In the UK, conservatories are one of the most common form of home extensions. In a country with sporadic summers and significant rainfall, a glass extension can greatly improve the amount of natural light and warmth in your home. If done correctly, a conservatory can add a good deal of value to your home. However, if done badly, you might be left with a leaking, rotting shack on the side of your house that, in the worst case, needs tearing down. Follow these tips and save yourself a renovation nightmare.
Planning and Regulations
Before you make any plans, and certainly before you spend any money, read up about single-story extensions and what the process is for applying for permission. If you are confused, contact the planning office at your local council and ask for some advice. By doing this before thinking about plans you will save yourself heartache.
Something that is often overlooked when planning single story extensions is the need for a structural engineer to check over the design. If the new addition to your house requires change to the roof, floor or walls of your property getting a structural survey could be necessary. First and foremost, understanding the limits of what is possible will make the process smoother
When deliberating over potential designs, look out at what your neighbours have done. Ask yourself how your new structure will best fit with the aesthetic of the local area. If your house and the other houses in your village are made of Cotswold stone, for example, try to incorporate this material into your design. Little details like this will keep your neighbours happy and look good to potential buyers.
When planning any building, try to imagine how the new structure will impact upon the area around it. Is the conservatory going to impact upon your views out of other windows perhaps, or might you be in danger of being overlooked? Although the planning office will check for this when considering any application, it is good to check for yourself.
If you are going to have a green oak frame, for example, although the material requires little maintenance you might want to think about ways to prevent cracking. Similarly, the glass you use in the conservatory will make a big difference to how it looks at the end of the project. Any material used must age well and be able to withstand unusual or adverse weather conditions such as heavy snowfall. Just because the past few years have been relatively clear on the snow front doesn’t mean the next decade will be. Try to imagine that you are building this conservatory to last for many years, not just the amount of time you will stay in the property.
Once you have decided on a design that you are happy with and received your planning notice if required, the next stage is to decide upon a building firm to carry out the work. It is crucial that you pick a good, reputable tradesperson or company. If a quote seems too good to be true, there’s every chance that it is.