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Choosing the right Conservatory

Choosing the right Conservatory 

Which Conservatory Should I Choose?

A conservatory can enhance most houses, but the choices can be a little bewildering. Essentially, a conservatory is a space that interfaces between house and garden, but this can be anything from a roofed and walled patio to an elaborate room.


Conservatory Designs

Whether you have your conservatory designed by an architect or buy one "off the peg", there are basic design types. Which you choose will depend not only on your budget, but also on what you want to use the conservatory for.

A lean-to conservatory is a rectangular covered space with a low pitch roof.
An Edwardian conservatory provides a symmetrical design featuring clean lines and square corners with a sloping front to the roof and central ridge. This creates a vaulted feel to the roof from inside.
A Victorian conservatory, is regarded by many as the most traditional style of conservatory with either 3 or 5 facets to the front. 


Which Materials?

The most usual building materials for a conservatory, along with any brick courses needed, are timber, aluminium and uPVC. All three can work very well, depending on what you're looking for. Timber, with the most stylish look, might be best for a classic design, while aluminium is stronger, allowing it to be thinner and maximise the view. On the other hand, uPVC is a lot cheaper than both and can quite convincingly simulate timber.

Even more important is the glass. The big drawback of a conservatory is that it's mostly made of glass, which tends to draw heat in during the day and let it out at night, making the place uncomfortable at both extremes. The solution is to use energy efficient double glazing — either solar controlled sealed units, which reflect most of the heat and UV away, or argon-filled glass panes, which neither heat nor cold pass through easily.


What About Doors?

A conservatory, of course, needs doors both out to the garden and into the house, and the main options are sliding doors, french windows or bifold doors. 

Bifold doors are increasingly being recommended by architects and designers for conservatories. They are secure and attractive when closed, and open fully with a minimum of space needed, allowing garden and house to meet seamlessly in the conservatory. Aluminium bifold doors tend to be best for connecting with the garden, but timber bifold doors or uPVC bifold doors can also be ideal choices to lead into the house depending on the look you're trying to achieve.

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