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South-facing conservatory - yay or nay

(45 Posts)
KnockMeDown Tue 14-Feb-17 16:41:03

We are currently considering extending downstairs, to put a family-type room onto the kitchen diner, with bi-fold doors out onto patio. Budget considerations, and other work which needs doing, mean we may need to downgrade from proper extension to conservatory. However our architect and his wife, who assists him and advises on design, have advised that conservatories, especially south-facing, which is what ours will be, will be very hot in summer, cold in winter, and we would end up not using it. They said they are taking loads down.

So what is your experience? Do you use your conservatory? Is it too hot in summer if south facing? Interested in all opinions, as we only have their word to go on.

VickieCherry Tue 14-Feb-17 17:13:11

We have one, though it has a shaded roof and a lot of the light is blocked by woods behind the house so it's not so bad as it could be.

It is very, very hot on hot days in summer - my candles melted, despite not being in direct sun. It is also cold in winter, though a heater makes it warm enough quite quickly.

If I could possibly afford it I would knock it down and turn it into a single-level extension of the kitchen with a glass roof. We'd get more use from the space, and the extremes of temperature would be less because of the brick walls.

HiDBandSIL Tue 14-Feb-17 17:15:13

I had a conservatory in a previous house - south facing too - and I completely agree. They're horrible things. Apologies to anyone who has one. I definitely would never get one and would actually take it down if I bought a house with one in place.

AprilLudgateDwyer Tue 14-Feb-17 17:16:44

We have s south facing conservatory and the only way we have stopped it being an oven in summer is to buy very very expensive heat reflecting glass roof and ridiculously expensive ceiling blinds. It isn't cold in winter as we have a heater in there. With the special roof and blinds it's actually very pleasant to spend time in there!

AprilLudgateDwyer Tue 14-Feb-17 17:17:52

Ours is a brick based one which I think helps with the heat as well.

museumum Tue 14-Feb-17 17:19:12

Can you not have a sunroom instead? With a proper roof and low walls.
I've always heard south facing conservatories are a Nono.

dingit Tue 14-Feb-17 17:21:55

I really regret our conservatory and not building a brick extension. Even with heating ours is too chilly in winter. I use it a lot in spring/autumn, it makes a great art studio.!

chipmonkey Tue 14-Feb-17 17:24:53

My SIL lives close to me. She has a sun room off her kitchen diner which is a lovely space. She has a sofa and TV in it, no bi-fold doors but patio doors out on to a decking area. The family pretty much hang out in the entire kitchen-dining-living space.
My other neighbour has the same kitchen-diner as SIL but she has a conservatory instead. They really don't seem to use it half as much as SIL does and it very much feels like the conservatory is an add-on and a separate room, rather than the single large space that SIL has.

Suttonmum1 Tue 14-Feb-17 17:27:08

Had one already when we bought the house. Took it down and built extension. Freezing in winter, an oven in Summer.

everythingshunkdory Tue 14-Feb-17 17:32:31

Some of the ultraframe (and I'm sure other brands too) do more garden rooms than conservatories. We looked at the livin'room that is done to building regs insulation standard, but more conservatory than extension prices.

NickyEds Tue 14-Feb-17 17:32:41

We have a south facing conservatory and it's comfortable for about three minutes a year! It's ok in spring and autumn. In winter it's ok from 12-3 if the sun is shining- if it's not it's freezing. At 7.30 am this morning you could see your breath in there. In Summer you can get sodding heat stroke walking through it to open the door. It's nice on Summer evenings but as we use it as a play room that's not a lot of use to us. We rent so I'm perfectly happy with it as it's bonus extra space but I don't think I'd pay to have one on my own home- I'd save for a proper extension.

JoJoSM2 Tue 14-Feb-17 17:33:46

We're about to take out down. I'd modify your extension plans to fit your budget, e.g. Smaller size, cheaper doors instead of bifolds etc.

KnockMeDown Tue 14-Feb-17 18:01:21

Wow, wasn't expecting this much consensus - thanks everyone! I think it's a no to a conservatory, then! If the bugdet won't stretch, we may just improve current patio and doors, and spend the money elsewhere in the house instead! No point extending for the sake of it, if it won't be usable.

