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Monday April 8, 2013 at 4:28pm
Building a conservatory can add extra space to your property and can help to transform the way in which you and your family live. It's always a shame, however, to see such new space being neglected.

One of the key elements associated with having a conservatory put in place is knowing that you will be creating a room that offers something a bit special. Here's a place to relax and to enjoy the warmth. That helps to explain why many home owners use conservatories to grow a wide variety of plants. Although the conditions may be perfect, it's also about taking into account the surroundings that you require.

On the flip-side, there are those who appear to use a conservatory as a storage space and one that is often dedicated to the storage of "junk". That feels like a real shame and simply isn't making the most of the financial investment that has been made.

If you do feel the need to hide some possessions away, then you may be better off doing that in a room of the house that isn't visible and doesn't benefit from the advantages that are so clearly associated with a conservatory. By doing so, that means that you are then left in a position where the beautiful addition to your home can have the desired appeal.

Special additions

So what sort of elements should you be looking to include. I've already touched upon the subject of plants and they certainly do have the ability to create surroundings that are enjoyable and memorable.

You may not feel that you have the necessary expertise to be able to grow exotic specimens, but you really shouldn't allow that to hold you back. Why not take a look at plants, for instance, that need a little less work? Given that the conservatory should provide plenty of warmth, you'll find that you are already well on the way to winning the battle.

You might also consider buying new items of furniture. Having a particularly comfortable chair, for example, is a great way to ensure that the conservatory provides you with the level of relaxation that you require.
Thursday April 4, 2013 at 4:21pm
When you bought your current home, you may have envisaged living there for many years to come. There may have been the feeling that you had successfully created a real haven, providing protection from the wider world.

That's something that is clearly important, particularly for those who lead stressful working lives. The chance to return home and to be able to relax is essential, allowing that key separation between working and leisure time.

You may have reached the point, however, when you come to decide that spending time within the home isn't as much fun as it really should be. There may be a sense that something is not quite right.

Over time, your family may have grown and your needs may have changed as a result. A property that looked perfect originally may now feel rather small, or imperfect. It's natural to feel that it's time for a change.

The nature of that required change tends to vary from one person to the next. There may be a sense that you can only find happiness by moving home, but that's not something that's always possible. Indeed, there may even be financial limitations that get in the way.

Building a conservatory

A key alternative would be to think about adding more space to your home. Once again, there may be a sense that options are limited here, due to a lack of cash that may be available to you.

Of course, since we sell DIY conservatories, it's almost inevitable that we'll end up recommending such products. This blog takes a broader view of the world though and we certainly recognise that this is just one option that is available to you.

We believe that it's a good choice to make, primarily because there's the chance to add more value to your home and also to add the space that you require. If you're able to handle the installation yourself, or with the help of friends and family, then this can certainly help to reduce the costs that are involved too.

You may want to know how much value you will add to your property. Although it's impossible to provide a generic answer to such a query, one piece of advice would be to become familiar with the local housing market. Take a look at asking and selling prices.

By identifying homes that have added conservatories, it should be possible to get a fair estimate of how much value you will be adding to your own home.

Building a new conservatory has to be right for your family and has to make financial sense. We are very much in favour of checking out your options and making a reasoned decision.
Monday March 25, 2013 at 12:36pm
Dare we hope that some better weather may be on the way? With much of the country experiencing snow and cold conditions, it can feel as though it's a long wait until Summer. In fact, do we even know when Spring will really arrive?

We noted recent comments from the Met Office, suggesting that we may be in for warmer weather within a couple of weeks. Although they don't offer any guarantees, there's no doubt that thoughts are starting to turn to the warmer months.

With that in mind, do you feel that you are prepared? Now could be the perfect time for you to consider making home improvements, particularly if you're looking to put new patio doors in place.

When you do want to spend time outdoors, it's nice to have easy access to your garden. It's also great to know that some extra warmth can find its way into your home.

