Elements and Options

Is it a Conservatory?

Conservatories are:

• attached to the home or a building.

• have a ceiling composed entirely of glass.

Conservatories can be divided up into a number of sub-categories and almost all depend on the overall pattern of the roof. Below, we have pictured and described some common types of conservatory layouts and applications. If one really jumps out you as the “perfect” solution to your wants and needs, contact Jim. He’s pretty easy to talk to and he’ll give you all the information and time you need.

Gable Conservatory with Side Door

Conservatory with Independent Lantern

Lean-To Conservatory

Conservatory with Attached Lantern

Peaked Bay Conservatory

Gable Conservatory

Is it an Orangery?

Orangeries are:

• attached to the home or a building.

• have a ceiling composed composed of a solid portion with a glass portion in the middle.

Orangeries were “born” in Renaissance Italy when the Italians began making large-expanse sheet glass. In England, they became crucial for growing the limes and oranges that prevented scurvy, a crippling disease caused by low levels of vitamin C. Eventually, they were used to house and grow specimens of exotic plants that English explorers brought back from their travels. As such, they became a potent status symbol representative of the wealth needed to acquire such specimens.

Commercial Orangery

Technically an Orangery

Inside-L Orangery

Dining Orangery

Orangery with Folding Doors

Pool Cabana Orangery

Remote Automation: From your cell phone or tablet, control the temperature of your conservatory, decide if the blinds should be up or down, turn on the humidifier or ceiling fan. Watch the blinds and keep an eye on the plants with a remote video camera. Control the time and length of automatic watering. From your wireless remote phone or pad, control everything in your conservatory or greenhouse.

Shades and Blinds

Sunny exposures can cause heat to build up in the conservatory. Automated window blinds can not only reduce heat gain in the summer, but maintain heat in the room in the winter. We are the only company in the country that offers this gable blind system, seen in this video.

Measured Watering

What happens when you go to the Caribbean in the winter and the plants dry up? We can provide watering for you that not only waters daily, but measures how much water is required for each plant.

By the way, do you see that puddle on the floor above? A human did that. You wouldn’t have that problem with an automatic watering system.

Window Ventilation/Cooling

Whenever we can, fresh air from outside is always the best way to control temperature in the conservatory. Automated roof vents that control on temperature and close when its raining are a worry free component of great conservatories

Heat Exchange

This simple design, in the common gable wall to the house offers creative options. In the summer, warm air is pulled out of the room and ventilates through the roof. In the winter, that warm air is dampered and sent into the house for warm air recovery. Ceiling fans also keep the air circulating and prevent condensation.

Lighting

Conservatory Craftsmen will work with you and your electrician to select the proper light for your environment, but also install it seamlessly into your construction.

In-Floor Heating

What a creature comfort. A cold winter day and warm feet. Keep the conservatory at an even, efficient warmth. As a special bonus, we know our flowers and plants also enjoy the warm roots and produce abundantly during cool seasons.

Sunrise and Sunset

Yes, we’re being silly. However, Conservatory Craftsmen can make life in your conservatory so effortless that you might be tempted to credit us with arranging every sunrise just to provide you with a gazillion rainbows from your beveled glass crystals. And, then at the end of the day, orchestrating an omni-theater view of the sunset’s glorious artwork in the sky. Believe me, should you feel the urge to tell us, “thank you,” you wouldn’t be the first client to do so.

We are the only company in the country offering automation of blinds on gable windows. Even if you don’t own a conservatory, architecturally beautiful gable windows can be hard to cover without clever automation. All blinds and screens can be controlled with the touch of a finger.

Vertical blinds for side windows offer privacy and protection. They can be manually operated or automated for ease of use. Select from our ”roller blinds’ that are backed with reflective material used by NASA, or our pleated style blinds that are also honeycombed and also look at our very natural looking Pinoleum blinds which are durable as they are beautiful.

We all know a little extra glare from the sun can use a bit of shade from time to time. Other days, the bathing of the sun is the whole reason for a glass roof. What makes our roof blinds so unique is our ability to make blinds to fit any shape. Roof blinds are specially formatted to resist the UV rays that will destroy most roof blinds, but not ours. No blinds on the market will fit a shape or triangle like ours. And, at the push of a button. Blinds in the up position keep heat in the room on a winter’s night.

