Is it Time to Upgrade Your Conservatory?
If you’re the owner of a 1980-1990’s uPVC conservatory, it might be time to consider an upgrade. Once the height of sophistication and a place to proudly show your dinner guests, uPVC conservatories today are often slightly dreary places that are either freezing in the winter or sweltering during the summer depending on the advice provided.
Upgrading to a timber conservatory or oak orangery, however, means you could benefit from a structure that is much more like an extension. This will give you a stunning space that really feels a part of your home and is suitable for use all year round.
In addition to the fact it is probably too hot in Summer and too cold in Winter, there are a number of signs that it might be time to upgrade your existing conservatory including: condensation, draughts, cracks or gaps in the structure, an inferior or damaged roof and mould or damp forming internally or externally. It’s probable that the base wasn’t constructed to the correct standards and very likely doesn’t have any insulation below the floor or in the walls.
If your conservatory is suffering from one or more of those signs - or you simply want to update its look and feel - read on below for effective ways to upgrade it.
Invest in high quality glazing
If your conservatory suffers from extreme temperatures, investing in high-quality glazing will make a huge improvement. Today, you’re able to buy glass with coatings which didn’t even exist 15 years ago. The modern glass make window panes much more thermally efficient. It’s sometimes possible to just replace the glass in your roof but if you are changing from light-weight polycarbonate, then a replacement roof will most likely be required.
During the cold winter days, these glass units with argon gas fill and low-e coatings, which are invisible to the naked eye, will reflect the heat back into the room and reduce harmful UV rays from entering your conservatory. This only works when the temperature on the outside, is colder than on the inside.
During the Summer, here at Richmond Oak, we recommend the best quality solar control glass available in the industry - SmartGlass Ultra 86, a blue tint solar control glass which is toughened and has a self-cleaning surface. Its excellent thermal qualities ensure it reflects 86% heat on hot days and with a 1.0 u-value is the most efficient argon filled double glazing to retain heat on cold days, making it up to 270%% more effective than many other roof glasses. In addition, its 91% UV protection will protect the furniture and fabrics within your conservatory.
If you don’t want blue roof glass, we have other options but would recommend SmartGlass Neutral Tint, another solar control glass with great thermal benefits.
Even if you don’t upgrade your frames, you could do well to take the more inexpensive option and upgrade the glass. At Richmond Oak, for your frames we recommend SmartGlass W Ultimate, clear, self-cleaning, solar control glass with low-e, argon fill, warm edge spacer, a 50%+ heat reflection on a hot day and a 1.0 u-value making it 20% more efficient than most glass in keeping the heat in, on a cold day and probably 3 times more efficient than the glass in your existing conservatory. Plus, it has a 6.8mm laminated pane meeting the highest standards of increased security, providing a 98% u-v filter to protect your furnishings, and the different glass thickness & laminated glass provides superior soundproofing.
Upgrade your conservatory frame
Choosing to upgrade your conservatory’s frame can dramatically enhance its visual appeal. You may opt to add timber beams, for example, or add a dwarf brick wall so it looks more in keeping with the rest of your home.
Another great reason for updating your frame is to update its colour. Whilst a white, bolted-on conservatory was fashionable years ago, today people tend to opt for a conservatory which looks more complementary to their home, choosing colours and materials which complement their existing property.
Here at Richmond Oak we offer fantastic dual colour frames. This means you can have one colour inside and a different colour outside - allowing you to really make an impression and choose colours which suit both your personal style and that of your home.
Project Example - Mr Thomas in Hampshire
We recently replaced an existing roof and glass for a client in Hampshire who had a timber orangery built by another company. He didn’t use the orangery anymore for that ‘too cold in winter and too hot in summer’ reason. Read below to find out what he thought after we had replaced the frames with seasoned oak and glass with solar control glazing...
‘Firstly, and most importantly, we would like to thank all involved in this project. We are very, very pleased with the outcome. The new roof is a much more substantial structure than its predecessor. We have already noticed a difference when the sun shines and we are very taken with the shape and design of the wood. As an unexpected bonus, during the recent hot weather the orangery has not only remained cool, but produces an effect that is very similar to air conditioning. We must next thank all of Dave, Mark and Jess, from Dave’s initial calculations through to completion of the job’
Install a solid roof
The installation of a solid roof will instantly transform your conservatory. There are a number of roof styles to choose from - including roof tiles, timber rafters, a lightweight solid roof or a combination of a solid roof and skylights.
By investing in a more solid roof structure, you may be able to get rid of any sliding doors between your conservatory and the rest of your house. This will make your conservatory will feel more like an extension and you will enjoy a seamless, more open-plan experience when using it.
Please note that a full solid roof requires a Building Control notice and a roof claiming LABC approval doesn’t mean your conservatory will be exempt. It just means the roof meets the standards set by the LABC. Other aspects of your conservatory will also have to meet Building Regs standards, including the ability of your existing frames to take the weight of your new roof. Often a steel or aluminium portal will be required. Don’t just believe what a salesman tells you.
Replace the entire structure
If your conservatory is looking really tired, the best option might be to replace the structure entirely. Here at Richmond Oak, we can work with you to design the perfect oak conservatory, ensuring the finished result meets your needs, tastes and budget. Replacing your white uPVC conservatory with a timber conservatory one will be a great investment - both for the long-term enjoyment it will provide, as well as the value it will add to your home.
Here at Richmond Oak Conservatories we design and install beautiful timber conservatories, wood garden rooms and oak orangeries. Our hardwood structures are the ultimate conservatory upgrade and you’ll benefit from a stunning and highly valuable extra living space in your home. For more information, and to find out how we can help upgrade your conservatory, contact the experts at Richmond Oak today.
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To help you with your project decisions regarding your bespoke hardwood conservatory or orangery, we have put together the new Richmond Oak Brochure.
"The first step to your dream living space starts here... add more space, more light, more 'Wow' to your property & home!"