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.

How to pay for your conservatory

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

A conservatory isn’t cheap and if you want to invest in a good quality installation that will look great and last for decades, then you’ll want to spend a few thousand pounds.

Don’t forget, with a conservatory you’ll add a wealth of value to your home, so if you come to sell-up in the future, you’ll make back the initial investment.

Let’s take a look at the different options you have to paying for a conservatory:

A loan

With a loan you can look to take advantage of low interest rates and ensure you’re not paying back too much every month. The loan allows you to pay for the conservatory in full if you don’t have the cash readily available.
For loans, there are two types to consider; secured and unsecured.

A secured loan means that the loan is protected by the provider against your house or belongings. This means it’s vital to read all the small print before signing anything. If you fail to keep up the payments as agreed, your home or car could be at risk.

With an unsecured loan, it’s only based on you. It’s not secured against any of your belongings.

With any loan you consider, make sure to look at the early repayment options and penalties in place for missed payments. There are plenty of competitive rates available.

A word of warning though, don’t use the loan companies advertised on TV with extortionate APR rates. Instead go to your bank or building society to see what they offer.

Credit Card

Credit cards can be shunned by many homeowners because of the fear of spiralling into more debt, but actually they can be pretty handy for large investments such as a conservatory. As with the loan though, make sure to shop around and get the best rates.

You can get a credit card with 0% interest for the first 24 months or so, and this is definitely something to consider. If you can pay off the card within the first two years then you’ll have nothing else to pay. Also, once the 24 months has ended you could transfer the remaining debt to another 0% card.

With any credit card it’s important to look at the APR (annual percentage rate) before signing up. Some can be exceedingly high and you’re bound to find a better deal elsewhere.

With a credit card it’s important to remember to treat it as you would a bank debit card. If it’s lost, report it quickly to prevent unauthorised use.

Your savings

This is the ideal way to pay for a conservatory, or indeed any other home improvement you may consider. Savings have probably been built up over time and perhaps you’re not keen to spend them all in one go, but with a conservatory you have something to use for years to come.

There are many ways you can save money, from putting your money into a savings account such as an ISA or investing in Government bonds. Of course, you’ll want to consider what’s going to get you best returns and also which option is safest.

Ideas for decorating your conservatory

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

There are many fantastic reasons to invest in a conservatory and of course, adaptability is high up for most homeowners. The conservatory offers your home extra living space to be enjoyed all year round and when it comes to decoration and furnishings, your options are seemingly endless.

With the large glass panes your conservatory will benefit from lots of natural light, so it’s the summertime when you can really make the most from your investment. We’re not all decorating gurus though, so knowing how best to furnish the conservatory can be a problem.

Here are some ideas to get you started and hopefully turn your conservatory into the perfect living space.

Inspirational ideas

With the conservatory there isn’t a one size fits all approach to decorating as it’ll depend on how you intend to use the room. To maximise your interior decorating it’s important to remember that form follows function.

Essentially, this means that the crucial decisions such as colour and furniture will be dictated by whether the conservatory acts as a living room, dining area, playroom or even garden room.

Of course, other considerations include the conservatory’s style. With a Victorian or Georgian appeal you may be keen to have traditional décor as opposed to modern designs.

So what do you need to know about colour schemes in general? Well, there are plenty of possibilities available to you. As the conservatory has loads of natural light, you may as well make the most of this. That means using colours that look good in sunshine, whilst being bright and airy.

Many homeowners look to the Mediterranean to draw their inspiration, so colour such as white, blues and yellows are very popular. Plants will also contribute to the final look and ferns, palms and foliage plants offer great appeal.

Conservatory furniture

Like we’ve mentioned above, the furniture you choose for your conservatory will typically be decided by what you plan to use the room for. There’s no solution to fit every home.

The first tip we can offer would be not to clutter the conservatory. Don’t fill it with furniture so you’ve little room to move around and the whole space feels cramped. Conservatories are designed to give you more space so you’re instantly removing this aspect by cramming it full.

The materials will play an important role in your conservatory’s appeal and wicker tends to be popular amongst homeowners. Wicker is light and natural, with the versatility to be taken outside if necessary. As your conservatory is an extension of the garden, this is always a welcome solution.

