In a material world

Choice of glazing and construction material has never been so important, explains Chris Cooke of Prefix Systems. Its latest project with Steve Gill joinery showcases aluminium, timber, glass and a Warmroof hybrid construction.

The days of PVCU dominating the conservatory and extended living space market are disappearing as aluminium and off-site construction techniques bring new extended living space solutions to market. Yes, PVCU will take the lion’s share due to the flexible and cost-effective nature of the material, but the appeal of architectural aluminium and hybrid roof technologies is gaining significant sales traction.

More than ever before, today’s consumer wants to be inspired when they invest in their respective homes, and so we’re now seeing installed values increasing for extended living space, as higher specifications become more of the norm. We’re also seeing a growing trend in consumers investing in their homes for the longerterm, with less emphasis of racing up the housing ladder, given the added economic and political consequences of a dampened property market.

These exciting new rooms are taking inspiration from the likes of Grand Designs, which has expanded its media reach from TV into a consumer magazine and through a number of exhibitions designed to inspire homeowners to make a statement with their home improvement projects. Increased use of glass, a default choice of aluminium and other materials including timber are now all coming to the fore.

This latest project from Steve Gill Joinery perfectly epitomises the premise of a higher specification extended living space with the careful use of aluminium, timber and glass, along with our Warmroof hybrid. It’s the second project of its type from the Wigan-based business, showcasing what can be achieved with a combination of materials and clever thought processes.

A tired polycarbonate Victorian PVCU conservatory was taken down and replaced with a new extension featuring a P-shaped Warmroof hybrid roof. This was specified with two full-length triple-glazed fixed rooflights from eaves to wallplate/ridge, along with a canopy overhang to include external downlighters. Inside, Opus hardwood timber cladding was used in the reveals of the fixed glazing areas, while outside hardwood was used under the canopy overhang and in the corners and walls with the joinery expertise of Steve Gill.

Full-height aluminium windows were used within the project, along with a gable window and a set of bifolding doors, all from Prefix’s Opal glazing range. The whole project was a carefully orchestrated affair harnessing the expertise in glazing and roofing from Prefix, along with the installation and joinery capabilities of a locally based tradesman.

There’s now a material choice for consumers looking to a new extended living space in terms of glass, frame material and roof type, which has opened up opportunities to create rooms that are genuinely unique. The days of generic conservatory shapes are not necessarily numbered, but we can now satisfy a new demand for better and more inspiring living environments as some of our recent case studies clearly show.