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    Conservatory Ideas

    If you’re stuck for conservatory ideas then here are some pointers to help you make the right decision. Many customers approach their installers asking for conservatory ideas and this is a fantastic way of gaining expert knowledge and industry insight.

    However, in order to get insightful answers from your installer, you first need to be ask the right questions.

    If you’re a Leeds homeowner in search of your perfect conservatory, Select Products have a comprehensive and beautiful range. Visit them today, and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

    How Will You Use Your Conservatory?

    This is the first question that any reputable builder of conservatories will ask you. It is also the question that most people give the least thought to when considering having a conservatory.

    Clearly answering this question will be essential when choosing the size, layout, base options, roof options, types of doors and window openings and much more.

    Conservatory Ideas

    Conservatory Design Decisions

    Garden Room

    Your new conservatory will be a link with the garden and many people see a conservatory as a way of bringing the garden into the house. A conservatory can provide the warm environment that is perfect for propagating exotic plants.

    With the right directional orientation, heating and ventilation you can create something to rival the Eden Project. Forget Chelsea. Your biggest problem will be keeping Alan Titchmarsh at bay.

    Family Room

    Are you fed up with trying to keep a space free of children’s toys and other family detritus? Why not give up the battle and offer them a room where they can enjoy their chaos.

    Not only will you be freed from the pleasure of stepping on sharp toys in you bare feet, but you could actually find out what peace and quiet is all about. A conservatory family room is also a perfect place for children to do their homework and for teenagers to secure a bit of privacy.

    Dining Room

    Many people see a conservatory as a romantic dining area. Just imagine raising a glass with friends under the night sky while lights in the outside showcase your beautiful garden. Care for a top up?

    Lean To Conservatory
    A light and airy dining room conservatory is the ideal place for family gatherings and summer BBQs. Neutral colours will make your room appear bigger & brighter.

    Kitchen Conservatory

    Having the conservatory attached to your kitchen may be just the thing. It makes it possible to keep an eye on the young ones while doing the cooking or the laundry. And how much nicer is it to know that the kettle is only a few steps from that comfortable chair in the sunshine.

    Kitchen Conservatory
    The kitchen is often the hub of the home and what better way to add style than with a kitchen conservatory. This extension will provide you with enough space & light to enjoy alfresco type dining & spectacular views.

    Conservatory VS Orangery

    If you are researching conservatory ideas then you will inevitably approach the topic of the orangery.

    An orangery is similar to a conservatory only instead of glass walls, you have a brick extension. Now this can have many benefits, particularly if you are one for privacy.

    These days orangeries are all the rage. As the name implies, they were originally designed and used to grow citrus fruits and other things unsuited to the British climate.

    They present as more of a permanent building than most conservatories and the actual building work required is also more complicated and consequently more expensive. But, the finished product is beautiful and far more imposing than most conservatories.

    Of course, an orangery will not be suitable for many gardens, but pound for pound you won’t find a better way to make a statement about your home than to have an orangery.


    If the budget or garden won’t run to an orangery, then you’ve got lots of choice when it comes to a conservatory.

    Most gardens and buildings will accommodate a conservatory of some sort and once you’ve enjoyed one of your own, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

    Modern Conservatory Options

    Modern Conservatory Ideas

    When you turn your thoughts to conservatories you probably imagine something a bit ornate with a trilly olly finial on the crest of the roof.

    They seem to be the most popular designs, but they certainly aren’t the last word in conservatories.

    Consider the individual components that make up the whole and you’ll soon be able to imagine something more modern.

    The base can be glazed to the ground, giving an uninterrupted view of the garden and beyond.

    A steep single pitch roof running off of the house also gives a modern touch. But, if that looks too plain, try employing a hip at each end for a bit of interest. And when choosing the roof style, consider glazing with glass rather than polycarbonate.

    It costs more, but recent developments in glass technology will provide you with all the options you’ll need to control the interior temperature and make you conservatory a room that you’ll be able to enjoy throughout the year.

    You can even have tinted glass to keep those harmful UV rays out and most companies now offer roof glass that is coated to make it self-cleaning.  This type of conservatory  is a variation on the lean-to or garden room conservatory and makes good use of the space available.

