Key aspects of uPVC conservatories design
For this, we look at three main areas, the roof, the walls (sides) and the base.
Conservatory Frames – what the sides are made of.
As the subject matter at hand is the uPVC conservatory, then we will restrict ourselves to covering a few main pointers about using this material.
Heavy Loggia Conservatory Frames
UPVC conservatories are quite lightweight when compared to timber, but with longer profile sections you may need to use frames that have galvanized steel reinforced sections to aid in stability. The uPVC profiles themselves are multi-chambered, which aids in both stability and insulation.
White frames are very popular, but there are close to 20 or so different colours in the market, even those that have a timber grain surface – which can produce a conservatory that looks as if it’s made of wood.
The frames can run fully double glazed from floor to ceiling or, as many folks choose to add, you can have some solid sections at the foot of the frames – most often seen in the form of dwarf walls.
The thickness of the frame can also change the look and feel of a conservatory. Heavier and thicker uPVC frames, such as in a loggia conservatory, can make the room look more substantial. Whilst, conversely, using slimline frames give a conservatory an altogether much more light and elegant touch, such as in a Victorian style conservatory.
The frame also needs to account for the entrance door. A popular option for smaller uPVC conservatories is to use a set of French Doors.
If you have the width, then a set of bifold patio doors will make the conservatory look amazing. With bifold conservatory doors, we suggest they are “bottom hung” so that they don’t put the weight load onto the overhead conservatory frame.
Different Roofing Options
The type of roof you fit on your uPVC conservatory will have a significant impact on the visual appearance and potentially the way you enjoy the room itself.
The three main options for the roof are to have, poly-carbonate, full glass or tiled.
- Poly-carbonate is a cost effective type of cellular rigid plastic sheeting that is very often used in smaller or “budget-conservatories”. It has some solar protection properties, but is nowhere near as good as a double glazed or tiled roof for insulation from noise or heat transfer. Many owners eventually upgrade to tile or double glazing.
- Full glass conservatory roofing has to be at least double glazed, otherwise you will cook or freeze in the room. The latest products offer high thermal efficiency and can even keep themselves clean. A glass roof is the classic thing to use, it makes your conservatory look light and even gives the illusion of extra height.
- Tiled conservatory roofing has become a trend for those upgrading the old roof, either from glass or polycarbonate. A tiled roof takes away the classic “sun-room” feel from the conservatory and turns it into more of a house extension. If you like a more “permanent” look, then a solid tiled roof may well suit you best.
The roof has an impact on the inside the conservatory, in that a thin roof that offers little protection can lead to the room becoming insufferably hot in summer and unbearably cold in the winter.
On the flip side, a solid roof will take away from the amount of natural sunlight entering the room and can make it dull and gloomy.
If you are replacing a conservatory roof, then you know what your existing design issues are and what they are like to live with, but for a new conservatory it’s worth while giving this some serious consideration during your planning.