Glazing next to a Boundary is NOT a good move

Richmond Oak Conservatories

Why is glazing next to a Boundary NOT a good move?

Almost every week I get asked to include glazing next to a boundary, or on the boundary, which I always refuse. In 35 years, I’ve never done it and I’ll walk away from any job where my client insists it’s what they want! Perhaps, I should explain why? Continue reading

Triple Glazing

I’ve just had an illuminating conversation with the technical Director at our glass supplier. He has software which calculates the efficiency of double glazed and triple glazed units, dependent upon the type of glass, the thickness of the glass, the space between the glass, the type of gas and the type of spacer used.

It would appear the benefits of triple glazing are being marketed heavily by the glass manufacturers to increase their glass volume output by 50%. However, the true benefits of triple glazing are only evident if the combination of certain factors are at optimum. Continue reading

Zero-rated VAT: Approved Alterations to Listed Buildings

We have been asked by many client’s to clarify the implementation of the removal of Zero-rated VAT for alterations to Listed Buildings on the 1st October 2012. The content on this page is taken ‘word-for-word’ from a document issued by the HMRC. Unusually, it is very clear about the change, so I have not sought to change or clarify anything further concerning the following content.

Please note the last paragraph about ‘Anti-forestalling legislation’ which basically means if you try to evade the VAT by say, asking your builder to raise a zero-rated invoice for the work, prior to completion before the 1st October, this is illegal.

Please also note the exceptions in the paragraph headed ‘Transitional arrangements… where a contract was entered into before 21 March 2012″. Continue reading

The value of a Conservatory Ball Park Figure?

Is there really any value in a conservatory Ball Park Figure?

There’s not a day goes past when we are not asked “Please can you provide a quote or budget price for a conservatory…” from a rough description over the phone. Quite often followed by “…we only want a ‘ball-park figure, we won’t hold you to it”. When you take into consideration the 30+ main considerations which can have significant effects on price, you might see how difficult it is to come up with a meaningful figure. For a conservatory of the same size and design, depending on the choices, the least costly way of being able to do the project, can be one third of the most expensive option.

So why is this so important? Continue reading

Factors Affecting Conservatory Price

The main factors affecting conservatory price are:


  • Location: Frequently a conservatory is into a corner, with just two sides, or into a courtyard, with only one side.
  • Size: width, projection, frame height, height at house wall
  • Type: Conservatory with 75%+ glass roof, Orangery having flat roof and central lantern or Garden Room with tiled or slate roof, both the latter requiring building regulations.
  • Material: from white PVC at 45% of the cost of Oak, rising through coloured PVC, aluminium, pine, Sapele, Idigbo to the very best seasoned Oak
  • Frame type: Storm-proof sashes, standard with 70mm frames. Flush, conservation sashes with 90mm frames. Typical for Listed Properties.
  • Frame features: Do you require glazing bars, such as Georgian style squares, leaded lights or coloured glass features?
  • Doors: number and position of doors or double doors (recommended door width 700-800)
  • Window openings: number and position of openings (recommended window width 700-800) Recommended min of 2 full height openings, 4 if conservatory over 10 sq.m.
  • Frame/roof centres: Important – window sashes shouldn’t exceed 800mm, if you want the roof rafters to align with the frames.
  • Roof Design: the simpler the design, the lower the price.
  • Box Gutters: Does the design require a box gutter. If so, does it need to be structural?
  • Insulation: A rated glazing with minimum of 1.1 u value recommended
  • Roof glass: solar control glass should be standard unless in the shadow of a North facing house (0.9-1.0 u value, keeps out up to 78% of unwanted heat)
  • Frame glass: clear solar control glass with 1.0 u value, should be used on South facing conservatories.
  • Roof Ventilation: warm air rises – it’s essential to fit roof vents minimum one up to 12 sq.m., two over. These can be manual, electric or automatic.
  • Planning: Depending upon the position and size, amongst other factors, such as being Listed or in a conservation area or area of outstanding natural beauty, etc. will determine whether you need to allow for Planning Costs.

Once you have decided upon the design and specifications for you conservatory, the following are the building work considerations whether the material be PVC, Aluminium, Pine, Sapele, Idigbo or seasoned Oak. Continue reading

Timber Conservatory Cost Comparison

Like many of our clients, you may wonder why a timber conservatory can cost more than a conventional single storey extension. So it helps to consider a timber conservatory cost comparison

Quite simply, a normal brick built, single storey, tiled roof extension and a conservatory should have identical footings, etc. up to floor level. However, above floor a traditional extension has bricks, blocks, mortar, insulation, treated sawn softwood, plasterboard, tiles, battens and off-the-shelf windows.

Whereas, a bespoke timber conservatory has the same brickwork, blocks, mortar and insulation, etc, albeit usually in smaller amounts, but the rest is in bespoke joinery, to a high standard, having high specification glazing and patented special roofing. This also requires the use of highly skilled labour. Anyone who has had a made-to-measure timber window, or door, will know the cost of such work is several times greater. Continue reading

Conservatory Brochures

Since our last brochure ran out in 2006 and as 99% of our enquiries come via the internet, both for environmental and economic reasons, we no longer send out printed conservatory brochures. Instead, we took a policy decision to concentrate on producing the best and most informative websites on conservatories in the world. Something I believe we have now achieved and which has substantially increased our enquiry level, since doing so. Below you will find more information about our main conservatory websites and photo gallery. Continue reading

Solar Control Glass

You will probably have heard the expression.. “Conservatories are too cold in the Winter and too hot in the Summer?

That can be true and most are. But NOT a Richmond Oak Conservatory or hardwood Orangery.

The use of a conservatory depends upon maintaining a comfortable temperature by ensuring the design incorporates the correct combination of glazing material and ventilation.

Obviously, if your conservatory is on a north facing wall, in the shadow of a two storey house, then solar control glass will not be necessary but, you will require a glass with a good insulation value. At Richmond Oak, we always provide the correct glazing for whatever position your conservatory sits in relation to the Sun and our options include the highest available insulation glass and solar control glass in the domestic market today. Continue reading

Certass Glazing Certification

Richmond Oak Conservatories Ltd is part of Certass

Certass is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2006 to improve standards in the glazing industry and provides a system which allows approved contractors to self-certify installations. This means they don’t need to submit a building notice or use an approved inspector, whenever they install windows, doors or conservatories to comply with building regulations, saving you money in the process.

Richmond Oak Conservatories has chosen Certass as the organisation to be afiliated with instead of Fensa, which is a similar glazing regulatory body. Continue reading

Conservatory Furniture and Furnishings

Conservatory FurniturePart of the pleasure of designing and planning a new conservatory is choosing the conservatory furniture and furnishings that will make it a welcoming place to spend time in. However, it is best to avoid using most furniture you may already have in your home, especially if valuable, antique or a dark colour, as they will be damaged by the heat and sunlight.

If you are choosing wood furniture, choose a solid wood like teak that has the added advantage that you can use it outside if required.

Sensible choices, much in keeping with a conservatory lifestyle, is Rattan or Lloyd Loom furniture.

The other problem is fading to fabrics, so it is sensible to avoid using dark colours that can fade very quickly. It is best to choose light colours that will fade less and in case give a feeling of greater spaciousness in the conservatory. Alternatively, make sure that you install and use conservatory blinds to protect your fabrics. Continue reading

Conservatory Photos @ from Conservatory Advice