You might even consider French doors. We often get asked what the difference is between a patio door and a French door. The truth is that plenty of people get confused and don't even realise that there is a difference between the two terms.

Patio doors

Patio doors have a sliding mechanism. What happens is that one half of the door opens, leaving the other half in place. This is great for ease of use and also ensures that, on slightly cooler days, you don't need to let too much cold air into the house.

By the same token, you'll also find that it means that you don't have to let the heat in, should the weather take a turn for the better!

French doors

French doors are different and will usually open outwards. One of the key advantages that they offer, when compared to patio doors, is that they can be opened fully.

We began this blog post by suggesting that now might well be a good time to think about investing in new patio doors. In fact, it's equally true to say that you may wish to consider French doors.

Either way, you'll be ensuring that your home is ready for the warmer months to come.
Monday March 4, 2013 at 3:53pm
One of the most interesting elements associated with a conservatory is that it has scope to add real versatility to your home. Although you may be tempted to simply look upon the new space as providing somewhere nice to have breakfast, when the sun is warming the room, this overlooks the many uses that are available.

That's not to detract, of course, from the fact that there is much to be said from for having extra space that can be enjoyed, even when it's still slightly too chilly to be having breakfast out in the garden. But there's the possibility to use the extra room throughout the year and to really take advantage of the space.

A home office

A conservatory can provide an effective home office space and there's nothing quite like being able to sit and work, while still being able to gaze out of the window at your garden. It certainly beats being stuck within the confines of a stuffy office.

You've created your own room with a view and suddenly you get to spend many more hours enjoying those surroundings.

If you're worried about the temperature dropping during the winter months, then you can obviously make use of an oil-filled radiator, or an electric fan heater.

A spare bedroom

To be honest, it feels like using a conservatory as a spare bedroom is something of a waste. But it's certainly possible to install a sofabed, or folding bed, within the conservatory. That can be useful, when you are stuck for space elsewhere.

For additional privacy, you may like to use of a selection of blinds.

A garden room

The warmth of a conservatory is perfect for growing plants and plenty of people do take advantage of this situation. It's possible to create some stunning arrangements.

With the doors open, you can really feel at one with the garden. It's also an impressive space for when you have friends and family visiting. Serving afternoon tea in the conservatory is one of life's great pleasures!

A new sitting room

Some properties were built with rather dull main living rooms. That seems to be a real shame, particularly if you spend a lot of your time gathered there as a family.

So why not change things around? There's absolutely no reason why the conservatory shouldn't become the focal point of the house. You'll free up the old sitting room, which can be used for any purpose that you choose.

A dining room

The conservatory will also make a great dining room. It offers a perfect setting on summer evenings, but can be used throughout the year. Once again, it makes sense to consider heating solutions, in order to create the year-round dining space that offers so much more.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 at 2:55pm
You may be considering spending money on improving your home, but is this the right time to act? That's a question that many people are asking right now.

Economic uncertainty can sometimes cloud the thought process and it's natural that we should have concerns about committing to spending significant sums. The key here is really to ensure that you are talking about investing in your home and in your future, rather than simply spending money.

So how can you guarantee that you really are adding value? In pure financial terms, no such guarantees can ever be offered. Although UK house prices have clearly risen significantly over the past 40 or 50 years, it's hard to know exactly what will happen in the next few decades.

We may assume that prices will continue to rise. It will certainly be true that there will be differences between regions and individual towns.

You may not be able to control the movement of house prices, but you certainly are able to judge whether a change will have a positive impact on family life.

Improving family life

So what difference will changes make to your home? It you're looking to expand you current living space, then it's likely that you feel that there is a need to find that bit more room.

Adding to your existing home can certainly be a lot cheaper than looking for somewhere else to live. It can also mean a lot less upheaval. As you might expect, we find that customers buy DIY conservatories for a number of reasons. They may be:

  • Seeking to add home office space
  • Looking for a play room for children
  • Wanting to create some additional dining space
  • Aiming to take advantage of days when it's sunny, but not warm enough to sit outdoors
  • Adding to areas for entertaining others

Your own thoughts may reflect these desires. The improvements that you are making could lead to your children having more space in which to play.

