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Conservatory Buying Guide

A range of home extension style and design options

Whatever function you’re looking for your new home extension to accommodate, we have plenty of designs to choose from. Whether it be a kitchen extension, a family living room or a peaceful home office. The first choice you’ll make when beginning your conservatory journey is deciding on either a conservatory, orangery or solid roof extension. Here’s a quick overview, and below you’ll find more information on each.

  • Conservatories – made mostly of high-performance glass, they let it lots of natural light.
  • Orangeries – using more brickwork than glazing, they appear more like a normal room from the inside.
  • Solid roof extensions – ideal for conservatory refurbishments and new extensions to blend with your existing home.

Conservatory extensions

Conservatories and glazed extensions are constructed primarily from glass panels with glazed walls and glass roofs. This is how they differ from orangeries.

Our modern conservatories elaborate on these traditional designs. They incorporate a variety of features for a superior performance and appearance. We use SMARTGLASS® technology for advanced thermal performances, and insulated draught-proofed frames to ensure for a comfortable temperature all year round. With a variety of materials, colour options and decorative features, we can design a made-to-measure conservatory that will add kerb appeal to your home.

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Orangery extensions

Orangeries have their roots set in 15th and 16th Century Italy, when they were originally used to grow citrus fruit all year round. Later innovations added glass to trap heat, which is when they started to be used as social spaces.

Orangery extensions usually feature solid brick pillars, large energy-efficient glazed windows and either a glass or tiled roof. We will use brickwork that effortlessly blends with your current home for a seamless appearance. We can include heritage decorative features for a traditional design, or incorporate sleek features for a modern orangery installation. Orangery extensions truly are the perfect solution for homeowners looking to add grandeur and sophistication.

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Solid roof conservatory extensions

A solid roof extension can integrate harmoniously with your existing property, depending on the brickwork and roofing material used. With a plethora of styles and colour choices, you can be sure that it will look exactly like the exterior of your home. A solid roof option is extremely thermally efficient because it features integral insulation built into the lightweight roofing system. Its innovative specification keeps the warmth inside in the winter and lets it seep out in the summer, for an optimal temperature all year round.

Our solid roof conservatory option can also be used to revitalise an older outperforming conservatory. It’s an easy conservatory refurbishment installation that will not only modernise its appearance but significantly improve its performance too. This means you can make better use of your old conservatory.

 

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Modern and traditional conservatory styles

Our bespoke glass extensions feature many different elements so we can create lots of possibilities for your home. From an elegant Chartwell green orangery to a crisp black conservatory, or something in between, we’ll install your dream additional space.

Modern conservatory extensions tend to favour monochrome colours and square or rectangular floorplans for a sleek design. Slim-framed windows,  bi-fold or patio doors, and straight roofing pillars will all add a contemporary flair. With high-performance glazing adding style, they’ll also let you enjoy the outdoor views. A roof lantern an ideal additional roofing option to add the ‘wow-factor’, acting as a centrepiece.

Traditional conservatory extensions are available in a number of styles, including Victorian, Edwardian and Lean-to. With a plethora of colour choices, including white and cream, we also offer a number of wood effects. This is perfect to add a classical touch to your home. They can suit both glass and tiled roofing systems, and our elegant French doors will add further character.

Conservatory designs and ideas

We’ve collated key information to help you fully understand the conservatory-buying process and to make sure that you get a truly inspired addition to your home. For more information, get in contact with one of our design experts who can advise further and offer a free design consultation.

We offer three advanced materials, uPVC, timber and aluminium for you to choose from. With a range of conservatory options, including tiled, glass and roof lanterns, your new conservatory really will be made your own. Down to the finest decorative features, we will advise and design it to perfectly meet your needs.

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Conservatory Materials
Conservatory Materials

When building a conservatory, the construction begins with the foundations and base, there is then a choice of uPVC, timber or aluminium for the walls, windows and doors. The structure is then finished with a polycarbonate, glass or solid roof. Component materials have developed a lot over the last decade, with enhanced glazing and frame technology that benefit from improved energy efficiency, security and overall performance; when compared to models built in the last 20 to 30 years. Each material has its own individual features that should be considered when choosing which is most suitable for you. See below for more information one each.

Base and Foundations
Base and Foundations

The base is the first part of the build. It takes the weight of the finished structure to ensure that there is no future subsidence. It also creates a watertight barrier between the ground and the inside of the new structure to guarantee there will be no problems with damp or water ingress. The depth of the footings will depend upon a number of factors, including the size of the finished conservatory and its proximity to trees.

First, the area where the new structure is to be located will be levelled, then footings will be dug and filled with concrete. Next, a waterproof membrane will be laid across the whole base area, with a block of insulation material on top of that. Then concrete will be poured and tamped, to create a smooth, strong and completely watertight base.

Conservatory Frame Choices
Conservatory Frame Choices

uPVC
uPVC is the most common choice of conservatory material, and the most cost-effective. uPVC conservatories are durable, low-maintenance and hold strong for many years. uPVC frames have developed over the last decade, with enhanced temperature control and insulation performance, as well as slowing down heat transfer to keep the conservatory cooler in the summer. There’s a wider choice when it comes to colour schemes, including wood effect conservatory frames, allowing us to offer an elegant design that will be consistent with the look of your property.

