Which Would be my Best Choice

  • CONSERVATORY
  • GARDEN OR SUN ROOM
  • EXTENSION
  • OPEN PLAN
  • ORANGERY

        How do they differ, which would be most appropriate?

6
CONSERVATORY:
These glazed buildings are chosen and enjoyed by people who wish to create a light, bright atmosphere from which to enjoy their garden whatever the weather. A well designed conservatory with good ventilation and appropriate heating can certainly be used comfortably throughout the year. As long as the roof has more than 75% glazing and the new side elevations over 50% glass, it will be exempt from Building Regulations but it must be separated from the main home by a door of external quality and the floor area below 30 sq metres. It should also have independent heating and be at ground level.

7
GARDEN OR SUN ROOM:
Generally a combination of cavity walls and glass within the side elevations. The roof can be either flat or part tiled. This design will be chosen by those who are considering a room in the garden rather than an extension to their home but choose not to have a fully glazed design, as the conservatory option offers.

8
OPEN PLAN:
Often chosen to open up your kitchen into a garden dining room.Very attractive for entertaining guests to dinner, although it could equally be linked to a dining room or lounge. This will certainly require heat loss calculations and may mean increasing the insulation in your home or perhaps a new boiler to achieve this. Special lintols will need to be introduced, particularly if the opening is much wider than the average French doors.

9
ORANGERY:
Creating an elegant and impressive addition to your home. They are usually chosen for entertaining or enhancing the architecture of appropriate properties. Most will have a glazed lantern, centrally positioned with a flat perimeter roof. These designs enjoy the same Permitted Development opportunities with respect to Planning. On the rear of a detached home no greater than 4 metres depth or 3 metres if an attached property. They should be no higher than 4 metres.

Conservatories with three quarters of the roof and more than half of new side elevations glazed will be EXEMPT from Building Regulations. They will also need to be separated by a door of external quality, constructed at ground level, be smaller than 30 sq. metres floor area and have independent heating. Should these criteria not apply, Building Regulation Notices need to be prepared, which will incur appropriate fees. There may also be a requirement for Structural & Heat Loss Calculations together with the preparation of more detailed drawings for Approval by Building Control.

The principal reasons for your ultimate choice will be overall cost and also how to achieve the most free solar gain, which so many people consider as one of the main advantages due to our very short summers. How the additional sun room will be used by your family and its suitability in relation to the architecture and style of your home. If you are contemplating moving in a few years’ time, what design would best be an investment, adding value to your property?

Whilst there are some who may consider a fully glazed building would be a glorified greenhouse, many however feel strongly that a tiled roof and large areas of brickwork will substantially darken the room you are constructing onto and reduce light penetration within the new extension itself, also create little free solar gain.

My best advice for your research is not to visit a fully glazed conservatory on a very hot summer’s day and make any final decisions. Make certain you go back when the sun isn’t shining and particularly on grey dark days, because for the majority of the year in the UK, we unfortunately do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine in this country.

In a fully glazed conservatory that they can be used for whatever you wish at the drop of a hat you can relax and dine in your garden, enjoying a holiday atmosphere. These buildings also have the advantage that they can be whatever you wish at the drop of a hat. Many are popular for various crafts and hobbies, others to relax with friends and a super room for children to play. Evenings and weekends lend themselves towards a party in the garden or formal dinners and always enhanced by enjoying the natural light bright cheerful atmosphere you have created.

A good exercise would be to reflect on rooms in your home or a friend’s property which have the most glazed windows. If the side elevations are going to be brickwork, careful consideration needs to go towards how many and their size plus doors . . . Building Regulations require that you should have no more than 25% of the internal floor area, as glass within the side walls, this may seem somewhat restrictive but there are trade-offs when taking the overall property insulation and heating system into consideration.