When installing a conservatory, it can be easy to consider windows and doors as merely another component to check off the never-ending list. However, in actual fact they can make a huge difference to the overall appearance of your conservatory.

Doors

The entrance door to a property has been likened to shaking hands with the house, therefore they need considerable attention, and their design should not just be overlooked.

Firstly, it is important to ensure that the door suits the architecture of the property. Material, design, door furniture and size are all important factors to bear in mind. In a way that a weak handshake can say a lot about a person, a small door on a large property with a sizable entrance would not suit the style of building, a double door for example sends out a much stronger architectural message.

Windows

Windows are considered the eyes of the property, bringing natural light in and framing the outside world for the occupants. In the past, property owners often used modern window styles when redesigning their property, however traditional styled sash windows have grown in popularity as a classic option.

Conservatory Window and Door Design

Another design tip that is often used by experienced architects is to set the windows back from the exterior of the property. A small recess of between 20mm and 75mm can reduce the effects of weathering, and also minimise any heat loss. This setting generates depth and shadow, making a feature of the windows rather than treating them as merely functional.

Materials

When it comes to choosing the material, there are two key options: uPVC, a man-made material, or timber. Timber windows and doors have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they allow traditional styles to be (re)created, but using modern machinery to ensure longevity in appearance and durability. Modern joinery machinery is now so accurate that it can now create cuts and profiles with incredible precision, making a traditional looking products in a modern and efficient way.

If using timber windows and doors, it is important to check the quality, as significant variation does exist should the designer/manufacturer not select the right type of timber. Reputable designers should use engineered knot free (clear graded) timber, sourced from a sustainable forest. This engineered timber increases the stability and durability of the window, compared to hardwood alternatives. Some designers do still specify tropical hardwoods, which present two problems; namely that they do not meet today’s environmental standards, but they also do not create such a high quality finished effect as engineered timber.

Timber windows and doors also present additional benefits in comparison to other material options available on the market. One of the key advantages is that they are extremely energy-efficient, which can help minimise heating bills. In addition, if maintained properly they are extremely long-lasting – just look at the sash windows on period properties as proof. Timber frames can easily be painted in order to maintain their colour, or changed to reflect current trends: uPVC is usually only available in white and is subject to colour fade and yellowing over time.

Unfortunately, no window or door product is maintenance free be it plastic or timber but the difference with timber is that it is the only naturally renewable window and door material.

In summary timber windows and doors allow for a vast range of design options, and styles which are more pleasing aesthetically than those produced in plastic or aluminium and in addition they are less damaging to the environment and much more durable.

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Conservatory Window and Door Design Considerations