Centurion DIY Conservatories Advise On Designing Your Conservatory

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The weather in the UK seem to have become hotter and wetter in recent years. Centurion DIY Conservatories have a range of products to ensure the greatest use from the conservatories and explain some of the factors to consider when designing a conservatory.

Looking out of the office window at yet another disappointing day in the "Barbeque Summer" that never quite materialised, Deborah Chadfield, Division Manager at Centurion DIY Conservatories, reflected on the importance of the weather in influencing customers' decisions when purchasing a DIY conservatory, and how getting the design and specification right, and thinking carefully about the use to be made of the conservatory, can result in a wonderfully flexible room useable throughout the summer whatever the weather.

Interest in gardening and outdoor living has been at record levels, with weather-proof stay-out furniture allowing the garden to be used almost as an extra room in summer. (The recent Halifax Home Improvement Survey identified garden improvements as Britain's second most popular home improvement). When days are consistently sunny and summers reliably settled it is easy to be lured into a sense of security, and to choose to develop patio or decking areas rather than undertake the larger task of conservatory construction, especially on a DIY basis.

The inclement weather of recent summers has forced people indoors, curtailing outdoor eating and entertaining. However, it's a truly ill wind that blows no good for anyone - bad results for garden furniture sales is good news for DIY conservatory companies. The conservatory has always been used as a perfect solution in bridging between the house and garden, but now more than ever it is being seen as a solution to the desire to get outside, barbeque and admire the garden without having to retreat into the main house should the weather prove unsympathetic.

Improvements in roof eaves beam technology has allowed DIY conservatory designers to incorporate larger bi-fold and sliding patio doors into conservatories. Conservatories with doors opening right up to three metres width give a real feeling of openness, inviting the garden into the home while giving shelter from those all-too-frequent showers. Many buyers keen to make their self build conservatories as light and airy as possible also choose to glaze the conservatory roof with glass rather than polycarbonate to enjoy whatever the elements deliver without the "drumming" noise always experienced inside when rain falls even on thicker polycarbonate conservatory roof materials.

Of course it doesn't really rain all the time, and to enjoy a conservatory in summer it is also necessary to think about how to keep it cool when we are enjoying a hot spell. Once again the larger bi-fold and sliding patio door options provide a perfect way of opening up the room to let the sunshine in and the heat out. But a badly ventilated conservatory glazed with the wrong materials can allow inside temperatures to soar above 40° if the room is closed up for any period - while owners are at work for example.

A good DIY conservatory supplier will always talk through the options with a client, and there are lots of practical ways to keep your self build conservatory comfortable in Summer. Extra ventilation through opening windows is the obvious solution, but roof vents can offer a better through-draft to clear hot air in the roof, especially in pitched Edwardian, Victorian or Gable roofs. Climate control electric vents open and close automatically, and will shut down if it rains.

Anti-sun polycarbonate is a good option on South or West facing conservatories, or alternatively there are a range of excellent anti-sun glass options available to reflect heat and reduce solar gain. Many of these offer other benefits too, including impressive thermal values and easy-clean external coatings so that time can be spent enjoying the new conservatory rather than cleaning the roof!

Advice from Centurion DIY Conservatories to any homeowner considering a self-build conservatory is to talk at length to any possible supplier to make sure they understand exactly what the conservatory is to be used for. A good supplier should advise on the best materials and design possible to suit the customer's requirements and budget to create a truly useful additional room to be enjoyed throughout the year.

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Deborah Chadfield
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