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FAQs For Conservatories

If you’re considering a conservatory, you’ll no doubt have many questions to ask about what’s involved in adding a useful, stylish glazed extension to your home.

Here are some of the more common frequently asked questions about conservatories – and the answers:

In general, the answer is no. Conservatories are considered to be permitted developments, but there are exceptions. You will need planning permission if more than 50% of the ground around the house is to be covered; if the conservatory is forward of the front or side of the house facing a road; if the conservatory is more than four metres high; and in the case of a rear conservatory it must not extend more than 8 metres from the rear wall of the house in a detached property, and 6 metres in a semi-detached property.

When you commission Abbey Glass & Windows to build your customised conservatory we will explain all the planning specifications and the building rules and regulations to help you design a perfect solution.

An orangery is a stone or brick built extension containing large, tall windows and a door on one or more sides. An orangery usually has a flat roof, inset with a glass lantern.

A conservatory is set on a low brick base but is otherwise a fully glazed structure, built against the wall of a house. The glass roof is usually pitched.

Here at Abbey Glass & Windows we supply and fit market leading K2 conservatories and orangeries with numerous customisable options.

A conservatory is far cheaper to install when compared with all the costs associated with building a home extension. Conservatories come pre-fabricated and are quick to erect, whereas builders could take months to construct an extension, which would probably also entail paying fees for planning.

The depth of the footings for a conservatory depend largely on the quality of the ground – the poorer the soil the deeper the footings will have to be to ensure a firm foundation. A general guide is that in clay soil the footing depth should be a minimum of 900mm, whereas sandy, gravelly soil can have footings of at least 600mm deep.

When Abbey Glass & Windows install a conservatory we survey the site in detail and assess the correct footings required for the structure to suit the ground conditions, so your conservatory will stand proud for many a year.

Most conservatory projects take around three to four weeks to complete. During the first week the groundworks are prepared, and the dwarf walls for the base constructed. During the second week the frames are erected and electrical work begins. In week three flooring and glazing is installed while electrical work is completed. A fourth week is sometimes necessary for the final finishing. This is by no means a timeline cast in stone – a lot depends on the complexity of the conservatory itself, and the work involved in preparing the foundations.

If you are to use your conservatory through the winter months it’s likely you will want to heat it somehow. By legal definition a conservatory has to have its own heating, independent from the rest of the house to be exempt from building regulations. You can put in a radiator, but if it is connected to the central heating in the main house then it will be subject to building regulations and you will need to apply for Building Control certification. You’d also need to make sure you existing boiler and heating system is up to the task of taking on the heating of the conservatory.

A conservatory needs a level base to stand on, but this doesn’t mean it cannot be built onto ground that either slopes upwards or downwards from the house. A surveyor will be able to ascertain what groundworks are required to ensure a level foundation base, and if necessary steps can be installed for access.

If kept clean and well-maintained modern uPVC conservatories, like the high-quality K2 conservatories that Abbey Glass & Windows install, can last for decades.

When warm air meets cold air it condenses into water vapour, and when this comes into contact with a cold pane of glass it turns into water droplets. When this happens frequently in a conservatory the moisture can become trapped inside, resulting in a build-up of damp and mould. The solution is ventilation – something that comes standard with K2 Conservatories, which is one of the reasons Abbey Glass & Windows are pleased to be approved installers of this top conservatory range.

Not at all! Most people opt for white frames, but modern uPVC conservatories come in a range of colours that allows you to match the structure to the trimmings on your house, or go for a woodgrain finish that has the aesthetic appeal of timber with none of the maintenance required by wood.

If you have any further questions about conservatories, don’t hesitate to contact us at Abbey Glass & Windows – we’re happy to help.

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