Here, glass and timber structure specialist, Mozolowski & Murray, offers highly qualified advice on aspects to consider when extending your self-build project.
Deciding on what you want at the very beginning, and broadly sticking to it, will greatly reduce the risk of overrunning and overspending. It is just as important when considering a conservatory, orangery or extension to decide how this space will be used, size allocation, whether it should blend into the proposed style of build or become a design statement and where the best position on the proposed property will be in terms of light, space, view and relationship with the rest of the house.
It is advised that you involve your supplier as early in the self-build process as possible. If you are not using an integrated service, then there may be additional planning and project management aspects to consider from the outset.
Design and purpose
It is more often than not the case that your design will reflect your existing style of home. The beauty of a self-build project is that you can look at your home more objectively and decide if you want to use additional space to reflect something that is the same as the main style of house or add something completely different. A modern build, for example, could look stunning with a period feature orangery, as could a period style build with a more contemporary style glass and timber conservatory or extension.
Mozolowski & Murray has an in-house team of designers and draftsman who use state-of-the-art technology to create 3D images of your plans, bringing your vision to life. This is something that should always be offered to you as part of any design service, as without this you won’t get a true sense of what your extension will look like.
Early consideration should be given to purpose. What do you want your space to achieve and what is its relationship with the rest of your home and garden?
With a self-build you already have the advantage of determining how each space is used, therefore, with a conservatory, extension or orangery you can decide how this space fits into what you want to achieve overall. As more people aspire to open-plan living that connects to the outdoors, glass extensions are becoming impressive light spaces for living, kitchen and dinning rooms that open right out into the garden, for an all year round inspirational living and dining experience. Other popular uses are home offices, light luxurious living rooms with a view or a family space to relax and enjoy.
What is consistent amongst most clients is the desire for more light, creating a seamless connection from home to garden and achieving a lifestyle enhancing space that complements the existing style of home. Having a pitched roof conservatory to match the existing house roof design, for example, is a popular request resulting in an impressive symmetry of design and space.
The popularity of more solid roof structures incorporated with glazed sections has also emerged over the past few years and the individuality of these designs is proving to be an attractive alternative to the traditional conservatory roof.
Not only should the materials you use be considered from an aesthetics viewpoint, but also in terms of the location of your home, weather exposure, durability, maintenance and planning consent.
Mozolowski & Murray designs its products for the Scottish climate, so coated glazing is used to ensure the space is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The same applies to the insulation it uses in achieving highly insulated extensions which can be used comfortably all year round.
An increasingly popular choice of material is cedar. A natural wood that is durable, looks stunning and can be coloured to suit, is now featured on many extensions and garden suites, adding a real wow factor to homes and gardens across the UK.
The colour of timber finishes, types of floor finishes, glazing and internal design features such as stone walls, unique lighting designs, cornicing and added extras like remote control windows, blinds and built-in surround sound, are all options that should be highlighted at the start so you end up with truly seamless results.
Choosing a subtle neutral colour internally will allow your eye to capture the view beyond, as it lessens visual distraction. Whereas, a dark or natural timber finish will direct the eye towards the frames in the first instance and then onto the surroundings. If you wish to achieve both, then dual colour will be the ideal choice for you. This means you can have your preferred colour on the internal frame and a different colour to suit externally, creating the perfect balance.
Planning and process
In many cases planning permission is required as is a building warrant, so it is important to factor in time for this in your plans. If you choose the right conservatory company, then they should take care of the details for you. It is worth noting, however, that it can take between six and 12 weeks for permission to be granted.
If you are concerned about how to calculate the costs of a conservatory or extension for a self-build, then don’t be. A quote can be issued off plans so you can forecast the cost. If using a company with an integrated service, you get a full cost upfront so you know what your fixed spend will be before the project begins. It is also worth noting that if you add a conservatory onto your self-build and it is complete ahead of your habitation certificate being issued, you can save the VAT at 20%.
A quality conservatory or extension that adds character and depth to your self-build design will instantly add value to your home. Not just in financial terms, but in lifestyle choices. While a big decision, if done to a high standard, it will be a lifetime investment.