Aluminium
Aluminium frames offer strong structural design and require very little maintenance. The intrinsic strength of aluminium gives the frame greater durability over long periods of time. In coastal conditions, it’s a good option to withstand the elements. If you’re conscious of the environmental impact, aluminium is a fantastic choice. It’s widely accessible and can be recycled over and over again.

Timber
A well-constructed timber conservatory not only looks fantastic but also offers great efficiency and durability over long periods of time. Upkeep requires slightly more maintenance than the other options, but nothing to be overly concerned by. The timber needs to be re-treated every couple of years to ensure the wood sustains its colour. Timber frames generally cost more, but are competitive on performance and give a traditional character. For those with environmental considerations, timber solutions are eco-friendly as the wood comes from sustainable forests and can easily be adapted to fit any property.

Conservatory Glazing Options
Conservatory Glazing Options

Glazing technology has developed considerably with a new generation of glass offering industry-leading performances. We use SMARTGLASS because it offers a completely tailored solution, whatever your colour preference, location and design.

Here’s an overview of how glazing performance is measured.

U-Value measures heat loss through the glazed unit in winter months. The lower the U-Value, the warmer the room will be in winter.

G-Value shows the percentage of the sun’s heat able to pass through the unit. A G-Value of 40% means that 60% of the sun’s heat is reflected or absorbed by the glass, reducing heat build-up in the summer months.

Light Transmittance is the percentage of visible light able to pass through the unit. The lower the light transmittance, the lower the glare within the room.

True Self Clean does exactly that; it cleans itself. Using a specially coated glass, a chemical reaction physically breaks down and washes away dirt.

Warm Edge Technology – Using a spacer bar that’s up to 950 times less conductive than aluminium, this increases internal temperatures around the edges and vastly reduces condensation.

Which glass is best for me?

This depends entirely upon a number of factors, including your property’s orientation to the sun and the size of the structures. Our SMARTGLASS range offers a number of products with different G and Light Transmittance values to suit specific needs.

The glass we use in the walls of our conservatories blocks over 50% of the summer sun’s radiant heat, whilst being 20% better at retaining warmth in winter than ‘A-rated’ glazing. Available in a three-tier structure, it also increases security, reduces external noises and blocks damaging UV light.

Conservatory Roof Options
Conservatory Roof Options

For the conservatory roof, you have three choices.  The first is polycarbonate, which is light and easy to install. These days the material has excellent thermal efficiency properties, whilst being the most cost-effective option.

The second is a glass roof. State of the art glazing technology means that you can choose the glass depending on your conservatory’s orientation to the sun. This means the amount of light and heat energy from the sun can be controlled, to give you the most comfortable environment inside. What’s more, you’ll be able to see the sky during the day and the stars at night.

The final choice is a solid conservatory roof, offering exceptional insulation and weather-resistance. They can be finished with tiles that will match your existing property.

We Offer a Wide Variety of Conservatory Styles

Edwardian

Sometimes also known as an Georgian. A flat-fronted style that offers excellent use of floor space, due to a square or rectangular internal shape.

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Gable

A high roof slope and the same floor space as a Georgian conservatory. The front panel of the roof remains upright, rather than sloping back to the centre as the Georgian conservatory does.

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Victorian

Its distinguishing architectural feature, a bay front, with either an angled (3 bay) or slightly curved (5 bay) front, combined with a steeply pitched roof and ornate ridge.

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Lean-To

Ideal for properties with limited space under the eaves or an awkward area in which to fit a conservatory. A lean-to offers a variable pitch to suit your home.

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T Shape

T-Shaped conservatories take their name from the plan view of its design. Ideal for larger conservatories, a T-shape can combine lean-to and Edwardian style conservatories. This style is better suited to larger properties.

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P Shape

P-Shaped also take their name from the plan view of its design. Ideal for larger conservatories, a P-shape can combine Edwardian and Victorian style conservatories. These styles are better suited to larger properties.

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Conservatory Planning Permissions & Building Regulations

Conservatories are typically considered to be Permitted Development, meaning they don’t normally require planning permission. Planning legislation has actually been relaxed in recent years, making it a far more straightforward process for you to add extra space to your home. However, it is still required under certain circumstances which we’ve summarised in our expert blog.

Tell me more about planning permission

Why Choose Stormclad?

How do we create your new conservatory?

1 We Establish Your Requirements

Once you send over a quote with your requests, we will send over one of our designers to go through a free consultation.

Our designers are highly trained professionals, who will listen to your requirements and offer a solution that exactly meets your needs.

2 On-Site Survey

With the design process complete and the price agreed, your details will be passed onto your technical surveyor who will get in touch within an advised period of time to book your survey.

During the technical survey, every aspect of your installation is covered, including taking precise measurements, recording technical requirements and documenting all the fine details.

3 Conservatory Installation

With your survey completed, details finalised and signed off, we then setup the following:

1. All materials are put into production in the UK.
2. We will schedule the delivery and installation of each stage of your build.
3. We will confirm when your installation will commence.

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