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Conservatory FAQs

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Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about choosing, designing and planning a conservatory.

Can I Use My Conservatory All Year Round?

Modern conservatories, with insulated bases and cavity walls which feature double-glazed units and a thermally efficient roof, can indeed be used all year round. The prudent use of relevant heating technology will also help. Comfort levels can be further enhanced with the use of Ultraframe Conservaglass. This is a revolutionary new type of glazing that is specially developed to keep conservatories warm in Winter, by retaining heat, and cool in Summer by excluding solar radiation.

Do We Need Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approvals?

Planning Permission

Under new regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 adding a conservatory to your home is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres for an attached house and four metres for a detached house.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres including ground floor.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions.
Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required. 
  • The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
  • Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Building Regulations

Building regulations will generally apply if you want to build an extension to your home. However, conservatories are normally exempt when they meet a number of conditions.

  • They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area
  • At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material
  • The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s).
  • Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements

You are advised not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire.

Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

Please note that requirements in Scotland, and to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland are different to those in England and Wales.

We suggest that you contact your knowledgeable 'Ultra Installer Scheme' member or your local authority. Alternatively click here to visit the Planning Portal The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales. 

Do We Need to Install Insulating Double Glazing Units (IGU's), and if so, Which Ones?

On April 1st 2002, the Government introduced Part L, amending the Building Regulations for the first time, to require replacement windows & doors to meet tough new thermal performance standards. The new standard applies when new doors replace an existing window or you change the doors between the house and the conservatory, but not when you keep the existing lockable French doors or patio doors between house and conservatory.

Ultraframe Conservaglass offers a better combination of warmth in winter and reduction in summertime solar heat gain than standard "low e" sealed units.

Do You Make Conservatories to Order?

Yes - every one of our conservatories is made to measure and can be personalised with a host of accessories and design features both inside and out.

How Soon Can We Have our Conservatory?

The average turnaround is 6 to 10 working weeks from receiving the order in writing (depending on the weather or if planning permission is required). However, you need to be aware that at busier times of year the process can take longer.

My Builder Has Already Constructed my Base - What's the Next Step?

Contact an Ultra Installer who will check that the base is square and level and undertake the design and manufacture of your side frames and conservatory roof.

The Neighbours are not Friendly, How Can We Protect our Privacy?

Conservatories can be made private by the thoughtful use of obscure glass, solid panels at the side, blinds or even a solid wall on one side.

We've Got an Odd Shaped Space/an Unusual Wall/A Sloping Garden - Can We Still Have a Conservatory?

Contact your 'Ultra Installer Scheme' member and they will be able to help. By using a system as flexible as the Ultraframe roofing system there's always a solution and chances are they'll come up with several alternatives.

What Style of Conservatory can an Ultraframe Roofing System Produce?

Since all conservatories are made to order, you can have anything that's physically achievable. A chat with a specialist conservatory designer, via your 'Ultra Installer Scheme' member, will open up possibilities you may never even have dreamed of. 

My Conservatory is Unheated in Winter – It’s Damp! What Can I Do?


To help reduce this problem it will be necessary to introduce modest thermostat controlled heating to reduce winter time condensation.

Damp, Cold Conservatory Testimonial

“Our new conservatory is fantastic. We did have a small conservatory prior to the new one which was originally put on when the house was built about 20 years ago, & the previous owners had up dated it with double glazed windows etc. The new conservatory is at least double the size of the old one as it spans the whole of the back of the house 16 foot wide.

As the house was built with walls either side of the rear, we utilised them in the conservatory, with windows & doors on the front. All of it is new, part of the base is from the original conservatory, which was then levelled out with the new part of the flooring. We did include two radiators so that full use can be made during the winter months. W

e are lucky that our garden is South facing and gets much sun, so even on those cold winter days we should still get some natural warmth. We chose the glass roof for light, so that our living room which is at the back of the house did not lose any natural light, which has proved to be the right choice.”

Tina Vorely

My Conservatory Is Unbearably Hot in Summer - Is There Anything That I Can Do?


There are a number of practical measures that can be undertaken to enjoy the conservatory more.

·         Create natural shading externally through the use of tensile fabric ‘sails’, or planting tall, quick growing trees shrubs.

