30 years of glazed home extensions

Westbury Garden Rooms is celebrating 30 years of business, marking the year with a range of pearl-related events to celebrate, including its very own oyster day (at local supplier, Maldon Oysters) and the creation of the ‘Westbury Pearl’, a commemorative plant which will be given as a gift to future Garden Room customers as the finishing touch for their new glazed extension.

Westbury employs more than 80 permanent staff, has achieved growth in turnover of 20% year on year and is looking to achieve revenues this year of £8.5 million. The company was founded by Jonathan Hey who started out as a self-taught builder renovating houses in the 1980s, but the idea to specialise in garden rooms only emerged on the back of a very personal project, when he built his housebound mother a conservatory so that she could still enjoy the beauty of her garden all year round from within the confines of her living space.

Over the past three decades, the company has seen many changes in consumer trends, having started out in an era when the conservatory was de rigueur, through to garden rooms and latterly the orangery, which is now the company’s most sought after extension type.

The company has also been phasing in new more classically inspired designs with clean architectural lines which it believes are more in line with its customers’ current vision. Regardless of which type of glazed extension a customer chooses, Westbury believes that what unites them all is the ability to create a connection between the home and garden and to maximise space and light.

The company’s products are manufactured in its Essex factory and showroom, which also houses sister brand, Westbury Windows and Joinery. In 2016, the company added a London office to its portfolio. 2017 saw the company continue its growth plan by investing more than £300K in new machinery and software and 2018 will see yet more investment in additional premises, technology and staff.

The company’s newly appointed managing director, James Upton, joined Westbury Garden Rooms as a school leaver and has been with the company for more than 20 years, climbing the ranks from apprentice technician to become architectural director and now MD.

Founder Jonathan Hey said: “We don’t skimp on anything. So many companies use modern production methods to cut corners and drive down margins, but that comes at a cost to the customer. At Westbury we take the best products and the best of modern technology and use our understanding of each and every component to make a product that is beautiful and that lasts.

“In fact, we have a saying here at Westbury: we manufacture to a standard, not a budget. Our pearl anniversary got us thinking and it made us realise that a Westbury garden room is much the same as a natural pearl – an embodiment of quality, style and beauty which set it apart from the rest of the market.”