What better time to be thinking about extending your house with a conservatory than 2017, and why would this be, you may ask?  Prior to May 2013 homeowners were limited to extending their properties up to 4 metres for detached houses and 3 metres for all other properties with a single storey.  However, under the government Neighbour Consultation Scheme, which only runs until May 2019, conservatories can be doubled in size to 8 metres and 6 metres respectively depending on the style of property.

Although there is a process to go through, more on that in a minute, it does mean the lengthy process of planning permission is not an issue, and with Castle Conservatories help, will give you that extensive dream space to enhance your home.

So how does this process work:

You must notify your local planning authority and provide the following:

  • Written description of what you propose including the length the conservatory will extend beyond the rear wall of the original house.
  • A plan of the site.
  • The addresses of any properties that adjoin yours.
  • Your project manager/developer details including an email address.

The local authority will then serve notice on all adjoining properties, giving the address of the proposed development, a description and the above information.

They will also give dates as to when the application was received, when the 42 day determination period will start and how long and by what date neighbours can make objections (with a minimum of 21 days). A copy of this will also be sent to your developer.

Once this process is complete and there are no objections then you can start to realise your dreams of extending your home.

So how can Castle help. With our 25 years’ experience of planning and design management we can really assist in getting your project from concept to completion.  Unlike many companies who outsource aspects of the build we are able to provide a full service, everything from tiling to electrics and plumbing to make this a hassle-free experience from start to finish

But remember if you are planning to extend your home this government initiative means that builds have to be completed by 30 May 2019, so get planning now.



With Christmas only a week away the issue of how you are going to fit all your guests in once again can be a puzzle that you have to solve.  You may need an extra bedroom or an extended dining area or even somewhere to put your tree.  If this is the case and your pre-Christmas stress levels are already at a peak, could investing in an orangery be the solution that you are looking for in 2017.

So, what is an orangery?

Originating from Renaissance Italy from the 17th Century, orangeries were built to protect precious citrus fruit from the elements in the grand homes of the day.  A symbol of wealth, and with the increase in readily available imported fruit, they soon became much more a room for entertaining and the concept of a modern garden room was born.

Although predominately glass an orangery is not just a greenhouse. Orangeries became the ultimate addition to some of the best homes in Europe, greatly admired by visitors and could contain everything from fountains to magic grottos.

Today the modern orangery is a unique extension of your natural living space creating home gym, games room or dining area that enhances your home and adds significant value to your property.

…. And what an amazing space to showcase your Christmas tree

To have an informal chat about how the team at Castle Conservatories can design your dream room call 020 8669 1500 or contact us via the contact page on our website.

Culturally Iconic Doors

The team at Castle Conservatories thought it would be novel to compile our favourite doors from global culture and history. We believe that the humble door is more than a means of entry and exit; a door is a metaphorical icon of great artistic and philosophical significance. Anyway, that’s enough pseudo-introspection – let’s take a look at some beautiful doors…

  • The Columbus Door

These majestic bronze doors were crafted by Randolph Rogers, a neoclassical American sculptor whose work remains highly celebrated in architectural history. The door’s painstakingly detailed illustrations offer a visual journey through Christopher Columbus’ life. You can find these doors at the ‘East Front’ of the US Capitol grounds in Washington D.C.

door 1

  • Bag End

It’s not uncommon for Tolkien fans to make pilgrimages to this door – but why? As if we need to answer that! Bilbo Baggins’ wee hobbit home may be the work of fiction, but that didn’t stop the set designers leaving a little touch of fantasy in the real world for fans to enjoy for years to come.

door 2

  • The Bedroom Doors of Monsters Inc.

Despite being hugely divisive, Monsters Inc is certainly one of Pixar’s more idiosyncratic works. The plot concerns an energy factory wherein monsters harness children’s screams for public energy. The monsters use portal doors to children’s bedrooms on earth to scare them at night… yes; it’s all rather sinister isn’t it? Still, being Disney, all is done with good intent… oh, and there are plentiful iconic doors in it!

door 3

  • 10 Downing Street

Did you know the current door at number 10 is bullet and blast proof as a result of a security measure taken following the IRA attacks in 1991? In fact, since the door is regularly refurbished it requires approximately eight men to detach, move and reinstate! Gosh!

door 4

Like our list? Let the Castle Conservatories team know on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and we’d love to hear your suggestions too!

4 Songs About…Windows!

We absolutely love windows, especially when it comes to providing a fantastic customer experience and maintaining good quality fittings! We love them that much we’ve compiled our top 4 songs featuring the lyrics “windows” – and there’s more than you probably think.

