Conservatories of old have had a slightly chequered past – in the 70s, installations came in silver or white, and many did not have the best of glazing. But we’ve come a long way since and today’s conservatories and stylish orangeries are in a different, ‘premier’ league.

Classic or contemporary, minimalist frames with expanses of glass or traditional cottage-style panes, there’s a style to suit every home. And, unquestionably, a conservatory or orangery is a fantastic way to extend your home and improve the flow between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Whether the sun is shining or there’s a coastal breeze, it’s easy to bring the outdoors in or shut the doors, cozy up and enjoy the view instead.

However, whether you are looking to install a brand new extension or simply to refine what is already in place, there is much that can be done to improve a conservatory that is not performing at its best.

Firstly, today’s glass is far superior than that used decades ago and is specifically designed to keep us warmer in winter and cooler – by reflecting heat away – in summer. Energy efficient, an almost invisible coating will also stop harmful UV rays flooding your property, making a more pleasant environment to enjoy.

A new roof is another investment which can radically alter both the look and energy efficiency of your conservatory. A ‘Livin’ or warm roof combines both solid, insulated plasterboard along with skylights to make your conservatory a space to work, relax and entertain year-round. Screens are a modern day pre-requisite – whether it’s television, computers, hand-held or mobiles – and unlike the squinting experience of an all-glass conservatory, a hybrid roof can make the space feel more like an extra room or extension to your home.

There are also a wealth of options for a conservatory’s entrance – from traditional French doors to bi-folds which open to reveal a complete vista and remove the barrier between interior and outdoor, there are many ways to personalise and create a conservatory or orangery which mirrors your home’s character.

Retro style certainly has its place and we don’t mind some 70s tunes, but we definitely think your home should look its best and give you the most in terms of living space and energy efficiency. If you need some ideas, give us a call and we’ll help you bring things bang up-to-date.

As 2017 came to a close, West Norfolk Glass marked the passing of its 50th year of trading as a local family firm with a team photograph, which I think says much about our company.

To many people, the shot above is simply a group of people standing outside their workplace, but there is more on show than you might think at first glance. Firstly in the background you can see our showroom which houses a wide range of high quality doors, windows and glazing products. From standard casement to timber effect sash windows, stylish composite and contemporary bi-fold doors, we are proud to showcase the many glazing products that are available to homeowners today. In an age of digital shopping, where you can click and buy at any hour of the day, I think there’s still a lot to be said for being able to see before you buy, talk with someone knowledgeable about the best product for your home and budget, and know that you are making the right choice that will last.

At the back of our building, there is also a large glass workshop. Knowing that your home is fitted with a bespoke, made to measure installation which offers maximum security and protection against the elements and is guaranteed for at least 10 years has got to be a better home improvement solution.

In front of the showroom is a selection of our vans which you will undoubtedly see on the roads around Norfolk. In recent times, we’ve worked hard to make our company standout and be instantly recognisable to customers by our ‘glazing man’ logo. While there are a number of companies with names similar to our own, none can claim to have been trading for 50 years, offering family-like service to their customers. We are a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation and have been since our dad started the company in 1967, a demonstration of our knowledge, expertise and experience of crafting and fitting glazing solutions for more than half a century.

Finally, perhaps the most important aspect of the photograph is the people – although some of the team were unable to make our photo shoot (blame December coughs and colds!) those who are shown are all employed by West Norfolk Glass to help us deliver an outstanding service for our customers. Although many double glazing firms will contract a third party to install their windows and doors, our fitters are our employees – it means that in the unlikely event of a problem, we will honour and put things right rather than pass the buck to ‘the other guy’.

We are enormously proud of our team and the work we do around the county – if you’d like to see some of our installations, take a look at the galleries or give us a call and our team will be delighted to visit and advise on the wide range of glazing solutions on offer today.

Hurray, hurray, the first of May… the month when summer, hopefully, starts to show itself and we can enjoy our home’s outdoor space more readily.

Of course, conservatories provide a perfect light and spacious spot to relax inside if the wind’s still a bit nippy (as it often can be in May, particularly on the coast!). In fact, a conservatory should be a space to enjoy year-round, although many customers tell us that instead they have a room which is too cold in winter and too hot in summer. Advancements in materials and technology mean that this is easily remedied with a replacement roof which keeps things temperate and maximises the time you can spend in your conservatory. There are a number of solutions available, and we are always happy to visit your home to suggest the best one for your conservatory.

Orangeries are always an elegant addition to a home, and we have created some truly stunning installations over the 50 years that we’ve been trading as a family firm. Combining brick pillars and glass, these traditional structures are regarded by many as the ultimate home improvement.

Such as it may be, the new kid on the block, and to many people’s mind a rival in terms of home improvement are bi-fold doors which allow for an entire wall to be replaced with glass that can be completely opened and folded back to allow outdoor and indoor space to blend completely. Allowing unimpeded views of your garden and outlook, there’s less frame and more glass which creates a stunning design statement. A growing number of customers are installing bi-fold doors and it’s definitely a trend that’s here to last.