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Conservatories and Conservatory Design - Top Tips

Here we have compiled all the conservatory tips you can think of! They are grouped in different categories to help you find the tips you need. This will hopefully help you get you closer to your dream conservatory!

Click on the links below to "fast forward" to the tips you need: 
Design and Decision Tips, Construction Tips, DIY Tips, Maintenance Tips, General advice.

Design and Decision Tips

  • Get some pegs and string and mark out the area of your new conservatory and fill it with the things you want in your conservatory, like a dining table, a sofa and plants. Then see if you have as much space as you would like.

  • Always calculate your internal floor size when ordering a conservatory. Most conservatory companies will quote you for the external area, but it's the internal floor area most people are interested in.

  • Get about three quotations but don't go for the cheapest quotation. The cheapest supplier will rarely give you the best product or service.

  • Depending on the shape of the conservatory, it is generally not advised to put doors in the front of the conservatory, as it creates a corridor, which will make it difficult for you to arrange the furniture.

  • Lead your conservatory off a room that you use much, like your kitchen or living room.

  • Don't compromise on the size of your conservatory.

  • Don't let the shape of your house be disturbed by your conservatory.

  • Decide on a conservatory shape that will enhance the outlook of your home.

  • Try to match the construction materials of your conservatory with the ones used for your home.

  • Try to match the colour of your conservatory with the colours used for your home.

  • Take interesting details like bargeboards and unusually shaped windows into the design of your conservatory.

  • Have a plan drawn up by an architect if you are looking for a specific design that is a bit out of the ordinary. This way you will know what to talk about with the supplier and he will not try and sell you his designs as much. On top of that, you will be able to compare on a like for like basis, which is very important when you get more than one quote.

  • The more money you spend on the right insulation and roofing and glazing systems, the less you'll end up spending on heating and cooling systems for your conservatory.

  • While making a plan, add sufficient funding for extras such as blinds, furniture and heating.

Construction Tips

  • Attach 20mm PVCu trunking to the head of the PVCu frame between the roof and window sections. This gives the appearance that it's actually part of the window frame, and provides great flexibility in adding additional lights, speaker wires, alarm detectors, etc.

  • Always lay your insulated central heating pipes in a gap created in the concrete flooring, never bury them in the concrete! If there ever would be a leak it would be a disaster.

DIY Tips

  • Prepare yourself well and do your homework. Research which conservatory you want by having a look around on the Internet and your local conservatory suppliers. Make lists of all the materials you will need plus their costs. This will help you set your budget.

  • Be aware that manufacturers often quote 'inside cill' sizes. This is roughly equivalent to inside of the outside skin of bricks in a cavity wall, which is neither the indoor floor size, nor the outside wall size.

  • Buy where the trade buys. Screwfix Direct is a good starting point for screws, fixings etc.

  • Make the conservatory floor height the same as the floors in your home.

  • While making a plan, add sufficient funding for extras such as skip hire, drainage pipes and paving.

  • Don't get overexcited and build your dwarf wall too high. You won't be able to enjoy the view to the garden anymore!

  • Make sure you have the right tools for the job!

  • Get help from friends who know parts of the job, like concreting or plumbing. And hire professional help when you really need it.

  • Don't skimp on finishes you won't see, like cavity insulation and foundation. It will catch up with you in the long run.

  • Rather buy from a conservatory specialist than from a DIY store. The specialist can give you invaluable advice on glazing and roofing options and you might need his help when things don't go to plan.

Maintenance Tips

  • Use a silicone lubricant to lubricate squeaky hinges.

  • Using washing up liquid when washing your windows will degrade the sealant so DON'T DO IT!

  • Don't use abrasive cleaners on woodgrain PVCu conservatories.

  • Aluminium polish bought at motor shops can be used as a cleaner on silver aluminium conservatories.

General advice

  • Negotiate fairly with the companies. Don't expect to get all mod-cons if you're only prepared to pay for the cheapest design.

  • Try to meet the builders who are actually doing the work. You will need to be able to get on with them.

  • Make sure that you know whether you'll need planning permission. Don't rely on the conservatory suppliers to take care of that for you.

  • Be friendly towards the constructors! They will have to do a good job and you'll have more chance on getting a job well done if you're friendly and cooperative.

  • If it is at all possible, view some installations done by your supplier. Talk to their owners about how the builders went about their work, whether there were any major delays etc.

  • Always have a small contingency as there may be unexpected and unpleasant surprises once the construction starts, for which money will need to be available.

  • Buy the best possible conservatory you can afford. Get all the possible information on glazing options and construction materials so that you can make a constructive decision.

  • Make sure you've got somebody to take care of the plants in your conservatory when you are on holiday! More than anywhere else in your home, plants need plenty of water when they're placed in a conservatory due to the heat.

  • Be careful with candles in the conservatory during daytime. If you leave them in the conservatory during the day, they might melt or bend in the heat.

  • Inform your insurance, as you will need to review your cover.

  • Make sure your neighbours know about your plans, so that they won't be offended by your conservatory, either through jealousy or loss of light in their garden.

DISCLAIMER
The material contained in this web site is provided for general information purposes only. The material is believed to be accurate although no representation or warranty is given (express or implied) as to its accuracy completeness or correctness. Quotatis Ltd and the authors accepts no liability or responsibility whatsoever for any loss suffered by any use of the information contained on this web site. By continuing to use this web site you are deemed to accept the above terms and conditions.


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