  1. When I’m Cleaning Windows – George Formby

An absolute gem of a song, this definitely catches the nitty-gritty northern soul portrayed by cleaning windows!

2. From A Window – The Beatles

Even the world famous Beatles had something to say, or sing, about windows!


3. Looking Through The Window – Jackson 5

Jackson 5, everybody’s favourite 5 piece band, sang this classic in 1972.


4.  Window in The Skies – U2

And finally… U2.

Pre-Emptive Summer Booking

sunDare we say it? The weather is marvellous here in Surrey at present, but oh goodness, here’s hoping we haven’t jinxed it. April was an odd one with rain, snow and sunshine paying us equal visitations, but hey, none of that stopped Castle Conservatories from cracking on and getting some mighty fine work done. In other news, we’ve been receiving a large number of conservatory and orangery orders for construction over the summer period – if you’d like to invest in our services in the coming months, please feel free to get in touch as soon as possible.

You can find us at both our Wallington and Warlingham showrooms, which are available for contact on the following numbers:

We’ve been in this business a long old time, and continue to provide the finest peripheral domestic builds in Surrey (if we do say so ourselves), but hey, don’t take our word for it – read our testimonials.

castle conserv testimonials

As for Surrey, this quaint wee run down of not-so-known facts about the Surrey County Show caught our eye! The article is well worth a read if you happen to be an avid attendee; take a look here on the Get Surrey site.

For more news and updates from Castle Conservatories please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Frame Your Window Poetry

poetryLike a stack of wooden industrial pallets, this blog might run round in circles, catch on or fall flat in the wind. The idea is that you think of a poem you like, know, or have just browsed for online, which is about windows or which puts windows in the frame of the poem – so to speak.

It might be a whole poem about windows of the soul or it might be just a very apt and well observed line or two from a poem. The theme is windows – at Castle Conservatories, as you can imagine we spend much of our lives working with them, thinking about them and fitting them in thousands of houses in North East Surrey.

So many different views to take into account.

You can do humour, puns, anything to do with glass or wood or U-PVC. Take that last as an acronym perhaps and do us a poem: Here’s an example for the genre we are inventing:

Under the washed and wind-bent tree

Poppies framed beyond the lea

Voices silenced by the view

Caught my eye: the thought of you

Do you see where the acronym is?

windowThat might be being a bit clever. You might have a favourite song in which the image of windows is part of the lyric. You might have a child’s poem about a house with windows that look like eyes. You might see a window in the skies of your imagination and use rhyme and beat to bring the thought to life. You might think about the frosted rime that hoars the winter window in the day and melts in cosy Christmas homes. Enough of this, enough of pomes. It’s now your turn to let the run to Christmas have some cheer, and turn your pen to let us hear.

We seriously do want your thoughts, and who knows how they may be rewarded if you come up with something marvellous. Oh, but do look out for the next acronym poem: the theme is CASTLE.

Just write to us in the comment window box.

We are also on Facebook and Twitter of course!

Be safe and sure

castle consBuilding an extension, an orangery or a conservatory is a commitment. It requires the outlay of significant money and it demands that there is a relationship of trust between the contractor and the customer. As a customer you want to be sure that the work will be done to the best possible professional standards, that the construction is robust and will last, also that it is guaranteed and that you have all the protection possible in case something goes wrong.

At Castle Conservatories we would certainly no longer be in business, 25 years after we started in the North East Surrey area, if we were failing our customers in any of these respects. But we are very pleased that we can offer customers the assurance of being members of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA).

What does this mean for our customers? Well, first and foremost membership of the CPA means that we are an approved and trusted contractor, one that has a proven track record of a high standard of work as designers and installers of conservatories and orangeries and as providers of replacement windows. As the CPA website says: “Our members are leaders in their field – only top rated tradesmen with the best reputations and work history are good enough to become CPA members.”

cpa-logoAnother benefit for our customers in that when you hire a CPA-approved contractor to carry out a home improvement project you have access to a dedicated team who will provide advice if any problems arise. The CPA’s consumer protection specialists can give you advice about any issues relating to home improvement projects being carried out at your home. You might, for example, want to have another eye on the insurance cover that we provide in relation to a conservatory or orangery project.

When cost is so important to all of us, there are still many who will be tempted by offers from those who turn out to be rogues and cowboys. You can be sure that they will not provide the workmanship you require and – as happens too often – many fail to complete the work agreed. By contrast, we are proud of our work, take care of our customers and are delighted to have the approval of the CPA.

