With the conservatory market consisting of so many different product niches, finding a single roof supplier, that can help retailers tackle this increasingly fragmented sector, can often prove a challenge. Mark Hanson, Marketing Manager at Ultraframe, takes a look at the wide range of solutions that are now available to today’s consumer from standard conservatories, right through to cross-over solutions such as glass extensions and orangeries.
Choosing a conservatory is an important decision and one that needs to be carefully considered. With so many questions that need to be well thought-out, such as traditional or contemporary, and large or small, it is essential that consumers have all the information that they need to make an informed decision and ensure that they install a conservatory that will complement their existing home and garden.
As a leading manufacturer of home improvement solutions, Ultraframe has an extensive product portfolio to suit every possible taste and budget.
A Classic Choice
The standard conservatory is now common place with well over one million Ultraframe roofed conservatories installed throughout the UK. The reason for this conservatory’s continued popularity is the combination of the skills the sales channel have to promote this style along with consumer’s understanding of what the product does and doesn’t deliver.
The Ultraframe Classic is one of the country’s most popular choices and this is down to its flexibility to cope with any roof design and configuration. Using its industry leading design software, Ultraframe has the ability to produce whatever the sales person sells to the consumer, with total confidence.
The Classic roof – with its structural aluminium skeleton – is engineered to perform for the wind and snow loads at each individual property, unlike other systems that are designed for generic loadings. This engineering prowess and R&D innovation underpins all of the developments that Ultraframe has made to the Classic roof.
Keeping in the Shade
Ultraframe is the only roof system company that has a range of integrated conservatory roof shades which have been specifically designed to fit seamlessly into its innovative Classic Plus roof to create privacy, enhance winter comfort levels and provide a dappled screening in summer, ensuring the overall conservatory is finished to a high standard.
Having been recently refreshed for Spring 2011, Ultraframe’s range of Shades include 24 fabrics and 13 wood weaves to choose from, each one offering differing levels of light transmittance and solar protection .Moreover, they will enable the consumer to choose a finish that co-ordinates with their choice of soft furnishings.
Shades provide a more cost effective alternative to retro fitted blinds and feature no unsightly strings, gaps or light bleed. There are also no fixings puncturing the primary roof structure.
Shades can be sold at the point of sale or later, and as around a third of conservatories have blinds fitted at some point within the first two years why not grab a piece of the action? And with the Ultraframe Shades and roof solution is the single holistic guarantee that is available.
The Ultraframe Classic system is available in a choice of ‘solid’ colours and coloured foils to further enhance the aesthetics of this popular conservatory roof.
Each of the coloured foils have been carefully selected by analyzing popular trends and – in addition to the white foil that is offered – give users of the Ultraframe system a further way to differentiate themselves from the competition.
While painting of roof components has historically been the usual way to offer colours, the Ultraframe Classic roof is available foil wrapped. Major components such as ridge bodies, fascia claddings, radius ends, and valley and box gutter under claddings use the foil wrapping to offer a finish which is more durable than paint during site installation therefore offering fitter benefits too.
Further enhancing the proven technology used in Ultraframe’s Classic roof, the Ultraframe Classic Aluminum suite combines state-of-the-art ideas and design technologies with elegant, contemporary profiles to provide a strong, rigid yet lightweight system that can be configured into virtually any roof design, to suit a wide range of consumer tastes.
The range features aluminum glazing bar top caps, aluminum ridge body and low profile cresting, and aluminum cast ridge end, integral brush and weathering flashing, as standard. A traditional cresting and ball finial are offered too.
It was the first aluminum suite on the market to offer a decorative Cornice option, where the pvc gutter is hidden away. Further enhancements to Cornice have been launched with a die cast 135 and 90 degree corner cover, which help fitters achieve a consistent fit and finish at critical junctions.
When selling the Ultraframe Classic aluminum roof, retailers have the choice between two different shaped transom top caps; a contemporary and a traditional option. In addition, because the choice of RAL colour has such a big influence on the overall look and feel of a conservatory, Ultraframe offers a wide range of gloss and special metal flake finishes ensuring retailers can provide a finish to suit all tastes.
Upgrading Classic to the full aluminum suite makes sense if you simply want a different look and feel but in many instances Local Authorities insist on their use due to planning restrictions.
Not forgetting the environment
While consumers enjoy the benefits of a conservatory, research has shown that some consumers are not enjoying the space as much as they might. As the industry leader in conservatory roofs, this sparked Ultraframe to develop a new technology which allows homeowners to enjoy their conservatory all year round.
Ideal for either new or refurbished conservatories and for those who might be tempted by a solid roof (and escape local authority ‘red tape’) Ultraframe developed Utopia eco roof, a new style of double layered conservatory roof technology which dramatically improves a roof’s U-value.
Until now, conservatory roofs have been designed with a single layer of polycarbonate or a double glazed sealed unit. By adding another layer of polycarbonate, this next generation roof solution can achieve a centre pane U-value of 0.6 and save homeowners hundreds of pounds on their heating and energy bills, as well as increasing winter usage and enhancing overall comfort throughout every season.
Manufactured with 35mm Heatguard externally and 32mm opal polycarbonate internally, sunlight is better reflected, also extending the number of hours homeowners can use their conservatories in the summer months.
With fashion and tastes changing, there has also been a shift in the market from traditional PVC conservatories, to ‘crossover’ products such as orangeries and verandas which further blur the garden/home interface.
The orangery is a new take on the traditional atrium-style conservatory, which bridges the gap between a traditional conservatory and an extension. It is designed to be a versatile and stylish living space which can be used all year round.
The Ultraframe Orangery a new style in conservatory design which has been specifically developed to provide more privacy than a traditional conservatory due to distinguishing brick pillars. The interior height of the Ultraframe Orangery roof provides a focal point through which light can flood into the home, allowing a view of the sky above.
Available in a brick parapet style or with a deep fascia all the way round, the Ultraframe Orangery features a flat roof around the perimeter constructed from structural cassettes. Everything is factory pre-built and labeled to allow easy on site assembly.
Further recognising the trend to ‘cross-over ’conservatories, Ultraframe has also introduced its Veranda glass extension. Featuring glazing bars in the roof which oversail and carry the glass to form an additional covered area, the Ultraframe Veranda allows the consumer to sit outside, protected from the elements. In addition, by installing large in line sliders or bi-folds, this new glass extension provides a larger living space.
As well as acting as an integral gutter, an aluminium powder coated half round beam provides structural support to the oversailing glazing and glazing bars. This integral gutter also features stop end spigots that seal the gutter at one end and are then ‘spliced’ onto an oak post to support the open side of the Veranda conservatory.
At the design stage, there is an option to select either an aluminium down pipe or hanging chains from which rain water can be directed down, again further integrating the ‘room outside’ into the garden. A further option alongside the oak post is a powder coated aluminum support post/combi rain water pipe. There is also the option to be more innovative with the side walls of a Veranda, one side can be a masonry wall while the other glazed or, alternatively both walls can be the same.
One Stop Shop
The Ultraframe Classic roof provides the platform for a wide reach of products and solutions, with unsurpassed features and benefits. By utilising this ‘core’ product solution as a starting point, retailers are able to tackle all the varying market segments, from the budget conscious right through to those wanting a high-end, top of the range solution.