Tag Archives: conservatory

How to Turn Your Conservatory Into a Getaway for Rest and Thinking

In today’s busy work schedule, few of us ever get much time to ourselves for just relaxing and taking care of our stress levels. It seems that the most of our time is spent these days either taking calls, driving to work or school, or heading to the bank to sort out bills – it’s hardly relaxing and it’s not great for the blood pressure.

But that’s not the big problem. The big problem is that when we come home, we still often fail to properly unwind and relax and instead just hit us with more noise and stress. Instead of sitting down and reading a good book, most of us will go straight from the computer screen at work to another computer screen at home for checking emails or playing computer games. And if it’s not that then we’ll be watching television or looking at our phones.

Surely this is still technically our own free time, but it nevertheless still involves staring at a screen and it still involves constant stimulation meaning that our brain never really gets a chance to relax. It’s no wonder that few of us get the quality sleep we need and that so many people struggle with stress.

A Room to Think

One solution though is to create a room in the house that is designed specifically for relaxing and for recuperating. This room would be designed to be free from screens and monitors so you’d leave out the television, and it would be free from work and interruptions – so no telephone and no pile of documents that need organizing.

The conservatory makes an ideal ‘thinking’ space for a number of reasons. For one it will let in more natural light than other rooms like the living room and it will give you a view of the garden, but at the same time it’s also more conducive to quiet reflection seeing as the living room will be the room you use for the television.

A conservatory serves no real ‘purpose’ in the way that other rooms in the house do, and this means that you can use it 100% for sitting quietly and looking out at the garden with a cup of tea.

Tips for Making it Right

To make this as restful as it can be though you need to ensure that you design it to be as relaxing as possible. Keep the room as minimalist as possible then because this will reduce clutter and make it easier to keep the room tidy. Mess can put unexpected stress on us, so you want this to be the one room of the house where you aren’t reminded you have a lot of house work to do.

Likewise you need somewhere comfortable to sit. Think of something like a lazy boy armchair you can recline in or a sofa and angle it toward the window. You should also aim to make the room feel as natural as possible as this has the effect of helping us feel more at ease. Features like a water fountain can help you achieve this, while wood and stone are great options for your flooring and surfaces.

 

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Decorating Your Conservatory For Winter

Decorating Your Conservatory For Winter When it comes to winter we sometimes avoid our conservatories; although most are well insulated and perfectly warm during the winter months we avoid them almost out of habit, whether we simply don’t want to spend time staring at grey skies and slush in the gardens or whether it’s just that we’d rather stay in bed. The fact of the matter is that a conservatory can be a great space for spending your time regardless of what time of the year it is, and a little bit of wintery decoration might be the encouragement that you need to help you feel more like using your conservatory often during the winter months.

First of all make sure the conservatory is nice and warm, a portable electric radiator is a cheap and effective way of doing this if you do not have a heating system. The cost of a conservatory should not be expensive in the winter because conservatories are relatively small. You should find that it warms up very quickly. Of course if you have wooden or tiled floors these will retain a lot of the cold, so putting down a rug (there are some perfectly nice and very cheap options in most furniture or carpet stores) will help to make walking around the conservatory a little more comfortable and could add a little bit of a cosier feel.

Introducing some warmer colours and a more spring or summer like feel to the conservatory could help you to find it an enjoyable space to spend time in regardless of how cold or terrible the weather is outside. Adding plants and flowers to the room with bright coloured pots can help to make the room feel livelier and using blankets on the furniture can add more colours to the room, red or orange blankets might even give it a warmer and sultrier look. The brighter the colour scheme within your conservatory the more it will be complimented by the open space and amount of light available in the room, this might be nature inspired greens that will compliment your garden and look particularly pretty in spring or it might be bold, summery colours that completely contrast the weather outside.

