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A guide to DIY conservatories

When it becomes too cold to enjoy the garden outside, the conservatory will be the ideal alternative. A self-build conservatory is possible with the aid of some DIY kits. However, if you want to build a conservatory for year-round use, heating and cooling it in summer will be expensive. Here is a guide to planning your conservatory wisely to create an efficient space.

Separate conservatories

The best option is always to have a conservatory that can be shut off from the rest of the house with the doors. That way, excessive heat or cold in the conservatory won't effect the temperature in the rest of the adjacent rooms. Conservatories separated in this way, won't need to conform to the latest Building Regulations requirements on insulated glazing, unlike those joined to the home by a permanent opening.

Limit the glass area

Even the highest-specification conservatory glass will leak heat at a much higher rate than a brick wall. To minimise your heating and cooling costs, and improve the comfort of the new room, limit the glass area by creating a sun-room extension instead, with tiles or slates over at least part of the roof. This is likely to require building control approval. Moreover, you should check with your local planning control office first.

Choosing double-glazing

When planning conservatory designs, specify the best glazing that you can afford. All double glazing should have a low-emissivity coating on the cavity side of the inner pane, but you can ask for this on both panes of glass. Choose double-glazed units filled with argon if you can, as these will insulate better that those with an air gap. Furthermore, consider using solar-control glass for the outer pane, these have a subtle green, blue or brown tint to absorb heat from the sun, or a silver coating(like mirror sunglasses) to reflect it. Endnote If you are not too keen on designing your own conservatory, you can always pay a visit to one of the many conservatory manufacturers on the market. Offering bespoke conservatories, Edwardian style conservatories or simple DIY porches, companies such as DIY Conservatories UK are sure to be able to help you, whatever your needs.

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