Planning a Conservatory Extension


The British Summer isn’t exactly a lengthy occasion and for those of us who enjoy the beautiful outdoors it will never last long enough. When the rains come around and Autumn brings the frost it simply isn’t feasible to sit outside for long periods of time to enjoy our gardens, we’re forced to retreat inside where the beauty of nature is only to be seen through small windows.

Unless, of course, you have a conservatory. Conservatories are excellent rooms that latch on nicely to the back of your home and give you all the atmosphere of being outside with none of that nasty, drizzly rain. One of the best things about a conservatory is the fact that it is like a world between your garden and your house and you can reap all the benefits of your house whilst enjoying the picturesque environment of your garden. This means none of those horribly uncomfortable garden chairs – you can enjoy proper cushioned chairs and sofas.

But the most important thing of all is that you feel surrounded by beauty – that’s the idea of a conservatory after all. So you wouldn’t just leave your new conservatory undecorated, one wall unpainted and the floor in its raw concrete state, would you?

In my opinion, conservatories should only be built when you already have plenty of living space – never build one in place of a proper extension! Why? No matter how good the glass claims to be, it will never be as well insulated as 30cm of bricks, blocks and insulation, with several layers of solid board insulation in the roof and more in the floors.

But, they do make a lovely place to sit in the spring or even on a warm, winter’s day. So long as you do not try to keep the room hot all winter, and only time the heating for when you use it, it should not be a huge drain on the fuel bills – I read on Mumsnet that somebody built a massive conservatory living space, but their gas bills went up by over £1000 a year to keep it warm all winter!

But, if you accept that it is a special room for when conditions are “just right”, a conservatory can be great. I am also thinking about infra-red heaters for instant, localised heating, when required.

What Floor? Maybe …. Carpet ….

Choosing the right floor for my new kitchen and living room extension was a hard enough task, but I have recently been thinking about creating a conservatory. Now I have more living space, I fancy a luxury summer room.

The floor is often the last thing to be installed into any room, if only because it can be ruined by other tasks completed during a decoration process, but that doesn’t mean that it should be given any less consideration when you first start working on your room and thinking about the kind of things you want from a room. I eventually chose Karndean for my kitchen and living room extension, but I feel that something more earthly is needed in a conservatory.

When considering a floor for a room, let your own style and the style of the room influence the final choice – a large cosy living room with a beautiful stone fireplace isn’t going to rock a linoleum floor any more than a kitchen should be carpeted. For the most part the options are obvious, but what about a conservatory? What kind of floor should a conservatory have?

Presumably if you’re installing a new conservatory, you have, at the very least, a slight affinity with nature and your garden. This should lead you automatically to wood or stone, which are excellent options for a number of reasons, but if wood and stone don’t immediately inspire you, it really isn’t much of a problem.

Conservatories that lead into kitchens often opt for an easy to clean laminate or vinyl flooring and whilst carpeted conservatories aren’t hugely popular (probably through the risk of mud and dirt from the garden) there are still people that decide that is what will work for them.

I have been toying with the idea of Cormar Carpets – these are easy clean, which means they could work in a conservatory with limited footfall. My conservatory will be a side room, and not the main entrance to the garden, so I won’t have to worry about the kids charging in and out all day. This will give it more warmth in winter – and it should be cheaper than Karndean too!

I might be able to get away with normal carpets, but I think it would make sense to get something that is easy (easier?) clean.

Carpet is described here as being a “A ‘warm’ and flexible choice” for a conservatory – and their conservatories are awesome, so they must know what they are talking about! I am still not sure I convince the boss though ….

More like this in the Planning and Design section

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