Conservatories and orangeries have long been a popular extension choice for homes, and for good reason. They can be designed to perfectly complement the style of your property, they deliver significantly more natural light into your home, and they offer a more seamless integration with your outside space that allows you to enjoy uninterrupted views of your garden. That said, conservatories have also meant significant temperature extremes that have made them difficult to enjoy all year round.
Thankfully, that no longer needs to be the case. Whether you choose an extension with velux sky lights, a modern hybrid conservatory extension or even an entirely glass roof, you can now enjoy your conservatory throughout the four seasons.
Our approved network of suppliers can assist you with your conservatory extension in London and Surrey.
The thermal images demonstrate how the two main heat loss areas are the eves and corners. Adding insulated pelmet to the eves and insulated pillars and corner posts significantly reduces heat loss – it’s the equivalent of wearing a scarf and gilet body warmer!
As a rule of thumb, the higher the square meterage of pillars, posts, abutment wall and dwarf wall, the less heating you will require (and the warmer you will be in the evenings and winter). In addition, the lower the U-value (heat loss calculation) of the wall, the better – so the wall material is crucial. Design-wise, pillars, posts or abutment walls have the added benefit of fitting in to the design of your home.
This means that your conservatory will feel like a natural extension of your property while simultaneously integrating with your outside space as well.
When building conservatories, the industry norm is standard A-rated double glazing for the wall glass and Pilkington active blue glazing for the roof. However, both of these can be upgraded, should you wish to be even more comfortable in your conservatory all year round.
Heat block glass in the roof will prevent most of the heat escaping and still let in 17% of the sun’s heat – just enough to warm you in any season without overheating.
Specifically, we’d recommend a blue tinted, triple-coated, double-glazed unit for the roof (2 x premium low e-soft coat and 1 x heat reflective coat), and a double-coated clear coat for the walls (1 x low e-soft coat and 1 x heat reflective coat).
The photo shows a heat lamp test that compares industry standard roof glazing with Celsius One high performance glass. Should you wish to opt for a premium option, Celsius Elite roof glass demonstrates even better results.
We recommend maximum insulation in your walls and the floor. This will prevent cold zones and improve heat retention.
Timber posts are particularly thermally efficient. Alternatively, if you’d prefer a more contemporary look and feel, consider using polystyrene-filled aluminium abutment walls, pillars and corner posts. These represent the equivalent of 23 tog quilts with a U-value as low as 0.16 (10 x warmer than standard double glazing at 1.6).
The Ultraframe Loggia or Durabase engineered walling products are our recommended superior aluminium alternatives to stone or rendered pillars and corner posts. The former offers a contemporary aluminium look and the latter uses brick or stone cladding (slips), which is laid on to prefabricated walling in the factory. This retains even more heat than timber or traditional walling, is particularly strong and has the added benefit of being slim in appearance.
It’s perfect for smaller and larger structures, as posts and pillars can be 300mm, 450mm or 600mm. By contrast, brick and block posts should start at 600mm to achieve a similar strength.
Part solid/part glass is an appealing mid-way option between a solid felt or pitched roof, and a typical all-glass conservatory roof. This option is increasingly popular for a few reasons: firstly, they look great, and secondly, they offer outstanding heat retention due to the high degree of insulation. Part solid/part glass roofs are easily achieved with either timber roof beams or modern hybrid conservatory roof systems.
Our recommended roof system brand is Ultraframe. They manufacture several leading roof alternatives including the Ultraroof380, the Livinroof, Loggia columns and top-specification glazed roofs.
That said, there are other good brands out there for which we’d be happy to source trade estimates through our approved installer network.
A thermally efficient alternative to a standard wet base and brickwork is a structurally engineered dry base system. Where a wet base involves digging up much of your garden before laying the footings and a concrete floor, a dry base is made up of a prefabricated steel girder floor with insulated timber flooring laid over the top.
The walls of a dry base are made up of insulated aluminium which are plastered on the interior and rendered, brick clad (using slips) or stone clad externally. A dry base looks and feels just like a regular solid base in every way and has the added benefit of being prefabricated, thereby causing minimal damage to your garden.
This system is even used commercially – for example, McDonald’s and Burger King use dry bases for speed and consistency on site, yet the buildings look and feel like standard construction in every way.
A ‘no-salesperson’, no-obligation emailed quote
A free home visit, if required (for those in London and Surrey)
CAD drawings with detailed specifications for each quoted product
Realistic before & after photo simulations, if required