Bespoke design is more than just choosing a colour that you like; it’s about creating something that blends in with your property, transforms the way you use your home, and lasts for a lifetime…
Being such a common sight in British homes, a uPVC conservatory is probably what most people think of when they talk about glazed extensions. They have been a popular choice since the 1970s, favoured by the average homeowner as an easy way to add additional space while feeling more connected to the outdoors.
Over time, it became clear that conservatories were excessively warm and stuffy in the summer and chilly in the winter. Families who were investing in a conservatory had no idea how the uncomfortable temperatures would prevent them from enjoying their extension for most of the year.
While there is still a place for elegant, fully glazed conservatories, modern semi-glazed buildings like garden rooms and orangeries create a usable, welcoming space all year round.
If you are planning to embark on a home extension project, you’ll want to invest in a structure that not only looks great but also completely changes the way you use your home. If designed correctly, a bespoke timber garden room or orangery can do just that.
Celebrating authentic architectural design
Words cannot describe why a well-designed piece of architecture stands out so much, but if a structure catches your eye it’s likely to display design unity, which is a classic architectural concept. This is when all the elements of a building work together harmoniously, incorporating order, proportion, hierarchy, balance, and scale.
With this in mind, a bespoke garden room or orangery should be designed following these elements, balancing with the proportions of your unique property. Everything from the choice of windows, doors, and roof lantern size will ultimately define the look and character of the new extension, which should perfectly complement the style of your home. An extension’s design should be architecturally led depending on your individual property, either blending in with the property to look like it has always been there, or standing out as a feature to draw the eye. Either way, it should ultimately look ‘just right’.
From the beginning of the design process, how you and your family use your home should be carefully considered. This will ensure that the new extension works harmoniously with your property enabling you to gain the utmost benefit from the new space. A house will have rooms that ‘flow’ in a certain way and a bespoke extension will help to open up the different living areas, improve the flow throughout the house and create a stronger connection to the garden too.
When a garden room or orangery has been designed with a sense of what the space will be used for and a clear vision for how the whole property should look once the extension is finished, the result is an incredible, timeless architectural masterpiece that will never date.
Outstanding quality and durability
Design trends may come and go but a bespoke garden room that has been designed correctly will never go out of style. For a classic look that will stand the test of time, an extension has to work harmoniously with the proportions of the main house, achieved through bespoke design. This is why investing in a great quality, long-lasting timber garden room or orangery is an economical choice, as the old-fashioned and weathered uPVC conservatories have shown us.
Why choose a timber garden room?
Timber has not always had a good reputation over the years, and it is easy to see why when you start to explore its past. Hardwood timber, namely Canadian Douglas Fir, was the original material to use for windows and joinery up until the 1940s. This changed when cheaper softwoods were used as an alternative after WWII when masses of homes needed to be rebuilt and access to Canadian resources ended.
Unsurprisingly, the softwood did not last very long and the windows started to rot and warp, giving traditional timber a bad name and creating an opening for uPVC to enter the market.
Builders and homeowners across Britain assumed that this revolutionary yet cheaper alternative would last forever with little or no maintenance. Soon it was the main material to use for windows and glazed conservatories, but it was at a cost to appearance and character.
Contrary to popular belief, the detailing on windows, doors, garden rooms, and orangeries has the power to make or break the architectural integrity of your home, and uPVC cannot compare to beautifully crafted timber. The elegance of a classic timber glazed extension is difficult to do justice in photos sometimes, but even the most novice of homeowners can appreciate the quality of a skilfully crafted garden room or orangery.
The timber solution: Accoya
By using the right timber, you can enjoy a lasting, durable garden room or orangery that will maintain its quality finish for the long-term. While hardwoods are durable, it is not always stable and is a highly unsustainable material to use, with many hardwood trees taking up to 100 years to grow.
If the joints in a hardwood extension move together, this can cause the outer layers of the paint to peel and crack, allowing water to seep into the structure, which can then cause swelling.
This is why we use an engineered timber called Accoya, sourced from fast-growing, FSC certified Radiata pine it is a revolutionary alternative. It is CO² negative throughout its entire life cycle and 100% biodegradable. Sustainability is high on our list of priorities and with Accoya, we have reduced our use of unsustainable, high-waste-producing tropical hardwood to just 3%, used only for door thresholds which require hardwearing qualities. Any additional timber cut-offs are then used to fuel our workshop’s heating systems, so nothing is thrown away.
Made using a non-toxic, environmentally friendly process called acetylation, Accoya resists rot, defies the elements and gives unprecedented durability. With this material, our bespoke garden rooms and orangeries can highlight beautiful, classic timber detailing while never suffering from joint movement as Accoya does not warp or twist. In fact, Accoya has an outstanding 50-year minimum life span.
Combining Accoya with Teknos Paint
Our throwaway culture has a huge impact on our planet, so the most sustainable and environmentally friendly products are those that never have to be replaced. A garden room or orangery that does not have to be repainted will have a lower carbon footprint than a structure that requires regular maintenance and paint jobs.
We spray-apply our bespoke garden rooms and orangeries with three coats of Teknos paint, resulting in long-lasting and extremely low-maintenance joinery. By applying this water-based microporous paint, our glazed extensions have an extremely durable and highly protective barrier against weather conditions, moisture ingress, UV exposure and bacteria.
It is recommended that Teknos paint have a 12-year paint life between coats; however, test evaluations conducted by Teknos determined that the combination of their paint systems with Accoya resulted in the absence of joint movement, therefore significantly extending the paint coating life and reducing maintenance requirements.
We recently had our timber orangery checked at our showroom in Essex, as it was due a re-paint to keep it looking clean and fresh. On inspection, the representative from Teknos confirmed that it was not required, as nothing had cracked. Considering the last time the orangery was painted, in reality, our garden rooms may not potentially need repainting for 20 years.
A bespoke garden room or orangery is a perfect example of unbelievable engineering and outstanding attention to detail from an architectural perspective. With so much care, attention and expertise going into the creation of each one, no two garden rooms are the same – but their environmental benefits and timeless, durable designs are unlike anything you will get from a ready-made, mass-produced extension.