We design and build our side structures utilising the very best materials to reflect the design criteria. Great consideration and care is taken to incorporate the correct mouldings and detailing to echo the period and architectural characteristics of the conservatory.
Our National Trust Conservatories are manufactured from Douglas Fir, which is without doubt, one of the hardest, strongest and most durable timbers available. Contrary to popular belief that hardwoods are superior to softwoods, Douglas Fir is a more superior timber to use in construction than many readily available hardwoods. Douglas Fir is a stable timber which seasons well, dries evenly and remains straight and true with negligible checking or distortion. It also has the characteristic of having excellent longevity, even in its natural state.
Interesting facts worth noting are: Balsa wood – one of the softest, weakest and least durable timbers available, is actually classified as a hardwood. The 70-metres tall flagpole at Kew Gardens is made from Douglas Fir - and is thought to be 370 years old.
Vale remains committed to an environmentally responsible policy and the timber used in a National Trust Conservatory is purchased from sustainable sources and in addition, Vale has a Chain of Custody policy and is audited annually under the FSC & PEFC scheme.
Timber Preservative Treatment
At Vale we also subject our cut timbers to pressure treatment which impregnates the timber with an organic solvent and gives additional protection against rot and fungal attack. This is an essential process which ensures absolute longevity of your timber. To ensure the very best standards are maintained, this is carried out in-house under strict quality control procedures.
As each conservatory is individually made, the choice of window detail plays an important part in creating the character of the conservatory. All timber window designs are made in the traditional proven way incorporating individual double glazed units. Our standard glaze bar for double glazing is 26mm wide, echoing the slender detail of that used during Georgian and Victorian periods.
An alternative way of creating a window design is to fix a decorative metal tracery to the exterior of the window. The traceries are cast in aluminium and are powdercoated.
All doors and windows are constructed in the traditional proven way with mortice & tenon joints. Traditional timber window detail is created with a traditional true-divided light construction, achieved with a 26mm glazing style housing individual double glazed units.
Doors are usually outward opening, fitted with a suited 5 lever mortice lock. In addition all doors are fitted with shoot bolts top and bottom with the master door bolts having a locking mechanism for additional security. Each door is hung on decorative finial projection hinges.
As standard, due to the weight of the joinery and glass our windows are top hung and each is fitted with two 250mm casement stays, one incorporating a security locking nut. As an alternative, we frequently fit balanced sliding sashes. These are balanced with traditional lead weights, hung on plain waxed cotton sash cord, run on brass pulleys and are closed into position with conventional sliding catches.
All our doors and windows are fitted with storm proof seals and whilst all ironmongery is generally specified in un-lacquered brass - chrome, bronze and black are also available at no extra charge. Similarly, there are alternatives to style and operation of ironmongery and these can be discussed if our recommendations are not suitable.
We make our own ornamental aluminium guttering which is designed as an integral part of the roof structure and forms a continuous gutter with no visible support brackets or clips. This provided with round section aluminium downpipes, brackets and show outlets.
Each conservatory offers a choice of detail at the gutter or eaves.
All conservatories are fitted with high performance Low Emissivity double glazing.
The Hardwick side units are 4mm / 10mm / 4mm
Safety glass is fitted to the sides in accordance with the GGF requirements.