A first-floor conservatory

Hove, East Sussex

The brief: Replace the house’s cold, leaky conservatory, integrating it more effectively with the rest of the house and upgrading its thermal performance.

The property: The house, built at the turn of the 1900s, had an original first-floor conservatory facing south and west. The conservatory was a timber structure with coloured glazing in the windows and an opaque glazed roof, long covered over with corrugated asbestos sheets.

The solution: To create an energy-efficient replacement conservatory whilst retaining the original glazing pattern and style. To do this we used a sustainable hardwood structure for strength and durability. Precisely cut and coated in a factory, the timber was already finished with three coats of micro-porous paint when it arrived, reducing the on-site build time to a minimum.

We installed low-energy doubled-glazed units with special glass in the roof to cut down the heat gain in summer, renovated the existing timber floors, and lined the dwarf solid-brick walls with insulation.

To integrate the space with the rest of the house, the doors and brick piers separating the conservatory from the adjoining room were removed and replaced with a stability frame.

The result: The new conservatory is now a hidden jewel at the back of the house, a beautiful light, warm room and a peaceful haven from the hubbub in the rest of the house. It makes the most of its aspect and its elevated location.


“Martin McCurdy designed both our loft extension and our kitchen extension. He was incredibly sensitive and responsive to our brief; he used the space in a way that was beyond our imagination and his handling and advice regarding all matters concerning construction and planning was excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Martin to anyone seeking advice on their own homes.” PC, Seven Dials

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