A guide to creating the perfect conservatory
A conservatory or garden room can be an excellent addition to your home, particularly if it is well designed and built by a specialist company. A conservatory can serve many different purposes, from creating more space for a growing family and adding an extra room for entertaining family and friends through to providing a welcome place for leisure and relaxation. Modern construction techniques allow conservatories to be used throughout the year, keeping them warm in winter and cool during the summer. When planned properly and expertly constructed, a conservatory not only adds space, it can also increase the value of your home too.
The completion of a conservatory project requires good design, creative use of space and careful construction to deliver maximum benefits. Creating the perfect conservatory should be tailored to your requirements and it should be right for you home. Every aspect of the process should be undertaken in consultation with you, so the end result is everything you expect it to be.
Not all conservatory styles will suit every home and that’s where the expertise of a professional conservatory designer will prove beneficial. Having a smaller home means sometimes a conservatory is necessary, but they must be in proportion to the rest of the building. When it comes to working with a smaller outdoor space, the design has to be clever and creative to make the most of the available area.
Square or rectangular conservatories would work well on a home that has been extended or where the layout of the property has been adapted as they fit in well with the existing shape of the home. A domed roof would also look great on a conservatory with a small outdoor space because it enhances the internal area of the conservatory without being too imposing on the garden. A classic conservatory would be best for a smaller garden because they offer lots of flexibility in terms of the design and finishes.
You can also choose from a range of materials as well as the number of doors and windows that you would like, but ultimately a well designed conservatory will make the use of the space that you have available, however limited this may be.
When they are properly designed, a conservatory on a period property can blend in well with the style and appearance of the existing building. A period property will often include many original features and even elaborate ironwork or intricate brickwork so a modern conservatory with UPVC windows and doors will look a little out of place. The tiles and brickwork should closely reflect the style of the building, creating a seamless transition from old to new. An orangery could be an excellent option to your home because it can be built to blend together modern and traditional.
A modern home is one of the most flexible in terms of conservatory design because many different styles would fit in well with modern construction. Glass extensions are always a popular choice because they allow a lot of natural light to flow into the property and the single panes of glass are used as walls. The supporting frame is usually constructed from brick and aluminium and UPVC windows and doors are installed to complete the look. One of the main benefits of this type of conservatory is that it can bring the outdoors inside or create a living space that’s an extension of your garden.
Now that you have an idea of the different styles of conservatory that are available, the next step is to plan the specifics and map out the design. There are lots of considerations to make at this stage and it is an important step in the process.
Use of Space
The first consideration before anything else is to evaluate the space that you have available. Every project will be different, but the amount of space will determine the style and design choices of your conservatory. Do you want your conservatory to take up a little or a lot of your available outdoor space? Even if the garden is restricted or an unconventional shape, it’s surprising how it can be completely transformed with the introduction of a well designed conservatory.
Materials and Design
There are certain types of conservatory that will be better suited to your home than others. For example, the positioning of your house and how much sun you get will determine the materials and design of the conservatory and this is where the design expertise of your consultant proves so beneficial. Ultimately, the finished conservatory is your choice and it will need to reflect your personal taste and design choices. Decide what features are absolutely essential and which you may compromise on. Take the advice of your consultant. Think about whether you want more brickwork or glass, UPVC or wood, traditional or modern. Understanding exactly what you want will make the process much easier.
Windows, Doors and Design Features
Part of the design process will require you to make a decision on the glazing and doors. Would you prefer double glazing or single glazing? Double glazing is always recommended for energy saving purposes and it will prevent your conservatory from becoming too hot in summer and too cold in winter. In terms of the doors would you like French style doors, a patio door style or bi-folding doors? Your decision should take into consideration the existing property so the new design fits in with the look and style of your home. Finishing touches also include lighting, glass and finishes. Integrated spotlights will provide a contemporary and clean looking finish while wire hung lighting will avoid glare and pendant lights offer a traditional feel.
In the UK planning permission is required by law to enable the construction or alteration of land or buildings. As all conservatories are different, your design consultant will know whether your build requires planning permission, or it falls within the acceptable criteria of home extensions where you don’t need planning permission. Depending on the location of your property, there may be other considerations to factor in such as the location, whether it’s a listed building or in a conservation area. If planning permission is required, your conservatory company should take care of all the planning and communication with the local authority on your behalf.
In England and Wales, most conservatories are exempt from meeting building regulations approval but there are occasions when it may be required. If the build does need building regulations approval, your conservatory company should present a full set of working drawings and submit them to the relevant people for review and approval and then notify the local authority at various stages as the build progresses.
A Conservatory Designed For You
The construction of a new conservatory offers an excellent opportunity to introduce a new area of your home. When it is built, it should be a new space that is a good fit for your requirements and a good conservatory company will ensure that the build is completed to reflect your specific needs. Personalisation is important and as well as the style of conservatory that you would like, also consider the interior. What flooring would you like to install, what decorative elements would you like to incorporate, do you want to include heating and/or electricity? There are lots of ways that a conservatory can be personalised, and this should be discussed with your designer to make sure that everything you need is incorporated into the final design.
The use of your conservatory once the build is complete will determine how it is designed. A conservatory is an investment in your home so it’s important to create a design that is practical and can adapt as the needs of your home does. Many people choose to add a conservatory as additional lounge space, a dining area or even a home office or in some cases even a kitchen or guest room. A consultation from a specialist conservatory professional will help you make the most of the space available and also make sure that the finished design is a good fit for your requirements.
There are many options that you can choose for a conservatory or garden room including:
- Home office
- Second sitting room
- Games room
- Dining area
Planning and research is a crucial step in the process. Clients often have lots of ideas when it comes to their conservatory and your conservatory company will be able to offer advice and guidance on what will work best.
Finding a quality company who will assist with the design and build is important. Find a company who can coordinate the entire process and who are really committed to understanding your ideas and requirements so they can share their expertise and create your perfect conservatory.