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A conservatory or orangery’s average price can vary significantly, depending on the design you choose, its size and that of your property, where you locate it and the materials you use.

Here’s a round-up of some of the things which can affect your budget:

  • Size

Perhaps understandably, this is one of the biggest factors when it comes to cost. And, as with anything else, clearly, the bigger your extension, the more materials will be needed, and of course this affects price.

When it comes to deciding on size, clearly you will need to take into account how big your property is, where you are going to build your home improvement, and how much extra space you need, as well as what your budget is.

  • Design

Of course, there are various conservatory designs to choose from, each one with a different price tag. Talk to us to discuss which one best suits your home – and your budget.

  • Materials

Once again, the options vary:

Frames – Most people choose aluminium or PVC, with a few going for timber. The design you choose may affect which material you go for. Longer-term maintenance costs may also be a factor – wood, for example, will need to be repainted over time, while aluminium and PVC tend to be lower maintenance.

Walls – Fully glazed, full height or dwarf walls? Again, there’s plenty of choice, and much may depend on the location and style of your property, but prices will vary. Full height glazing, which goes well with bi-folding or sliding doors, is becoming increasingly sought-after.

Roof – Glass or solid or a combination of both? Yet again, quality and type of material used will have an impact on price. You will need to think about what you want from your space, and the various roofing materials’ thermal performance, as well as the siting of any roof lights.

Finally, if you want any extra features to create a warm, bright extension you’ll love using all year round, factor these options into your budget too. These could include, for example, internal lighting, underfloor heating, ventilation or decorative columns or external cornices to hide guttering.

At Oasis, we’re well-established installers of conservatories and orangeries across Sussex, from Burwash to Uckfield, and ideally placed to offer you comprehensive pricing advice to suit your property, location and budget. And you’ll find our models fairly priced.

Chat to a member of the friendly, knowledgeable team today – or pop into our new showroom at Hillier Garden Centre.

 

When it comes to designing your conservatory, a little lateral thinking goes a long way. Add some creativity and a few clever design features and your extension doesn’t just create an additional bright, light room in your home, it will also have stacks of style.

Developments in modern design and building mean it’s easier to make your new conservatory whatever you want it to be, from a bigger dining or kitchen space to an extra guest room to somewhere you can spread out an enjoy hobbies or activities such as yoga or meditation.

While loft and basement conversions will also create extra room in your home, the great thing about a conservatory is that, unlike these home improvements, it is connected to the most sociable part of a property.

Indeed, perhaps a key aspect of making a conservatory work is to make it feel very much a welcome extension to your home’s main area, practically and aesthetically. This avoids making it appear an ill-thought out afterthought.

Whether your home is a classic country cottage or a modern townhouse, it’s never been easier to find the right look for your conservatory. What’s more, the extensive selection of materials gives you numerous options for customisation from the outset.

For example, if you’re keen to follow the current trend for industrial-style kitchen décor, you could replicate this in your conservatory with aluminium-framed doors and windows for an eye-catching, dark grey or black finish.

Alternatively, if you’re keener on a botanical theme a solid timber orangery filled with plants could be ideal, and would work well with existing stone or brickwork. Think natural colours like green or grey.

With so many options on offer, you need to achieve the right design and look at the initial consultation stage. It makes sense to speak to an expert who can visit your property, talk you through the process, answer any questions and advise on the best design and style features.

A good designer will also assess the best way of making the extension as light-filled and spacious as possible.

Because, for example, while tiled-roof constructions suit general living and working, and allow for perfect integration with the building that’s already there, if it’s maximum sunshine you’re after, a traditional glass model will be your best bet.

Some hybrid designs, giving another choice, combine the best of both worlds.

At Oasis, during our many years in the industry, we’ve built up the knowledge and expertise to answer just about any concern or query, and can advise on everything from the best site for your conservatory to advice on planning permission.

We’ll encourage you from the outset to think about what you want from your space, and how best to achieve that.

