Taming Mother Nature: Common Sense Tips for Choosing a Conservatory

Taming Mother Nature: Common Sense Tips for Choosing a Conservatory
  • Opening Intro -

    A conservatory offers homeowners the option to extend their enjoyment of hazy summer evenings and make the most of their garden view throughout the year.

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Many homeowners like the idea of having a conservatory for their home and this extra space can be extremely versatile with the options that it offers.

Having decided that you want a conservatory, it is well worth taking the time to make the right choice based on what space you have available and also what you intend to use it for. Here are some ideas and tips that you might want to consider before you go ahead with your plans.

Planning a Conservatory

One of the first questions that many people ask when they set about planning a conservatory is do I need planning permission?

In general terms, the answer to that question is most commonly no, you will not need planning permission. Regulations introduced in 2008 stated that conservatories were to be considered as a permitted development, but there are limits to the ruling which have to be observed.

If you are considering a fairly standard-sized lean to conservatory then you are unlikely to fall foul of planning regulations, which state that you cannot cover half of your garden with your new conservatory and the height of your new room should not exceed the level of your existing roof.

Your chosen supplier should be able to provide you with guidance and advice in this area so you should be able to get the room that you won’t without having to make a planning application.

Building Regulations

Another consideration in addition to planning permission is building regulations. The use of building regulations is to ensure that your new conservatory meets current standards when it comes to the glazing used and the electricity supply installed in the new construction.

If the conservatory that you build is less than 30sq m in size and is mostly glazed, rather than brick built, and has an external door between the house and the conservatory, then it is quite likely that building regulations won’t apply to your project.

Other Considerations

For many people, there is only one really obvious where you can build your new conservatory, so where it is should not be a cause for much debate but obviously the size and purpose should be given due consideration.

Think about what you are going to use your new room for and take into account which way your garden faces, as this will affect the temperature in the room and dictate what heating or sunlight protection you need to have in your new conservatory.

A conservatory is primarily a glass construction and glass in general terms is great for letting heat and light in and unless you choose suitable glazing, not so good at retaining heat during the cold months. Plan how your conservatory is constructed based on which way it is going to be facing as some homeowners who go for a cheap option, end up with a room that is a sauna in the summer and a fridge in the winter.

The quality of construction and the materials available nowadays means that you should be able to avoid these problems with suitable planning and guidance from your supplier.

Make the right choices and you will end up with a conservatory that is a pleasure to use and helps to bring a bit of the great outdoors into your newly created living space.

Ian Chalk is a carpenter with many years under his tool belt. Now semi-retired, he likes to spend time sharing his know-how with others by posting on the Web.

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