Why Richmond Oak Conservatories?

What we offer you and why we believe we are best positioned to provide your conservatory, orangery or garden room.

My name is Paul FitzGerald and I am the owner of the Company. My own background includes 9 years teaching architectural & engineering drawing, building and workshop practice, and 32 years owning my own conservatory, window and building companies.

I retired in 2001, but within 18 months I was back working as a consultant with several National Brand conservatory businesses. I was just beginning to get despondent about the lack of service being provided by these firms when I came across Richmond Oak Ltd. and immediately fell in love with their unique bespoke, seasoned oak conservatories and orangeries. Continue reading

Glazing next to a Boundary is NOT a good move

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

Conservatory Building and Installation Options

Conservatory Building and Installation Options

Richmond Oak is one of the few conservatory companies offering clients the full range of conservatory building and installation options, providing choices from supply-only, to a full ‘Turn-Key’ system from Survey, through planning and building regulations (where required), to the final completed job. This includes all supervised building works, lead-work and final microporous paint finish to the frames. Each construction is project managed from initial design, hand-built and meticulously finished by our team of skilled carpenters, joiners and craftsmen.

Richmond Oak is also happy to work alongside your own preferred builders. We will provide the same information, drawings and specifications to your builder, as we do our own. At the contract stage, the only things we don’t usually get involved with are selection of floor finishes, choosing light fittings or other works such as kitchens, or final decoration of the plastered walls, where required. Continue reading

IWA Insurance backed Guarantee & Deposit Indemnity

We understand that one of the biggest concerns of our clients is losing their deposit or guarantee, should the company they contract with cease trading. The difficult trading conditions during the past four years have led to hundreds of home improvement companies going out of business, leaving thousands of their customers with lost deposits and invalidated guarantees. This includes a number of substantial, established timber conservatory companies like Baltic Pine, Glass Houses, Priory Conservatories, Fawsley, Durabuild and more recently, the oldest and largest company in the industry, Amdega.

I know that our potential clients may not feel so confident as we are about our business and now we are able to provide guaranteed reassurance that purchasing from us is as safe as we claim.

Richmond Oak Conservatories have selected the IWA Insurance backed Guarantee & Deposit Indemnity scheme. 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

Conservatory Photos @ ConservatoryPhotos.co.uk from Conservatory Advice