Posted by: cristal09 | May 14, 2009

Lets talk about glass

Cristal Clear supply and install double glazed units that conform to BS5713 and toughened glass to BS6206 as required by building regulations.

There are many types of glass and many property makes, Pilkington being just one of these.

As new glass appears we reserve the right to keep up to the latest regulations and the best available for our customers and we use various manufacturers.

(All manufacturers supply technical sheets on request)


Glass units are measured in U values, the lower the value the greater the thermal value and the lower the heat loss (better insulation).

Low E glass is a special coating which is coated on the inner pane; this coating allows the suns rays through but deflects heat back into the room from radiators or internal heat sources. Low E glass is always supplied as double glazing

Posted by: cristal09 | May 6, 2009

A Conservatory Sunroom – Should You Build One?

It is impossible to enjoy your new addition in the winter, which is the most common complaints about a conservatory sunroom, not any more. New technological advances along with the millions spent by manufacturers will eliminate that complaint finally. With these new advances not only, will a conservatory make an elegant addition to your home? It will be one that you can use all year round. When you start viewing possible conservatory sunroom to purchase, keep in mind the design of your existing home, that may limit some of the options you may be wanting when you purchase your new sunroom.

Another frequent complaint about these types of conservatories is the glass ceilings, as well as the glass walls. which in turn brings us back to the original most commonly heard complaint, it is just too cold in the winter. A general rule of thumb is that most conservatory sunrooms are sold as a 3-season sunroom; this type of sunroom is only used during the warmer months. If you are like many others and want to use your conservatory year round, make sure you purchase one that is specifically designed for all season use.

The Possibilities are endless when you chose to add a conservatory sunroom or patio room to your existing home. There are also several reasons for this as well, adding a sunroom or patio room adds elegance to your home, it also add an enjoyment for all the seasons, winter, summer, spring, and fall, the biggest thing is that it is an investment into your home, adding value into your home should you decide to sell in the future, which could in turn help you sell your home it allows the potential buyer to see the elegance and relaxation factor you have added to your home and may help persuade their decision to make an offer on your home. That is why it is essential to do your research before you purchase your new sunroom, below you will find information on the all season conservatory just as mentioned above.

The all season Conservatory

Only the latest materials will be used in building this type of conservatory sunroom, enabling you to enjoy this new room all year round, no matter the season. Then comes the next question that is commonly asked, “How will I afford to heat this room in the winter months without having a huge energy bill?” Insulation is the key, local building codes in your area will tell you what the minimum requirement is, but if you want a comfortable room all year long, a good suggestion is to exceed that requirement. When insulating make sure you insulate the floor, the walls, the frame work, and the ceiling, pack these areas with insulation above the standard minimums to ensure proper heat storage during those winter months, this will help reduce some of your energy costs as well, another way to reduce on out-of-pocket energy costs are windows. Window selection is very important in your new conservatory sunroom, the concept of a window is easy enough, they allow sunlight to enter and protect you against the harmful UV rays that the sun generates, and they provide insulation for your home as well.

You need to look for the window frame and glass together, and good quality ones at that. You do not want a leaky window especially around the frame, because you do not want to feel a draft, or hear noises from a poorly crafted window and its frame, you would like to keep those elements out of your new conservatory sunroom. Another question that arises, “What about security, all my walls are made of glass?” This will depend on you and the quality of window and the design you chose, of course, a higher quality window and a higher quality design will provide you with better security to protect you and your conservatory. As with any project, you need to do your homework, chose the design, and style that fits you and your home.

The Possibilities are endless when adding a sunroom or patio room to your existing home. There are also several reasons for this. Adding a sunroom or patio room adds elegance to your home. It also add an enjoyment for all the seasons, winter, summer, spring, and fall. The biggest thing is that it is an investment into your home. Adding value into your home should you decide to sell in the future, which could in turn help you sell your home allows the potential buyer to see the elegance and relaxation factor you have added to your home and may help persuade their decision to make an offer on your home.

You can also find more info on seasons sunroom and decorating sunroom. is a comprehensive resource to improve your home environment.

It’s now well into the new year and the residential development scene has got off to a good start again. All this talk about ‘slow down’ certainly hasn’t affected peoples desire to improve rather than move. Building Design Agents are often the first barometer within the building trade of any ups or downs in trends and I certainly haven’t noticed any lessening of work.

Conservatories – lets get it straight once & for all – If you were to ask 10 home owners about the Planning requirements for a conservatory I guarantee 8 out of the 10 would say ‘Conservatories don’t need formal Planning consent’. When you ask them to justify that statement all weird & wonderful terms are stated such as ‘its light weight’ ‘its not made of brick’ ‘you can see through it’ ‘its not a solid structure’ etc.

