FAQ – Conservatories and Extensions
22nd June 2018
BELOW ARE THE ANSWERS TO THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHOOSING, DESIGNING AND PLANNING A CONSERVATORY.
CAN I USE MY CONSERVATORY ALL YEAR ROUND?
Modern conservatories, with insulated bases and cavity walls which feature double-glazed units and a thermally efficient roof, can indeed be used all year round. The prudent use of relevant heating technology will also help. Comfort levels can be further enhanced with the use of Smartglass Plus. This is a revolutionary new type of glazing that is specially developed to keep conservatories warm in Winter, by retaining heat, and cool in Summer by excluding solar radiation.
DO WE NEED TO INSTALL INSULATING DOUBLE GLAZING UNITS (DGU’S), AND IF SO, WHICH ONES?
Under Section 6 of the technical handbook [To achieve the standards set out in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004] requires replacement windows & doors to meet tough new thermal performance standards. The new standard applies when new doors replace an existing window or you change the doors between the house and the conservatory, but not when you keep the existing lockable French doors or patio doors between house and conservatory.
Bryant and Cairns glazing offers a better combination of warmth in winter and reduction in summertime solar heat gain than standard “low e” sealed units.
DO YOU MAKE CONSERVATORIES TO ORDER?
Yes – every one of our conservatories is made to measure and can be personalised with a host of accessories and design features both inside and out.
DO WE NEED PLANNING PERMISSION OR BUILDING REGULATION APPROVALS?
Under new regulations that came into effect in 2012, adding an extension/conservatory to your home is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
- No more than half the area of land to the rear, or front of the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
- No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
- No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres for an terraced house and four metres for a detached/semi-detached house, within 1 metre of the boundary.
- Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres, within 1 metre of the boundary.
- Maximum eaves height of an extension within one metre of the boundary of three metres.
- Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.
- The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
- Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
Building regulations will generally apply if you want to build an extension to your home. However, conservatories are normally exempt when they meet a number of conditions.
- They are built at ground level and are less than 8 square metres in floor area
- They are built at least 1 metre from the boundary
- At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material
- The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s).
- Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements
Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.
HOW SOON CAN WE HAVE OUR CONSERVATORY?
The average turnaround is 6 to 10 working weeks from receiving the order in writing (depending on the weather or if planning permission is required). However, you need to be aware that at busier times of year the process can take longer.
WHAT COLOURS DO YOU OFFER?
You are already on the way to making a life-changing decision by choosing a conservatory.
Space – usable for a variety of activities – and natural light aplenty, to banish those winter blues!
Do you stick to conventional conservatory colours/finishes or do you choose something different? Carefully chosen colours create a space that works best for you and your home.
Colour – applied correctly – has a profound positive effect on your wellbeing. It strongly influences how we interact with each other and our surroundings.
So what can you consider for your home and conservatory?
Powerful, sophisticated, substantial, uncompromising
Has some of the characteristics of black with the addition of cleanliness and purity
Related to nature, offers harmony and balance
Neutral, can work well with other colours, acting as a support to them
Irish Oak/ Wood Grain
For a traditional wood appearance without the need for an expensive timber conservatory
Every effort is made to ensure gloss levels are within reasonable tolerance. RAL and BS colour references are made in good faith. The colours above are reproduced as accurately as the image will allow, if in doubt always request an actual physical sample/foil swatch.
Coloured conservatories feature major parts that are actually foil laminated, with only a minority of parts actually painted.
The foil laminated products used on major items in the roof and on the PVC side frames, have a real woodgrain texture to add a further dose of character
The products can be coloured one side or both sides with the possibility to mix colours between the outside and the inside.
MY BUILDER HAS ALREADY CONSTRUCTED MY BASE – WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
Contact us at Bryant and Cairns so we can check that the base is square, level, allowing us to undertake the design and manufacture of your side frames and conservatory roof.
HOW CAN WE PROTECT OUR PRIVACY FROM NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES?
Conservatories can be made private by the thoughtful use of obscure glass, solid panels at the side, blinds or even a solid wall on one side.
WE’VE GOT AN ODD SHAPED SPACE/AN UNUSUAL WALL/A SLOPING GARDEN – CAN WE STILL HAVE A CONSERVATORY?
Yes, there is almost always an option. Contact us at Bryant and Cairns and we will be able to help. By using a system as flexible as the Bryant and Cairns roofing system there’s always a solution and chances are we can come up with several alternatives.
WHAT STYLE OF CONSERVATORY CAN BRYANT AND CAIRNS PRODUCE?
Since all conservatories are made to order, you can have anything that’s physically achievable. A chat with one of our specialist conservatory designers, will open up possibilities you may never even have dreamed of.
I’D LIKE TO MAKE MY CURRENT CONSERVATORY BIGGER – WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE?
It is possible to extend a conservatory. Whether the existing conservatory structure can simply be added to will depend upon your individual circumstances.
Bryant and Cairns will be happy to advise and design a solution for you.
I HAVE A LEAK NEAR TO THE FINIAL POINT – WHAT CAN BE DONE?
A leak at this point is generally a sign of inadequate sealing under the ridge end cap or where it attaches to the ridge body. Careful stripping down and re-assembly could be the answer. Bryant and Cairns can assist you.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO JUST REPLACE MY CONSERVATORY ROOF?
Yes, it’s possible to replace the roof. ‘Lifting the lid’ and simply replacing the roof is a relatively straightforward process. Glazing performance today, in winter or summer, is vastly superior to say 10 years ago. By replacing the roof you are giving yourself peace of mind, improved performance and greater comfort levels. Remember, replacing your roof doesn’t need to a simple swap, visit Bryant and Cairns and we can talk you through the incredible array of new design possibilities, including our warm Solid Roof and WARMRoof options.
CAN I FIT BLINDS IN MY EXISTING CONSERVATORY?
Yes, in most instances blinds can be fitted to both your conservatory roof and side frames. People choose blinds for a number of reasons including privacy, creating a softer ‘feel’ and to reduce glare and furniture fading.
SOME OF MY SEALED UNITS HAVE MISTED UP- WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Once the seal has been broken on the glass unit the only credible long-term solution is to change the unit. But remember, if all your units are failing, upgrade to better high-performance glass and improve winter/summer comfort.
ONE OF MY GLAZING PANELS HAS SLIPPED – HOW CAN THIS BE RECTIFIED?
Panels can be re-engaged into the ridge baffle. The cause of the slipping is generally a PVC glazing bar top capping that has relaxed.
WHAT SHOULD I ASK FOR WHEN SPECIFYING MY CONSERVATORY?
The questions you should ask a potential installer:
- Ask about prior jobs that the installer has undertaken in the area
- Ask for references or testimonials from previous customers
- Ask to see the installer’s certification and official approvals
Having satisfied yourself of the installer’s credentials, you can then:
- Discuss your ideas for a conservatory and ask the installer’s opinion of what would be suitable, based on:
- your budget
- intended size of your conservatory
- the size and location of your house
- the available area for building
- the layout of the surrounding area
- Get an accurate idea of costs
- Ask for a timing plan
- Ask for a full design service, including drawings of how your conservatory will look – this will be provided by the installer’s own design consultant
- Ask for a full technical assessment and plan – this will be provided by the installer’s own surveyor