Question submitted by Laurie
I would like to add a conservatory onto our kitchen. We have an "L" shaped house and the addition would have to be right in that inner 90 degree angle. Therefore, we have two roof pitches and low eaves to deal with. Is there any way we could successfully add a conservatory and NOT have disastrous leaks with all of the rain water coming from different directions and meeting in the same place? I hope I made myself clear in describing our dilemma. My
husband seems to think that there is no way to work around it. I'm hoping the experts can tell me differently! Thanks so much!
|This question answered by Chris Edwards of Classic Conservatories - For the purpose of a prompt answer and because of your comment of low eaves, we will presume your property is a ranch style.
There are, in fact, two solutions to your dilemma, one being more desirable than the other. The first would include building a cricket or small dormer for the conservatory to butt against at the back, and, use a parallel box gutter running between the property roof and conservatory roof. This will allow water from the valley created to drain away in a manner that would avoid water retention adjacent to the foundation of the property.
Alternatively where there is an eave overhang on both of the interior facets of an "L" shaped building. You could construct a square ended conservatory with a parallel box gutter which is "L" shaped to match the building. On the short side at the back of the conservatory the hip would be reversed so the water draining from the conservatory and property roof would be diverted to avoid water retention adjacent to the foundation of the property.
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - In my opinion - there is really not much to choose between Galvanised Steel Reinforcement or Aluminium Reinforcement. Both do the job and leading companies uses both alternatives. What I do find is that "salespeople" will often make exaggerated claims one way or the other in an attempt to sell their product. Typically the arguments go as follows -
Steel is stronger - but more likely to rust if the galvanisation is removed and Aluminium is not quite so strong - but will not rust! (That's the simplified arguments!)
As an example of the "exaggeration" that can go on - I have know of companies to show photos of windows with rust coming from them! What is not explained is that when screws are inserted into galvanised steel is that a small amount of "swarf" is removed and with that the galvanisation. It's possible for the swarf - which will always drop down to the bottom of the frame to "rust". The evidence of this quickly disappears as the swarf oxidises. This rusting is "not catching" and will not pass to the rest of the reinforcing.
Sorry if my answer is not "conclusive" - but I feel the more important consideration is the overall calibre of the company you chose and the quality/looks of the PVCu system - not whether Steel or Aluminium is used for reinforcement. The only other question I would raise with a supplier is "if the frames are fully reinforced"? - In my opinion they should be. Some suppliers will use terms such as "reinforced where necessary" - this is clearly not the same as "fully reinforced".
With regards to a "rest" period between the base going down and conservatory being erected - seven working days is usually considered fine. Imagine what would happen to the building industry if you had to wait 10 weeks for base/walls to rest before going on with the rest of the building!
Question submitted by Darryl
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - Most Builders Merchants will be able to help you with this. Only "problem" I find is that different merchants may refer to these bricks in different terms. For instance some will refer to them as .......
"135 degree bricks"
Try Travis Perkins at http://www.travisperkins.co.uk
Also Jewson at http://www.jewson.co.uk/
Some times its difficult to get the "angled" brick as an exact match to the main brick you use. Then its often quite nice to use a "contrasting" brick - for a bit of variation. Its also possible to take a normal brick - have it "professionally" cut and then "glued" back together. I don't have a link for that - but you may find that the Builders Merchants could make some suggestions.
Question submitted by Jean
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - It's possible that some of what you want to do will require building regulation approval. (DRAINAGE!) You will find out more about this at the following "link".....
Most leanto designs can be adapted to fit around a soil pipe. If the manhole will be inside the conservatory then you should use a doublesealed manhole cover. Most people rather than move soilpipe - "box it in" afterwards.
With regards to the wastes - depending on the expense you wish to go to - you could........
1. Reroute Wastes
2. leave wastes where they are and "build" a gully cover (which is removable) over the drain. With this alternative you have to be aware that its possible in exceptional circumstances (usually when washing machine or similar is empting) that the flow of water into the drain may be so great that the water will spill over the drain cover. A variation on suggestion 2 is to seal gully over completely and fit a "rodding eye" so that if it is ever necessary - you can unblock drains etc.
Opinions on the best method of coping with this - do vary - I am only giving you the most common solutions. I would suggest its best to ask your supplier for advise and as I said at the beginning you should enquire weather you need building regulation approval or not.
Question submitted by Jean
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - Conservatories attached to kitchens are one of the most popular locations for conservatories. In order to "avoid" requiring Building regulation approval you should retain an external grade door between the Conservatory and Kitchen. Most conservatory companies can cope quite easily with the "difficulties" you describe. I think it best to get a number to tender and see what feedback they give you. For sure it is not impossible. I would in any case check out if there are any other circumstances (drainage etc) on your site which may require Building Regulation approval.|
Question submitted by Peter
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - With a bit of imagination just about any style of conservatory can be fitted against (or around) a bay window. I have seen both lean-to and Victorian styles accommodated. Sure a lot more care will be required - especially with the sealing of the roof. Not every company will be interested in this project - but you will find there are companies
who will be interested. Try and get them to show you photos of previous examples. The examples need not be "around" bays - just of difficult situations they have overcome in the past.
A couple of points to remember.....
1. It is likely the conservatory roof will need to be constructed on site before final dimensions for the glass roof panels next to the bay can be calculated/measured. (This means it takes longer to complete the installation as typically toughened glass units take 7 - 10 days to make)
2. Allow for internal decoration around the bay afterwards - especially if existing bay is tile hung. I take it you would rather not look at tiles internally? I think some T/G style timber cladding can look good.