For the record – MOST CONSERVATORY EXTENSIONS DO REQUIRE FORMAL PLANNING CONSENT in exactly the same criteria as if the extension was a kitchen or dining room extension for example. This urban myth that conservatories are exempt from Planning arose from the original Permitted development rights that were/are attached to some dwellings. Given the relatively modest size of most conservatories it was easy for them to fall under the strict dimensional & volume constraints applied to the 70 or 50 cubic meter Permitted Development rule.

However, what people forget is the fact that most new properties have had their Permitted Development rights removed by the Planners when the estate or dwelling was originally approved which has been the case now for at least 20 years & more and more properties have already been extended in the past ensuring that any permitted Development rights that they may have enjoyed has now been used up. There is also a whole raft of other ‘catch 22’ requirements that can prevent a conservatory being built under Permitted Development that I will not go into here but suffice to say play safe & always assume that your conservatory will require formal Planning and it is just a bonus if it does not require it.

Regretfully this myth that all conservatories are exempt from Planning is often perpetuated by some unscrupulous conservatory suppliers/manufacturers that simply side step the issue or place the onus back onto the client. Any reputable conservatory supplier will assess your particular site circumstances and have the situation resolved at the Council first. Prior to accepting any quote you should first see a sight of the Councils ‘informal pre-application enquiry letter’ from a Case Planning Officer that confirms the Conservatory suppliers opinion. WARNING – If it transpires after the conservatory was built & paid for that formal Planning Permission was required then it is the HOME OWNER THAT IS RESPONSIBLE for rectifying the breach of Planning Control – not your builder. If Planning Consent is denied and then again at appeal then you must remove it at your own cost.

More house sales collapse because of illegally built conservatories than you would ever imagine – the house purchaser simply pulls out of the deal running shy of this problem or not wanting to wait the 2 to 3 months it will take to try and rectify the problem with a retrospective application. The only slight chink of of hope in all this if you do have an illegally built conservatory is the 4 year rule – if you can get away with it for 4 year or more & can prove its age then normally the Planners are unable to insist on its removal or for you to apply for retrospective Planning approval.

Conservatories are normally fully exempt from the Building Regulations provided the glass is to a certain type and standard , it does not exceed 30 square metres & you have dividing doors between the main house & the conservatory. However, even this has a number of other criteria to comply with in order for it to be exempt but it is normally much more straight forward than the Planning issues.

The conclusion to a new conservatory is this – Always request an informal confirmation letter from the Planning Dept. if it your view or your suppliers view that the conservatory will fall under the sites permitted development allowance. Obtaining this confirmation letter can be troublesome at times if you are unable to supply the Case Planning Officer with some drawing details and a copy of the O/S map. Most good conservatory suppliers will have their in house or externally supplied agent to prepare these details for you. Most Planning Departments will not respond with an opinion unless you can lay it out on a plate for them so don’t waste time trying by calling in on them and trying to verbally explain your situation – Always write in with sketch schemes & a marked up O/S plan.

Our ‘Maximum Build Planning Guide’ explains further the tactics involved when developing land or a site for residential use and how to give yourself the best chance of being granted planning permission

Posted by: cristal09 | March 12, 2009

Sophisti-Cane Website Launched

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our sister site

We have a beautiful collection of indoor and outdoor furniture including cane furniture,  conservatory furniture, outdoor garden furniture, dining sets, gazebos, parasols and sunshades, garden decor and cane lighting.

Please check out the website, you will be pleasantly surpised at the beautiful cane furniture on offer.  You will certainly find something to suit your conservatory, home or garden.

Posted by: cristal09 | March 2, 2009

Turn Key Services

Every step with Cristal Clear is planned and discussed with the client, from design to our in house planning department. All permissions are obtained if required.

Full base team and contract management. All contracts have their own individually appointed Project Manager.  Installation teams and full electrical packages.  Plastering and final sign off. Leaving the conservatory in pristine condition ready for your enjoyment.

Posted by: cristal09 | March 2, 2009

Adding Value to Your Conservatory in 2009

A conservatory should be viewed as an extended living space for your home and is often a zone of high activity during the summer months. Your garden space or lawns become constricted when you add a conservatory. Having said this, it might just be all a matter of compromise; what you get in return is a glass room decked in beauty and comfort, which is ideal for spending summers within.

