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Thomas Sanderson

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My Conservatory Project

My children's Den

For My Conservatory Project I have decided to feature a recent addition at the "Dunlop's" home - namely my children's Den. I could have shown off with a complicated and impressive structure that emphasised my Conservatory Designers Skills. However this featured structure is a more realistic project to feature - a project far more representative of what people may use conservatories for in the real world. I hope you agree and enjoy this rather personal indulgence.

During Christmas 1998 my husband and I decided that despite the fact that our four children already had a Den in our loft room which they "shared" with my husband's office, that the time had come for them to have their own dedicated room. At ages 12, 10, 8, and 6 they were keen to have their own space and, frankly, sharing with my husband was not working out.

As our home had been previously extended on both the north and south sides and we already had a south facing conservatory we had exceeded our permitted development area. It was therefore necessary to obtain planning permission. We had decided on a pitched roof (Victorian style with box gutter) as we felt a lean-to style would give us a rather cramped feeling with limited head room on a bungalow such as ours. This was just a personal "thing" - lots of people do opt for a lean-to design - either because they prefer the appearance or because it is a simpler alternative. We opted for the North East (actually its mainly East facing) location as it was virtually the only space we had left and because it give us the morning sun.

Planning permission was obtained in late March 1999 and we started work in May - the idea being to have the work complete by the start of the children's summer holidays. We chose PVCu for the frames and the Ultraframe roofing system in the roof as we where keen on a easy maintenance product which would perform well in a location that was only 100 metres from the sea. I do prefer using Hardwood in conservatories (it has a warmer, more charming feeling in my opinion) - however in this instance I'm afraid other practicalities had to come first.

We opted for Pilkington "K" glass and Argon filled units for the frame glazing with 25 mm opal polycarbonate in the roof. This gave us the best insulation properties we could have and would we felt give us an all year round conservatory.

We chose opal coloured polycarbonate for the roof glazing as we wanted protection from the early morning sun and wished to avoid having the expense of blinds in the roof. Frankly I would have preferred a glass roof as per our other conservatory but even for someone in the "trade" the additional expense and the absolute necessity to install roof blinds was on this occasion prohibitive, having said all of this I should say that I do think we will shortly be putting in some vertical blinds on the PVCu frames. Our children inform us they have trouble viewing the TV screen because of glare - especially in the early morning sun!

Sometimes it feels like you can never win, especially with children!.

To the left are some views of the completed conservatory.

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That's Me with my Daughter Alana in the completed Den
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Here is a view from the initial planning application drawing.
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The almost completed conservatory - we still have landscaping to do.
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Internal view of completed Conservatory - showing box gutter - which we have clad with timber internally.
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Somebody needs to give this Den a clean - and its not Mother!
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The Children love the Den - we are not allowed to move house - ever again!
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A slightly larger view of the almost completed conservatory

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