They may also make it that bit easier for you to entertain. You may not have a dedicated dining area within the home at the moment, for example, but here's your chance to add that bit more space.

If you're not planning on moving home for some time, then it's clear that you may be able to enjoy these benefits for years to come. If you also manage to add value to the property, then that can really be seen as a bonus.

Whether you consider a conservatory, or an alternative approach to finding more space within your home, it's clear that you'll give some thought to the likely impact on the value of the property.

Monday April 16, 2012 at 10:08am

Green Tax on Conservatories a red tape Nightmare? Anyone thinking of installing a new DIY Conservatory may want to move fast. If they want to wait until 2014 they may find a mass of red tape or maybe that should be ‘green’ red tape, be wrapped over their DIY conservatory project along with having to pay hundreds of pounds extra.

Under plans currently being discussed by the coalition Government, a homeowner wanting to install a conservatory from 2014 may have to invest in energy efficient projects within their home. To show their home is energy efficient. To install a new conservatory may require special planning permission that will be granted on the proviso that the house has been fully insulated.

 Potentially a property owner will need to have their home inspected by some bureaucrat to make sure that double glazed windows have been fitted, sufficient loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, where possible.

Why is this occurring? This scheme is all part of the green deal which aims to insulate all homes with the next 20 years.

This policy was embraced by Chris Huhne the late minister for Energy Change prior to being forced to resign – for perverting the course of justice in February 2012 over a speeding offence. The aim of Mr Huhne’s 2011 energy act is to achieve a large scale reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide(CO2) given off by buildings. This whirlwind of legislation comes off the back of the 2008 climate change act which taken out by Tony Blair and his last government. The act which is the only one of its kind in the world commits the UK to cutting its CO2 emissions within 40 years by an amazing 80%.

Mr Huhne stated in his forward to the green deal summary proposals that ‘Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, getting their money back via the energy bill. At the heart of the offer is a simple rule: estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work’.

 Interestingly later within the same proposal this is said ‘However, actual cash savings cannot be guaranteed by government since no-one except individuals and businesses themselves can control how much energy they actually consume in their own property’. And that is the crux of the matter the government are unable to verify any cash saving to the consumer.

Although the DECC does state elsewhere ‘Lower income and vulnerable households may not save money through energy efficiency because many do not have the heating turned on long enough to heat their homes sufficiently, so increased efficiency may mean they will enjoy warmer homes rather than cash savings’. The homeowner then, can presumably relax in a warmer home and take solace in the fact that through no choice of his own higher energy bills are helping reduce climate change- supposedly. A typical scenario involving the installation of A DIY conservatory, would involve a property assessment by an accredited advisor, who will make a recommendation for any insulation improvements. It is unclear at this stage who would visit the property when a DIY conservatory is proposed. Or weather the home owner doing the work themselves could self regulate, by working to the green deals code of practice.

 Should the homeowner have insufficient monies to finance the up front cost, they can agree to take out a green deal finance loan. This loan would be secured against the properties energy bills. And its current occupier would then service the loan. The provider of the green deal receives there payment directly from the energy supplier. The consumer will pay the energy/finance company on their monthly bills. John Armstrong Director of said ‘A choice of how to spend your money is being denied to every home owner. You could be forced to take out a loan for energy efficiency measures that lamentably, will have a miniscule effect on global CO2 emissions. Maybe if the government choose to give reward, rather than fine homeowner’s, people would then choose where to put their money.’ So it may really be a legitimate case of there never been a better time to buy a DIY conservatory

Wednesday April 4, 2012 at 11:46am

It's official a DIY Conservatory can add £9240 in value to your home,according to the HSBC annual Home Improvement Survey.The survey warns that many big DIY projects are failing to add as much value to homes as a year ago and may even devalue the price of your home.