It’s not just the furniture you’ll need to think of though as the windows will also need adequate furnishings that are suitable no matter the time of year. For this reason, blinds are particularly popular.

There are plenty of blind options to consider as well so you know you’ll get a great look. Pleated, Roman and Venetian are all popular and at the end of the day a lot will come down to your own personal preference.

Five questions to ask about your conservatory

Written by   |  Published September 10, 2014  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: ,

Want to add space and value to your home? Then look no further than a conservatory.

In today’s housing market it’s important to find ways to improve your property and if you can add this valued space you’ll have extra room throughout the year.

Conservatories range in size and price though, with basic installations or expensive designs possible. What’s important is to make sure you’re investing for all the right reasons, so always ask these questions first:

What purpose does your conservatory have?

Before you even think about getting quotes for a conservatory and speaking to professionals in the business, your first question should be what you hope to use the conservatory for. Essentially, what purpose will it fill on a day-to-day basis? There are plenty of answers too, ranging from a living area, dining room, play room, garden room or even a home office. Once you know how you plan to utilise the space, you’ll be in a better position to know what’s needed.

Do you need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is something you shouldn’t neglect because failing to adhere to rules could see you fined up to £5,000 and you may be forced to demolish the extension too. However, many homeowners don’t require planning permission because the extension comes under permitted development. Make sure to fully check regulations though with the local council.

Does the conservatory need to look like your house?

One of the problems with conservatories and any extension for that matter, is that whilst they may look great to you, they can be an eyesore for others. That’s why you should always look to build a conservatory that’s an extension of the house with a similar look and feel. That way you won’t get any complaints either.

What direction will your conservatory face?

The position of your conservatory is important because they’re made up largely of glass. So if your conservatory is south facing you’ll end up with a very hot environment in the summer, whilst if it’s north facing, it’ll be particularly cold in winter.

What material will be best for your conservatory?

This is one of the main considerations for calculating the cost of your conservatory. There are three main materials to choose from, including uPVC, aluminium and hardwood. Each has its own benefits but if you’re on a budget you should be looking at the cheaper and more popular uPVC. Aluminium is harder and stronger, but also a lot more expensive. Whilst wood looks aesthetically pleasing, it does require a lot more maintenance to keep the appeal.

Should you use a conservatory cleaning service?

Written by   |  Published May 27, 2014  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: ,

If you have invested in a conservatory, or bought a property with a conservatory already built, then you’ll want to keep it in great condition.

The conservatory takes plenty of abuse from the elements and as such, you should ensure yours gets the right treatment all year round.

Conservatories aren’t cheap, but once they’re installed you have fantastic extra space to enjoy throughout the year and you’ll even add over £9,000 to the value of your home.

In fact, as the housing market has stumbled recently, that extra space is the perfect supplement for any property.

Why clean your conservatory?

Why clean anything? To ensure it’s looking its best and is aesthetically pleasing all year round. And with the conservatory you also want to keep it in good condition to avoid any large maintenance repair bills later down the line.

Over time, your conservatory can attract dirt, algae and pollutants that are in the air. All of these can cause discolouration to your conservatory, so if it’s not properly treated, you risk damaging it for good.

uPVC in particular can discolour, whilst corrosion could occur to the metalwork around frames or doors. This may cause seals to leak and leave you facing substantial repair work.

Whether you invested your own money or not, this is the last thing you want to happen. Therefore, it’s important to protect your conservatory and ensure it remains an area you can enjoy for many years to come.

Remember, with a well-maintained conservatory:

  • You’ll add over £9,000 to the value of your home
  • You’ll have the perfect place to relax all year round
  • You’ll attract potential buyers when you come to sell up
  • You’ll have fantastic access to the back garden.

It’s always possible to clean a conservatory yourself and uPVC can be wiped down with a wet cloth. However, specialists will be able to access those hard-to-reach areas and know the right products to use on your conservatory, which won’t cause any damage.


Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • Experts say a conservatory will add over £9,000 to the value of your home, which is perfect in the current housing market.
  • With a conservatory you can have the extra space your family needs, without spending thousands of pounds on moving home.
  • There are a range of stunning designs and styles available for your dream conservatory, from traditional to contemporary appeals.
  • Avoid your conservatory discolouring or looking worse for wear over time with a professional cleaning service.

Choosing conservatory blinds

Written by   |  Published May 7, 2013  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: , , ,

Conservatory blinds bring style and sophistication to your installation, no matter if it’s a Victorian, Edwardian, bespoke or lean-to design. Blinds are a necessary feature for the conservatory, not only controlling the temperature but restricting glare too.

Without blinds you’ll notice how bright your conservatory can be, and elegant styles help to dapple the light and prevent the sun’s glare. On top of this, UV rays will be restricted too, which will reduce fading to your furniture and fabrics.

There are four popular types of conservatory blind, which are discussed below in more detail.

Original French Pinoleum Conservatory Blinds

The traditional conservatory blind fabric is the Original French Pinoleum. With these in place you can control the temperature of your conservatory whilst restricting glare from the sun. With the wooden weave Pinoleum blinds offer, you’ll have the optimum combination of aesthetic appeal, lightweight strength and shading.

Solar R Conservatory Blinds

When it comes to having a high performing conservatory blind to reflect the sun’s heat and light, Solar R blinds are unrivalled. In fact, with these modern conservatory blinds you’ll reflect 85% of the sun’s energy. Solar R blinds are easy to clean and need little maintenance. Whilst they reflect the sun’s glare, they provide plenty of light to allow plants to thrive.

Pleated Conservatory Blinds

For a neat and modern style that will match up with any home or conservatory, then don’t look any further than the pleated conservatory blinds. Whilst providing aesthetic appeal they’re also practical, reflecting up to 83% of heat. There’s plenty of choice too and pleated conservatory blinds have a range of 224 colours. On most occasions, these blinds have a five-year guarantee too.

Power Pleat™ remote control conservatory blinds

With remote control blinds you have the opportunity to open and close your blinds at the touch of a button, giving you great privacy and shade from the sun. And this is all possible from the comfort of your armchair. With a motorised device there’s no need for cords and rods and the system operates with complete safety. You can even pre-set the controls, so the blinds will automatically operate at certain times of the day too. Power pleat™ blinds offer the ultimate in ease and convenience whilst being affordable too.

The benefits of a uPVC conservatory

Written by   |  Published April 15, 2013  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: , , ,

A conservatory is a major investment and it’s not just the design that you’ll need to get right. There are three popular materials used in the construction; aluminium, hardwood and uPVC. This page will discuss uPVC and why it is the nation’s favourite material.

uPVC conservatory benefits

uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is the UK’s most popular conservatory material. You could see the product written as PVCu or PVC-U, but it’s all the same and means the plastic hasn’t been soften with chemicals.

uPVC conservatory
Image from pinterest

Considering 50% of PVC is used around the world in the construction industry, this must suggest something about its quality and how much it’s rated by experts in the industry.

uPVC is typically used in the windows, doors and conservatory markets for its look, hardwearing properties and ease of maintenance. On top of this, it’s cheaper to have installed than both aluminium and hardwood constructions.

Throughout the manufacture of uPVC frames, stabilisers and additives are added to the structure. This will improve longevity and enhance resistance to changing weather conditions. This also protects the product from the sun’s UV rays and gives it the white finish you see.

The strength of the frames can be structured to meet your needs too. Essentially the stronger you need the frame, the thicker the material will be. To enhance the strength further, aluminium or galvanised steel can be added to improve load bearing properties.

With uPVC products it’s important to ensure the British Standard mark is present. BSEN 12608 shows that the product meets high standards.

In modern construction, uPVC installations don’t need to have the bright white finish typically seen. There are now the possibilities of having a range of colours such as grey, brown, black, green and yellow.

uPVC conservatory 2
Image from pinterest

The most popular by far is woodgrain effects. This gives homes the visual appeal of a wooden conservatory, without the associated expense of the real deal. uPVC is much cheaper and great for those on a budget.