 

We have our part of Sussex covered from Burwash to East Hoathly, and have the experience and expertise to offer extremely well-informed advice about your home improvement. Talk to the team today – or drop into our showroom at the Hillier Garden Centre.

 

April is National Home Improvement Month, and, to mark it, estate agents have been encouraging property owners to carry out work on their homes before they put them up for sale.

After all, it’s a time of year when thoughts may turn to moving, or, perhaps more probably in the current climate, enhancing your current abode.

Chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents Mark Hayward has described home improvements as ‘more important than ever’, explaining: “Faced with a tricky housing market, it’s more important than ever to update and maintain a property.

“Whether you need more space but are unable to afford a move, or whether you want to put your property on the market, you should definitely be making the most of what you have. Whether you’re on a budget or willing to spend, there are always great enhancements you can undertake which will make a real difference it terms of increasing the value of your home.”

Among the home improvements the NAEA suggests are creating an open plan living space, getting rid of overly ‘busy’ wallpaper and painting the front door.

Clearly a conservatory or orangery is another home improvement that could add a great deal to your home’s worth. The exact amount will depend quite a lot on the style and spec of the particular conservatory, but as a conservative estimate, you should add at least 5% on to the value of the house when the time comes to sell.

That’s a figure put forward by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), while estate agents such as Savills suggest a conservatory can boost a house price by as much as 10%.

At Oasis, we have an extensive range of conservatories and orangeries in different styles, shapes and sizes. Come and visit our new showroom on Hailsham Road, Stone Cross, Eastbourne. You’ll have the chance to see some of our many models on show, and chat to us as we help you decide on the ideal one for you. Let us help you learn your P-shape from your Lean-to!

We’re all over East Sussex, from Burwash to Netherfield, and offer a great selection of replacement doors and windows as well as our gorgeous conservatories and orangeries.

If you can’t get to our showroom, get in touch anyway and we’ll be delighted to give you a free quote. There couldn’t be a better time of year to do this. You could be enjoying your enhanced home by the time summer kicks off in earnest.

 

 

 

 

More than half, or around 57%, of British homeowners claim to have had extensive work done on their properties. Of these, nearly a fifth are unsure or ‘couldn’t remember’ as to whether they had the right permission in place before doing the work, according to new research.

In all, some 15% of property owners couldn’t say for certain whether work including conservatories, extensions and the like, needed planning permission to go ahead. Of these, approaching a third, or 29%, said they took the risk because they were confident of getting away with it.

The research, carried out by Co-Op Insurance, found that nearly a fifth, or 19%, felt they didn’t need to seek permission, 14% didn’t even give planning permission a thought, while nearly one in 10 decided not to bother as they feared having to pay extra money. A further 20% didn’t tell insurers about the changes they were making to their homes.

In the currently cautious housing market, more of us are choosing to improve our homes rather than sell up and move. This study perhaps raises some justified concerns about just how much work is being doing without proper authorisation through the relevant channels.

The research also suggests that more than 40% of householders are planning on carrying out building work in the future. Of these, nearly a fifth, or 18%, would risk not seeking proper consent. Again, the belief that they could ‘get away with it’ was cited as the key reason for not obtaining planning permission, with approaching a third or 29% of home owners claiming this.

But, equally, around a quarter felt that waiting for the right permission would slow down work. Slightly more (27%) were worried about the additional potential expense, while 19% comment that permission ‘didn’t seem important.’

According to the survey, there’s even something of a gender divide, with women more likely than men to want to seek appropriate consent for extensive building work.

It is, of course, hugely important that you do have the right permission carried out to your property, and that you tell your insurance company about any material improvements you have done. And of course, not having correct permission can seriously jeopardise any subsequent insurance claims. Equally, subsequent problems can end up being far costlier than the original planning fees.

In the vast majority of cases, for conservatories with certain provisos, planning permission isn’t needed. Nonetheless, you need to be sure that what you are doing is 100% legal before work can begin.

