Our garden rooms and orangeries are built to last because we always prioritise quality craftsmanship, down to the finest detail. We were recently invited to see one of our older projects that, after 20 years, still has an exceptional finish. This is how we achieve such unrivalled quality in our designs…
Recently our founder Jonathan was invited to visit Mrs. M, a past customer of ours, to look at a conservatory we built for her family home 20 years ago. Despite the passing of time, it’s kept its fine finish and is still a beautiful room that the family enjoys using all the time.
A space for inspired living…
‘It’s very much the heart of the home, still!’ explained Mrs. M. ‘We use it all the time for family gatherings, and as a dining room when the grandchildren come to visit.’ Mrs. M also uses the room as a peaceful space for yoga and meditation. The conservatory is south facing, so the light in the mornings is particularly beautiful and the room has a calming feel.
20 years ago, Mrs. M was on a mission to find a local company that would design and build an elegant conservatory extension for her family home. She wanted to choose a private, family business that would provide a personal and diligent service. The family run their own aviation interiors business, so it was important to work with a company who had the same values.
By chance, Mrs. M’s sons went to school with Jonathan’s nephew, so it wasn’t long before the family were looking through our portfolio of garden rooms, orangeries and conservatories.
After an initial consultation, where we focused on listening to the family and understanding their needs, Mrs. M decided on a conservatory design over an orangery. Conservatories were more common back then, and with the house situated next to woodlands, she wanted a structure with a lot of glazing units which would allow for expansive views of the surrounding trees.
What’s the difference?
Nowadays, orangeries and garden rooms are the favoured choice over conservatories, so what’s the difference? It’s down to the amount of glazing used in the structure. A conservatory has a fully glazed roof and heavily glazed walls. An orangery looks very similar, but the walls are usually a combination of glazing and masonry, with a roof lantern fitted on a flat roof. A garden room is an extension with a completely tiled roof that allows for an eye-catching glazed gable and glazed windows.
An orangery or garden room allows for more insulation during the winter, and better ventilation during the summer, ensuring that the room has a comfortable temperature and can be used all year round.
‘If I was choosing now, I would probably decide on an orangery for a better control over the temperature inside the room,’ agrees Mrs. M.
Following on from his visit, Jonathan has suggested changing the roof of Mrs. M’s conservatory to transform it into an orangery, if the family are interested in updating it.
Quality extensions that will last…
The latest and most innovative techniques and materials are used to craft every Westbury product, which is why our garden rooms and conservatories maintain their fine finish for as long as they do. We hand-finish all of our products and we invest in extensive research to ensure that every aspect of our garden rooms is of the highest quality – from the specialist glue that we use to stop any joints from moving, to the hidden fixing system that ensures the strength and durability of our products.
Stable and sustainable
Wood is by far the best material to use when crafting strong, quality structures. We are dedicated to producing sustainable products, so we only use hardwood where necessary – mainly for door thresholds that endure heavy footfalls. For everything else, we use Accoya© – an engineered timber that is moisture resistant with extreme stability that exceeds the performance of traditional hardwoods.
Accoya© is a revolutionary, sustainable material that is made from fast-growing FSC® or PEFC™ certified tree species, such as Radiata pine. It won’t move, meaning that joints, doors and windows will fit perfectly together for years to come, ensuring a garden room with a long lifespan.
A spray applied coat of paint is approximately four times thicker than a brush painted coat. We use Teknos, a water-based paint formulated specifically for outside use on timber, and is resistant to bacterial, mould and UV attack – perfect for repainting your garden room to keep the timber we use in good condition.
Ironmongery fittings such as locks and door handles are details that we pay diligent attention to. As a rule, ironmongery should feel solid and functional whilst looking aesthetically appealing and in keeping with the interior style. You can find out more about Croft Hardware here, our carefully selected, family-run manufacturer who has this year celebrated its family manufacturing history of 150 years.
It doesn’t take a lot of maintenance to keep your conservatory, orangery or garden room looking good for years to come! It’s more cost effective to maintain your garden room on a regular basis than to leave it and face bigger repair jobs in the future. Take a ‘little but often’ approach, washing down the timber with a cloth and mild detergent twice a year to keep the surface clear from destructive organisms. Westbury offer this as a service for any clients who might find that easier.
Your extension should also be repainted every 10 years, however you may decide to change the colour after a few years anyway as your tastes change. Mrs. M decided on updating her dual yellow and white conservatory by painting it in our Upton White shade, a neutral colour that gives a timeless look.