Choose a uPVC Conservatory

uPVC Conservatory

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a uPVC Conservatory: Everything You Need to Know

Are you thinking about adding a conservatory to your home? A conservatory can provide a lovely space to relax in and enjoy views of your garden. When it comes to choosing one, uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) is a top option. uPVC conservatories are affordable, durable, and energy efficient. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know when choosing a uPVC conservatory for your home.

What Exactly is a uPVC Conservatory?

A conservatory is essentially a glass garden room attached to a house. uPVC is the material used to make the frames and roof. uPVC is a versatile, weatherproof plastic often used for window frames, gutters, and plumbing. For conservatories, uPVC provides a long lasting, low maintenance option. It doesn’t rot or corrode like wood and resists fading or discolouration better than cheaper PVC alternatives. A uPVC conservatory has glass walls and roof to let in natural light. The floors, doors, frames and roof bars are made from uPVC in white or a colour to complement your home.

Benefits of a uPVC Conservatory

There are many great reasons to choose a uPVC conservatory:

  • Affordable – uPVC is cheaper than wood or metal alternatives
  • Durable – Lasts over 25 years with little maintenance
  • Energy efficient – Insulated frames prevent heat loss
  • Low maintenance – Doesn’t need painting or treating
  • Customisable – Range of styles, colours and glazing

Drawbacks of uPVC Conservatories

uPVC conservatories do have some downsides to consider:

  • Can fade over time, especially dark colours
  • Can be prone to condensation without adequate ventilation
  • Less aesthetic appeal for period properties than wood
  • Limited colour choice compared to aluminium frames

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Conservatory

When deciding on your perfect uPVC conservatory, there are several key factors to think about:

Size and Layout

Consider how you’ll use your conservatory and how much space you need. Popular styles include:

  • Lean-to: Simple square or rectangular addition
  • Victorian: Iconic bay front with faceted end
  • Edwardian: Square or rectangular with flat front
  • Gable end: Triangular roof sloping back to house wall

Make sure to think about access, views and sunlight too when planning the size and layout.

Frame and Roof Type

uPVC frame choices affect appearance, insulation and cost. Consider:

  • Number of roof angles
  • Ridge capping for an ornamental roof peak
  • Decorative finials, cornices and cresting

Glazing

Conservatory glass types include:

  • Clear glass – cheap but poor at insulation
  • Toughened safety glass – Added security
  • Double glazing – Draught proof, energy saving
  • Solar control glass – Prevents overheating

Ventilation and Temperature Control

To prevent a conservatory becoming too hot in summer or cold in winter, ensure adequate ventilation and glazing options:

  • Roof vents
  • Fans
  • Air conditioning
  • Heaters
  • Blinds

Doors

Pick doors to match your frames. Options include:

  • French doors – Stylish access to the garden
  • Bi-fold or sliding doors – Open up space
  • Patio doors – Classic wide opening to deck or patio

Accessories

Personalise with:

  • Colour to match existing paintwork
  • Bricks or coloured panels around lower walls
  • Internal dwarf walls for planting or display shelves

Getting Quotes and Choosing the Right Installer

Installing a quality conservatory takes skill and experience. Here’s how to choose an installer you can rely on:

Research Reputable Companies

  • Check reviews and ask for past customer references
  • Look for specialist uPVC conservatory installers
  • Choose a company that handles everything from design to final install

Get Multiple Quotes

  • Get at least 3 quotes for any work
  • Compare not just price but promised quality and timescales
  • Check what’s included – base work, fittings, electrics etc

Ask Lots of Questions

  • How long have they been in business?
  • How many conservatories do they install annually?
  • What guarantees do they provide on materials and workmanship?
  • Do they have public liability insurance and meet all building regulations?

Check Examples of Their Work

  • Ask to see photos of past conservatories installed
  • Request local customer addresses to view quality

Conservatory Regulations and Permits

Conservatories require proper planning permission and must meet stringent building regulations:

Planning Permission

  • Usually needed if extending beyond a certain limit
  • Always check with your local authority first

Building Regulations

Conservatories must comply with regulations on aspects like:

  • Structural safety
  • Energy efficiency
  • Electrical, plumbing and drainage connections

Reputable companies handle this but check to be sure. Getting regulations wrong can be costly to put right later.

Cost Breakdown of a uPVC Conservatory

As a guide, costs are made up of:

Size and Layout

  • Small lean-to from £5K
  • Large Victorian can be £15K+

Materials

  • uPVC frame, roof, guttering, doors etc

Special Features and Accessories

  • Glazing like solar tint or double glazing
  • Extras like cresting, lighting and electric roof vents

Installation

  • Base and connection work
  • Labour and project management

Extra costs may include steps, wall finishes, electrics and decorating. Get an itemised quote breaking down all parts.

Maintaining Your uPVC Conservatory

A uPVC conservatory should provide years of low maintenance enjoyment. But a few tips will keep it looking its very best:

Cleaning

  • Dust frames and window sills monthly
  • Vacuum out corners and vents
  • Wash glass as needed with soapy water

Repairs

  • Seal any leaks in frames as soon as noticed
  • Replace cracked glass immediately

Energy Efficiency Upgrades

  • Add Insulated Pelmet to roof and dimmable remote-controlled heaters for extra cosy warmth

Take steps to reduce condensation and let your conservatory breathe. With proper care your uPVC conservatory can look as good as new for over 25 years!

Conclusion

We’ve covered everything you need to confidently choose the perfect uPVC conservatory for your home. By understanding the options and choosing a reputable installer, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the added light, space and connection with your garden for decades to come. Still have questions? Check out the FAQs below!

FAQs

How long does a uPVC conservatory take to install? 

Most quality conservatories take 1-2 weeks from start to completion.

Should I get planning permission for a conservatory? 

In some cases yes if beyond permitted development limits – always check first.

Can I use my conservatory all year round? 

Yes, with proper glazing choices and adequate heating and ventilation a uPVC conservatory provides extra living space whatever the weather.

How often should I clean my uPVC conservatory? 

Aim to dust window sills monthly and wash glass every 3-4 months. Vacuum vents and corners regularly too.

How much maintenance does a uPVC conservatory need? 

Very little – just occasional cleaning and sealing any minor leaks promptly. With proper care they last over 25 years.

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