Of course, white is still a popular option but for those looking to set their home apart from the crowd and benefit from something a little different, the choice is there.

If you’re considering an alternative colour, speak to your contractor and discuss the options available whilst getting advice on what would work well with your property.


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.

Conservatories UK roof options

Written by   |  Published April 15, 2013  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: , , , , ,

There are a range of styles available to choose from when it comes to new conservatories UK, and whilst you may get wrapped up in which to choose, don’t neglect the conservatory roof. You want something that’ll suit your home all year round and meet any regulations and be approved.

Below you’ll find the different roofing options available to you in order to make an informed decision.

Glass roofs

With conservatories UK much of the installation is comprised of glazing. In fact, only 25% can be brickwork if it’s to meet planning permission and Building Regulations.

Victorian conservatory
Image from pinterest

And glass is also one of the favourite roofing options for the conservatory, allowing plenty of light into the installation and giving you the most all through the year.

With glass roofing you need to ensure the frames can hold the material as it’s heavy and these will need to be constructed accordingly. Strong beams for support will be essential and aluminium is the best material when it comes to strength.

Heat reflective glass

Heat reflective glass, otherwise known as energy efficient glass or low-e, has a metallic coating to retain heat whilst not limiting the amount of heat and light allowed in. This coating gives the glass a slight brown or grey tint.

Another bonus with the heat reflective glass is that glare can be reduced on sunny days, but light entering the conservatory isn’t reduced.

What’s important to remember though is that heat reflective glass won’t act as a form of insulation in itself and would need to be part of a double glazed or triple glazed unit.

Self-cleaning glass

Self-cleaning glass is yet another possibility for the conservatory. The thin photocatalytic coating will break down organic dirt using natural sun rays, helping to loosen grime that gathers on the glass.

Self-cleaning glass also has hydrophilic properties. Rain is able to wash away the grime that accumulates, ensuring the glass will stay cleaner for longer periods. This will cut the maintenance time required.

It is possible to combine self-cleaning glass with heat reflective properties, but remember to specify this to the installer as soon as possible.

Tiled roof

A conservatory with a tiled roof is often called a sunroom or garden room. They are particularly popular in traditional homes as they blend well with the existing property.

Tiled conservatory roof
Image from pinterest

Planning permission is much easier to gain with this type of roofing, particular for those living in a conservation area or listed building. They’re also appropriate no matter if our garden is north or south facing. The tiled roof will make a conservatory more economical to heat, whilst you don’t have to worry about overheating during the summer months.

Of course, replacing a glass roof with tiled also gives you more privacy, without prying eyes being able to see what you’re up to.

Lead roof

There are a range of reasons you may need a partially flat roof for your conservatories UK. Popularly this is because access to an upstairs window would be blocked, not meeting Building Regulations for emergency purposes.

Of course, it could simply be that you spend a lot of time upstairs and want an aesthetically pleasing finish. For flat conservatory roofs, zinc, lead and copper are very popular because of the beautiful finish they provide. They can, however, be quite costly to integrate into your installation.

If you need to stick to a tight budget, then a lead roof could be a stretch too far for you and a weather-proof synthetic material could be more suitable.

Solar Glass Roof

Solar glass roof is beneficial to your home throughout the year, not just in the summer months. The way the glass is manufactured and treated makes it an excellent way to control heat entering your home.

Solar conservatory
Image from pinterest

A coating on the external part of the glazing will keep unwanted heat out of your home, which is particularly beneficial in the summer to stop you sweltering in the conservatory.

The inside of the glazing is separately treated to reduce heat radiation so there is less heat loss. Your conservatory will keep warm in the winter without you seeing a dramatic rise in fuel bills.

Polycarbonate Roof

Another material you could make use of for your conservatory roof is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is great for preventing your conservatory from absorbing too much heat and 80% of the sun’s rays can be restricted. This ensures a consistently comfortable temperature throughout the hotter summer months.

Glare from the sun is also reduced by as much as 86% with polycarbonate and in the winter heat won’t be able to escape either. This dual quality means you won’t have to worry about energy bills escalating in the colder parts of the year, lowering your carbon footprint as well.