Two recent surveys cast light on home improvement market

A pair of research reports, published within the last few months bring mixed news to the home improvement market generally, and to the market for conservatories in particular.
AMA Research’s survey – “Domestic Conservatory Market Report – UK 2012-2016” – makes interesting reading, reporting as it does not altogether positive statistics on the market, but managing to draw some optimistic conclusions from its findings.  To summarise, conservatory sales in the UK have fallen year-on-year from 2008 onwards, reflecting the wider economic situation.

In contrast, HSBC’s recent Home Improvement Survey makes positive reading, with statistics indicating the financial benefits of adding a conservatory to your home.

As consumers have become affected by widespread economic worries, so their confidence has fallen.  This drop in confidence has resulted in stagnation of the property market, leading to far fewer people moving home and far fewer people spending money on home improvements such as conservatories.  Clearly this is not good news for the sector, and as things stand at the moment, market recovery does not seem likely in the short term.

But this is not the full story from AMA’s report, which also shows some positive indications with regard to the conservatory market.  It is true that overall, sales of conservatories have fallen over the last few years, but alongside this we are seeing the emergence of ever more sophisticated and demanding customers seeking out suppliers and installers of specialist, quality products such as orangeries.  In response, suppliers are also offering consumers a wider choice in styles and colours for products such as doors and windows, alongside conservatories and orangeries which are becoming increasingly design-led.

What this seems to indicate is that whilst the market for conservatories has slowed over the last few years with many potential customers reluctant to make an investment, consumers who are prepared to do so, are becoming increasingly discerning about how they spend their money and what they expect from their supplier.

In contrast to these findings, HSBC’s Home Improvement Survey suggests that consumers really should consider investing in a conservatory, particularly if they want to increase the value of their property, as it increases the relative return on investment by an average of £9,420.  This is 14% up on 2011, and surprisingly, is the only major home improvement to show growth – and that includes new kitchens, bathrooms, loft conversions and room extensions.

The conclusion to draw from this is that, if you are considering moving home and are looking at carrying out some home improvement work to raise its value and boost its appeal, then adding a conservatory is probably the most economic choice.

Posted in Conservatories, UPVC

Update your home with an orangery

These days, soaring house prices mean that homeowners who want more space cannot always afford to move to find it.  It may also be that you only need a bit more space downstairs, perhaps a new garden room, a bigger kitchen, a separate dining room, or an extra sitting room.  One solution is to add a conservatory, which will give you that additional space but without the expense of a full extension.
But you might want to consider an orangery as another option – similar to a conservatory but with a little more solid structure.  Whereas a conservatory is made almost entirely of glass, an orangery has less than 70%, with the rest made up of something like a stone or brick parapet wall which the glass sits on.  It may also have a flat, covered roof and maybe a ‘roof lantern’ to give you a bit more light.

One benefit of adding an orangery is that it feels much more like an additional room, which you can use throughout the year. This compares to a conservatory which, if it doesn’t have sufficient heating and suitable blinds, could be too cold in winter and too hot in summer for you to sit in comfortably.  An orangery, on the other hand, will have better insulation because there is not so much glass to absorb the sun and will also be less exposed to cold winter weather.  And because it feels more like a solid structure, it can really feel that you have an additional room.  Many people use them to extend their kitchens, either for a separate eating area, or to expand the kitchen itself into, because, unlike a conservatory, it does not need a solid locking door into the rest of the house.

Also, unlike a conservatory, an orangery will need planning permission and you will have to make sure that it complies with building regulations.  This will include using acceptable levels of insulation to ensure heat loss is kept to a regulated minimum.  The benefit of this, however, is that it will cost less to heat than a conservatory as less heat will be lost through the glass.
Orangeries come in all shapes, sizes and designs, so you can decide on a contemporary look, or something traditional to reflect a more historic view of them, back to their 16th Century origins in Italy.

Whichever direction you choose to go in, an orangery will be an individually beautiful and stylish addition to your home.

To learn more about adding an orangery, Cornwall based Rodda & Hocking are a good place to start. They are well known suppliers of of high quality uPVC orangeries and conservatories in Cornwall.

Orangeries – Cornwall

Posted in Orangeries, UPVC

Replacement Doors – Transform Your Home

Is the front of your home beginning to look just a little tired and perhaps in need of some tlc? The solution may not be as extensive or as expensive as you may think. Take a look at your front door – is it looking a little past its best? It may be looking a bit battered and old, which in turn is making the whole house look a bit worn. If it is your door that is the problem, you might want to consider replacing it with a fresh new model.

It is amazing how much difference a new front door could make to your home. The transformation, refreshing it and making it look cared for again, is quick and easy – and inexpensive. It will also help create a good first impression to new visitors!

If you do decide to replace your front door, it is worth taking time to consider the material you choose. UPVC doors are a good solution as not only do they look good, but they can also save you money on your heating bill, which is an important consideration. The right UPVC door will offer six times more thermal insulation than a standard wooden or UPVC door, and these days you can find them in a wide range of finishes, colours and styles, and a choice of plain or decorative glazing options.

To learn more about replacing your doors Cornwall based Rodda & Hocking are a good place to start. They are well known suppliers of of high quality conservatories in Cornwall as well as UPVC doors in Cornwall.

Replacement Doors – Cornwall

Posted in Doors, UPVC