If your conservatory doesn’t already have blinds you should get some, this will allow for privacy as well as keeping out the glare of sunlight in the summer and retaining more of the heat in the winter. The right selection in blinds can also compliment the room, whether this is with a lively colour or whether it is an interesting pattern. This can be used to emphasise the impact of your furniture and draw more attention to the room. Finally consider what you will be using the room for, during the cold winter months when it gets dark early and going out can be plain miserable. It might be a space you use to relax, perhaps a quiet TV room or a silent space for reading; if the sound of the wind and rain will be a distraction to your activities you might think about installing a more effective sound system for peaceful music or your television.

Many people chose to use a certain theme when decorating; tropical paradise and Caribbean islands are great themes for during the winter when you might want a holiday to a hot location but can’t afford to actually take the holiday. This makes a great spot to sit down and warm up after a terrible day travelling or working in the rain and snow.

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Looking after your conservatory and conservatory furniture

conservatory furniture Conservatories are fantastic structures to have in your home. They look great, they are practical and of an excellent quality. To keep up the profile it’s important for you to keep your conservatory clean and protect your furniture.

The great thing about conservatories is that most are now made form uPVC. uPVC conservatories are very easy to keep clean and tidy if you do little bits on a regular basis. Make sure you keep the windows clean so that they can carry on letting natural light flood in. Use a ladder to get to places you can’t quite reach instead of stretching.

Dust your furniture and any nooks and crannies to eliminate a build up of dirt. Hoover or mop the floors in your conservatory depending on the type of flooring you have. All of the above are basic cleaning duties you would carry out in any other room in your home. A conservatory does however require you to take care of your furniture.

Furniture and pictures that are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time begin to fade and lose their appealing factor. Take a look at how you can prevent and protect your furniture from becoming faded and unsightly.

Blinds are available for both the roof and windows of a conservatory; they are the most widely used method for protection. The blinds contain solar reflective fabrics that will protect everything inside your conservatory from the sun. Blinds are also useful as they provide you with privacy should you want it.

Glass can now be supplied with tinting in it that will provide protection against UV and fading. This type of glass is more expensive however it will be cost effective in the long run as you will save money on improving or replacing your furniture.

Moving furniture around helps fading of furniture to be distributed evenly. You should move your furniture round on a regular basis and turn over the cushions. Doing this will make fading less obvious and make your furniture last for longer.

If however you want furniture that will not fade at all the answer is synthetic rattan furniture. Synthetic rattan furniture looks just as good as real rattan furniture with the added bonus of it being UV resistant.  Synthetic rattan furniture will not fade or change colour when it is exposed to the sun. It is also water resistant so can be left outside and it won’t be damaged if exposed to lots of different weather conditions.

This type of furniture is very sturdy yet it is still light as its frame is made from aluminium. This makes it easy to move round but it is important to lift the furniture rather than drag it as this will put stress on the joints and could result in you damaging the furniture.

Synthetic rattan furniture doesn’t have to be expensive but remember it will save you money long term. Paying a little extra could be well worth your while when it comes to your conservatories prices.

 

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DIY Conservatories – What You Need to Know Before Starting

conservatory A DIY conservative is an attractive option for those who are looking to add to their home without the expense of paying the professionals. Not only will you save on the labour costs but there are some great deals out there for those looking to self build a conservatory, including some companies that will match the best price you can find anywhere else. Before you get started with your DIY conservatory, here are some essentials that you need to know.

1. You don’t need planning permission for a standard conservatory structure as this is considered to be a permitted development. However, there are some conditions to this:

Your conservatory should not be closer to a public right of way (including footpaths) than the original house – if it is you will need planning permission.

  • The only restriction on the width of the conservatory is if it projects beyond the house in which case it must be single storey with a maximum height of 4m and width of no more than half the original house. In terms of depth, where the original house is attached then the depth maximum is 3m, where it is detached (i.e. there is no sold structure connecting it to a neighbouring house) it is 4m.
  • The maximum height for a single storey construction is 4m – above that planning permission is required. It will also be required if you plan to have a conservatory with verandas, balconies or raised platforms, or for it to cover more than half the area of land around the original house – if not then no planning permission is required.