At Oasis Windows, covering our area of East Sussex from Battle to Bexhill and beyond, we’ll talk you through everything, and help you apply for, planning permission where it’s needed. And our industry experience makes it more than likely you’ll get a successful outcome where you do need to apply. Get in touch to discuss your project today.

With the clocks about to go forward, and every indication that spring is finally springing, it’s a great time to make the most of your conservatory or orangery.

While these extensions are ideal for use all year round, in practice over the winter conservatories can be less used, or may become a bit of a dumping ground for things you have no room for elsewhere.

But now the sun is, albeit occasionally and tentatively, starting to make its presence felt, it could be a great season or thinking about the following:

  • Enjoy a blue sky breakfast!

It may not be quite al fresco dining weather yet, but taking the first meal of the day in your conservatory could be the next best thing. Put a breakfast table in a corner of the extension, where you can pull it out easily, and enjoy leisurely weekend mornings over the coffee pot and the papers.

  • Enjoy your hobbies

It’s no wonder New Year’s resolutions don’t work. The weather is at its worst, and all we want to do is stay warm and watch TV. With the longer, lighter evenings, however, it could be a much better time to tackle those novels you’ve always wanted to read (or write!) and pastimes from knitting to sewing to model railway building. Having the view over your garden as a backdrop should help provide inspiration, lift your mood and boost productivity.

  • Revisit that home office idea

Figures from the Financial Times for less than two years ago showed that the number of home workers in the UK had risen to more than four million. Even those of us who do have office-bound jobs are increasingly likely to work at home at least occasionally. Working in your conservatory and catching some sunshine should do wonders for your morale and concentration.

  • Make time to reflect

Spring could also be a good time to de-stress, enjoy some alone time or simply take stock as you enjoy a season of renewal. In the conservatory, where you’ll be able to make the most of the spring weather while staying snug, you could find the calm and peace you need to do just that. Put a rug on the floor, a cheerful throw on the sofa, light a scented candle and take a few deep breaths as you sit back and relax!

Finally, if you don’t have a conservatory, with all the summer ahead, now’s a great time to get planning. At Oasis Windows, we’ve got our area covered, supplying conservatories from Burwash to Hailsham and beyond. Talk to us today about creating a glorious home extension this spring – or visit our new showroom at Hillier Garden Centre.

 

If you’re not exactly sure what they are, lean-to conservatories, also known as Mediterranean conservatories, are highly popular and well known for the simplicity of their design.

Their clean lines give them quite a modern appearance, making them especially suited to contemporary and new-build homes. Essentially, these structures have the straightforward appeal of a Mediterranean sunroom.

This type of home improvement is also perfect if you have limited space under the eaves of your home, for example if you live in a bungalow. Equally, a lean-to is a good plan if available space is too awkward to accommodate other styles of conservatory.

These types of extension have their roots in greenhouses constructed to face south and catch the sun while offering shelter from cold northern winds.

The reason for this is that pitch of the roof of lean-to conservatories can vary – it can be shallow enough to go under a low-lying bungalow roof, while a steeper model would suit a terrace property to perfection.

Also sometimes known as garden rooms or conservatories, lean-tos trap the sunlight all year round and convert it into heat via the glass. So you get a feeling of being somewhere like Spain or the South of France!

The highly economical style of the lean-to also means that you get maximum space for your money.

They are also super-easy to fit because one wall is already in place, i.e. from your existing property, which means you save time, labour and money. What’s more, with heat, water and power already available from the house, installation and maintenance costs are reduced.

And it can be used in a variety of ways, as a greenhouse, playroom, dining room, lounge or even as a kitchen.

With options like underfloor heating and double glazing now available, you can have your extension made to be highly comfortable all year round, very cost-effectively.

At Oasis, we offer a range of superb lean-to models. Talk to us today to find out more. Or visit our new showroom at Hillier Garden Centre Stone Cross. Remember, we’re FENSA-registered, and signed up to the ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme.