Block Linoleum

Avoid extensive use of white on the floor. The sun reflects back up to your eyes. Instead, offer a pattern, like this, to maintain beauty and function. This room is white with black accents, just like the floor.

Oak Hardwood Flooring

The historical pedigree, beauty and durability of real, red oak, hardwood flooring `is second to none.

Reclaimed Vintage Planks

Did we fool you? This is a tile pattern that is made to look like vintage reclaimed planks. A great, durable substitute for the real thing.

Concrete w/ Floor Drain

The hard working conservatory needs to have a floor that works hard with it. Concrete, either natural or stained, is always a great option. Floor drains should always be considered for quick clean up.

Blue Stone in Masonry

A stone floor gives an organic feel to any hard working room. Blue stone is especially easy to maintain.

Bisque Tiles

Nothing standard about these tiles, imported from a specialty manufacturer in Italy, they are uniform, organic and chic.

Resin-Coated Cement

A floor epoxy is just the thing for an inexpensive floor covering that is durable and bright. Select a neutral colored area rug to dress up the concrete and soften the finish.

Marble

The height of elegance, this marble floor is beautiful and durable.

Cultured Stone

Chipped stone conglomerate held together with a resin base. Beautiful and non-slip as a surface for special areas under glass.

Nothing about a conservatory seems more confusing to homeowners than glass. Here are some definitions to help clarify.

Float Glass: glass that breaks easily and shards when broken like a picture frame glass.

Tempered Glass: glass that is placed in an oven and heated to extreme temperatures to make it hard. Almost unbreakable, but, if it does it breaks into little pieces.

Laminate Glass: two thin layers of glass, either annealed or tempered, that are bonded together with a sheet of very thin lamination. Like your car windshield.

Low E (Emisivity): slows down the UV waves of the sun and captures them as infrared. This works in the house, as it keeps warmth in the house (unless of course you are trying to cool the house!) There is a special coating put on the glass to accomplish this purpose.

Soft Coat LowE: a newer invention that is a soft coating of LowE placed on the glass and which makes it more effective. When doubled up this is even more effective.

Insulated Glass: we use double glazed, insulated glass, typically 1″ overall thickness. The LowE coatings are inside the insulation void.

Argon: proven to be highly effective in maintaining thermal efficiency of glass.

Cool Glass:  double coated, soft coat, LowE glass is cool to the touch on the inside when the sun is shining on the outside.

Plant Lovers’ Glass: when trying to grow great plants, we reverse some formulas and come up with special designs, based on the plants to be grown. This is just one more advantage of having horticultural professionals designing your growing room.

Solar Heat Sink Heating/Cooling

Stone or water, both are excellent at absorbing solar heat and then slowly releasing it after sundown as the conservatory cools. In the morning, as the sun starts to heat the conservatory, the stone and/or water absorb that heat to keep the temperature down. Use slab stone meant for outdoor paths as your conservatory floor. Or, create a 5’x5’x18″ water lily pond in your conservatory. Both will do an excellent job of slowly absorbing and then releasing the sun’s energy.

Worried about the pond’s humid air fogging up the glass? Keep fans on and active. This will even out the temperature throughout the conservatory and will prevent condensation on the interior glass.

Baseboard Hot Water Heat

Almost never installed in a new conservatory, baseboard hot water heat is usually found in existing conservatory repair, replacement or upgrade projects.

In-Floor Heating

Most people can see a floor, no one can see it heating.  We heat floors two ways. One is electric cable, the other is fluid in pipes called Hydronic. Both ways work. Electric is cheaper and easier to install. Costs more to operate. Hydronic costs more to install, costs less to operate. Both of these options are not instant heat sources, they heat the room slow and steadily, so we will typically recommend a secondary heating source like baseboard (electric) heating.

Heat Exchange

Heat recovery (also known as heat exchange) is a method that will conserve warm air from the conservatory and pump it into the house on a sunny winter day. In the summer, we reverse the process and take heat out of the home and pump it outside.

