Classic and elegant in design

November 11th, 2005

The Victorian conservatory is classic and elegant in design and its versatility and pleasing aesthetics make it suitable for all types of homes, new or old

white pvc-u conservatory

All styles are tailor made to your requirements and you have complete control over the look of your new Victorian Conservatory such as the position of the doors, the colour of the materials in white, woodgrain, or light oak and to keep it’s traditional appearance why not add ornate finials and crestings to the ridge.

wite upvc conservatory

The roof covering can be either clear, bronze or opal white polycarbonate sheeting or if your after something a little special why not have a double glazed glass roof with self cleaning glass on the outside and Pilkingtons K glass on the inside to keep your new conservatory warm all year round

square victorian conservatory on a stone dwarf wall

Your new conservatory not only compliments your home but makes the most out of the extra space with the addition of elegant cane or wicker furniture or for the modern approach a leather suit.

internal view of a lightoak victorian conservatory with wicker furniture

Building your conservatory foundation

November 11th, 2005

Excavate the conservatory foundation down to solid ground a minimum depth of 900mm (2′-6″) and cast the concrete foundation a minimum depth of 200mm (8″). This is the minimum depth of concrete. Once the concrete has set, normally overnight, build the brickwork up to the height of the existing house foundation. The next stage is to backfill any earth to fill all the voids and to hardcore the entire floor area to a minimum depth of 150mm (6″) and compact using a vibating plate compactor, sand blinding about 25mm (1″) is added to prevent the visqueen sheeting vapour barrier from being damaged, this is also compacted using a vibrating plate. Lay 1200 gauge visqueen sheeting to the total floor area and over lap to cover your new brickwork to prevent any staining by the concrete. The concrete floor is poured using premixed concrete, this can be mixed on site by a barrowmix service and you only pay for the amount of concrete you use. Leave the floor a couple of days to set and then you are ready to build the dwarf wall for your new conservatory.

conservatory foundation detail

For speed of construction you can mass pour the foundation to 4 - 5 course’s of brickwork below the existing house foundation, the additional cost of concrete will be outweighed by the saving of materials and labour to build up to the same height.

Planning permission for your conservatory

November 11th, 2005

Guidelines for planning permission

Planning permission is not normally required if you follow these guidelines

1. A detached or semi-detached dwelling may be extended without planning permission by up to 70 cubic metres or 15% of the volume of the original house, whichever is the greater to a maximum of 115 cubic metres.

2. A terraced house or a house in a National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, a conservation area or other specially designated area may be extended up to 50 cubic metres or 10% of the volume of the original house.

3. The conservatory is used solely for domestic purposes.

4. The overall height of the conservatory must not exceed 4 metres when the conservatory is less than 2 metres from any boundary, the height of the conservatory may equal the height of the house.

5. The roof and walls are glazed with translucent or transparent materials with safety glazing at low level.

6. No part of the conservatory should be closer to the highway than the nearest part of the original house unless there would be at least 20 metres between the house and the highway.

Always consult with your local planning officer and wait for planning consent (if required) before commencing any building work, failure to follow this advice could result to your new conservatory having to be demolished

Build your own Conservatory Base

November 6th, 2005

Step by step guide on how to build a Victorian Conservatory base

Using the Victorian conservatory cill as a template dig the conservatory foundation down to solid ground a min 2′-6″ down removing most of the waste soil and clay into a skip and level the remaining earth to give a working area in which you can store your bricks and mortar boards. It also allows you to square any corners using a string line or tape measure

dig the conservatory foundation

Concrete the foundation to the correct height approx 4 course down from the existing house damp course making sure it is level all the way round to make it easier for you to build your brickwork.

To ensure the concrete is level you can use timber pegs all the way round your foundation driven into the clay, when you pour your concrete simply use these timber pegs as your guide working from one peg to the next until you have finished.