NickyEds Tue 14-Feb-17 18:08:39

I went into ours late one Summer afternoon to find ds had left some crayons on the windowsill and they had melted I to a congealed mess! So hot.

talulahbelle Tue 14-Feb-17 18:14:45

Ours is south east facing, 2 solid walls (house/garage) and 2 dwarf walls with glass above. Opening windows all the time way round too. We paid £££ for posh glass and ceiling blinds which help even out the temperature and it gets a lot of use, it's even been used these really cold days with a fan heater in, and in the height of summer.
It replaced an old fully glazed conservatory that was basically a lean-to greenhouse. Now that was a waste.

Danicc Tue 14-Feb-17 18:14:56

In the summer our conservatory regularly gets up to 50 degrees Celsius. It's south facing and we wish we had built an extension/ sunroom instead.

ArchNotImpudent Tue 14-Feb-17 18:15:18

I have one - it was there when I bought the house - and will stick up for them. It's too hot to use during the day in summer, but I tend to want to be out in the garden itself then, anyway. It's fine at night when the sun's gone down. It really comes into its own in Spring and Autumn - it can make a bright but cold day feel really summery.

Mine has radiators, so is usable in winter and even then gets surprisingly warm by itself on a sunny day.

I will add that I live up north, in a very cold, windy location, so quite possibly that's why I find mine more usable than some.

Dandeliondelilah Tue 14-Feb-17 18:39:43

Mine is south facing and pleasant only in April and October. Otherwise uncomfortably hot or cold. Have to keep the inner door (to the rest of the house) closed summer and winter to protect the main house from the extremes of temperature. I can't even use it for storage as the sunlight just fades and perishes everything. Not worth the ground it is built on; we are about to replace it with a proper brick built, insulated, solid roofed garden room.

IrenetheQuaint Tue 14-Feb-17 18:43:23

I love mine; I can't use it on winter evenings but otherwise it is fantastic all year round. If it's hot in summer I just open the door and/or go out into the garden.

Also fantastic for drying washing.

JellyWitch Tue 14-Feb-17 18:46:56

Mine is north facing and lovely April-September. Would still replace it with a proper room when we have the funds.

PickAChew Tue 14-Feb-17 18:49:28

We have a big south facing kitchen window and end up virtually closing the blinds when it's sunny. We can't even open the window on a hot summer's day because it simply lets more heat in from the sun trap area directly outside.

SingingTunelessly Tue 14-Feb-17 18:49:29

Our south facing conservatory is an extension of the tv room/snug. Really wish we'd just had a proper extension built instead. It's a complete waste of space - way too hot in the summer. Only pleasurable in winter with two radiators blasting away. Would never do it again.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Feb-17 18:50:19

My mum has one either too hot or too cold apart from spring or Autumn so a no vote from me too

I would build an extension with skylights in bricks and not the bifold door so spend money on bricks rather than glass

We have got an extension that faces south west with solid walls and big windows, patio doors and skylight Windows velux type with heat proof blinds in Windows and velux roof and the bricks make it a much more even temp all year round smilesmile

ILikTheBred Tue 14-Feb-17 18:52:56

I have a south-facing kitchen extension which is floor to ceiling glass on two sides, brick on the other with a glass roof with heat reflective glass. We have underfloor heating so it's lovely 9 months a year but can get very hot in summer. When I was putting it in I considered getting an air conditioning unit and regret that I didn't. There are bifold doors on both sides of the glass which we open fully to help reduce the heat in summer. Overall though I absolutely love it.

twinklefoot Tue 14-Feb-17 18:59:00

Mine is South West facing. It has taken me 10 years to appreciate it's magic! As a pp says it is a real bonus at the end of January through to Spring. I sit in there on a sunny day and it really lifts my mood. It brings the Spring forward.

I do have a large tree by it which helps to cool it but not much in the Summer, although it is ok, pleasant to sit in there at sunset. smile

I think if you think you can use it year round then you will be disappointed but if you use it as a nice bonus at certain times of the year and day you will get a lot from it.

Ours is quite old now and I will definitely replace it after years of moaning about it's existence!

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