To see some examples of a Victorian style conservatory fitting around a bay click here.
Question submitted by Penny
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - To answer the soil pipe question first. The most common solution is to "cut" the conservatory roof around the pipe and seal with "flash band" or similar. It is even possible to purchase special "two piece" flashing units, which join around the pipe to seal or alternatively have a lead-flashing piece
welded together by a leadworker. (Leadworkers are usually plumbers - there are still a few left with this traditional skill) I would also replace the existing cast iron stench pipe in PVCu - as it will be easier to work with and seal against.
If you are using some sort of pitched roof arrangement (say a hipped Edwardian Style with Box Gutter) then you have some additional difficulties - however the solution is basically the same. Specially fabricated box gutters to fit around Pipes can be fabricated. There are some other solutions but they would be much more difficult to describe in the context of this Q & A. I suggest you consult a conservatory specialist or if you are doing this yourself consult someone who specialises in making conservatory roofs. They will be able to advise you on box gutters etc.
It is off course possible to move the soil pipe location - but this is usually not an option for most people. Most people "box around" the soil pipe below the roof level internally in order to disguise it.
With regards to the "U" indent to the flat roof on the other side the most common solution is to extend the flat roof over the area of the "U" indent. Effectively you now no longer have the "U" indent but a straight edge, which you can fix directly against. As your height is 2.8 metres you will be best making the eaves height of the conservatory frames similar to this - otherwise you will have to insert an infill panel below the flat roof level. (At 2.8 metres you will have windows above your doors) You have given me a depth for the "U" bit but not a width. If it were reasonably wide then another solution would be to have a specially fabricated box gutter.
Your question is a little bit more difficult than the usual ones I try to answer here. Due to the complications and the number of options available it really would be best to consult a specialist. I would not say it is easy to overcome - but there are certainly solutions. Most of the companies featured on this site should be able to help.
Question submitted by Mark
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - Lots of people do place conservatories over inspection chambers (manholes) and therefore avoid moving them. To do so - you will need to use double-sealed manhole covers. (To stop that smell!) You also need to realise that there may be occasions when either you are your neighbours will want to access the manhole. Whilst this
may be rare you should be aware of this potential inconvenience.
You will not need planning permission in England/Wales for this specific issue. However you will need Building Regulation approval if you decide to move the position of the inspection chamber. You may also need to check local Bylaws and restrictive covenants in your property deeds.
Question submitted by Anna
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - As you live in the USA - I consulted Classic Conservatories. Here is their reply. Conservatories are designed for year round enjoyment. A conservatory can be built onto a deck which will need to be reinforced to building code. Your local building inspector will inspect the structure as part of the permit process. All work must be inspected whether you have a conservatory specialist or general contractor to build a room.|
Question submitted by Jac
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - It is quite possible to leave a manhole inside a conservatory (if it is not in the way of outside walls) - provided you use what is called a double sealed manhole cover. You need to decide if you can put up with the inconvenience of accessing the manhole (on those rare occasions) from inside your conservatory. Most people go with
this option as its usually the easiest and cheapest. (My builder charged me I think less than £100 for a double sealed manhole cover).
If a manhole must be moved then you will I believe need Building Regulations approval from your local council in England and Wales. Any competent builder should be able to organise this for you. Costs excluding the council fees will vary from £500 - £800. The costs would include re-routing drains and supplying materials. In my experience most builders do not "relish" this type of work and therefore costs are not usually very competitive even though in my opinion the job is not particularly difficult.
Question submitted by Charles
|This Question answered by Tina Dunlop - What you will pay will vary from region to region. I can only give a guide - but here goes. Concrete base inclusive of materials, labour and fitting a damp proof membrane - £94.00 per metre squared. Dwarf cavity walling inclusive - £105 per metre squared. So as an example a conservatory base measuring 4 metres by 4 metres with a
600 mm dwarf wall will cost £2,260.00. Most builders will charge you for the complete run of walling even though you will almost certainly have an opening for a door somewhere in the run. Also please be aware that most builders will have a minimum charge and smaller works will have higher rates. NOTE - this is only a guide - it is a fair guide to what a reputable / bona fide building contractor (who will guarantee their work) would charge. There will be many builders who will charge less - but
likewise there will be some who will charge more. The above rates should include VAT in most instances. As a further guide I have seen rates as low as £70 per metre squared for bases and £75 per metre squared for walling. As always - best to shop around. Note, most builders will charge the same for both brick work or plastered/rendered walls inside. However, with plastered walling you will probably also want to plaster the existing house wall - and this will cost extra. There will be extra
charges if your ground level needs to be built up to match internal house floor levels or if you have a particularly unusual brick to match. Also not included in above guide is moving drains or building soakaways.
Rates for actually installing conservatories and sunrooms also vary - so here is another guide. A 3600 mm by 3600 mm Victorian style PVCu conservatory will cost approximately £800 to erect with a polycarbonate roof and £1050 to erect with a glass roof. A simple leanto - 4000 mm by 2700 mm will cost about £450 - £550 to install. Rates are generally higher for Hardwood conservatories. SPECIAL NOTE - Whilst most building contractors will be more than capable of doing your base etc - please be careful to employ an experienced conservatory and sunroom installer for the erection. Few builders have regular experience of installing conservatories and unless they have I would always opt for using a specialist installer. Most manufacturers and suppliers can recommend somebody for this. Best of the lot is if you can find a conservatory installer who will also do your base and walling. Remember all of the above is only a guide. However, I do hope it helps.