Remember to wash all your tools and any paths patios and driveways once you have finished to remove any traces of the cement in the concrete otherwise they will be stained and very difficult to remove once the concrete has set

concrete the conservatory foundation

Build the brickwork up to the damp course level making sure your new brickwork is level, this will be used to get your conservatory floor level. Lay clean hardcore to the total area approx 6″ below the top of the brickwork and compact using a vibrating plate, then sand blind the total area using a soft sand so the visqueen sheeting does not get pierced, this also needs compacting using a vibrating plate. Cut to shape and lay in position the underfloor insulation

build brickwork up to damp coarse level

Lay visqueen sheeting over the floor insulation to the entire area including your new brickwork in case the next stage of concreting the floor splashes your new brickwork

lay visqueen sheeting to the total area

Concrete the total area making sure you are level and flat, this can be achieved by using a piece of timber or aluminium as a screeding rail, once you have poured and levelled the concrete leave over night to harden, the surplus visqueen sheeting can be removed using a sharpe knife. To estimate the volume of concrete multiply the length x width x depth, if you have a conservatory floor area 3600 (12′) x 3000 (10′)x .150 (6″) deep you will need approx 1.62 cubic metres of concrete, to be on the safe side you would order from your local concrete supplier 2 cubic metres

Build the brickwork up to the required height including the internal blockwork making sure the brickwork is level and plumb on all the corners, lay the conservatory cill on top of your new brickwork to check the shape. Your new conservatory brickwork should be as close a colour as your existing house brick as possible, you can contact your local builders merchants who will send a brick match expert to your home to make sure you choose the correct bricks

build brickwork

For strength and added detail 130 degree squint corner brick can be purchased from your local builders merchants. The buff soldier course on this conservatory was added to match the same buff soldier course feature brickwork all the way round the existing house walls

135 squint corner bricks

Timber Decking and Garden Pergola

October 29th, 2005

Timber decking can be constructed to any shape or size you require blending into every position and contour of the garden. Additional features like a Garden Pergola complete with spindles and a handrail make it the perfect place to barbeque and entertain your friends or guests

timber decking and garden pagoda

The floor framework for the timber decking is constructed from 6″ x 2″ rough sawn treated softwood supported on 4″ x 4″ treated softwood posts extending into the ground at least 18″ and surrounded with concrete.

The frame for the pergola roof is constructed using 4″ x 2″ rough sawn treated softwood bolted to the top of the posts giving a head room of at least 6′ 6″, with 4″ x 2″ rough sawn treated softwood roof spars at 16″ centres.

pagoda with timber decking

The timber decking is screwed to the floor using coated screws or nails to prevent discolouring of the timber, stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized or coated to British Standard specification BS7371 Part 6. A gap is left between each decking board to allow for the natural movement of timber over the seasons and help surface drainage and ventilation of the entire structure. Deck boards come in a range of sizes from 75mm to 150mm wide and appearances are plain, ribbed or grooved.

A slight fall of 1″ in 100″ should be built into the deck structure to enable fast drainage and to reduce the effects of movement caused by the moisture content it is not recommend using deck board wider than 150mm, . If the decking is attached to a property then the fall should be away from the building

Introduction to Block Paving

October 26th, 2005

Block paving has become increasingly popular over recent years and can be used in many places outside the home for driveways, paths and patios. Block paving looks so much better than the standard paving flags or concrete as the blocks are available in many different sizes, colours and textures.

garden design with tegula drivesett 50 block paving

There are two types of material that can be used; block or brick. A block is usually moulded out of concrete and given a specific colour and texture. Concrete paving bricks are available in many different sizes, but are usually rectangular. A brick is made from kiln fired clay that will have a natural colour to it and can be supplied in a rectangular shape or a cobble shape allowing more flexibility in the overall appearance on the block or brick paving.

drive widened using tegula drivesett 50 block paving

There are two main ways of laying block paving to ensure that the surface is hard wearing and strong enough to withstand either a car driving onto it, or people walking down a block paved path. The most common way to lay block paving is to use the flexible paving method which is where the blocks are set into a sand bed and the joints are filled with fine kiln dried sand.

mahogany patio table and chairs

Block paving can be laid in many different patterns which will compliment the design of the house. The main designs that are used are basket weave, stretcher bond or herringbone at either 45 degrees or 90 degrees.

Don’t Move Improve

September 21st, 2005

Make your house into a dream home
With the cost of property at a all time high and out of reach for so many home owners the best option is to improve your existing home for a fraction of the cost and increase the value of your properties without the stress and expense of moving home

light oak victorian conservatory

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