Clearview Midlands February 2014 - Issue 147 - Page 46

CONSERVATORIES Giving homeowners the living space they need Howard Hirst, Liniar Sales Director, explains why the conservatory market has a lot of growth potential in 2014… “Reports predict the UK will need another one million homes by 2021 . Even though the new build market’s recovering, that’s a lot of houses! And according to research by LV= home insurance , the average UK family home has shrunk by two square metres in the past 10 years. “The research found we’re building the smallest homes in Western Europe: figures from RIBA show Irish homes are 15% bigger; in the Netherlands they’re 53% bigger and houses in Denmark are a staggering 80% bigger. RIBA says the average new build UK home is 8% smaller than the recommended size with just 4.8 rooms. “But the number of people living in ‘multi-generational’ homes is going up. Adult children can’t afford to move out. Faced with expensive care bills, grandparents move in. Since 2008 there’s been a 14% rise in multi-generational households, putting more pressure on families’ living space. “Unsurprisingly, the research found more families have modified their homes to add more room – one in five since 2008. But traditional extensions are expensive and normally require planning applications. What people need is an affordable way of adding extra space – space they can use all year round. “For people looking to extend their homes, conservatories are often the answer. They are the most cost effective way to add space. But window companies might be wary of selling conservatories. Ten years ago the market stagnated and conservatory roof companies stopped investing. Consumers became disillusioned with conservatories that didn’t live up to the promise. Draughty, leaky conservatories that were too hot in summer and too cold in winter didn’t appeal to anyone and sales dropped. 46 FEB 2014 “We are forecasting the conservatory market to grow in 2014. The right conservatory is much more affordable than an extension. In most cases, you don’t need planning permission (although it’s advisable to check larger ones with the local authority first). And forget the ‘sun rooms’ of the 80s and 90s – a well-designed conservatory with the right glazing is very versatile. It can be a play room, a home office, a dining room or even a quiet living room. Add a good looking bi-fold to the mix and you get flexible living space that opens up the side of a house, brings the outdoors in or adds privacy when needed. “We aim to supply conservatories that fabricators want to make and installers want to sell. The Liniar Zoom conservatory roof is easy to fabricate and install. It’s fully on-site adjustable so even if the walls and base don’t quite align, you still get a good fit. Liniar Zoom’s patented Glazing Stop eliminates glazing slip, which is expensive to fix. In our climate, conservatories need to withstand the rain. Liniar Zoom has a number of patented solutions for leaks, and it’s BBA weather tested to 300 Pascals, the equivalent to 113 inches of rain in 24 hours and a Force 9 gale. “We’ve also developed a new Energy Plus twin-wall Top Cap to improve the roof ’s thermal performance. High performance glass or polycarbonate keeps our conservatories at a comfortable temperature all year round. Conse