For more news and information from Castle Conservatories please like us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Book Now, Save Disappointment

castle conYou may well be aware that to get builders and contractors in to do external work as winter approaches becomes increasingly difficult. Do you want the barge boards and soffits repainted? You’ll probably have to wait for spring. However, there is definitely an advantage in getting your plans on the table now to do major outside work as soon as possible in the New Year.

At Castle Conservatories our fully qualified surveyors are on hand to visit you to discuss your plans for a new or replacement conservatory or for a new orangery. They can help you sort out all the business side, including the design you want, accessories and style considerations – and of course the whole issue of planning permission. If you organise that side now, it is just a question of pressing the button so that we can get moving as soon as weather permits.

slidethree-700x300We highly recommend that you visit one of our show sites in the North East Surrey area at either Wallington or Warlington; not only can you see what’s possible but you can also discuss how we can adapt our many different designs to suit your property and your tastes. Our website carries a gallery of examples of recent conservatory and orangery constructions in the region – and there are plenty of testimonials from happy customers that make assuring reading when you are making big decisions.

As to big decisions, one of the major ones is do you take this opportunity to build a conservatory or to build an orangery? Bear in mind that it is possible with modern construction methods to build a conservatory which can still be reasonably practical for use all year round – although it remains the case that an orangeries are more popular when our customers want a general purpose and year-round type of extension.

Whatever your thoughts or decisions might be, we suggest you give yourself a bit of planning and thinking time now and contact us for any advice.

For more news and information from Castle Conservatories please like us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Planning for an extension?

conser 3At Castle Conservatories we have many years’ experience of designing, customising and constructing conservatories and orangeries for customers in the North East Surrey region. We are used to all the processes involved from concept to completion of the task, but we are never complacent about it. We know that when you decide upon an extension to your home of whatever size or shape, this is a considerable undertaking.

One of the recurring concerns among customers is the planning and legal implications of such a construction. What is the process? How long does it take? What do I have to do?

As you may be aware, the first person to visit you if you are considering a new conservatory or an orangery is our RICS-qualified building surveyor. They are there to ensure, from the outset, that any kind of building design would be compliant with planning requirements – as well as being suitable for your particular purposes. Among other things, they can also explain to you the implications of the recent scheme introduced by the Government, which is the Neighbourhood Consultation Scheme for larger home extensions.

The purpose of this scheme, which runs for a period of six years between 30 May 2015 and 30 May 2019, is actually to permit householders to build larger extensions than were formerly permitted during this time window. If you have a detached house, the size of the permitted extension doubles from 4 to 8 metres; for all other houses the size doubles from 3 to 6 metres.

An important part of the scheme is ensuring that the plans proposed to not meet with any viable objections from neighbours surrounding the house. Houses in the immediate vicinity are given 21 days to make comments on proposals. Because of our experience of these constructions we will always build neighbourhood-friendliness into the plans – it is most unusual anyway for single-story extensions to cause the kind of problems that effect neighbours.

We’re here to discuss any such concerns and to assure you that we can help you deal with them.

For more news and information from Castle Conservatories please like us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

So Many Ways to Use a Conservatory

slideone-700x300The wonderful thing about a conservatory is that it can be used for almost anything. Some people build it specifically because it can be used in different ways on different occasions – as a versatile extra space. So during the summer months it carries sun-room furniture, wicker chairs and a table and during the autumn and winter months the space is used as a snug, heated by a woodburner.

One of the various reasons that our customers opt to have a conservatory in the first place is that as time goes by the house naturally becomes fuller. It is really useful to have an additional area to let the house breathe into. One ingenious idea is to have a conservatory with an all-round window seat that doubles as a row of cupboards for some serious storage. Somewhere at last to put spare things: all those items you are loath to dispose of, such as boxes of games, the spare kettle, the little-used juicer and other white goods.


A common but endlessly stylish approach is to build on a conservatory or orangery specifically to enlarge your kitchen. You could then have, for example, a rustic tiled area directly under the atrium where you can sit in the light, have storage cupboards, have access directly to the garden, grow plants, even have room for a library of cookery books, or a corner for a television. When we consider how much the kitchen is the focal point of the house, this additional space makes so much difference.

We have also seen these spaces used as completely dedicated sitting rooms. Some people find that the amount of light from roof and walls might mean that such a room is better during the spring and summer seasons than in the winter. But there are easy ways to soften down the look; one is to stretch white muslin or cotton across the roof area, or parts of it, lowering the intensity of the light and forming a luxurious upper canopy.

For more news and information from Castle Conservatories please like us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.