There are few factors that need to be considered prior to setting up conservatories such as that North facing conservatories fall short of heat, even during summer months. In contrast, south facing conservatories require ample cooling measures to counter excess heat accumulated. Conservatory heating can bruise or blaze the conservatory furniture. This might cause the owner to incur additional costs via the replacement of furniture. Conservatory blinds and tapestries are the new way of contributing to a cooler conservatory.

Today, conservatories can be supplied and installed through an online site or offline sellers dealing in conservatories. They can put in the conservatory as an extended space of your home. At the same time, you can also build it the DIY (or Do It Yourself) way. It will provide you with the thrill of self-construction, and would also save on many related costs. Conservatories are now offered in pre-packed kits, and just need to be put together in the right way. This is where competent DIY skills come in.

If you do wish to embark on assembling a conservatory yourself then you may wish to consider the following issues that you may encounter such as:

  • If there is a manhole in the line of the proposed conservatory, just fill it with a double sealed manhole cover.
  • Victorian or Edwardian conservatories come with box-gutter on the roof for the purpose of amassing the rain on the side of the wall.
  • Height restrictions for the conservatory are taken care of through the low-pitched or the hipped-back modulations.

A conservatory can add a lot of value to your home, it provides you with many extras yards of covered space. This makes our homes comfortably placed to entertain visitors. Moreover, it can be place of relaxation during those summer days. Of course, for this you have to include the right kind of furniture, blinds and utility objects.

A conservatory can increase the value of your home in the eyes of a buyer. On an average, this is to the tune of some 11000 pounds for UK homeowners. One good point about a conservatory is that it does not change anything about your home’s structure. You can just build it as an aside, without altering the existing structure of home.

Wood grain or cane conservatory furniture, along with UPVC windows and Re-Flex glasses, are very popular in conservatory interiors today. Usually, conservatories do not require such panning permission consent unless built on the road or facing a narrow street.

With 2009 predicted to be year of real estate recession UK homeowners are less likely to seek new pastures. A conservatory is an ideal way to increase required living space and reduce the desire to move to a bigger home. The extension can also help add value to your home which is a benefit in the current economic climate.

Conservatory Land are successful professionals and quality service providers to ensure you the best Bespoke conservatories in the market. They are dedicated to finding ideal DIY conservatories for you to enjoy year round.

Posted by: cristal09 | March 2, 2009

DIY Conservatory Construction Guide

Building a self build conservatory is actually quite a straight-forward task and if you are a competent DIY enthusiast you will find adding a new conservatory to your home is relatively easy and not as daunting as it may first appear.

The following is designed to provide a general guide to the process of installing a new DIY conservatory and whilst not intended to be a detailed construction guide should provide you with the basics.


You have two choices with regard to the type of conservatory base. You can either select a traditional excavated base or you can use a pre-fabricated steel base which will speed up the installation process.

Traditional Base

If you choose the traditional base route you may prefer to employ a local builder to build the base for you as the accuracy of the brickwork is vital in ensuring that your new conservatory can be installed easily and efficiently. Your DIY conservatory supplier will provide you with the base plans to suit your selected conservatory and the base must be constructed exactly to these plans. Using an experienced builder to build the base should ensure that the base is built square, to the correct dimensions and that the footings are excavated correctly. If drains need to be re-routed your builder will have the necessary experience to do this for you during the course of construction. Always agree the cost before work commences and ensure you check the base yourself when the builder has finished to make sure you are happy with the finished result. It can be difficult to get a builder back on site once he has moved onto his next job and any discrepancies in the brickwork could cause problems during the conservatory installation.

Of course you can construct the traditional base yourself and many of our customers have done so but it is time-consuming and very hard work so the savings you will make here by doing-it-yourself will need to be justified against the amount of free time you have to do the job and your expertise in building the foundations and laying bricks.

Steel Base

Installing a pre-fabricated steel base is much quicker and easier than constructing a traditional base as there are no large excavations to undertake so there is minimum disruption to your garden and no need to move any drains. These bases are normally made to order, delivered in kit form and are quite straight-forward to install by two persons over a couple of days or so. If your conservatory features dwarf walls, these will normally be provided as steel cassettes with a variety of external finishes including brick tiles or alternatively, supplied ready for rendering. The base itself is fixed to the wall of the house and sits on adjustable legs that are seated onto concrete pads making it very easy to level the floor which will normally be supplied with insulation and often comes complete with flooring. A steel base can be a cost effective alternative base for your new self build conservatory, especially when you compare construction times and the fact that there is little disruption to your garden. Once completed, these factory built conservatory bases are often very difficult to tell apart from a traditional constructed base. You could even take the conservatory with you when you move house!


Most DIY conservatories are supplied complete with installation instructions that are designed for the novice installer and will cover fixing the walls of the conservatory, installing the conservatory roof and glazing the conservatory structure.

