Conservatory Roofs: Things you should know before choosing a roof

Glass Roofing is the basic structure that distinguishes a conservatory from the house. Most conservatory roofs look simple and similar to a layman, but the design, fabrication and installation is not quite so simple a procedure.

There are companies that specialize in developing roofing systems. Most of the conservatory installation companies purchase the roofs from the bigger companies that specialize in roofing systems.

In order to understand conservatory roofs, we must discuss its three different aspects separately.
• Glass
• Frames
• Ventilation

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uPVC Conservatories | Advantages and Disadvantages Discussed

Thinking of adding a conservatory to your home? Are you unsure about how you are going to maintain it? Well, it’s not quite so difficult these days!

With the advancement in science and technology, in an era when man is thinking of settling on the moon, why leave our poor homes in the shackles of age old wooden and aluminum frames. As if the doors and windows do not already take up considerable effort and expenses in cleaning and repairing. To think of an entire conservatory in wood can be quite old fashioned and expensive.

PVC or PolyVinylChloride has revolutionized the home and construction industry. PVC has become a part of our lifestyle from small things such as torches and table mats to big things as pipes and doors. Improvements in PVC brought UPVC or Unplasticised PolyVinylChloride. UPVC is hardened PVC which is used in making doors, windows and conservatory frames. This material commands certain advantages that have contributed to its popularity and surge in demand.

Occasional cleaning with soapy water is all that is required to keep it sparkling. The colors do not fade or peel. No need to repaint after a couple of years. Combined with self cleaning glass, they are the ultimate solution for the conservatory where climbing the roof top is difficult.

Non reactivity to water prevents swelling, rusting, rotting or warping. It is built to resist strong winds, stroke and sunlight. The corners are made extra strong to prevent deformation.

The UPVC profiles allow for single, double or even triple glazing of conservatories. Double Glazing insulates the conservatory against heat loss, thus saving on energy bills. It also prevents the buildup of fog during rains. Double Glazing is nowadays becoming a standard in wooden and aluminum conservatories too.

The profiles are constructed on state of the art machines. They do not have gaps for rain water to seep in. There is no risk of leaky roofs. Its molecules do not allow permeability of sound waves. Thus, your neighbors are not disturbed when you party. And the car honks do not disturb you while you study or relax.

They come in variety of designs and colours that will make your orangery gel with your existing house. You can also opt for wood grain finish on the exterior and/or in the interior making it look like a wooden orangery. UPVC can be made from recycled plastic, thus making it eco-friendly. uPVC is not easily inflammable. It requires very high temperatures for it to catch fire. Thus it helps in stopping the spread of fire.

Whatever be the benefits, PVCU takes a back seat in terms of look and feel. It cannot match the grandeur of wood or the sophistication of aluminum conservatories! They are good insulators, but not as warm as wood. They are strong, but cannot withstand weather conditions as much as aluminum. They are available in various design and colour combinations, but do not provide a canvass to an architect’s imagination.

There have been complaints of UPVC conservatories causing excessive glare. The original roof design, projection and location should be checked to avoid too much of direct sunlight. External coatings that reflect UV rays should be used.

That taken care of, all other things that go into building a good conservatory automatically fall into place when you use uPVC as your material of choice.

Conservatory Doors: How to Choose a Door For Your Conservatory

The design, material and placement of the conservatory doors can enhance or destroy the use, look and feel of your conservatory.

The following types of doors are available in the market:

  • Bi-folding doors—These doors consist of 2-3 framed panels that are joined by hinges. When opened fully, they fold onto each other in a zigzag manner. They are very useful in large conservatories with big openings from the outside. They allow a lot of people to enter the garden room at the same time. It is possible to open the door only as much as required.
  • Tilt and Slide Doors—These are the most innovative doors available today. It tilts horizontally like a see-saw——allowing in fresh air and sunlight and protecting from rain. Alternatively, it can also slide against a fixed side panel, allowing free passage to people and furniture.
  • French doors – The classic double doors can be adapted to any home, style and size. They can be made to open either inwards or outwards. Width of the doors can be increased for larger openings to give a royal look. Unlike other doors, they give 100% access to passage. Very popular as conservatory main doors leading to the garden. Smaller versions also used as side doors and back doors.
  • Inline Sliding doors — Commonly referred to as patio-doors. Consist of 2-3-4 sashes that slide on rails and collect to one side when fully open. Can open up to ¾th of the door aperture. There is no wastage of space. Widely used as doors joining the home and the garden.
  • Single-swing doors — These doors may open to an angle of 180 degrees. Here again, there is no space wasted.
  • Quad doors with screens (twice the opening for maximum access and ventilation)— it is like an extension of French doors in the form of two bi- folding doors.

Sunrooms are built with a motive of obtaining maximum natural light and air. Keeping this in mind, the doors are made of transparent material such as glass or uPVC. The type of glass used for doors and windows of conservatories is toughened glass with single, double or triple glazing.

Glazing is a process by which two sheets of glass (say of 4 mm thickness) are sealed with a gap of 16mm. This gap is filled with Argon Gas. The double glass makes it harder to break in. And the Argon gas prevents loss of heat from within the house. Even PVC doors and windows come with glazing options.

No matter how much of light is required, the glass used for the doors and windows need not be plane and jane. Decorative glass such as – Diamond /Rectangular leads, coloured glass, stained or beveled glass, sandblasted glass and transfers may be used.

The door frames and rails are made of wood, aluminum or PVC. Wood has been a traditional choice for conservatory doors and windows not only for its warmth and aesthetic looks, but also for its insulating properties. However, it is expensive and requires regular maintenance. Aluminum is used in garden rooms mainly used for keeping plants. Modern sliding doors, French doors and tilt and turn doors in aluminum give a contemporary look. Improved versions of unplasticised polyvinylchloride (uPVC) provide a combination of aesthetics, safety, insulation and least maintenance.

It is important to have answers to the following issues before deciding on the type of door to install in your garden room:

  • Drainage issues must be discussed thoroughly with the door providing company. Modern doors are constructed in a manner that addresses the problem very well. It makes the doors last longer.
  • Energy saving options must be explored. Special type of film coating reflects back UV rays of the sun. Double and triple glazing make the doors and windows better insulators. Blinds are used to save the sunroom from getting unnecessarily hot.
  • Safety features of the doors and windows have to be enumerated. Each and every aspect of the doors, from the hinges to the mounting of glass, from beading to the putty line, from handles to multipoint locking system have to be built so that it may protect the house from break-ins.

Keeping in mind the above points, one can go a long way in selecting the right door for their conservatory.

Conservatory Design – What You Need to Know

Conservatories, orangeries, sunrooms, atriums or glass houses — whatever you call it. They are undoubtedly a very beautiful and modern, yet traditional extension for your house.

A conservatory essentially consists of the following—

1) Glass roofs, walls, doors and windows. The material used here is not the normal glass, but special safety glasses that are single, double or triple glazed.

2) Frames in which the glass is to be set. Frames may be made of wood, aluminum or plastic (UPVC). They may be simple and elegant or designer and exotic.

3) Opaque material like brick, stone or wooden walls and panels used in some places to create different look, as well as to increase privacy and security.

4) Flooring may consist of cement, ceramic tiles or wooden floor boards.

5) Locking system and child proof handles.

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