we are considering building a upvc ,dwarf wall, p shaped conservatory. we really wish to be able to use this year round , so its stays warm in winter and cool'ish in summer. this conservatory would be bought from a diy conservatory supplier . i want to know the minimum specs for roofs , doors and windows (thickness etc) and also any underfloor insulation or heating to achive our aims. also anyone any thoghts on steel bases against conventional bases.
The first thing is stay away from steel bases.
You need a solid floor with at least four inches of polystyrene (or more).
You also need under floor heating, as trying to keep a conservatory warm all year round is a challenge.
Double glazed windows and doors are a must.
If dwarf walls, then cavity walls with slabs of polystyrene insulation inside.
The best multi polycarbonate roof is wise.
Having a solid well insulated roof, close to the house is a must, it gives you somewhere to stand when tending the wall and gutters etc above and it gives some shade from the sun.
Then you need to think about shade.
External shade (in the form of trees etc) can be very important if the sun can shine on the conservatory.
Indoors blinds just get very hot and don't help at all.
In my experiance, running and using a conservatory all year round is a very pleasent experiance.
Except, because under floor heating is slow to warm up, we had the heating on 24/7... as was the rest of our home.
This worked perfectly.........until the sun came out!
Under floor heating is slow to cool down!
When the sun came out, the temperature would quickly rise into the fifty's. We would rush round opening all the windows and doors to try to loose the heat.
Sometimes, when we came home and tried to enter the conservatory, it would be so hot! We would take a deep breath, rush inside and chase round opening the doors and windows, before we could walk through to the house.
Changing to a sun lounge, with a solid, well insulated roof and several thick pillars to hide behind is so much easier to live with!