cheshire (3)Planning the Perfect Conservatory

Planning a new conservatory can seem like an arduous task – this guide leads you through the process, from initial planning through to those all-important finishing touches.

Conservatories are one of the most popular home improvement projects and they are a great addition to most homes. As well as providing valuable extra living space, they can also add value to your home and enable you to enjoy the garden all year round.  They also lend themselves perfectly to the growing trend of open-plan living.

While conservatories offer many benefits, the process of planning and installing a new conservatory can seem a daunting prospect. Read on for some tips and key information that will help to guide you through the process.

Finding the Right Supplier

Installing a conservatory is a big investment so it’s vital that you find the right supplier to do the work. Using a reputable, experienced conservatory company is key to getting the result you want.  You should set up a meeting with the sales consultants of your chosen company to discuss designs, products, and costs, and also so that they can demonstrate different products for you. Once you have agreed to a conservatory, we will undertake an initial site survey and work with you to design your perfect conservatory.

Selecting a Style

Before starting on the design, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want from your conservatory. There are so many different styles of conservatory available, from the modern, clean lines of lean-to structures, to the more traditional feel of Edwardian and Victorian conservatories. The right style for you will be influenced by a number of different factors including your budget, the size (and style) of your existing house and garden, the intended use of the conservatory, and your individual tastes.

As well as the general style of the structure, you will also need to think about the kind of fixtures and fittings you want in the conservatory – for example, what kind of flooring do you want, how should the room be heated? Of particular importance are the doors and windows you choose for your conservatory. When it comes to doors, there are a number of options available to you including french, patio and bi-folding doors. Solarlux bi-folding doors are an increasingly popular option for conservatories as they are great at letting in the light, and they can be rolled back in good weather, blurring the boundary between indoor and outdoor living.

Planning Permission

Before going ahead with the installation you will need to check whether your new conservatory requires planning permission. Generally speaking, a standard conservatory does not need planning permission as long as it is not wider than the original width of the house, is no bigger than half the size of the existing property, does not have any balconies, verandas or raised platforms, is a single storey structure, and does not have a roof that is higher than the roof of the house.  However, some areas or property types (such as National Parks, or terraced houses) have to comply with additional regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a fine of £5,000 and could even lead to your conservatory being pulled down – so it’s always worth doing your homework before any work begins.

Undertaking the Work

The duration of the work and disruption caused will depend on the complexity of the design and construction. Once the designs have been approved, the first stage of work will begin with a full technical survey and a visit from the building manager to plan the logistics of the job.

The first stage of the construction involves digging out a trench and laying the concrete footings. Work can then commence on building the walls and laying the floor, which needs to be level with an adequate damp proof membrane. Next on the list is fitting the window and door frames, and installing the conservatory roof. The final stage of the work involves glazing UPVC frames and inspecting all glass and frames. Your conservatory is now ready for you to enjoy and add your finishing touches.

Finishing touches

Once the construction is complete, you are free to lay your own choice of flooring and add furniture and decoration – and these finishing touches are key to really bringing your conservatory to life and turning it into a space in which you want to spend time. Knowing what you want to use the space for will help you to choose appropriate furniture and accessories – for example, will it be a dining room, a children’s play area, or just somewhere you can relax and enjoy the scenery? Generally speaking, any furniture should be fade-resistant and fairly durable. There are loads of great ideas out there for conservatory furniture and decoration, so try browsing online, through our website or through catalogues for some inspiration.

When it comes to planning a new conservatory it’s important to make a well-informed decision, so doing your research is key. If you use a reputable company and take the above information into account, planning the work needn’t be an arduous task. It’s actually a fairly simple process and, before you know it, you will be able to kick back and relax in your brand new conservatory.