If you have a white PVC conservatory, the thought of getting rid of it might have already crossed your mind. Whatever the reason – too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, looks tired and dated – you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that the days of your old conservatory needn’t be numbered just re-invent it. So before you contact the demolition team, make sure you read our expert advice, from glazing specialist Dan Smith from Kent-based DWL Windows, Doors & Conservatories, on how to give your old conservatory a new lease of life.
If you don’t use your conservatory for most of the year, that’s probably because it is either too cold in the winter, too stuffy in the summer, or both. Advancements in glazing technology over the past few years have made it possible to eliminate this issue altogether. Old-fashioned conservatories used to be built with polycarbonate roofs which were noisy when raining, and not really known for their insulation value.
One of the most common solutions to re-invent a conservatory is to replace its dated polycarbonate roof with a glass one. Dan comments: “Glass roofs for conservatories can be specified with one pane of solar glass on the outside – to reduce solar heat gain in the summer months, and an inner pane specifically designed to reflect long wave heat back into the room – to ensure the conservatory stays a pleasant, warm temperature during the cold period.”
Changing the roof also offers the opportunity to opt for a new design. This conservatory has been revived by DWL Windows with the addition of a replacement glass roof which has been rebuilt from an unflattering “lean to” shape, into an Edwardian pitched roof that perfectly complements the property.
Dan said: “Thanks to the comfortable environment it now offers, the conservatory has been reinvented as an attractive, family-bonding space, and is currently being used as a dining room by the homeowners.”
Hard to believe in today’s architectural context, with glass being the driving force behind so many contemporary new-builds, but a full-glass feature might not be for everyone. If you’re looking with envy towards your next door neighbour’s new glazed extension, then perhaps it is time to give your conservatory a more permanent “feel” and look.
“This can be achieved by opting for a solid or tiled roof,” said Dan. “These replacement roofs are a great way of converting a conservatory from an occasional room to a living space used all year-round, and enjoyed by the whole family.”
A tiled roof also has the merit of making a conservatory look more like an integral part of the house, similar to an extension, something many homeowners prefer.
Simply replacing the roof of a conservatory with a more contemporary solution is a simple, straightforward and affordable way of recovering this neglected living space and adding more value to a home. Prices will vary depending on what option you go for, as well as specification (if you’re going for glass), and size of your conservatory, however a roof replacement is usually a much more reasonably priced solution than building a brand new extension.
“It’s worth noting that unfortunately not all conservatories will take a new roof, as some might prove structurally unsound,” said Dan. “This is why you’ll need to choose a competent supplier that can offer professional advice based on the specifics of your property. Online resources such as ‘Checkatrade’ can help with your decision making process, as they promote recommended and trusted tradesmen.”
With a solid roof in place, you might find yourself missing the huge levels of natural light your previous roof was offering. If that’s the case, you can introduce more daylight to your conservatory from above with high-performance roof windows.
If you do choose to re-invent your conservatory it’s not all about structural work. Once the space has been turned into a comfortable room, it’s time to add some detail and choose its destination. The owners of this conservatory redesigned by DWL Windows have chosen to utilise the space as a dining room, enabling them to enjoy their beautifully landscaped garden all year-round.
Dan said: “The owners opted for some elegant, minimalistic lighting for the conservatory, which really enhances the room. Thanks to the glass roof DWL have installed, this space is now functional, comfortable, and attractive for the entire family.
“This is just an example of how conservatories can be revived and turned into a family favourite without having to ‘break the bank’.
“I agree that keeping a conservatory might not match everyone’s home improvement plans, which is why DWL offer the whole range of architectural glazing products and installation services – from timber effect windows and doors, to slimline aluminium frames and seamless glazing – very popular in glass-box extensions,” added Dan.
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