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Conservatory Information

Conservatories Overview

With the advent of garden design and bringing the inside outside, The Construction Centre offers a range of companies that can manufacture, supply and install conservatories, pergolas and gazebos on any scale and to suit any budget. ...more

Conservatories

Featured Conservatories Companies (3 of 65)

  • Trade Conservatories 2 U Ltd are specialist UK DIY conservatory suppliers. Our service is specifically designed for customers who want to save money...

  • Westbury Windows and Joinery Ltd have been supplying bespoke joinery to homeowners and specifiers for over 25 years. Each bespoke item, from a classic...

  • Howells Patent Glazing manufacture patent glazing, rooflights, skylights, roof vents & canopies which are mainly, but not exclusively, supplied to the...

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Conservatories Explained

The range in size, style and price of conservatories available in the UK today has indeed become vast. Most large conservatories tend to be bespoke in design but some companies do make various standard design smaller conservatories. Lean to conservatories and p-shape conservatories are common as standard items. Orientation of any conservatory is important and expert advice should be sought at all times.

Materials in general comprise, timber, PVCu, aluminium and even cast stone.

Timber conservatories were traditionally always made from cedarwood and this is still a popular timber of choice. Brazilian Mahogany and Idigbo are also used, with Idigbo offering a superior strength for a longer time span. Timber is usually treated with both preservative and natural stains. If paint is used it should be micro porous thereby allowing the material to breath. Access for maintenance and redecoration is often difficult due to the very design of a heavily glazed structure, thus extreme care should be taken in both the choice and application of any painted on surface treatments.

An option worth considering with timber conservatories is an aluminium powder coated capping piece which can provide an extremely durable, weather tight finish for many years.

PVCu conservatories have the distinct advantage of almost everlasting durability. Maintenance tends to be no more than a wipe with a little soapy water and a cloth. For larger span conservatories white is often the choice of colour since this limits the heat absorption and thus any potential expansion of the framework. In the long term, less movement can only be good in reducing the likelihood of leaks, as gaskets gradually age and become less flexible.

PVCu Oak, Maple and American oak conservatories are all available and the timber effect is nowadays extremely realistic in appearance to real wood. Colours tend to create a softer look than white plastic or PCVu mahogany. It is not uncommon for a combination of colour or even materials such as PVCu and real timber, to be used.

The PVCu industry has created many sophisticated window locking and automatic door opening systems. Doors commonly have concealed espagnolette locking systems.

For large spans and clean contemporary designs, aluminium is often the material of choice. Aluminium conservatories are able to be powder coated to any of a vast range (hundreds) of colours and will require virtually no maintenance over a long period of years.

Recently, Haddenstone Ltd started offering stone conservatories whereby the structure features Gothic and Doric columns made from reconstituted stone. This idea was first presented at the Chelsea Flower show and was very warmly received. The price and elegance probably generates the title of 'Orangery' but in reality this represents a fourth conservatory option.

Whether a conservatory is intended for a family room, summer area or unconventional work space, invariably it has to be built to current building regulations and insulation standards. By law roof areas should be double glazed with toughened glass. Sophisticated glazing options are also available with self cleaning glass and solar control glass becoming increasingly popular.

In many areas planning permission is not required for a conservatory and is usually covered by 'Permitted Development', however it is vital to agree this with the local authority prior to commencing building work. Conservatories, orangeries or gazebos for listed buildings will always require Listed Building Consent. It is likely that timber would be the enforced material for the structure but this has the advantage of easily lending itself to Edwardian and Victorian embellishments that are likely to be in keeping with the character of the building.

It is common for conservatory companies to use separate divisions, or subcontract companies to prepare the foundations, base and any brickwork walls required prior to erection of the main structure. Not surprisingly the best companies are excellent at co-ordinating the two separate functions. As with all building work, price is often a reflection of quality and seeking recommendations from previously satisfied customers is well worth taking the time to investigate. A guarantee on the sealed units comprising the double glazing should always be sought, since this is a vital area where poor quality will come at a greater cost in future years.

For the finishes, conservatory blinds are today available in a wide variety of styles and colours. Electrically operated and automatic blinds are luxuries that are a must if the budget will allow.