Box Clever with Ultraframe

Mark Hanson of Ultraframe looks at box gutters and how providing adequate support is critical to long term structural performance

Statistics obtained by Ultraframe from the thousands of consumers who complete its ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ clearly show that more and more consumers are second, third and even fourth time buyers!!

Its also clear that these consumers who are second and third time buyers, are more sophisticated and usually opt for a higher specification and that might include a more complex shape/design.

The ability to hip back a duo pitch conservatory, opens up the scope for bigger and more complex conservatories to be constructed. Key to these designs where the glazing slopes back to the property is the box gutter.

Designs that feature box gutters – for example where one runs along the whole width of a property, or indeed steps in and out around a chimney breast – are common place but their installation can catch out the unwary or unprepared.
Ultraframe Classic roof raised back boxgutter

Like everything to do with conservatories (and of course building in general) preparation is the key. The correct surveying and then the correct specification is critical. Where box gutters are long and complicated by angles and dog legs, early liaison with the roof systems company or their fabricator is vital. Due to the constraints of the factory, health and safety considerations, handling and shipping and of course the positions of doors into the existing property, box gutters cannot always be specified in one continuous length. Where a box gutter is made in separate sections, additional considerations then need to be taken into account – like sleeve jointing.

Perhaps the biggest consideration of all, and one that absolutely needs the earliest consultation – is with regard to how the box gutter is supported. Very few host substrates – masonry perhaps but never timber soffits – can solely support the box gutter, and additional means must be found.

Ultraframe strongly recommends one of these three methods;

1. Brick piers
2. Gallows brackets
3. External hanging brackets
4. Portal/goal post/special fabrication

Often, a brick pier is the only practical solution to support a box gutter attached to a bungalow soffit. Gallows brackets are available off the shelf – for both the narrow 165mm and 265mm versions – or they can be specially fabricated to suit larger spans; standard or special they are straightforward to rig and fit, provided the fitment is approached methodically – however, if a box gutter joint falls over a door way, then clearly this solution and option will not work.
Ultraframes Classic boxgutter fully clad and featuring the Ultraframe gallows bracket for support
The external hanging bracket is a solution for 165mm box gutters where there is headroom externally to fix it to the masonry host wall ( subject to the correct choice of fixings).

The options need careful consideration – and as stated – must be considered at the very earliest design stage. Maximum support centres should never exceed 2200mm. Other considerations when it comes to box gutters include ensuring sufficient straps are provided ( the general rule is one per glazing bar position) and ensuring that where a tie bar is fitted support is provided to the box gutter ( this is in addition to the rule of maximum centres of 2200mm).

Ultraframe recently updated some of the cladding/cloaking areas on its raised back box gutter details too. Helping the consumer to visualise how a box gutter or raised back box gutter will look is sometimes difficult and that’s why U-Design – the very latest conservatory visualisation software – is such a boon to quality retailers and their sales people.

And so, with careful planning, correct specification and patient fitting, retailers can ensure that they eliminate call backs and ensure their reputation is in safe hands by following the guidance here.

Download a copy of this article as it appeared in the Conservatory Magazine

- Ends -

January 2010

Ultraframe deliver innovative and top quality conservatory roof systems for the trade which suit all styles, all applications, all consumer types and which offer excellent value for money.

The market leading company invests heavily in research and development to provide the most technologically advanced and stylish conservatory roofing solutions, maximising light and space. Ultraframe are at the forefront of conservatory design and its systems are mainly used in the home improvement sector but also in new housing and commercial applications in the UK and Europe.

In 2006 the privately owned Latium Group, which has many interests within the glass & glazing and home improvement markets acquired Ultraframe. The Latium Group is owned by entrepreneur Brian Kennedy.

For further media information:
Mark Hanson
Ultraframe (UK) Ltd
Salthill Road
01200 452375