17 Jul

Replace a previously much-loved conservatory with an orangery or garden room

With the current market, it seems that many homeowners are opting to remain in their properties instead of moving house. People are putting up with their existing homes, waiting for a time when they feel secure enough to put their properties up for sale. However, there are ways that you can make more of your current space, for example by rejuvenating your old and tired conservatory extension…

A glazed extension should be an additional room that acts as a continuation of your main home, so if you are simply making do with a uPVC conservatory left over from the late 1980s or ’90s then you’re missing out on an opportunity to make the most of your space.

A beautifully designed and well-proportioned orangery or garden room can give you and your family more space while changing the flow of your interiors and providing an elegant addition to your property. So replacing your old conservatory with a cutting-edge extension is well worth the time and investment to give your home a complete face lift, as it will make you feel like you are living in a brand new house. Combined with a garden makeover with new hard landscaping and soft planting, this may well rekindle your enthusiasm for your existing property – and make it very attractive to potential buyers when the time comes to sell.

At the time of installation, old conservatories may well have met the aspirations and performance expectations, but these days most of them look outdated and no longer meet the demands of a modern family home. With excessive glazing, a conservatory can become stuffy during the summer months and cold in winter, making it unusable and abandoned for much of the year. Additionally, if these structures have not been maintained properly, they will almost certainly be showing signs of deterioration with yellowing uPVC.

Just like you would do with a garden designer, getting a professional to help you realise your home’s potential can really maximise on your investment when you’re embarking on a renovation project. But it’s a great idea to start with your own ideas, so get inspired with our top tips and real-life case studies:

Improved insulation

Beautiful glazed gables and a new kitchen bring a new, breath-taking aesthetic to this period property. Here, Miss B, had a garden room replace a rather uninspiring conservatory that was there before, making her property far more suitable for her cookery school business:

There was a small conservatory to the rear of the building, which was unused because of the classic ‘too hot in summer, too cold in winter’ issue that you get with conservatories. I knew I needed to adapt the house for my business and the best option was to extend the existing conservatory as it was too small for my intended use. I also didn’t feel that the conservatory in its current form complemented the style of the house.

Westbury worked solutions into the design as a matter of course, including roof vents and extractor fans to cool the room and remove cooking odours as I have induction hobs incorporated into the kitchen island.

Thinking outside the box

With their roof lanterns and beautiful timber structures, orangeries and garden rooms can look very similar to other rooms in the house, rather than a boxy, add-on conservatory. This glazed extension goes beyond the norm with its own stylish wine cellar:

We loved our property but it always felt like a boring, square building without any interesting features. For this reason, we had always planned to extend as we felt it would improve the exterior look of the house and change the way we use the house as a family. While we had already had a large living area at the back of the property leading onto the garden, it was an area we didn’t use properly so we wanted to add a new extension to create a living area that would bring the garden and terrace into the heart of the home.

As my husband has always had an interest in wine, we always dreamed of having somewhere to store his collection and envisaged that this would be part of the orangery, perhaps in the form of a wall of wine along one of the orangery walls. However, with a bespoke design, we saw the potential to think outside the box and create a slightly larger extension that would allow us to install a separate wine room within the new space.

Keeping the same boundaries

For several reasons, you may find that you are required to work with the existing extension’s layout – maybe you don’t want to increase the size because it will take up too much of your garden, or you would like minimum interruption or are concerned about planning regulations.

It’s possible to simply build on the foundations that are already in place. Mr and Mrs E, in Eltham, had this beautiful orangery designed to be fitted and installed onto the original masonry base of their old conservatory extension, creating a cool and tranquil kitchen.

Small changes, big impact

While Mr and Mrs H, in West Sussex, had a new base built, this project illustrates how we helped them to transform a dull part of their home by only making some minor changes, that still greatly improved the overall floor space.

Reduce the need for maintenance

Set within a conservation area, this property had a south-facing rear which overlooked a very pleasant, rural village green. Originally the building featured a boxy flat roof extension with a small utility room and kitchen, along with an uninspiring lean-to conservatory which was used occasionally as a separate breakfast room. With two dated extensions, it was clear that the structured had been neglected and a lack of maintenance had contributed to the overall shabby appearance.

Mr and Mrs C wanted to completely renovate their new house by replacing their previously loved conservatories with an open-plan kitchen extension. As the back of the house was used as the main entrance, it was imperative that the new orangery would have a sense of grandeur and make a superb first impression to guests and visitors.

The orangery has a dual colour scheme, with internal joinery painted in a fresh Westbury White and the outside painted in OS White, a more neutral shade which helps the structure nestle in with its natural surroundings. As the structure is made with Accoya, a sustainable, highly durable engineered softwood, it requires very minimal maintenance and will ensure a quality finish for years to come. Find out more about why we use Accoya here.

With an orangery or garden room extension, you can completely reconfigure the space within your existing house to maximise your property’s potential, meaning that you may well fall in love with your home all over again. For more information about our bespoke orangery and garden room design services, contact the team here.

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