly what it says in its description, leaning against the property. It’s a simple look but excellent for those with less space in the garden to utilise. After all, you don’t want to eat up too much garden space with a conservatory through fear of losing property value.

Despite its simple aesthetic appeal, there are a number of factors to choose in the finished look. For starters you have the doors, with French, patio or bifolding doors three very popular options. Bifolding doors have shot to popularity in recent years, opening up more space in the home and giving you more room for furniture.

One of your other major choices will be deciding the frame material to use for your conservatory manufacture. There are three options for this: aluminium, hardwood and uPVC.
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uPVC is by far the most popular of the three materials, being cheaper than both aluminium and hardwood, whilst having fantastic durability and weather resistance. If you’re on a tight budget this is certainly the material for your lean to conservatory, and with a range of colours to choose from you no longer need to have a bright white installation.

Hardwood is the choice for those wanting a traditional appeal for their home and is particularly suited to homes in conservation areas where restrictions apply. Although the hardwood will need maintenance over the years to prevent rot, this extra work is well worth the effort for the finish you’ll benefit from.

Your third option is aluminium, a metal that provides excellent strength and durability. It’s easily the strongest of the three and as such tends to be more expensive.

Remember, if you’re interested in a lean to conservatory you need to compare between three or four quotes in order to get the best price available in your area.

 

Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • Extending your home with a conservatory or orangery will add thousands of pounds to the value of your property.
  • An extension is preferred to moving home, because of the cost of estate agents fees, solicitor payments and stamp duty.
  • With dozens of styles and designs you can set your home apart from the crowd with a stunning conservatory.