Cool Guide To Summer Conservatories Top Ten Tips To Get The Most From Your Conservatory

03 December 2010
After several years of showers and sporadic sunshine, 2008 could be the year that summer hits the UK once again. But come rain or shine, installing a conservatory is the perfect solution to making the most of your garden all-year round.

A conservatory or glass extension is the ideal way for Brits to enjoy their outside space, whatever the weather. Thanks to Pilkington Activ™ Neutral, you can be protected from the rain if the British summer is true to form, whilst also keeping cool if we’re blessed with good weather.

The following ‘cool guide to conservatories’, supplied by Pilkington Activ™ Neutral, is an invaluable guide for anyone planning a new conservatory - from the concept and design, to making the most of it all year round … no matter what the weather is doing.


1. Make sure you’ve got permission! Some conservatories can be built without planning permission, some can’t – make sure you find out before you get started. Your local authority is the best place to see whether or not you need permission.

2. Glass is the most important part of any conservatory, so make the right choice. When it does get hot it can sometimes feel like you’re sitting in a greenhouse rather than a cool, relaxing sun room, which is why Pilkington Activ™ Neutral is such a breakthrough for conservatories. Using advanced solar control technology, the inner surface is covered in a transparent, thin layer of solar control coating, which reduces solar heat from entering a conservatory by around 60 per cent - preventing it and you from becoming unbearably hot.

3. The expansive glass areas in conservatories are there to be enjoyed – but you don’t want to spend more time keeping it clean than you do sitting in it. As keeping the glass clean can be costly and time-consuming, Pilkington Activ™ Neutral, which uses UV rays and rainwater to keep itself clean, is the ideal solution. It’s also environmentally-friendly, giving you additional peace of mind.

4. Be certain you know what the room will be used for - whether that’s a dining room, children’s play area or just a general relaxation space - and make sure the end result fulfils your needs. Do your research into different layouts and styles, and ensure that the style you choose fits in with the rest of your home and garden.

5. A conservatory is for life, not just for summer! Some conservatories can be too cold to use in winter, so make sure that’s not the case with yours by ensuring low emissivity glazing such as Pilkington K Glass™ is used throughout and by installing under-floor heating. You’ll be able to use it all year round, and will even be able to enjoy a mince pie there at Christmas!


6. The right furniture can really make a conservatory. Select neutral tones for your major pieces of furniture, and you can then decorate them with different seasonal accessories such as cushions and throws. Lime greens and lemons are perfect for summer, whilst darker plums and browns work best in winter.

7. Make the garden an extension of your house. Install folding doors that open up to bring the outside in.

8. There is much more to lighting than simply lighting! Illuminating plants can really add drama and draw you out into the garden, whilst lighting on steps is a clever idea for adding a distant focal point.

9. Keep it versatile. Changing the floor is a quick and easy way of changing the whole look and feel of your conservatory. A large, dark wool rug is warming for winter and swapping it for a bright, white cotton version can give the room an instant summer vibe.

10. Take good care of your garden, especially the bit that you can see from the conservatory! You’ll be looking at it as you relax, so make sure it’s kept looking good and carefully tended.

Further information on Pilkington Activ™ is available on 0800 527752 or at