18th June 2018

Blog: Conservatories Are Still Cool (even in the Summer!)

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Posted by: Carly

A lot of people associate the idea of a Conservatory with a cheap looking, over-fussy extension that is out of date, too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

If designed correctly, a Conservatory doesn’t need to be any of these things. A Conservatory can be very current, either in a traditional or contemporary design, and can be used 52 weeks a year as a fabulous, light-filled additional space to any home.

A Conservatory can be half the cost of an Orangery and give you everything that an Orangery can; Light, style, elegance, space, inside/outside living.

Underfloor heating is highly recommended. Although more expensive than a radiator, it will guarantee a welcoming cosy room where you can pad around with bare feet and completely chill out in, even during the coldest months.

A single radiator, whether its electric or running off your central heating system, will not generate enough heat in the depths of Winter to allow you to enjoy breakfast in your new space at 6am when there’s a heavy frost outside. The roof and sides of a Conservatory are all glass. No matter how good the u-value of the glass is, it will lose five times more heat than a cavity insulated wall. You must therefore ensure you have suitable insulation – the more the better! – under the floor screed and under floor heating. This will generate heat in every inch of the room, from the floor upwards, ensuring no cold areas and no down draughts.

Heat rises which means that wall-mounted radiators can never put heat below them. The floor is always cold and so are your feet!

Wet underfloor heating can be more powerful than electric underfloor heating and is cheaper to run because it is running off your existing system. It has a separate pump and timer, costing no more than another two decent sized radiators. However, which one you choose may largely depend on your existing floor.

Roof vents – an opening window in the roof – are also an absolute must to ensure that you can release the heat in the summer.

There are claims that a Conservatory roof has sufficient ventilation thanks to trickle ventilation in the eaves and ridge, and that solar roof glass is so efficient that roof vents (the opening window in the roof) are not required. It is true that some roof systems do have trickle ventilation, but they are nowhere near adequate to release the heat build-up on a hot summers day!

The trickle ventilation is there to help with moisture build up and to prevent condensation.

You can leave a roof vent open a little when you are out allowing the room to stay comfortable. You can have the vent(s) wide open when you are home so that the heat just passes straight on out and does not create an unbearable sauna. A poorly vented Conservatory in summer is like walking into an oven! Your plants will die, your candles will melt and worst of all, you won’t use the space.

Solar reflective glass does make a big difference, but to ensure a space that you can love and enjoy 52 weeks a year, you must have roof vents.

Roof vents and underfloor heating can add £3000 – £5000 to the cost of your Conservatory, but these important additions will mean that your Conservatory will be your favourite room in the house and is used every single day of the year.

Even with that additional £3000 – £5000, you will still be many thousands of pounds inside the cost of an Orangery. Subject to colour, materials and finishing specifications, a 5m x 4m Orangery will cost between £45,000 and £70,000. A Conservatory of the same size will cost between £25,000 and £40,000.

• You can design your Conservatory with more brickwork on the sides to house a large flat screen TV
• You can have glazed panels all the way to the floor
• It can be dark grey, grey green, white or any other colour you desire
• You can have modern large porcelain tiles or traditional limestone flags
• How about some cool lighting?
• Add a set of bi-folding doors or sliding doors, and your Conservatory now has a more contemporary look

All the options of an Orangery can be integrated into a Conservatory.

Contact us today to see how we can design a Conservatory for you that will look amazing, add value to your home and be a fantastic living space that you will use every single day of the year!

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