Guest post by Paul Matthews of Auburn Hill.
There is no getting away from it; the air is crisper, the mornings are decidedly darker and the nights are slowly drawing in. Yes, we are entering one of the most glorious seasons of all: Autumn. If you have a Garden Room, Orangery or Conservatory then you are lucky enough to have a room with the perfect view of the season.
Along with raking the leaves off of your treasured late summer lawn and dreaming of mulled wine as the warm temperatures trail off, there is the small matter of proactively preparing your Conservatory, Orangery or Garden Room for winter. These rooms will allow you to enjoy frosty mornings and orange skies in comfort and warmth, so it’s worth setting aside some maintenance time now to ensure your chosen room accommodates you throughout the winter months.
Despite the fact that they are mainly made from glass, Orangeries and Conservatories can still be a functional space in the colder months.
However, it’s worth turning your focus onto the glazing and making sure it’s up to scratch. Although investing in new windows and a roof is going to be a substantial investment, it will more than makeup for it when it comes to the amount that the space is utilised. If the extension was originally fitted with an inefficient poly carbon roof, its time it was replaced with a modern glass option that will work with the seasons; keeping the room cool in summer and retaining heat in the winter.
Advances in glazing technology means that the glass itself is filled with argon gas, improving the energy rating by more than 30%.
The option of an elegant roof lantern is chosen by many as it reduces the amount of glass in the build, but still fills the room with light.
While Garden Rooms don’t normally include as much glazing as other options, many of those who have opted for this home addition choose Bi-fold doors, which in themselves, an expansive piece of glazing. Choosing the most efficient glass will ensure that the room is practical all year round; it is also vital that you work with a reputable company with vast knowledge and experience to ensure everything is fitted perfectly to avoid even the smallest of drafts.
As the weather begins to cool, take the time to investigate any sealants around windows and doors. Making sure that the seals are still intact and are free of cracks and holes; it’s worth replacing or repairing them if necessary before the wet, cold weather sets in.
The correct blinds, drapes and curtains can also have a significant impact on the room’s ability to retain heat. Looking for lined curtains that can be retracted during the day to let in the light – and picking light or neutral tones can maintain the feeling of space in the room.
Laying down plush rugs to save any heat being lost through the floor is a quick and easy win and swap out any shiny materials such as silk and gravitate towards soft wool, suede or velvet.
Cosy candles not only set the tone, but also kick out some heat! Light them up, sit back and become engulfed in the sight, smell and warmth.
Modern orangeries are often an extension of a home rather than a separate room, and the central heating system should ideally be carried through. However, if this isn’t the case, this is another opportunity for an investment to be made underneath your toes!
If you have central heating in the extension, consider insulating them by using lagging. Admittedly, it’s not THE most attractive option but it does prevent pipes bursting. Make sure that your boiler is working properly before the cold weather hits too. If you have a pressure gauge, you will need to make sure that the boiler is at the right pressure; it’s a good idea to have the boiler serviced annually to ensure it’s safe and functioning as it should.
For additional heat, it’s worth investing in electric oil filled radiators; they are fairly low cost and retain heat for longer than other options meaning that the warmth is maintained. Placing them under shelves is an extra tip to help channel the heat!
Gutters and downspouts are known to get blocked in the autumn as the leaves fall; by clearing them of the leaves and debris you are saving yourself a potential headache. Blockages in wet weather can lead to internal damp as the walls become soaked from gutters leaking.
If you can see that guttering is looking damaged, or a bit worse for wear, deal with it immediately before water can infiltrate the brickwork.
We aren’t talking about a bit of weeding. Winter is a time for windy days, and if your garden is home to trees and hedges, they should be trimmed right back to prevent any damage coming to your home extension or garden room. Dead or weak branches should also be removed -keeping the investment safe and secure.
For garden rooms and home extensions with a tiled roof, it’s worth inspecting it to make sure there will be no leaks this winter!
Using a push broom, clear the roof of any debris and inspect it for any damaged or missing tiles. If you are cautious – hire in a professional. Small repairs tend to be quite inexpensive and extends the lifespan of the roof considerably.
If you have a glass roof, keeping it clean means it will be in tip top condition and you can make the most of the winter sunlight heating the room!
And there you have it, a few simple tips on how you can prepare your room for the winter months to make sure you can enjoy it right the way through! Now grab a blanket, light a spiced orange candle and enjoy the view from your room.
To learn more about the garden rooms, orangeries and conservatories that Auburn Hill build take a look at their website, or give them a call on 01780 400 500