24 September 2012 By Billy Hawkins
Our clients moved into a traditional home with a garden and wanted to make the most of their new outside space.
The house is a statuesque red brick, tall house (c. 1911) which has original features, and when purchased had a very solid rear wall onto the north facing garden and an old lean-to conservatory. The client decided that they needed to bring light into the back of their home, thereby creating much more access onto the garden for their young family. By opening up the rear of the property they were able to reconfigure how they would use the space, introducing a boot room and utility area which would be a marked improvement on the original set-up.
The old original lean-to was a simple single glazed unit which housed lots of clutter - and the washing machine. Our client decided something had to change when the washing machine door froze during a cold snap and she couldn’t open it! The client’s initial research into available options led her to compile a series of images of what the project currently looked like and what she hoped it would become. This caused a bit of a discussion between our married clients as one favoured the traditional approach and the other was very much a fan of a more Grand Design – inspired modern look. They settled on the hope that a modern addition to a traditional house would provide a complementary balance.
In deciding which company to use, our clients asked their friends who were having a more traditional orangery built for tips and recommendations and it was they who suggested Alitex as a possible company to look further at. The client sent their spec /compilation out to a further four or five conservatory companies, both large and small to see what kind of feedback came. Brochures were subsequently received from most of the companies, but not all.
Our client decided to trust in word of mouth and having satisfied themselves that Alitex could handle the project they made their choice. A working relationship was quickly established with their customer contact at Alitex and working together, plans were made to realise the new modern style conservatory. The client enjoyed the enthusiasm of the Alitex project leader and also that he went around to the neighbours to explain the impact of the project on them, as planning permission was needed (see image to left for what existed before).
The build went according to plan and the family were able to move into their space with ease. They have enjoyed bundling the children into the garden through the bi-fold doors and bringing them in through the recessed door directly into the boot room. With white rendered walls complementing the red brick of the original house they are in keeping with each other and the overall feel is light and airy.
In terms of heating the new space, our clients already had a scary looking gas central heating bill which they wanted to address. With under floor heating as part of the conservatory and a new gas Esse cooker the family hopes to cut down on their bills by heating just the room they are in. The plan is to add a wood burning stove into the lounge which now runs off the kitchen area and opens up the whole space.
During colder months the whole ground floor should be heated sufficiently and economically. This sits well with the zeitgeist of the day; the family eats and lives together and since the space is now beautifully proportioned and light, they can stay in it for longer and use localised heating.
The client says,
“In many respects we are living traditionally, all in one space, but in a very modern way”.
Our client stresses the whole project is on going – they would like to look at materials for landscaping the ground immediately around the bifold doors in the spring and of course, the wood burning stove has yet to go in. As our client says,
“We wanted to entice our young children outdoors to play and also stop having to turn the lights on in the kitchen on a sunny day. What we have built is light, bright, warm and airy and with the doors open on a summer’s day we bring the inside out and the outside in - sometimes literally, but luckily we now have a boot room!”
For more information and ideas for your own project taken from past Alitex conservatory, atrium and orangery case studies click here.