What Size Shall I Make my Conservatory?

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You have decided to add an extra living space onto your house.  You want an extra lounge area, dining room, or extension to the kitchen.  But how big should it be?  Very often the look comes before ventilation or what furniture is going to be in the conservatory.  The big question is, will the size of the conservatory be able to fit the furniture?  In this article are some hints and tips on what to consider about the conservatory before thinking about the design.  We will discuss the following:


.  How do you want to use the conservatory?

.  How big should my conservatory be?

.  How do I make sure my conservatory is an all-year-round room?


How do you want to use the conservatory?


Ask yourself; what do I want to use the conservatory for?  Is it a lounge, is it an extension to the kitchen, are you making the room into a dining room, is it going to be an area for the children play, or is it going to be your new bowling alley?  The next step is then to ask yourself; what furniture is going in the room.  If it’s a dining table, how big is the dining table?  How much room is going to be taken up when people are sitting at the table?  Is there enough room to move around? If it's a relaxation area, what furniture is going into the room?  How big is it?  Where are you going to be sitting?  

There are some great apps online that help you design a room and place the furniture in the conservatory.  There is nothing worse than paying out a large amount of money, only to find that the room is not suitable for what you wanted.  

Once you have clarified what you want to use the conservatory for and you know what furniture is going to be in there, you can now decide how big the room is going to be.


How big should my conservatory be?


You have gone out the back of the house, you have seen where the patio ends and maybe you have been on the planning portal to see what the maximum size you can have without planning is. The danger of using this method of looking at what size you should have is that you end up with a conservatory that is not fit for purpose.  The conservatory does not allow you to fit the furniture you're putting in it or the opposite - there is too much space.

Well, the answer is normally answered in the previous section, but if you're still not sure ask yourself this;  Is there a room in your house you want it to be the same size as?  Go measure that room, and then add 60cm for the width and 30cm for the projection and you get the size you require.  Now you can go out the back and see if it can fit.  Put down string or mark it with chalk, I promise you it will look a lot smaller than the room you compared it to in your house.  It’s an optical illusion that confuses people time after time. 



How do I make sure the conservatory can be used all year round?


Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation.  Another way of looking at this is don’t put style over substance.  If you want an orangery or livin roof or glass roof, ventilation is key.  The amount of ventilation should be based on the direction your property is facing.  The closer to South facing, the greater the ventilation that is needed. 

Solar Reflective glass is great at reflecting back heat and cutting down on heat build-up.  It is also great at keeping heat in.  But by itself it is not enough, don’t get distracted by percentage numbers.  If you are South facing, you will definitely need a roof-vent.  This will allow the heat coming through the glass to escape. Heat travels up, the glass on the inside is designed to keep heat in.  If there is no way for the heat to escape it will just build up.  

Through ventilation using openers is also key.  A window that opens opposite another allows air to flow through the conservatory.  A solid wall on one side looks great but a ¾ wall with an opener at the top allows for better ventilation.  Good ventilation also cuts down condensation.


I hope this article has been useful for you and gave you something to think about.  Ultimately, don’t be scared to call a consultant out to come and see you and discuss these things with you.


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