Mini Split Unit

A recent addition to the repertoire is the Mini Split. This is a wall unit that is separate from the condenser, which is positioned outside. This unit will circulate air, cool air and heat air, and is considered a heat pump. However, most heat pumps are not effective below 0º Fahrenheit so careful research is strongly suggested.

Electric Baseboard Heating

This is a tried-and-true method of heating an add-on room like a conservatory. However, there are some downsides to this method.

• The temperature tends to fluctuate quickly and to a broad degree.

• Many people find these elements unattractive and antiquated in nature.

• Your heating costs will tend to be significantly higher.

When choosing a door for your conservatory or greenhouse, we have a couple different options for you. Single doors, french doors (double doors), and a folding wall are all available and beautiful options to add to your conservatory or greenhouse design. All of the the doors are outfitted with the latest European security hardware and multipoint locks. They are all going to be crafted from mahogany or aluminum, can reach heights up to eight feet, and are custom built for each individual project.

 

You can customize your door design by adding muntins of different variations; Gerorgian (Colonial), arch, gothic, double gothic and all of the glass used will be SDL (simulated divided light). If you choose not to use a muntin design, we can duplicate any design with our leaded glass designs, and we can even door sand blast or etch to add a classical touch.

 

We also love the unique and beautiful look of a folding wall door. The folding wall can open the entire wall to the swimming pook, garden, beach or patio, and is nearly unlimited in width and heights up to eight feet. Safe and secure, made of solid mahogany or aluminum.

 

We also work closely with a designer located in Scotland, who has made exquisite designs for us in the past. And lastly, if you have a detailed photo of something you would like to replicate, we can match it.

Window Styles

Design your own glass detail that best represents your home and your taste.

You can customize your window style by adding muntins of different variations; Gerorgian (Colonial), arch, gothic, double gothic and all of the glass used will be SDL (simulated divided light). If you choose not to use a muntin style, we can duplicate any design with our leaded glass designs.

We also work closely with a designer located in Scotland, who has made exquisite designs for us in the past. And lastly, if you have a detailed photo of something you would like to replicate, we can match it.

We believe that glass is designed to be seen through, not distorted by an insect screen. We use retractable screens in our doors and windows. Not just any retractable screen, but a ClearView screen, made in America and the only screen with a built in brake system.

Our window screens are used in commercial buildings and all of our conservatories. The doors have screens for single or French doors.

When using a folding door/wall, we install power screens above so the entire door is screened at the touch of a button.

Finials and Cresting

Most conservatory owners view their room’s finials and cresting as one of its most beautiful features. However, it’s interesting to note the more pedantic purpose that these features served in Victorian times. And, that they still serve today.

Pigeons! The cities of England were filled with pigeons. In fact, when Mary Poppins sings out, “Feed the birds. Tuppence a bag,” she is referring to pigeons, which readily flock around anybody with food in their hands. Most Londoners didn’t want to “feed the birds” since it increased the odds of gentlemen’s top hats and bowlers, and ladies’ expensive millinery, becoming the target of a pigeon’s deposit.

There were black pigeons and blue pigeons and cinnamon pigeons, but what they all had in common was bright, white poop that, once excreted, had a tendency to run down and form long, glaring streaks on the conservatory roof. “What to do, what to do?”

Enter finials and crestings designed to keep the offending birds off of the conservatory’s roof line. You see, a pigeon is flat-footed and prefers to walk and sit upon a horizontal surface. So, the vertical lines and graceful curves designed into finials and crestings make it difficult for the pigeon to land on, and when and if one succeeds in landing, make it difficult to retain their balance.

“But why the fleur-de-lis?” you may ask. Well… as the “petals” of the flower curve out and over the base of the cresting, they form a barrier just tall enough so that when the pigeon attempts to land on the trough of the fleur-de-lis, they actually bang their heads into the petals. The result for the pigeon is sore feet and a headache.

Since they were designed over 100-years ago, finials and crestings have changed little. In fact, some of the cresting that we install on the finest conservatories hasn’t been redesigned in a century. Why? Because they’re beautiful and they still work as effectively as ever. They are one of the purest examples of great design following form and function.