roof lantern imageAt long last the winter seems to be coming to an end and spring is just around the corner.  At this time of the year our thoughts start to turn toward the great outdoors and making plans for our gardens as we witness the few new shoots of life on trees and shrubs and enjoy the lovely spring daffodils and tulips that are starting to emerge from their winter sojourn.  The days are longer and we are all anxious to make the most of the increasing hours of daylight but, with still a slight chill to the air, we need to protect ourselves from the cold.

This is the time when the garden room comes into its own.  A place where you can enjoy the extended hours of daylight, still sheltered from the chilly winds, and enjoy basking in the sun coming through the windows.  Modern conservatory designs have become increasingly sophisticated as they are required to be fully functional, year round rooms often housing kitchen extensions, dining or living rooms.  Incorporating lantern roofs and bi-folding doors in addition to windows and fixed lights and set within a brick framework, rather like a modern day orangery, they are insulated against the cold and heated so that they offer a permanent extension to the existing property, used throughout the year and not just during the summer and spring. Top tips for conservatory inspiration from Homes and Gardens at, where they feature a small conservatory with a Parsons Joinery roof lantern at picture 5 which is also featured in our Case Study ‘Roof Lantern Lewes’.

New developments in glazing technology have revolutionised the design and development of the modern conservatory.  All of us remember sitting in single glazed, unheated conservatories that could only be used during warmer weather and then, during summer, become unusable spaces as the sun scorched through the glass, destroying the furniture and fabrics beneath.  To alleviate this problem, we recommend the use of solar control glass in our roof lanterns and often in bi-folding doors and windows, especially for conservatories with a south facing aspect.

If you want to talk to us about solar control glass for your roof lantern call us now on 01273 814870

After much research, our product of choice is Pilkington Activ Neutral glass which offers both solar control and self cleaning properties.  Combined with insulating double glazed units, your garden room will retain heat in the winter and heating costs will be reduced.  However, in the summer, the solar control finish will keep temperatures cooler whilst still maintaining excellent light transmittance.  With the aluminium capping system on the exterior of the lantern and the self clean finish, a lantern light will be virtually maintenance free as this dual action finish both breaks down organic dirt and helps it to be washed away by any rainfall.  Additionally, this special finish improves vision through the glass while raining and, as the water dries quickly, reduces streaking.  With a slight grey tint, Activ neutral complements standard clear glass and, if only the self cleaning finish is required, Pilkington Activ is virtually indistinguishable from clear glass.