    A more modern way to step from your conservatory into the garden is through a bi-fold door. These wonderful doors fold back completely and will allow you to have a door as wide as you like. It’s the perfect way to bring the garden into the conservatory.

    Traditional Conservatory Thoughts

    Traditional Conservatory Thoughts

    Whilst traditional conservatory designs are perfect for the country cottage or larger country house, they are also well suited to modern homes, including bungalows.

    The Victorian conservatory is easily recognised by its faceted exterior. They are normally done as three or five facets and create a slightly ornate elegance in any garden.

    This design is best carried out with a dwarf wall of 600mm in height.

    This enables you to sit inside and still see over the wall into the garden. The roof follows the lines of the base and is usually topped with a decorative finial.

    The door to the garden can be arranged on any elevation, but is commonly places on the centre facet. This tends to limit the choice of door to single, French or, at a stretch, a sliding patio door. Then there is the Edwardian conservatory.

    This is square or rectangular and makes the most efficient use of the space available. Whilst it is usually built with a dwarf wall, choosing to have glass to the ground is an attractive option.

    Bespoke Conservatory Choices

    Bespoke Conservatory Choices

    With the help of a designer from your conservatory company, you could mix and match to create a conservatory of your own design.

    After all, a conservatory is only a base, perhaps a low wall, some windows and a roof. The only limiting factors are the space available, you budget and your imagination.

    Your conservatory supplier may well be able to offer you furnishings. But, you might want to carry out your own search locally or on the internet.

    Rattan is popular because its coolest (in the true sense of the word) and well suits the casual atmosphere that a conservatory creates.

    Whatever you decide, make sure you take the time you need to make the choices that are right for you.

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    Frequently Asked Conservatory Questions

    In most instances the council tax will not increase on a property unless the additions another living quarter or self-contained annex. This means the addition of a conservatory should not increase the council tax payable on a property. To be absolutely certain you can always check the government's website which gives advice on council tax.
    The main difference between a conservatory and an orangery is how the roof is constructed. A conservatory roof is over 75% glazed whereas an orangery roof has less than this amount. A conservatory also has over half of its wall space glazed whereas an orangery can include more brickwork than this.
    Yes, you can put a conservatory on the front of your house. This is because conservatories come under the category of a permitted development. As such in most instances you do not need planning permission. This applies if the area surrounding the original house is not more than 50% covered by other buildings or additions.
    There are many ways of gaining temperature control. Conservatory blinds, ventilating windows, cooling film and air conditioning to name a few. You might also want to consider replacing your conservatory roof with a tiled or solid design.
    There are many ways of keeping your conservatory warm in the Winter. If you have a small conservatory then an electric heater will suffice but those with bigger conservatories may want to look into installing underfloor heating.
    Glazing is also very important in a conservatory. Most heat can be lost through glass so ensure your conservatory glazing is thermally efficient. You can also tackle draughts or cold spots by installing conservatory blinds.
    This will largely depend on your location. You will find that certain areas have different setbacks based on the use of the building. We recommend that you check with your local council or take a look at the Goverment's Planning Portal.

    You must notify your neighbour if you want to:

    - Build on or at the boundary of your 2 properties - Work on an existing party wall or party structure - Dig below and near to the foundation level of their property
    Replacing your conservatory roof can indeed make your conservatory warmer however, this will depend on the type of roof you choose. A solid or tiled conservatory roof will offer greater insulation than a plastic or glazed roof.
    A solid roof can be put on a conservatory. There are many solid conservatory roof designs available - just ask your chosen installer for a recommendation. The majority of new-build conservatories with a solid, tiled or glazed roof will not require planning permission. They are covered under what is known as 'permitted development'. However, building regulations will apply if you want to build an extension.
    When it comes to your home improvement, it's important to have all the necessary legal documentation. The installation of a conservatory, orangery or porch does not require a FENSA registration form.
    The average life span of a uPVC conservatory is largely dependent on the quality of materials and build. Typically, a uPVC frame can last up to 25 years but some can last for decades ensuring they are well maintained.
    Planning permissions used to say that a certain percentage of roofing must be translucent in order for a conservatory to be exempt from planning permission. Changes to building regulations however, now means that you may not require planning permission for roof replacement.
    Swapping your existing conservarory roof for a tiled or solid roof replacement can be done without needing to file for planning permission. Planning permission may be required however, if the height of your extension is changed following completion.
    A conservatory is defined as a 'building that has no less than 75% of its roof area made of translucent material and no less than 50% of its total wall area made of glass.
    It is possible to convert a conservatory to an orangery but it isn't a simple process. A surveyor will need to come out and assess your property and conservatory to see if it is at first , feasible.
    Both extensions and orangeries often require planning permission and in order to satisfy requirements, a new structure will have to be built.
    If a conservatory is within two metres of a boundary, a conservatory should not be higher than three metres. It must also not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3m if an attached house or by 4m if a detached house.
    For construction work to begin a trench will need to be excavated to a minimum depth of 600mm. A conservatory needs footings just as much as any extension does.
    Solid ground will need to found first and needs to be accepted by Building Control as being a minimum of 1 metre in standard conditions.
    Foundations will need to be dug and because conservatories are lightweight in structure, their foundation loads are usually quite low. This can often lead to the notion that shallow foundations are satisfactory however, shallow foundations are more susceptible to subsidence.