The HSBC survey found that a loft conversion would boost a properties value by £16,152 significantly less than the £20,876 that estate agents estimated in 2011.

Part of the problem is that most building materials are rapidly increasing it price.The typical loft conversion cost varies from £20,000 to £30,000 and that the average gain of £16,152 could leave many home owners with a loss.

Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: 'Homeowners should think carefully about the type and extent of any home improvement works they are planning. Those which enhance quality of life while retaining broad appeal should be favoured over more individually-styled alterations.'

So it's good to know that a DIY conservatory dovetails quiet nicely with Mr Dockar's comments.A DIY conservatory can be bought from as little as £1750 from us and the conservatory will have both a strong life style impact and give the home owner a nice boost in the value of their home.

Go here for a personalised DIY Conservatory  quote

or here for instant DIY Conservatory prices

Tuesday February 21, 2012 at 3:34pm

DIY Conservatories

My very first experince of very cheap DIY conservatories was around 1990.I remember it very clearly because it made my shudder,literally.At the time I was working at UPVC window fabricator.A few months before I got my shudder,I'd sold an old guy,(everone looks old to a 21 year old),some UPVC woodgrain bay pole,woodgrain UPVC transom section and woodgrain bead.

At the time he bought the sections, he did tell me that he was very experinced at making DIY conservatories, having made several before.I went to my then boss to ask how much to charge.My boss knew every price in his head of every UPVC section we bought and he obliged with calculator like rapidity.

'What he want to do with these sections?' He asked

'DIY conservatories,his an expert' I replied

'Is it for the Conservatory roof?' he asked

'Yes,his making his own roof' I replied innocently

MY boss, who was an engineer stormed out of the office and confronted our now astounded customer.

'You do realise, that you'll have to sign a disclaimer saying we don't reccomend theses sections for use on DIY conservatories' my boss said

'Er yes' the man replied.

So the deal was done and he paid his money.My boss walked away superoisuly muttering 'he will be back, mark my words'.

Yes, bosse's are often right and sure enough the man returned about 3 months later on a hot July day.

'I've built a few DIY conservatories but yours is's making a funny noise and moving...' he muttered sheepishly.

'Would you please come and have a look?'

As it was local I said no problem,I'll follow you in the van.No need i'll take you and drop you back.His car was a brown Rolls Royce convertible that bit I remember well.We turned up to a very large detached house.

We went round the side and there was  the mother of all DIY conservatories.The spirit of British ingenuity shone through.This 'expert had made the conservatory roof from our UPVC sections.When we went inside the very hot conservatory.You could immediatley see the problem and in fact hear the problem.

The Conservatory roof was making a kind of ticking noise,similar to the creaking noise sinking ships make in disaster films.What's more the roof was actually moving.The heat inside the conservatory had caused the woodgrain profiles to expand the co-efficent of expansion must have been massive.

'What should I do' he said

Very assertively I replied 'Did you make that lovely Rolls Royce that ticks like a fine watch'

The man looked at me and said 'It wasn't a good idea was it?'

'No' I replied I'd hate to see the effect a foot of snow would have on the roof,It would probably collapse'

By now The man's wife,who had been present all along spoke.

'I bloody well told you not to do it!'

'Now how much is it going to cost to have a proper Conservatory roof made?'

I went back with a large deposit for a brown aluminium conservatory roof .You couldn't get it in mahogany back then, only brown.

The motto of this story is that when you are planning your DIY conservatories project.Check the specification carefully.Conservatory roofs differ greatly even in the 21st century and if you choose wrong you could end up paying twice.

Tuesday January 24, 2012 at 2:00pm
DIY Conservatory Prices – what a minefield!

