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Conservatory: too cold in winter - should I get rid of it and build an extension?

40 replies

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:43

Has anyone got a conservatory that is useable all rear round? DO they exist?

Our medium sized UPVC lean to conservatory is unusable in winter - but OK in summer since we put special inserts in the roof. It is about 10 years old and was here when we bought the house. There is a radiator - that is OK for milder days but pointless in midwinter. The is no door between the conservatory and the rest of the house - so in winter we have to have thick curtains drawn all the time because it makes downstairs freezing cold. I hate it.

We were thinking of replacing it with a brick built conservatory which is cheaper than an extension. We want to use this as a year round family room/study/play area.

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Miggsie · 07/04/2008 14:46

I have underfloor heating in mine so it's lovely.
I did it myself using a kit from Wickes. We have tiles over the top.
My conservatory is brick base with glass.
I also have the ceiling covered with the solar reflecting stuff as it gets too hot in summer sometimes.
My only regret is I did not make the windows with bigger openings to stop the overheating.

I completely recommend heated floors and so do all 6 of my cats.

RGPargy · 07/04/2008 14:47

do it! we have lean to conserv too and its a pain unless it's spring. would much rather have extension but funds dont allow. soz for typing, dd asleep on me

Wheelybug · 07/04/2008 14:50

Ours is usable all year round.

We didnt' think it was the first year we lived here but had a load of work done in the house and the builders spotted how cold the conservatory was. It turned out the radiators were bunged up - once they were cleaned out it is toastier than our sitting room !

We use it all year round as a playroom. It is brickbase with UPVC.

Having said that, if we stay here long term we will replace it with an extension to the sitting room.

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:50

Heated floors eh - that's a good idea. And are you able to use yours all the year through?

It would be cheaper for us to have a brick base conservatory rather than a formal extension. Even though I would like the family room to be a bit bigger than it currently is, I am prepared to use the existing footprint and some clever storage solutions if it means we can be warm in winter.

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DJCod · 07/04/2008 14:50

is it north facing?

Miggsie · 07/04/2008 14:52

Yes, the heated floor means in winter it is lovely.
It is thermostat controlled so I keep it ticking over during the week and put it up full for the weekend when we actually use it.
It heats up very quickly and I put all my dahlia pots on it in spring to give them a good start

lilyloo · 07/04/2008 14:53

Ours is brick based and we find a blow heater as well as radiator soon warms it up.Can you not get door fitted to block it off from rest of house when you aren't using it ? Underfloor heating is a great idea though if you can afford it.

nappyaddict · 07/04/2008 14:53

do you have central heating in there?

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:53

Why will u replace it wheely? To get a bigger space?

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DJCod · 07/04/2008 14:53

ours is south facing
onyl codl on really icy mornings liek yest.
we haev knocked through so ktichen conserv fits in 37 people.

we haev a rain acitvated suatomatic roof vent

get us

edam · 07/04/2008 14:54

We have a north-west facing conservatory. Freezing in winter, boiling in summer. I wish I had the money to tear the damn thing down and build a proper extension!

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:55

We have a thick radiator in ours - but as I said it is only effective if outside if about 8 - 10 celcius.

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TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:56

And it is north facing yes. The sun hits us in the morning during summer from the right hand side, and hardly at all in winter.

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nappyaddict · 07/04/2008 14:56

bunny - is it all glass or brick and glass?

Wheelybug · 07/04/2008 14:56

37 people - is that approximate Cod?

Our conservatory leads off our sitting room, which isn't small but not huge either. Its also quite dark. I think if we were staying here long term we would make the sitting room a bigger space and we would be able to do something to make the room brighter. At teh moment though whilst there's still a lot of plastic tat toys around its nice to have a separate room !

Wheelybug · 07/04/2008 14:56

Ours in west facing.

DJCod · 07/04/2008 14:57

yes hte partner of the 37th perons had ot stand outside and press his nose up against the bonhomie

nappyaddict · 07/04/2008 14:57

sorry i didn't realise you were the op

DJCod · 07/04/2008 14:57

south is ok here
tbh if its THAT hot are oyu inside anyway?

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 14:58

It's UPVC and glass. OUr friend who lives round the corner has a brick/glass one which she got done really cheap and it seems a lot warmer than ours and her house faces the same way as ours.

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TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 15:03

DH doesn't want us to have another conservatory. But I like the open feel of the roof.

Ours leads on from the dining room. I would like it to be one metre longer, but as it is now it could be a good useable space if temperature were not an issue. We have put 10 small kids, 6 adults and a clown in there before for DS's party.

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DJCod · 07/04/2008 15:09

i like the sound of rain on the glass roof

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 15:12

OUr roof is plastic and it sounds a bit loud because there are no doors between the conservatory, dining room and lounge, so when it rains heavily you can't hear anything! Which is one of the reasons DH doesn't want another one.

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wiggleit · 07/04/2008 15:34

Hi, just reading through this thread and thought i'd pick your DH and i are considering adding a conservatory to the back of our house, it would come off the lounge but would have doors to separate, our main concern is that we have a south facing garden and our lounge gets very hot as it is, would we get any use out of it? I want it as an extra room that we can use all year round. tia

TheSweetLittleBunny · 07/04/2008 16:03

Well I guess that depends on whether it is a brick based or UPVC. As you can see - brick based seems to be the better option, and since our old conservatory was put up - technology has advanced so you can get all kinds of glass or polycarbonate roofing that is better insultated in summer and doesn't turn your conservatory into a greenhouse in summer.

South facing though - the front of our house is south facing and it does get pretty hot - so if you are thinking seriously about it, you need to research your glass and roofing and get the best you can afford.

And get underfloor heating like Miggsie

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