2. Be sure that your conservatory brickwork will fit your base – you can give yourself the best chance of getting this right by using a detailed base/brickwork plan. Make sure that the conservatory is built to the same specifications as your plan – and that you build the brickwork to the same size – and then the fit should be perfect.

 3. If you are building your conservatory over a manhole then you should fit a double sealed manhole cover. You don’t need planning permission for this but if you want to move the position of the manhole cover then you should check local bylaws and any restrictive covenants in your property deeds.

 4. Your conservatory will be exempt from building regulations as long as it is at ground level and has a floor area of less than 30m, at least half of the new conservatory wall and three quarters of the roof are made in a translucent material, the conservatory has external quality doors that separate it from the house, and any glazing and electrical features comply with building regulations.

 5. Be sure to consider rubbish disposal before you start the process of putting up your DIY conservatory. You cannot simply dump waste from the building process in the street but there are services – such as Anyjunk – that will come and remove your rubbish hassle-free.

 

If you’re considering a DIY conservatory then these are the principle issues that you need to grapple with before you begin. If you have any concerns over the design of your structure and whether it will require planning permission, it’s always a good idea to seek advice before constructing, as otherwise you may end up having to take it down. If not then, happy building!

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Extending into the garden

Building a conservatory Some people are lucky enough to enjoy having a large garden, but feel that some of the space could be put to better use. There are a few options available in this situation that would allow you to utilise the space as you wish and range from building a patio are to constructing a brand new room to your home.

The decision of what to do with this extra space depends heavily on what you want from your home or garden. Many feel that their home is missing something like a conservatory or are after a larger kitchen and want to extend out and harness the extra room in the garden.

You may also feel that your house could benefit from a wooden terrace area where you would be able to host BBQs and parties outside in the summer months. With all those options available, you couldn’t be blamed for taking time to decide on what would be the most viable option.

Building a conservatory

Adding an extra room onto your house such as a conservatory will certainly add value to the building and make the appearance of your home much grander. The size of your conservatory will very much depend on what you want to get out of it; if it is to be a room to relax in, then one with a lot of glass will be best, as would one that isn’t overly big in stature.

Bigger conservatories will be better for those who are keen to host parties and have large groups come visit their house. Just remember that having a conservatory built requires a lot of work and if doing the work yourself if you’ve got the correct credentials, think about the equipment you’ll need and getting lifting equipment hire from Lifting Gear UK. It is also important to match the building to the rest of the house and don’t create something that sticks out too much from the décor of the home.

Building a terrace

A terrace can be as complicated as you want it to be; the main idea behind a terrace is for place to host groups of people in the summer, but it can also be a place of personal relaxation therefore you need to consider how the space will be utilised.

If you enjoy your BBQ, then you’ll probably be purchasing a large BBQ unit to cook with and so the space for that needs to be made available, as will the various power inputs for any electrical units you might want to have out on the terrace too. Remember to think about heaters for the evening and maybe even something as extravagant as TVs and music systems.

Again, if doing the project yourself, consider the work ahead and any lifting equipment you might require, as well as the materials that might include wooden beams and foundations.

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How to Build a DIY Conservatory

If you want to build a conservatory, first chose a spot with adequate sunlight – there’s not much point installing a room covered with windows if it’s hidden away between large walls or tall trees! Your conservatory can either attach to your home or be free-standing, so this may be dictated by where around your property gets a good view of the garden. If you attach it to your home, you will have one less wall to build, and therefore the materials will be cheaper and the construction will be slightly quicker. Finally, make sure to check building codes in your area before you begin. For example, in the UK, planning permission is necessary if the base of the conservatory is over 50% of the footprint of the existing house.