·         Replace the existing glazing material with newer solar control varieties

·         Retro fit ‘solar film’

·         Fit blinds

I'd Like to Make My Current Conservatory Bigger - What Options Do I Have?


It is possible to extend a conservatory. Whether the existing conservatory structure can simply be added to will depend upon your individual circumstances.

Your local Ultra Installer will be happy to advise and design a solution for you. Please remember that the initial consultation may incur a charge.

I Have a Leak Near to the Finial Point - What Can Be Done?


A leak at this point is generally a sign of inadequate sealing under the ridge end cap or where it attaches to the ridge body. Careful stripping down and re-assembly could be the answer. Your local Ultra Installer Scheme member can assist you.

I Know I Have a Problem, but Would Like Help to Diagnose and Fix It.


Choose an Ultra Installer, who is vetted by the BBA to come and assess your issues. Remember a visit may incur a nominal charge.

We Just Moved House and There Is a Conservatory What Are the Pros and Cons?


Congratulations you own a very flexible space that can be used for a variety of uses, often simultaneously! You may find your conservatory is perfect for your needs but you may have one or two issues.

Is It Possible to Just Replace My Conservatory Roof?


Yes, it’s possible to replace the roof. ‘Lifting the lid’ and simply replacing the roof is a relatively straightforward process. Glazing performance today, in winter or summer, is vastly superior to say 10 years ago. By replacing the roof you are giving yourself peace of mind, improved performance and greater comfort levels.

Can I Fit Blinds in My Existing Conservatory?


Yes, blinds can be fitted to both your conservatory roof and side frames. People choose blinds for a number of reasons including privacy, creating a softer ‘feel’ and to reduce glare and furniture fading.

Some of My Sealed Units Have Misted Up- What Can Be Done?


Once the seal has been broken on the glass unit the only credible long-term solution is to change the unit. But remember, if all your units are failing, upgrade to better high-performance glass and improve winter/summer comfort.

One of My Glazing Panels Has Slipped - How Can This Be Rectified?


Panels can be re-engaged into the ridge baffle. The cause of the slipping is generally a PVC glazing bar top capping that has relaxed. Ultraframe now can offer a retention clip that holds the polycarbonate in place. Ask an Ultra Installer scheme member for assistance.

How Can I Find Someone Local to Fix My Problems Whom I Can Trust?


Avoiding the cowboys can be difficult. Members of the Ultra Installer scheme are vetted and checked by the British Board of Agrement (BBA) and work to a code of practice (click here to view)

They are dedicated to conservatories- please complete the form (click here) with as much detail as possible, to allow the Ultra Installer to assess your issues and make the right diagnosis.

Someone Local to Fix My Problems Customer Testimonial

“I thought I would explain what happened, as we had one of your roofs fitted. We have had settlement issues with our conservatory which is about 6 years old. We contacted Direct Trade of Doncaster and they were great about it and agreed to re-build the conservatory with a stronger foundation.

They also agreed to supply a new roof and recommended Ultraframe as the roof they would use. We have now had it fitted and decided to have a roof vent this time which is an extra you can supply. Direct Trade of Doncaster has been great about the whole thing and I must say the roof is a great improvement on the previous one.”

Graham Baker

Do You Undertake Site Investigations?


Ultraframe is a business to business supplier. It will at the request of its trade customer undertake a site visit after all other avenues have been exhausted. This visit is chargeable and will inevitably be passed on by our trade customer to you.

Ultra Installers are very experienced and have rapid and FREE ongoing support from the Ultraframe technical department. To ask an Ultra Installer to investigate please explain your issues here and they will contact you for an appointment.

What Should I Ask for When Specifying my Conservatory?

The questions you should ask a potential installer:

  • Ask about prior jobs that the installer has undertaken in the area
  • Ask for references or testimonials from previous customers
  • Ask to see the installer's certification and official approvals

Having satisfied yourself of the installer's credentials, you can then:

  • Discuss your ideas for a conservatory and ask the installer's opinion of what would be suitable, based on:
    • your budget
    • intended size of your conservatory
    • the size and location of your house
    • the available area for building
    • the layout of the surrounding area
  • Get an accurate idea of costs
  • Ask for a timing plan
  • Ask for a full design service, including drawings of how your conservatory will look - this will be provided by the installer's own design consultant
  • Ask for a full technical assessment and plan - this will be provided by the installer's own surveyor

I’d Like to Use My Space More, Can You Offer Advice?