    Conservatories that are built with foundations shallower than the Building Regulations advise, are likely to encounter problems.

    Building Regulations state:

    A2. The building shall be constructed so that ground movement caused by :-
    (a) swelling, shrinkage or freezing of the subsoil; or
    (b) land-slip or subsidence (other than subsidence arising from shrinkage), in so far as the risk can be reasonably foreseen, will not impair the stability of any part of the building
    Usually, there are no planning requirements when it comes to building a conservatory to a bungalow. However, the conservatory will be subject to certain conditions so be sure to check with your local building authority or with the Government's Planning Portal to ensure your conservatory remains within these guidelines.
    When is a conservatory not a conservatory? In order for a structure to remain a permitted development (a conservatory), the build needs to comply with a number of rules. A conservatory must be ground level, must not be more than 30m2, must be thermally separated from the original building, have its own heating and have glazing in critical zones that meet Part Nof the building regulations.
    An extension refers to an additional structure that is anatomically in-keeping with your main property. An extension often requires planning permission unless it is classified as permitted development and is built with opaque cavity walls and brick-based foundations. Extensions are a big home improvement and investment, needing the work of an architect.
    Conservatories or glazed extensions are perfect for those looking to add extra space on a budget. Typically, they are less of a logistical strain and in most cases do not require planning permission,
    A conservatory can be built under permitted development rights, not needing an application for planning permission. A conservatory however is subject to the limits and conditions listed here. Building a conservatory onto an extension however, will be subject to different conditions. In some cases and under the permitted development regulations, you cannot attach an extension to an already extended part of a dwelling. It has to be attached to the original walls of the dwelling house.
    Conservatories are generally much cheaper than a single-storey extension of the same size. The price difference will largely depend on size and how complex the structure is to build, as well as the quality of materials.
    A conservatory or single-story extension can be built without planning permission if: It's a maximum of 4 metres high or 3 metres high, within 2 metres of a boundary and the conservatory or extension does not cover more than half of the garden.
    From now until 2019, you can extend outwards by up to 8 metres for detached homes and 6 metres for other property types. For this, instead of applying for planning permission you will need to undergo a Neighbour Consultation Scheme.
    In most circumstances, building regulations tend to apply when you build a new extension or a very large structure to your property. However, most of the time, conservatories are exempt from building regulations when they are erected at ground level and the floor surface areas is less than 30 square metres.
    The average life expectancy of a conservatory depends on the quality of materials used as well as the installer. Generally speaking a conservatory built with uPVC window and door frames can last up to 25 - 30 years.
    It is possible to build either a conservatory or a single-storey extension without gaining planning permission if: firstly, it has a maximum height of 4 metres or 3 metres high if situated within 2 metres of an existing boundary. The conservatory itself does not exceed over half the size of the garden.
    Yes you can! Whatever the shape of your existing conservatory, you can be sure that there is a solid roof equivalent to meet your exacting requirements.
    Changing roofs from a polycarbonate to a solid roof means that building regulations will apply. Your chosen installer will be able to answer any questions you have and help with any red tape such as contacting local authorities to resolve building regulations compliance.
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