Here at Opun we love conservatories, they are quick and economical to install — allowing home owners to rapidly and easily gain some new living space. They’re frequently listed by magazines, newspapers and home experts as the best improvement to increase the value of a property, and of course best of all they let you enjoy the sun and your home’s surrounding views year round.
But just what do you need to consider before having one installed? Well, the best place to start is actually think about where on your property would be the best place to position one, Building Regulations, landscaping and the sun are all things which may affect your choice. Here’s what you need to know:
A north-facing conservatory will get less direct sunlight in the afternoons and evenings than a south-facing one would. As a result of this it will also receive less heat, meaning you will likely want to ensure that a north-facing conservatory will be well insulated and have sufficient heating to prevent it from becoming too cold to use in the winter. On the plus side, during the summer they are great places to spend time in the mornings and later-on as they are unlikely to overheat.
A south-facing conservatory, has no surprises, the opposite attributes to a north facing one. During the winter they will get the most from the sun, but during the summer they can quickly warm up from solar heat, meaning that fitting solar reflecting glass and/or blinds can be a shrewd investment.
It’s also a good idea to fit large sliding doors or double doors to get the most airflow and ventilation through the room if it gets a bit too warm.
Conservatories that face to the west share many of the features of south facing conservatories. They won’t get much sun in the morning so may need some form of heating, however when it gets to the afternoon and evening in summer, you’ll want to make sure there is enough ventilation to keep them from becoming uncomfortably warm.
Easterly conservatories are perfect for early risers, as they will get the absolute most of the early morning sun from its rise. However, they of course see much less of it later in the day, so are likely going to need to be well insulated.
Front, back or side of house
Of course, it’s not just as simple as picking a compass direction to build your new conservatory extension. Where you can build is obviously constrained by things such as local authority regulations and where you have available land.
Back of property conservatories are by far the most popular. This is because they are least likely to be affected by local authority constraints such as planning permission, they also naturally offer more privacy.
Side and front of house conservatories are still permissible, but are more likely to require planning permission, as the law states that any extension on the front or the side of the property that would be closer to a ‘public highway’ e.g. a road or pavement, than the original building, will require planning permission. While most conservatories built today are not affected by Building Regulations, they will be if will be greater than 30 metres square in floor area.