First, decide on the dimensions of the room and measure the area where you want to build. If you want it to be square, measure the diagonals; if they are the same length, you will have a square room. Put stakes in the ground and run a chalk line from one of the markers to the next to plan where the walls will go.
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To make concrete footings, dig a trench one foot deep and two feet wide. Place form boards of the appropriate length in the trenches. Add re-bars for reinforcement. Then pour and level the concrete. Before the concrete gets too hard, insert D-bolt anchors into the top of the concrete where vertical posts can be fastened. When the concrete has cured, remove the forms.

Now, prepare the floor by removing the sod. Pour in the fill dirt, whether clay dirt or gravel, and compress it with a compactor. You’ll want about four inches each of gravel and concrete. If you want a drain pipe, it should be installed at this time. Also decide whether you want to run in electric or gas. Next, lay down a sheet of damp-proof plastic. Put down mesh, pour the concrete and tamp it.

Choose your frame material; cypress and treated lumber are good affordable options, although upvc is by far the most popular – it has the lowest cost, but the greatest durability! You can also use redwood, cedar, aluminum or steel, although these are the no-expense-spared options, and make sure if you’re using a conservatory with a wooden frame that you make everything is properly weather-treated, and there is an allowance made for slight warping over time. Next, build the frame. Put in corner posts, attaching them to the D-bolt anchors. Brace these with long boards, secured with screws and washers. Add additional horizontal beams. Attach diagonal tie bars. Connect the rafters to the ridge with framing nails. Attach the frame to the house walls with studs. After the frame is done, stain the wood.

Next, add the dwarf wall. Lay out bricks between the posts, using mortar to seal them. Tap the bricks into place with your trowel, making sure to level and plumb as you go. Finish the joints with a pointing tool. Instead of placing the bricks between the frame, you can first build a dwarf wall, then attach the frame to the top of it. Alternately, you can leave out the wall completely and simply attach the frame to the foundation.

Finally, add the glass or plastic. Lay the glass in place on the roof, using stop blocks to avoid slippage. Put in some silicone sealant, then put the glass in place, glazing around all four sides of it with mastic-type glaze or plastic glaze. If it is a fixed pane, it can be nailed to the posts or set in tracks. Use strips of cypress, screwed into place, to secure the glass.

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uPVC Conservatories: Bringing the Outside Inside

To build or not to build, uPVC conservatories create one of the most difficult debates for those who really love their garden. On one hand, building a conservatory means that you lose the part of your garden where you build it. The alternative view though is that by creating a conservatory or garden room you are able to gain so much more enjoyment from your garden all year round.

In the UK, even those of us who are hardcore gardeners know that there will be a long period of time over the winter where we are able to make very little use of our garden. Rain and cold tends to take a lot of the enjoyment out of spending time outdoors. From the comfort and warmth of your conservatory, however, you can spend much more time in your garden. A particularly effective way to do this is to ensure that the theme that you follow in the garden is continued with similar plants and colours in the conservatory as you find outside.
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Of course winter is an obvious time when entertaining and spending time in the garden can be challenging, but with the unpredictable nature of our weather it can be hard to plan a garden party even in the height of summer. It might be warm, but what if it rains? Having a conservatory allows you to plan BBQs and outdoor entertainment with the complete confidence that should the weather take a turn for the worse you can always shelter in the conservatory and still maintain the same relaxed garden party feeling.

Summer evenings are another time where we might want to spend time in the garden but as it starts to get cooler it can be tempting to take the party indoors. uPVC conservatories can really create a seamless connection between the garden and your home. Your family will feel the same way and you will be surprised at how happily you will find children and pets running from the garden to the conservatory and back again.

uPVC conservatories may be a way of adding a new room to your house, but for me they are also a magical way of getting a lot more enjoyment out of your garden. It might be hard to give up the space to build one, but just think about all the benefits that you are getting in exchange. Not only a bigger house, but also a better loved garden!

 

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