In general terms these instructions will walk you through fixing the French door, the welded cill, the conservatory windows, the corner posts and the conservatory roof. The most important factor to continually check when installing any conservatory is to ensure the frames and cill remain plumb and level throughout the construction. All screw fixings and their positions should be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the DIY conservatory supplier.

The roof structure will include an eaves beam that will sit on top of the window and door frames, a ridge beam or wall plate that will be fixed to your house wall and glazing bars that will connect between the ridge or wall plate and eaves beam. All components should be supplied factory cut, marked and pre-drilled ready for fitting and apart from trimming the guttering to size there should be no need for you to cut any of the roof components. The roof layout plan will enable you to identify which component and which glazing panel should be fitted in which position. Where the conservatory joins the house you will need to fit lead flashing to form a weatherproof seal.


With the conservatory walls and roof installed your next task will be to glaze the roof. If you have chosen polycarbonate roof glazing this is a relatively simple task and involves placing the glazing into position and knocking on the PVCu cappings to form a weather tight seal. The roof plan will indicate the required position of each panel. If you have chosen a glass roof the process will take longer due to the additional weight and nature of the material.

Budget DIY conservatories may be supplied with the windows and door factory glazed but made to order conservatories are generally supplied with windows and doors unglazed. Not only does this help to ensure that glass is not broken during the installation process but the windows are generally supplied much longer to provide slimmer sightlines and there could be health and safety issues if the frames were supplied glazed due to the considerable weight of a glazed window.

Most windows and doors are now internally beaded using a “knock-in” glazing bead and the glazing process should become relatively easy once you have glazed a couple of apertures. Glazing packers are used to support and pack the glass so it is square in the aperture and the glazing bead is knocked into place using a rubber mallet. If you are glazing during cold weather it is a good idea to emerse the glazing bead in warm water which will help make the bead more flexible and easier to position. Your installation guide will detail the exact process used.

Finally, silicone sealant will need to be applied to all joints in accordance with your installation guide and the internal PVCu trims will need to be fitted to the roof eaves beam, ridge beam and glazing bars.

Your new self build conservatory should now be structurally complete and weather tight ready for the finishing internal touches.

You will find much more information on installing a DIY conservatory by visiting our web site.

This article written by Tony Wiggins who is a director of Trade Conservatories 2 U Ltd leading UK suppliers of self build conservatories. Visit Buy Conservatories Online for detailed information and resources on all aspects of DIY and self build conservatories. You may reproduce this article providing you display the above links.

The home-owner has a wide range to choose from, when it comes to adding a sunroom to his/her home. The familys needs and desires should be first taken into consideration along with the general lifestyle that they usually adhere to. There are different sunroom designs ranging from a simplistic patio cover to an elaborate sunroom construction. The conservatory sunroom is the most popular among all these. This specific kind allows the most amount of natural light into your room and creates a warm, snug living space with a parallel sensation of living outdoor.

Enjoying Sunroom Conservatories

A Conservatory is a sunroom, built with glass throughout the wall and also the roof. This kind of construction allows the natural light to seep in fully into the room with no entry of bugs or mosquitoes. Also, when it is designed with your needs in mind the sunroom is likely to become the most liked room in the whole house. It’s the place where you can enjoy your own company, have quiet thoughts or have a party with family and friends. Traditionally it used to be just an add-on with wicker furniture and plants but now home-owners turn the sunrooms and conservatories into full-fledged bedrooms, or studies or even kitchen, bathroom or a living room.

The Difference between Conservatory Sunrooms and Conservatory Patio Rooms

In times of discussions with your contractor regarding your conservatory, you have to specify your want- as to whether it is going to be a conservatory sunroom or a conservatory patio room? You might wonder what is the difference between the two. Well, there are some distinctions definitely. It basically depends on the supplier but there is truly one basic difference between the two. Rooms that are constructed on an existing patio or deck which is sufficiently solid to sustain the burden of the whole structure along with the additional weight of snow during the winter months are called patio rooms. These are also called the 3 season sunrooms, as they are used not throughout the year but only for 3 seasons.

In short, a conservatory sunroom is not built with heating and cooling system and are supported only with ceiling fans. As a result these are also of low cost than the conservatory sunrooms. The latter are more expensive since they are fully insulated and protected from the weather extremities only because they are built up to be enjoyed for the year round.

Andrew Caxton is the consultant for You can find more information and resources on conservatory sunroom at his website.

