As beautiful as the west of Scotland is, warm weather and sunshine is not something we experience very often outside the magical few weeks of summer. If you are craving some vitamin D, why not consider a conservatory as the ideal way to enjoy the great outdoors when the weather is less than perfect?
Here are our top tips if you are thinking of expanding your home:
- Your two options are to pay a professional or to do it yourself. There are lots of great DIY options available and the lower cost is certainly attractive. However, be aware a concrete base will need to be installed as well as attaching the panels to your property’s external walls, so it is a big job to take on. Tradespeople will likely be needed for heating and electrical supply too so the costs of self-assembly can add up quickly.
- A specialist installer can offer minimal involvement for you and a fixed cost from the outset (barring any changes to requirements).
- Check out double glazing companies which often offer expertise in conservatories too thanks to the large volumes of glass involved.
- Research all prospective companies closely and draw yourself up a shortlist which looks at the best value for money as well as the best online reviews.
- Call each of the companies on your shortlist for a chat to see how comfortable you feel with them. Remember this is a large, likely expensive, job so you want to feel confident it is in the right hands.
- Once you have narrowed down your search to two or three companies, ask to see examples of previous work and customer feedback to help inform your final decision.
- Don’t part with any money unless they are an established firm with registered premises. They should also be happy to conduct site visits in advance.
- If you have the luxury of more than one area the conservatory can be placed, choose wisely. Consider which direction it will face – attaching it to the northern wall of a property invokes permanent shade and may necessitate additional heat sources, whereas a west-facing conservatory will be less pleasant in the mornings than at night. Go for the sunniest location possible.
- The choice of frame materials is important and subjective in equal measure – for instance, wood can look very classy but requires greater maintenance.
- Advanced planning can make a conservatory a year-round companion, rather than simply a fair-weather friend. Consider options such as insulation and central heating.
- Consider the type of flooring you prefer. Laminate floors are popular for their mud-resistance and durability, but in tandem with all that glass, they can make conservatories feel cold.
- Finally, not all conservatories require planning permission, but there are various criteria that have to be met to avoid it, so always check with your local council whether a formal planning application will be required.