First of all, the term is definitely “glazed extension”. The term “conservatory” died when the recession kicked in and killed the conservatory market completely. During the recent difficult years however, in an effort to revitalize the market, new products have arrived which have transformed the way we extend people’s homes.
No more glass boxes
The reason why the term “conservatory” should be dead is that is is associated with the old fashioned glass and polycarbonate boxes that were plonked on the backs of peoples homes. Too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, too bright when it’s sunny. These were rooms that were about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
But just look at some of the new products that have arrived on the scene. Ultraframe have introduced a major range of new products, including the popular Loggia, LivinRoom internal pelmet, aluminium Cornice gutter, as well as their own range of solid roof products. Prefix, an Ultraframe fabricator, have their own Garden Room products, and there are a glut of other roof manufacturers that have their own range of solid roof and glazed extension products.
All this combined means that a homeowner is able to style and design a proper extension for their property. No more glass boxes to make do with. All the products and tools are now there to build a room in keeping with any home. A room that can be used comfortable 12 months of the year.
A new golden age?
I guess we could say that the industry’s last golden period for conservatories was the period leading up to it’s peak in 2004. The years after that saw a dramatic collapse. And whilst new glazed extension builds are still slow and well below all time highs. What is left behind is a massive refurbishment market.
Millions upon millions of old, tired conservatories just waiting to be torn down and rebuilt using today’s vastly improved product portfoliom. Add to that a gradually recovering economy where people are feeling a bit braver about spending their money. Add again the plethora of new and much better quality glazed extension products. We really could be about to enter a new period where the glazed extension market is going to experience levels of business seen last time pre-2004.
Just look at the featured image on this post. Sprayed grey frames. Cornice aluminium gutter. Brick columns and brick walls with windows. A self-cleaning glass roof. This is so many miles away from the old style conservatories that have blighted the backs of many millions of homes in this country. We need to be building more of the above. They enhance the property they are being built on to. Customers love them. They inspire others to replace theirs. There are only positives when you look at what is possible now.
Design is getting better too. I feel like we’re getting a bit more adventurous when it comes to building these things. However I think we’ve a long way to go. With what is now available, we can be doing so much more. Pushing the boundaries way beyond the conventional designs and styles we’ve been peddling for the last few decades.
What do you think? Are we back on the road to recover for glazed extensions? Could there be another golden age on the horizon? As always all comments are welcome in the section below.