Whether you want additional space, a link between the garden and the home or a place to entertain, a conservatory can be a great addition to the home.
If you are planning on adding a conservatory, there are a few things you should remember to ensure you make the most of this new room.
Conservatory or sunroom?
The first thing to decide is whether you want a conservatory or a sunroom.
This may affect planning applications and the cost of building the extension, but the decision should be made based on what is more in keeping with the existing building. You do not want an extension that looks out of place.
If you are planning on using the conservatory as a spot to entertain, you want to be able to maximise the space available.
Underfloor heating allows you to create a warm, welcoming environment without having to install radiators or other bulky heaters.
You will then be able to use the additional space for furniture or simply for extra floor space.
Radiant heat, used by underfloor heating, naturally heats colder objects first.
Conventional central heating uses air circulation, which can result in temperature variation throughout the room.
The fact that underfloor heating is invisible will also fit in more with a conservatory, where there is bound to be more emphasis on natural materials.
If you plan to use the conservatory in the evening, you should also consider lighting options.
Soft lights tend to work better in spaces like conservatories, so consider spotlights, table lights or uplighters or downlighters.
These will complement the natural light, without overpowering it.
The choice between glass or plastic is a very important part of planning a conservatory.
If you pick glass, make sure this is toughened. Ideally it should be a double-glazed, specialist safety glass. The glass should also be laminated.
This will improve security and will also reduce the strength of the sun’s rays, so you won’t need to cool the conservatory in the height of summer.
Polycarbonate sheeting will most likely be used for the roof if you go for the plastic option.
Maintaining your conservatory
Cleaning the conservatory can be a challenge, but there are steps you can take during the planning stage to make this easier.
The roof should have a slope of at least 25 degrees. If it is shallower, rain water and debris is less likely to slide off.
If you choose an aluminium frame for the conservatory, this will also reduce maintenance time.