Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I made an offer on a house today that had a cheap upvc conservitory on the back on the house.

The conservatory had a cheap plastic sloping roof on that leaked a little, the walls are very thin, and only the south facing wall had any windows. (As you would expect it was pretty darn cold in there)

Can people think of some ways I can improve this room so that it's insulated well? I'd like to spend no more than £1k but I have no idea how realistic this is. I'd like to use the room assuming I buy the property as a tv room.

I'm pretty certain I'd need to replace the roof with something else. Any advice on this or the walls will be very much appreciated and help me decide whether I want to go ahead with the purchase.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For the solid walls you could use insulated plasterboard (example only). This would reduce the dimensions of the room slightly and require new skirting boards and finishing around windows and doors.

I think other thickness of insulation are available.

You're already thinking of replacing the roof, so look into double glazed panels if you can get them to fit.

Secondary double glazing over the windows might be a sensible option too.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I don't know what the layout is, but in the house we had growing up, my parents added on what they called a 'florida room' -- it had a normal roof, but louvered windows all the way around.

This was in central Maryland, which can get cold in the winter, and hot in the summer -- this place was miserable at both times. For the winters, we had an oil-filled electric heater which you'd go and turn on, and then wait 15 min or so for it to get bearable. For the winter, finally one year we put up mini-blinds to help in the summer ... it was better, but still not great. (and I passed out from heat exhaustion when putting them up ... there were a lot of windows).

As such, I would look at a few things --

  1. Greenhouse shading. It goes on the outside of the greenhouse. (it's supposed to be ~40% more effective outside vs. inside in keeping the temps down).
  2. Tall trees with few lower branches. You basically want to shade the room in the summer time, but prune the branches to allow the lower angled winter sun to get in.
  3. Vent fans. They make some that are solar powered -- so when the sun's hitting them, and it's warm, they'll run. You can also get some vents for greenhouses that'll open as it gets warmer, but the last one I installed didn't work too well.
  4. Thermal mass. It's usually suggested for greenhouses to deal with variations between day & night temperatures in areas, but if it's warming up too quickly in the day or cooling of to quickly at night, it might help. (large containers of water, painted black, is one of the suggestions for greenhouses)

You might also look into the concept of "Passive Solar Heating" if it's southern facing -- basically, you intentionally try to get it warm in the winter time, so you can then draw in air from there into the main house. My cousin has some fans on sensors so that they'll move air between rooms depending on the temperature differential and time of year.

Oh, and as for double glazed windows -- I'd check with a local garden center first -- they might have recommendations for the roof line; glass isn't always the best thing there, if you're in an area that's prone to hail storms. My greenhouse (from a kit; not attached to the house) has some corrugated plastic panels that act similar to double glazing, but can take a direct strike. (although, two of 'em caved in due to heavy snow load last year)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.