An easier way to provide more choice

With conservatories, orangeries and glazed extensions continuing to prove popular options for UK homeowners, Neville Gleed, operations director at Abcell, discusses the importance for installers to offer a comprehensive level of choice.

Conservatories. Love them or hate them, they have long been a staple in the British home improvement industry.

The demand for extra light and space in the home is something which has always been popular and will probably never go away. Conservatories and glazed extensions are still the most cost-effective way of doing this.

Recent figures claim that conservatories and orangeries were among the jobs which UK homeowners spent the most money on in 2021 and a home improvement trends survey from Rated People showed that extensions, annexes and conservatories were the top jobs for 2021, proving that conservatories continue to be popular.

The size of conservatory and glazed extension projects means there is no room for compromise as homeowners want to create something which fits their needs. Homeowners spent an average of £15,992 on conservatories and orangeries in 2021, and when they’re spending this much, they want to get it exactly right.

For installers, this means ensuring they can provide their customers with the greatest possible level of choice. The more products to choose from, the easier it will be to give the customer what they want.

Previously, planning permission for conservatories was much stricter, as only limited sizes were allowed to be built, so to avoid the cost and hassle of planning permission, many homeowners chose smaller sized ones. With the relaxation of permitted development rights, the options for conservatories have changed considerably. And with that, suppliers have added new exciting products to their ranges, giving homeowners greater freedom and choice in design.

The evolution of conservatories

Conservatories fitted in the early days were poorly insulated spaces which were too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Improvement in roofing technology has been the driver for the increased number of conservatory installations.

My career saw the introduction of roof kits, as well as a significant increase in specifications. This means that we can create larger roof spans with easier installations. The evolution continued which saw the introduction of solid roofs that helped create more efficient conservatories, and the glazing options in glass roofs have also developed to become much better insulated and offer increased light without issues of overheating. This means that homeowners now have the choice of a solid roof, a solid roof with roof windows, a sky lantern, a glass roof and much more.

Windows and doors have also improved to provide homeowners with a wider range to choose from. Bi-folds and sliding doors can now be used on conservatories and glazed extensions for a truly impressive option, in addition to the more traditional French door seen on older conservatories. Bi-folds and sliding doors can also be used as the separator between the existing home and conservatory. Choosing efficient options is also an effective way of creating a conservatory which is as insulated and comfortable as possible.

Along with the availability of more colours, there are more things to consider than ever when it comes to designing a conservatory, and it’s important for installers to reflect this in their product range. Trying to cater for all these products and provide all this choice can be hard but working with a fabricator who provides all of these things can make it much easier.

Glazed extension merchant

At Abcell, we have always supported customers by providing them with a wide product range so they can get exactly what they need. Conservatories and glazed extensions have always formed the backbone of our business, and we have always taken pride in providing a huge selection of products.

We offer solid roofs, glass roofs, roof lanterns, windows, bi-fold doors, French doors, sliding doors and patio doors, meaning installers have everything they need for their conservatory projects in one place.