|Once you own a conservatory, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it,” says Sally Fielding, Managing Director of K2 Conservatories. “They are the perfect way to transform any property and add space, style and a genuine sense of luxury to your home and they could also increase the value of house by up to 15%, according to Ideal Home Magazine.”
However Sally recommends research and thinking time before you dive head first into the decision making process: “It is always worth spending some time planning your new investment and thinking about any issues that might affect its construction and eventual use.”
Sally also advises that you choose a size and shape that will complement your home and garden – not overpower them.
“Don’t be content with a mental picture of your conservatory as plans and measurements on paper can be deceptive. Get a feel for the conservatory area, go outside and mark out the planned boundaries, then walk around within them to get an accurate impression of your conservatory’s dimensions. Remember that the walls will take up space so your conservatory’s interior will be smaller than the area marked.”
The position – or aspect – of your conservatory is important and will influence your final choice of design, layout and furnishings. Conservatories facing south receive more direct sunlight and as such you might want to consider additional ventilation, blinds and even the use of a performance glass such as Celsius.
With north facing conservatories, these issues are less pressing. However, the use of glass as a glazing option to prevent heat loss and overheating is increasing in popularity whatever the location of a conservatory. East facing conservatories catch the early morning sun and make ideal morning or breakfast rooms, whereas west facing rooms catch the evening sunset and are a perfect place to relax after a long day.
The next decision to be made is what style you want for your conservatory and K2 has a wide range of styles to choose from. These range from the popular Victorian look to the square or rectangular Georgian-style room. Other options are the Sunroom with its low pitch roof or the Lantern style which adds extra height to the structure. Alternatively you can choose to have a combination of styles. Just look through the K2 guide to find what you’re looking for.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred style, you can then tailor a number of other design features to create a room that’s perfect for you, your family and your lifestyle. These features include roof vents, colours, including woodgrain finishes, interior decorative trims and choice of glazing.
Lancashire couple Jack and Christine Murdoch wanted to add more space onto the four-bedroom home and a conservatory seemed the ideal solution, as it would also add value to their house.
After extensive research, the Murdoch’s chose a K2 Gable-style conservatory with a sunburst feature in the gable end and a picture window at the front to provide uninterrupted views of the garden. They also chose Celsius glass to overcome the heat and glare, as the conservatory was south facing.
Jack and Christine are delighted with the result, erected with minimum mess and disruption, which now serves as an extension to their lounge as a place to relax and unwind: “We love it and everyone who’s seen it has been impressed. The window cleaner liked it so much he brought his wife round to have a look,” Christine said.
10 top tips for choosing your conservatory top tips
There’s no disguising the fact that choosing a conservatory with some companies can be a difficult and daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be that way. K2 has compiled the following top tips from interior designers, architects and well-known gardening experts.
1 Think about its use
2 Shop around
3 Don’t just go for the cheapest choice
With conservatories, you tend to get what you pay for. Don’t automatically go for the ‘cheapest’ company unless its products and services also happen to be better than the competition.
4 Choose your materials wisely
5 Think about the position
6 Bigger isn’t always better
7 Consider your glazing options
8 Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation
9 Check with your local authority
10 Call on the professionals
|© 2003 Federation of Master Builders.