An interesting question cropped up in a newspaper’s property legal questions section recently, which we felt was worth passing on.

The homeowners told the paper’s Q & A column that they had obtained retrospective planning permission for their conservatory, but had not gained building regulations consent when they built the extension themselves a number of years ago.

They added that, now they wanted to sell their property, potential buyers were being put off by this.

According to their solicitor, any buyer would accept indemnity insurance to cover the issue. However, in practice it seems that buyers are rather less keen.

The paper’s legal expert replied that this was perhaps not surprising, given that an indemnity policy is no guarantee that the conservatory had been built properly and safely. That’s because a policy like that would only cover any enforcement action taken by a local authority. It would not cover building standards or the safety of the home improvement.

Equally, if buyers carried out any work on the property, the policy could even be invalidated. What’s more, if they wanted to make any future buildings insurance claim in relation to the conservatory, it could well fail without existing building regs approval.

The lawyer added that if retrospective building regulations consent was refused, it would be very hard to get an indemnity insurance policy. So the householders had to be sure the conservatory had been built in compliance with building regulations. They were advised to get a surveyor’s view on whether this was the case before applying for building regs consent retrospectively.

It’s worth remembering why we have building regulations in the first place. Essentially, they are to do with people’s health, safety and welfare around buildings. At the same time, the rules ensure new structures are sound, energy efficient and properly ventilated, with adequate fire safety protection.

Most conservatories are exempt unless their floor area is bigger than 30 square metres, or they are separated from the house by external walls, doors or windows, or have an independent heating system.

Using an established, reputable firm for your conservatory is the best way of ensuring you don’t get into the sort of situation in which the householders who wrote to the paper found themselves. At Oasis, we always fully comply with all relevant, current building regulations and are well placed to offer advice on all aspects of compliance, both with building regs and planning permission.

Talk to us today, whether you’re in Bexhill, Hastings, Eastbourne or beyond – or pop in and see us at our new showroom at Hillier Garden Centre.

 

If your conservatory or orangery has felt a tad chilly recently, that can detract from the comfort of your home improvement.

In truth, most modern conservatories, like ours, aren’t like igloos these days, and are well-insulated and made from quality materials. We’ve also given previous tips on how to stay warm in yours.

But another option is to focus on the floor. Under floor heating (UFH) may once have been considered a luxury item, but these solutions have become far more affordable.

Heating the floor means heat rises steadily throughout your structure, making for a cosier overall environment.

It’s a gentle but effective way of heating the whole conservatory without pipes, radiators or grilles, so you end up with both more room and wall space.

Essentially, the choice is between wet or electric under floor heating:

  • Electric Under Floor Heating

This is the cheapest version to install, and also the most popular. It works thanks to a system of linked elements, most often in rolls of matting, usually laid out over the floor and hooked up to your mains power and thermostat. These solutions are the easiest to fit under your floor, or under your carpets – and they work in upstairs rooms as well. Although cheaper to fit, bear in mind that electrical underfloor heating can cost more to operate, so it’s a balancing act.

  • A Water-Based System

This uses hot water, and gains its heat from your central heating. Plastic pipes are laid under the floor, and hot water circulates through them. One benefit of a solution like this is that it uses heated water more efficiently than radiators do, creating a toasty temperature of between 23 and 32⁰ C. These systems cost less over time. And a water-based heating solution can be installed along with your conservatory. However, to heat the system and use your current central heating, you may need a new boiler.

Whichever type of solution you pick, the great thing about UFH is that it works with most kinds of flooring. So you can have this heating whether you have an existing conservatory or are building a new one.

If you have carpet, that should be fine, but ensure the underlay isn’t a good thermal insulator, otherwise the heat won’t rise through it. Generally speaking, that means having less than 2.5 tog of thermal resistance.

With tile, stone, ceramic or terracotta flooring, heating does take longer, however, flagstone, for example, has outstanding heat retention properties.

If you have timber floor, talk to your supplier first. For vinyl or laminate floors, again, seek advice – not all are compatible.