‘Well I’ll sell this DIY Conservatory for £1899 and I’ll make £200 profit not bad for a business ran from a kitchen table’ he laughed. This is what I heard when I visited a company selling DIY conservatories in December 2011 .Yes the individual does have a website and it looks ultra modern. But the reality is that if you get a DIY conservatory price from this firm this is what happens;

Firstly the ‘firm’ doesn’t manufacture anything. So they buy in your DIY conservatory. They start by faxing your sizes around a few, maybe up to eight, different trade conservatory manufacturers. This is done to get the lowest possible price. That may sound like good news and it is – for the firm ran from the Kitchen table but maybe not for you.

When I visited the firm mentioned above he waved ten DIY conservatory orders in my face and said

‘I like dealing with your firm, the quality is better but your £90 more expensive roughly than XXX can you match it?’

Now I can’t mention the name of XXX for legal reasons but I happened to know they are trading very close to the edge, as their behind with there NI and PAYE payments. Maybe they have three months before they cease to trade.

‘No I can’t match it. You know full well that the product from XXX is not a match on ours .You know what everyone is saying about them, are You sure they can even deliver the goods. Let alone give you a lasting guarantee.

‘Yeah I know but the saving to me is £900’

I was tempted to drop our price as January is a quiet month for DIY conservatories but I thought no we have a price for our product and he knows our Conservatory is better than XXX’s. So I wished him Merry Christmas and drove home.

On returning to work in January I get a phone call the first week back.

‘John can you make those Conservatories for me, the ones you quoted on’

I replied ‘Sure but why have you decided to buy off us’

‘Don’t you know? XXX have gone bust’.

I estimate that 70% firms selling DIY conservatories on the internet don’t make anything and buy in and sell on. I guess there’s nothing wrong with this business model but it can go wrong and badly.

As I mentioned above the company we are supplying is making around £200 profit on supplying a DIY conservatory. Is that enough? He seems to thinks it is. If anyone makes a claim against his 10 year guarantee would that £200 be enough to cover the claim? Possibly, but probably not.
Worse, and as happened in the case of the DIY conservatory manufacturer mentioned above they simply ceased to trade. If this happens your order could be left half made in their factory or delivered incomplete. And no way to get the missing parts.

It’s not impossible to buy your DIY conservatory from a company run from a Kitchen table or spare bedroom. But is it really worth taking that risk? I certainly wouldn’t.
As we go into 2012 the financial future is uncertain for a lot of companies. If your buying a DIY conservatory these are the top things I’d consider when parting with your money.

1) A Deposit guarantee make sure any deposit monies you pay are protected either use a credit card as the card issuer is jointly liable should your DIY conservatory not arrive.
2) The company you’re dealing with, unless they’ve been established for at least 7 years avoid .70% of all business failures occur within this time frame.
3) Get the Conservatory companies latest accounts from company’s house if they have lots of negative working capital. Avoid they are too exposed to credit and cash flow issues.
4) Buy from a manufacturing company, they can respond quickly to any problems that might occur.
5) Price get the best value for money you can and check the specification to make sure your buying the best you can.

By taking these 5 simple steps means you are protecting your cash and getting the best deal for a new DIY conservatory.
Friday March 18, 2011 at 11:29am

Our DIY Conservatory site, has been live since March 2004! over seven years ago years.Back then it used to host a load of conservatory films.Well more information films really which I made myself and frankly are not great.

We have manufactured upvc conservatories using the synseal system since 1996 and sold them supply only all over the UK, europe and even Japan.One thing totally different about a conservatory compared to a upvc window is the massive variation in sizes and styles.

In the early days we attempted to sell a modular range of conservatories or off the shelf sizes.That worked well but over the last few years we have seen a change in the conservatory market.It has polarised into the really cheap conservatory and bespoke or made to measure market.We also found that the amount of coloured conservatories being requested was really increasing along with cut outs and very technical requirements.

So our newly revamped website ( alot of links are broken or empty at the moment) allows the conservatory buyer to get a quick  conservatory quote or detailed conservatory quote.You enter as many details as you have and we will contact you by email or phone with a bespoke quote.

Normally will get back to you within a few days or call you if require any further clarification.As a conservatory company we pride ourselves on being able to perform what other conservatory companies can't do.