For information on uPVC plastic, hardwood, timber and aluminium bespoke conservatories in the UK

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Before you start leafing through the glossy brochures there are a few things you need to take into consideration, options such as the type of material, uPVC plastic, Aluminium, the types of wood, hardwood or Timber (softwood) and whether you are looking for more of a bespoke conservatory:

Where will the conservatory be sited? This could make a great deal of difference to the size. You may need to consider a bespoke conservatory.

What do you want to use it for? Conservatories have any number of uses - from a sunny room to relax in and enjoy the garden, to an office, dining room, living room extension, play room… so you need to have some idea of the use to have an idea of the size.

What materials should the frame be made of? A great deal of this is down to personal choice and the style of your home.

One of the most popular materials is uPVC (sometimes called PVCu or even plastic). It is cost-effective, versatile, hardwearing and often needs little or no maintenance. The most popular colour is white, although wood effects are available in choices such as mahogany or oak.

Hardwood framed conservatories often appeal to people with more traditional tastes, owners of listed buildings or those who live in areas where planners will only allow wood. These do require some maintenance to keep the timber sound. The choices of colours include staining the wood - or painting with white, cream, green or brown are often favourites.

Aluminium. Once a very popular choice but not seen often nowadays. The plus side is the strength of the frames. The downside is often the appearance, and the fact that aluminium’s insulation properties are not as good as uPVC.

Glass. All modern conservatories should be double-glazed to give all-year-round use. Look for the use of toughened glass to ensure higher levels of safety. And stained of bevelled panels can give a conservatory a unique look.

What Style? This is where the fun begins. But one tip is to look closely at the style of your home. Study what other people with similar homes have chosen - do you like the styles, would they enhance your home or just look our of place? A well-chosen conservatory should add monetary value, as will as valuable living space, to your home. One that looks out-of-place will not help the saleable value.

Quality - As with most things, often you get the quality you pay for. Check out cross-sections of PVCu frame. You may be surprised to find it has an aluminium core. This helps with the strength of the wall. Specially made panels will be much better quality and usually thicker than those used by companies who just substitute window frames for proper panels. Good quality uPVC panels should have a British standard award to show that they are fit for the job.

Service - How good is the service the company offers? Will it help with gaining planning permission if it is necessary? How good is the base the conservatory is to be built on - are the footings to be installed to a good depth? Will a qualified surveyor take measurements? How long is the guarantee for? Is the company part of a recognised trade body which will honour the guarantee if the company ceases trading? Do you know anyone who will tell you about their experiences with the company?

Choosing - Visit several conservatory specialists. Check what they have to offer, prices, length of time before installation will commence, length of time of the installation, are surveyors and installers qualified?

What security features does the conservatory have. How good are locks, is glass toughened, do sliding doors have anti-jack features to help prevent being forced by a tool like a crowbar?

Will there be adequate ventilation to allow you to use the conservatory all-year-round?

A conservatory is an expensive home improvement, ensure someone visits your home to give advice.

For further information, you can request a brochure or a quotation from our online quote services, giving you information from up to 3 companies in your area.

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Quotatis Ltd
Suite 1, Joseph King House, Abbey Farm Industrial Estate, Horsham St Faith, Norwich, NR10 3JU
Tel: 08448 044 344 - International: +44 1603 899910 - Fax: 01603 899919
Registered in England 05643725