Conservatories: UPVC vs. Timber

What Material is Right for Your Conservatory Build?

If you have considered having a conservatory installed then one question which you should pose yourself is what material should I have it constructed in? Two of the most common and practical materials used for conservatories are UPVC (Un-Plasticised Poly-Vinyl Chloride) and Timber (well… wood).

UPVC has become very popular in recent years due to its durability, heat resistant properties and scratch resistance while wooden conservatories have remained consistently popular due to the classic appearance and natural feel. So which is the right material for yours?

Look & Feel

If you are looking for a classic design then timber conservatories are often the best choice. Their natural look makes then fit in very well in any environment. These can often be better suited to older buildings than UPVC where the modern sheen can sometimes look out of place.

Alternatively, for a sleek and modern feel, UPVC conservatories clean lines and vibrant white appearance is ideal for a more contemporary build.

While it is a matter of personal choice, top conservatory providers do note that wooden conservatories are more popular for their aesthetic qualities overall.

Durability

UPVC is built with durability in mind. The compression process to compact the material ensures that it is actually more durable per square inch than a wooden equivalent. However, while that may be true a wooden conservatory can generally be built more robustly and treatments such as lamination of the wood can make it even stronger.

As a result both can be extremely durable, but UPVC wins the vote based on the fact that it can be built as sturdy as a wooden option, but usually at a lower cost.

Security

Security is one area where the two options are extremely difficult to divide. Each is of significant resilience and can be fitted with the same multi-locking systems so in general terms are equally equipped against break-ins.

That said, UPVC conservatories do offer a slight advantage against very aggressive break-ins as they offer slightly better impact resistance. While a solid layer of wood will resist almost anything a burglar could throw at it, UPVCs dual internal and external layers are engineered to resist impact damage even when of a thinner build.

Insulation

UPVC is constructed in such a way as to be especially heat resistant thereby being excellent at keeping your conservatory cooler in the summer. Conversely, they are not quite as effective at retaining heat at night due to this very heat resistance.

In this case wood is an unparalleled option as one of nature’s finest insulators. An Oak built conservatory will maintain a cool temperature throughout the day and retain the suns warmth to prevent your conservatory becoming too cold at night.

Cost

One very important factor is of course the cost. UPVC conservatories tend to be somewhat cheaper due to the ease with which the materials can be mass produced. Natural wood conservatories can look spectacular but generally at a higher cost due to the use of large volumes of solid Oak.

Decision Time

At the end of the day there are very few major differences in each category as neither fails outright. What it will eventually boil down to is personal preference and circumstance.

Woody Albright provides conservatory designs for major suppliers. His designs feature in conservatories throughout the UK.

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