What is a Conservatory? Conservatories originated in the 16th century and are typically a glass walled and roofed greenhouse attached to a home. Also referred to as sunrooms or orangeries, a conservatory brightens up any home with natural light. In colder climates, a conservatory is the ideal place to grow tropical plants. The addition of a conservatory can increase the value of the property.
Styles of Conservatories: There are many different styles of conservatories. Some borrow from history and are constructed after Edwardian or Victorian architecture. More modern designs are also available as are bespoke conservatories, which are custom-designed to suit the aesthetics of your home. Conservatories can be big or small and made from a variety of materials. The only prerequisite for any conservatory is that it must allow in the maximum of amount of light.
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1) Polycarbonate roofing is a popular and versatile choice, as it is light but very strong. Polycarbonates are also available in a variety of colours and finishes. Despite the durability of polycarbonate, the pH of rain and domestic cleaning products can cause damage. Most companies provide regular maintenance packages and discounted repair services for polycarbonate roofs.
2) Glass is possibly the most popular option for conservatories. Glass roofing is available in a variety of tints, opacities and can be solar safe with a self-cleaning option. Glass is easily repaired, but may be more expensive than polycarbonate options. Both polycarbonate and glass roofs may have a coating applied to inhibit the growth of algae and moss.
3) Hardwood conservatories look quaint and traditional and are both aesthetically pleasing and durable. Hardwood conservatory roofs are weather-resistant, but do require regular maintenance to prevent insect infestation, mould growth and rot. Microporous satin and paint finishes can reduce the amount of maintenance required.
Double Glazed Conservatories Many conservatories use double glazing on windows to improve insulation, especially in colder climates. UPVC is one of the most common materials used, as this material is versatile and long lasting, requiring little to no maintenance. UPVC can be damaged during severe weather or by gouges in the material. UPVC is generally inexpensive, maintaining the energy-efficiency of your conservatory. Some UPVC materials can also include UV filters and solar protection, and are recommended for south facing conservatories.
DIY Dangers: Conservatories are specialised home extensions, requiring professional expertise even when maintaining and repairing the slightest damages. Working with glass can be extremely dangerous, and a fall through a glass panel could result in serious injury or even death. Improper repairs to wood and polycarbonate conservatories could end up costing you more in the long and put you at risk of personal injury.
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Your conservatory questions answered
- Do wood-effect conservatories cost more? Yes. Generally a wood-effect uPVC conservatory will carry a premium of around 10% when compared to a standard white uPVC conservatory build.
- What floor can I put in a conservatory? Almost any floor can be installed, from tile flooring to wood or even carpet. You will likely need a screed floor installed before you fit your floor.
- What are some other uses for conservatories? Conservatories can be used for sun porches, breakfast rooms, and seating areas, among other things.
- Where can conservatories be placed? Some common locations for conservatories are at the rear of your property, courtyard, on as an addition to a home or commercial building. Many people also add them to the front of their property to catch the sun.
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