We cover conservatories in Sussex from Eastbourne to East Hoathly, so are ideally placed to advise you on all aspects of your home improvement, including UFH. Talk to us today.

One of the things we find ourselves being asked quite often is – what exactly is an orangery?

And it’s a question we’re getting more and more as orangeries start to outpace conservatories in popularity.

The word has been used to describe a variety of structures, most of which are quite different from the seventeenth century’s classical orangeries. So perhaps the confusion isn’t that surprising.

Historical orangeries

To really answer the question What is an orangery? you need to go back a few hundred years to 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, when orangeries first started appearing in the grounds of grand houses. And, as the name suggests, they were used above all for the overwintering of citrus trees and other delicate plants that couldn’t otherwise withstand the British climate, in tubs.

Originally conceived in Italy and adapted in Holland, the earliest orangeries were a real status symbol.

The orangery today

In its simplest terms, the orangery today can be described as a room with a glazed lantern fitted into a flat roof. The lantern adds the appearance of height to give a spacious, open feel.

It differs from a conservatory in that the latter is fully glazed, with roof beams going right to the edge.

Today’s orangery could have any combination of windows, doors and masonry – and doors could be French or bifolding, for example.

While conservatories use minimal brickwork, and are about creating a complete extension of the main house, orangeries tend to be bigger, and have more brickwork.

Finally, while both types of extension can use modern glass technology and double glazing for climate control, orangeries do tend to be of a timber construction, whereas conservatories will come in a variety of materials from uPVC to aluminium as well as wood.

We find our customers love their orangeries because of the versatility of these structures. Whether you’re after a study, dining room, kitchen extension or just some general extra living space, for family or for entertaining, an orangery fits the bill and can be adapted to suit your lifestyle.

An orangery adds value to you home as well as giving you extra space and, above all, being extremely elegant.

So, next time someone asks you What is an orangery? you’ll know the answer!

At Oasis Windows, our clients from Uckfield to Hastings love our orangeries, and we’re getting more enquiries about these home improvements all the time. Get a free, no obligation quote for one of Sussex orangeries today.

Orangeries and conservatories are incredibly versatile structures which can be used in so many different ways. One thing that can be rather easily forgotten is just how adaptable these extensions can be for exploring hobbies and pastimes, whether they’re old favourites or newly adopted enjoyments.

It may be that you are taking up something new in retirement, or a house move or other change in circumstances has prompted a decision to take up or continue a hobby, perhaps an activity that you enjoyed previously but had to drop for whatever reason.

Unfortunately, space can be a key factor behind some people stopping the pursuits they love. Many hobbies also need good natural light. The good news is that a conservatory or orangery gives you plenty of both. Equally, you will be able to pursue your favourite pastimes while staying comfortably warm in winter and cool in the summer.

With needlecraft and sewing for example, you need lots of non-artificial daylight, and to be able to spread your work out, put it aside and come back to it without having to pack it away each time you stop working. The same goes for jigsaw puzzles, for which you need to be able to identify often quite subtle distinctions in colour and shape.

At the same time, birdwatching can be easily done from your conservatory or orangery, where you will get an outstanding view of all the feathered friends that come into your garden.

These home improvements can also be great places from which to enjoy activities such as tabletop gaming (think Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer) without disturbing the rest of the family.

You could even consider putting a table tennis, pool or snooker in your conservatory.

Among the more unusual hobbies you could take up is cloudspotting, which has soared in popularity since the publication around a decade ago of the globally bestselling The Cloudspotter’s Guide. This is a very relaxing hobby, and, after all, the UK does have more than its fair share of clouds to observe! Enjoy watching them as they scud past your conservatory or orangery’s glass roof.

Whatever hobby you love, a home improvement from Oasis Windows could make it more possible. Talk to us today, wherever in Sussex you live. Don’t forget we also now have a showroom at Hillier Garden Centre, Eastbourne, so come and see us there if you can.