Conservatory Design, Positioning, Regulations And Usage

 Conservatory Design, Positioning, Regulations And Usage In the current difficult economic climate here in the UK there are fewer homeowners moving house when additional room is required for their growing family. Instead, people are exploring the option of extending their property to provide increased living space with a very cost effective option being to have a conservatory or orangery added to their property.

The following information will hopefully prove beneficial to those people considering investing in a conservatory.

Differences between a conservatory and an orangery

To the untrained eye there would appear to be very little difference between a conservatory and an orangery. However, if looked at closely, the variants will become apparent. Although both are now used to provide additional living space, orangeries tend to be more intricate in design incorporating greater use of brickwork and are felt to be more luxurious. A conservatory tends to be constructed using the likes of uPVC, timber and aluminium whereas an orangery is usually made of timber although some are constructed using uPVC. There is a lot of history behind the humble orangery. We found a great article for you about the history of orangeries if you are interested.

Design features of a conservatory

It should come as no surprise to read that there are a huge number of conservatory companies offering a wide selection of conservatory designs to choose from, often with an option to vary the standard design in some way or even have a conservatory tailor-made to someone's own specification. Whether they require a contemporary design or a more traditionally designed conservatory such as a Victorian or an Edwardian style there is something to meet most people's tastes. A conservatory should add value to the home from a financial perspective.

The design features of the conservatory will reflect someone's personal taste in relation to the likes of its appearance, usage and maintenance. For instance, if space is a priority then the rectangular shape of an Edwardian conservatory may be more appropriate than the varying shape of a Victorian conservatory with the former also providing more space for furniture.

There are a wide range of materials that can be used in the construction of the conservatory such as a choice of wood, aluminium and uPVC that can be provided in various colours. Dwarf brick walls can be selected or the walls can be constructed entirely of glass. This glass can come in a variety of types such as double or triple glazed, energy efficient glass, toughened safety glass, solar control glass and even self-cleaning glass. Decisions will need to be made as to whether electrical power points are installed in the conservatory, the type of heating, the type of roof, lighting, roof vents (electrical or manual), smaller opening windows, blinds, is a single door, patio door or French door required, type of flooring and furnishings.

Unfortunately, crime appears to be on the increase so the security of the conservatory needs to be considered. More and more suppliers of conservatories are joining Secured by Design that is a crime prevention project set up by the Association of Chief Police Officers. This focuses on improving the security of doors and windows in the likes of conservatories.

Building Regulations and Planning Permission

Although the local authority manages both Building Regulations and Planning Permission they are two separate things. Following planning changes that were made in 2008, there is no longer any difference between a conservatory, a slate-roof garden room, a single storey roof extension or an orangery.

Building Regulations - this dictates how the conservatory is to be constructed.

It is not usually necessary to obtain Building Regulations as long as certain conditions are met.

Planning Permission - this provides the permission to build or extend a conservatory.

The majority of properties that have not previously had an extension have Permitted Development Rights. In such a case, a conservatory would not normally require a planning application as long as certain conditions and limits were met.
Many reputable conservatory companies will be able to advice their client in respect of the above and, should either Building Regulations or Planning Permission be required, they can often deal with the matter on behalf of the client.

Positioning of Your New Conservatory

Most conservatories are erected against the back of a property as they are less likely to require any planning permission and that tends to be where the most space is available. However, the position of the conservatory is also important as far as capturing the sunlight is concerned.

A south-facing conservatory will benefit from direct sunlight especially in the summer months and, therefore, would benefit from roof vents and opening windows.

A north-facing conservatory is likely to be cooler as it will not receive as much direct sunlight. It would benefit from good insulation such as double-glazing and heating to enable it to be used with comfort in the colder months.

An east-facing conservatory will benefit from the sun in the morning thus making it ideal as a breakfast room but may be open to the elements of cold easterly winds. It would also benefit from heating and double-glazing.

A west-facing conservatory benefits from the sun in the afternoon so some form of heating in the morning would be worthwhile.

As can be seen, there are a number of important decisions that need to be taken when selecting the most suitable conservatory to meet someones personal requirements. It is to be hoped that the above proves of benefit.

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