Posted by: cristal09 | March 2, 2009

History of the Conservatory

Before we begin to delve into the history of conservatories, we should know what a conservatory is in the first place. One of the modern definitions is ‘A building that is attached to another building and which has more than 75 per cent of the roof and more than 50 per cent of the wall areas as translucent material’. Conservatory derives its name from the Italian term “conservato” meaning stored or preserved, and Latin “ory” meaning a place for. Combining both these terms, we get what we call as ‘conservatory’- a non-glazed structure used for storing food. However, today it is more commonly a glazed structures used as an additional living room to relax in.

The history of conservatories dates back to some Roman attempts to provide structures, which let in the light but kept out the cold. These structures were primarily made out of sheets of mica instead of glass. Conservatories first showed their appearance in the 17th century, but their designs were as different from a modern conservatory as chalk and cheese. The earliest known conservatories were no more than simple structures of stone. These stone structures were more glazed than those buildings that they had connection with. The upper echelons of society like, the nobility, the scientific community, and the landowners used these conservatories to protect their plants. That was a time of great discovery when naturalists brought plants from all over the world to be grown in the colder climes. Thus, it was imperative that such plants were protected from the exigencies of nature.

Records suggest that the conservatory in the Oxford Botanic garden was the first conservatory ever constructed in Britain. Conservatories became more popular in the late 19th century. There were several reasons associated with this. One of the primary reasons was that there was a tax levied on the weight of the glass in England. It was abolished in 1845, and there was a significant increase in the construction of conservatories in England. Literature and history have kept up-to-date records of the development of conservatories. There is mention of a great conservatory built in 1842 in Queen Victoria’s diary. It has been told that it was the most astonishing and bizarre creation that was created.

Most people have a desire to enjoy the benefits of a garden within the comforts of the house; to make conservatories part of our every day life. A fact that stares us in the face is that style should never erode functionality. Moreover, affordability is also becoming an important criterion that dictates the kind of conservatory construction that takes shape. This is evident from the fact that over time people has given wrought iron and glass a miss and has gravitated towards aluminum, polycarbonate, and PVC. The history of conservatories is comprehensive and cannot be condensed. To conclude, conservatories are the greatest gardening inventions ever.

By visiting the author’s website at you will find useful information for about oak hardwood conservatories. Learn more about history of conservatory.

Posted by: cristal09 | February 4, 2009

Useful Tips on Choosing a Conservatory

Are you considering building a conservatory? If you are, perhaps you may wish to spend more time on your due diligence. That is because a conservatory is something that you get to use for years to come. It’s something similar to building a garage or a tiny house. Here are some useful tips on choosing a conservatory.

Know what you are going to use it for.

This happens before all else. Your conservatory can be used for different purposes. It can be a play room, a dining area, a small office, or a place to grow your favorite plants. Your intended purpose affects the type of materials you choose, and the design that you are going to pick.

Planning for the design of your conservatory.

This is the phase where it requires the most amount of time and energy on your part. When planning for the design, make sure that the size is appropriate (this affects the quotation as well), and that you take into account ventilation options. There are different type of ventilation options available to prevent condensation from building up. Various options include air fans, air conditioning, or special types of roof.

Including a qualified conservatory installer would be most helpful at this time. They can advise you on the various ventilation options available, as well as the type of materials you can choose from.

Deciding on the type of materials to use.

There are three types of materials to consider for your conservatory. These are materials for three different components – the base, the glass, and the frames that hold the glass together. The base is usually made from bricks or concrete, so that’s the easy part.

Frames can be made from different types of plastic, wood or metals such as PVCU or aluminum. Each type of plastic or metal has its own special characteristics. For example, plastic do not rust, but aluminum tends to be tougher. To make your decision easier, think about the use of your conservatory. If children are going to play in it, perhaps PVCU will do just fine. If you are going to keep a garden in the conservatory, using some kind of wood would be a better fit, as it blends with the overall look and feel of the conservatory.

Finally, you have to decide the type of glass to use for your conservatory. Since a conservatory is made up of many large pieces of glass, the type of glass you choose will greatly influence the price of the project. If you want to avoid the greenhouse effect, avoid using ordinary glass.

Modern glass comes with energy efficiency technology. In other words, during warmer days, the glass keeps the heat out. And during cooler days, the glass keeps more heat in. This helps to save on cooling and heating costs.

For easy maintenance, you can also choose a new type of glass known as self cleaning class. Self cleaning glass uses sunlight and rainwater to keep the exterior surface clean from dirt. Whatever materials you choose, remember to choose something that is easy to maintain, and always include the professionals in your planning process.

If you are thinking of having a new conservatory built, visit You can fill in one form with your job requirements, then Local Quoter will find three cheap conservatory quotes for you.

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