“I would love a conservatory but how do I get started?”
Our “Top 5 Tips” offer a great starting point for how to consider a conservatory.
For most people, adding a conservatory represents the most significant physical change that they will make to their home. There is a hidden designer in all of us. Take the opportunity to indulge your ideas and explore the possibilities with a dedicated conservatory designer, but be prepared to pay for this service. A thoughtful design is essential for a successful project, just like any other construction project.
Get truly involved in the design and detailing decisions and make it your project – it is so much more rewarding.
When considering a conservatory, one of the most important decisions will be to identify its primary use, and how it will enhance the enjoyment of your home. Without doubt, a conservatory’s most appealing use is for informal year round family living and dining. The most successful conservatories are positioned as extensions to a kitchen dining or breakfast room or any gathering space.
Equally appealing is the conservatory built as a grown-ups retreat, perfectly positioned away from the hubbub of family life, a haven for enjoying a peaceful view and connecting with the outdoors.
A well designed and placed conservatory will become the most enjoyable room in the house. Getting the size right is a careful balance of satisfying your needs for extra space, and creating a building that sits comfortably and in proportion within its environment. A really helpful tip is to measure one or two of your existing ground floor rooms, and decide if one offers the floor area that you would like to achieve in your conservatory, while noting that a glass room often feels bigger. Next try re-arranging the furniture in that room as if it were placed in the conservatory, possibly splitting the area – part table and chairs – part soft furnishings.
With that exercise in hand, tell us your goals. We will want to ensure that the conservatory does not look too big or too small. In general, it should accent the house, not compete with it.
A well planned conservatory will be capable of comfortable use all year round. High-performance glazing is an essential requirement for sufficient insulation and reducing heat gain. High-performance Low-e is standard on our buildings with more upgrades available, depending on your climate.
Radiant hot water is a very popular heating option, and all standard systems work in conservatories. We do recommend heated floors, whether as part of the hot water system or electrically warmed tiles. There is nothing like a warm floor and a cup of coffee or tea in the morning while watching a fresh snowfall.
Contrary to popular belief conservatories are not difficult spaces to light, so long as you make provision for lighting during the manufacture process. Orangery-type conservatories offer the opportunity for including down-lights within the soffits of the perimeter gutters. The inclusion of an internal lighting shelf can easily provide a similar lighting opportunity within conservatories.
Lighting circuits for table lamps and discretely placed internal or external up-lighting can also create very pleasing and seductive lighting effects. And of course there is the sun and the moon and the stars.
Planning a conservatory starts with knowing what you want. It is our hope that this review will provide a starting point for that journey and that our conservatory designs will inspire you to take the next step.
More than a room addition. A conservatory design is invested with the details and qualities that enhance the experience of living. Cherished comforts of home are transformed into sunlit spaces that become favored rooms.
Learn more about our process in Getting Started .