Ask an Ultra Installer to visit and advise.

What Colours Do You Offer?


You are already on the way to making a life-changing decision by choosing a conservatory.

Space - usable for a variety of activities - and natural light aplenty, to banish those winter blues!

Do you stick to conventional conservatory colours/finishes or do you choose something different? Carefully chosen colours create a space that works best for you and your home.

Colour - applied correctly - has a profound positive effect on your wellbeing. It strongly influences how we interact with each other and our surroundings.

So what can you consider for your home and conservatory?

Consider this:-


Powerful, sophisticated, substantial, uncompromising


Has some of the characteristics of black with the addition of cleanliness and purity


Related to nature, offers harmony and balance


Neutral, can work well with other colours, acting as a support to them

Irish Oak/ Wood Grain

For a traditional wood appearance without the need for an expensive timber conservatory

Every effort is made to ensure gloss levels are within reasonable tolerance. RAL and BS colour references are made in good faith. The colours above are reproduced as accurately as the image will allow, if in doubt always request an actual physical sample/foil swatch.

Coloured conservatories feature major parts that are actually foil laminated, with only a minority of parts actually painted.

The foil laminated products used on major items in the roof and on the PVC side frames, have a real woodgrain texture to add a further dose of character

The products can be coloured one side or both sides with the possibility to mix colours between the outside and the inside.

My Sealed Units Are Breaking Down?


Once the seal has been broken on the glass unit the only credible long-term solution is to change the unit.

But remember, if all your units are failing, upgrade to better high-performance glass and improve winter/summer comfort.

Sealed Units Breaking Customer Testimonial

“This is a replacement for a wickes timber frame conservatory erected about 25 years ago by myself, a DIY enthusiast.

The wood around the base had started to rot and 4 of the double glazed windows had lost their seal. Also, the sliding gear on the door was on its last legs.

Only the roof and windows were replaced. It stands on exactly the same brick wall base without alteration to size. Together with its polished wood floor.

We are both very pleased with it and with Windowcraft, the company who erected it. To find my wife the first place i look is the conservatory.”

Trevor Buck

My Roof Glazing is Slipping?


Panels can be re-engaged into the ridge baffle. The cause of the slipping is generally a PVC glazing bar top capping that has relaxed. Ultraframe now can offer a retention clip that holds the polycarbonate in place.

My Conservatory is Too Cold in The Winter?


To help reduce this problem it will be necessary to introduce modest thermostat controlled heating to reduce winter time condensation.

What Is the Ultra Installer Scheme?

The Ultra Installer Scheme members, accredited by Ultraframe for quality conservatories, orangeries, extension and replacement roofs.

Ultraframe is the leading name in conservatories, orangeries extension and replacement roofs who specialise in quality products and have been designing and manufacturing roofing systems in Britain for over 30 years.  All Ultra Installers use high-quality Ultraframe roofing systems and have the products, the experience and the expertise you need to create an elegant, warm bright new space for your home.  When choosing an Ultra Installer you’ll find high-quality customer service and a ‘one stop shop’ approach to project management that makes the whole process simple, easy and quick.

A better way to plan: There’s no need for expensive experts,  your new space will be designed in detail using 3D modelling technology, priced in advance and structurally engineered specifically to your postcode taking wind and snow loads into account.  

A better way to build: Ultra Installers always use Quality products, precision engineered and quick to install that mean your new room will be built in less time with less disruption to your home.

A better way to live: Endless design options are available offering thermally efficient solutions to create a bespoke, warm and bright space to live.

Find Your Nearest Approved Ultra Installer

Many problems that accompany conservatories can be easily avoided by finding the right Ultra Installer. We pride ourselves on our network of Approved Ultra Installers, all of which are vetted and assessed before they join. Find your nearest one today to enjoy unrivalled standards of professionalism, reliability and efficiency.


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