A new conservatory is a great asset to your home; adding space, style and somewhere to relax. With so many conservatory styles to choose from, we’ve put together a guide to help you pick the right one for your home.
Today’s cutting-edge conservatories are nothing like the exclusive and overpriced luxury structures they were just a couple of decades ago. It is true you can spend as much as you like on a ridiculously OTT example, but at the same time it’s also perfectly possible to bring something wonderful to your home for next to nothing.
Exactly how much you can expect to pay for a conservatory comes down to two simple things alone – the specifications and the conservatory fitter you will hire.
The latter in particular can be a crucially determining factor, which is why it always pays off to seek more than one conservatory installation quote before making a decision.
What are the different styles of conservatories?
Many people wonder, “What is the right conservatory”? There’s no such thing as a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ conservatory type, but it’s nonetheless essential to make your selection based on what will genuinely suit your home and garden. Play your cards right and the added property value it brings your home could increase your property value significantly.
Edwardian/Georgian conservatory – Edwardian and Georgian style conservatories usually have a pitched roof and are square or rectangular in shape with a flat front. “Edwardian conservatories are the most popular at the moment, they are practical and give the most floor space,” Steve points out. They blend well with different styles of homes and are often built with dwarf walls.
P-shaped or L-shaped conservatory – A P-shaped style conservatory comprises of a rectangular section coming off the house leading into a square or rectangular part, similar to a Victorian or Edwardian design. It is a great way of maximising space and incorporating the conservatory into the main house. An L-shaped conservatory can wrap around the side of the home, saving space in the garden.
Lean-to conservatory (sun lounge) – Lean-to style conservatories are a simple structures to build, rectangular in shape, they have a sloping roof. You can build them up against up to three external walls, which makes them a cheap and easy option.
Gable fronted conservatory – This type provides maximum space in the conservatory with the same rectangular floor as an Edwardian design, the front panel of the roof stays flat, creating more head space.
The type you choose will of course influence the price of the conservatory, but so too will factors like size, location, added extras and so on.
How to choose the right conservatory style for your home
The conservatory style you choose should complement the size and shape of both your house and garden.
The style of conservatory you choose should complement the size and shape of both your house and garden. The traditional Victorian style conservatory (often accompanied with bay windows) offers an elegant and classical look, although the circular floor plan will make furnishing more difficult compared to the rectangular Edwardian style conservatory.
For these conservatories lantern-roofs are great additions for grander, older homes and suggest a more open, spacious feel. On the other hand, an L-shaped extension is suitable if you want your conservatory to embrace the main building rather than stick out. If these options are slightly over-budget, however, or you’re looking for a modest alternative that doesn’t completely consume the remaining garden area, a lean-to sloping roof conservatory is a simple yet effective choice.
Conservatory positioning advice
The location is also important; most conservatories are situated at the rear end of the building, but if you have enough space why not consider an extension that curves around the side of the house? Although the unusual shape might make it an awkward room to design, they usually blend smoothly into the overall structure of the home.
Think too about the position of your garden and how it will affect your final decisions; a south-facing garden means you will probably need some form of blinds or extra air-ventilation to cope with the intense heat and sunshine; while an east-facing one might make for the ideal breakfast parlour.
Energy saving conservatories
If you are also interested in other energy-saving ideas there are a number of choices to consider. An additional internal door between the main house
and the conservatory might leave the extension feeling too detached compared to an open-plan but will trap that much-needed heat in the winter months. Double glazing is also an obvious choice, but if you’re looking for something more sophisticated Celsius Performance Glass typically retains 50% more heat than the standard options.
Conservatory decorating tips
Finally, think about furnishing and decorating ideas that will make your conservatory feel like an extra part of the home rather than a mere attachment. Electrical outputs for lights or blinds will help achieve this effect, but make sure you check safety regulations first. The style of flooring, the room’s colour-palette and other extras such as indoor plants, hanging baskets or stained glass will all have an impact on the final atmosphere.
You should choose furniture to match the style of your conservatory and blinds are important to keep the room cool in summer and warm in the winter. Pleated, roller or reflective blinds are popular conservatory blinds and solar blinds are also available.
“Homeowners usually use radiators connected to the mains central heating,” says Steve. You need to consider heating, which can be supplied by underfloor electric or water heating, conventional radiators or electric radiators. Installing an air con system in your conservatory will keep it cool in the summer but can also be used for heating during the winter. Building regulations specify that you need some ventilation in conservatories, usually by building windows, roof vents, and extractor or installing ceiling fans.
How much does a conservatory cost?
As mentioned, the overall cost of a conservatory will be determined by:
- The type of conservatory you choose.
- The size.
- The building materials used.
- The location.
- The optional extras chosen.
- Trade price.
As such, it can be difficult to estimate a price of a conservatory, though just to put some kind of example to the question, you can expect to pay for:
- Lean to Conservatory price of 3 x 1.5 Metres – £3,500
- Lean to Conservatory cost of 4 x 2.5 Metres – £6,000
- Edwardian Conservatory price of 2.5 x 2.5 Metres – £5,500
- Edwardian Conservatory cost 5 x 3 Metres – £7,500
- Victorian Conservatory cost of 2 x 2 Metres – £3,000
Other potential costs to factor into the equation include the size and number of windows to include, heating options, the provision of power outlets and so much more. And then of course there’s the DIY option to consider, though chances are the full build will be a little out of the capabilities of the average household handyman.
Conservatory Planning Permission
A conservatory building permission is perhaps the most important aspect when you are considering installing a conservatory. You should definitely check
whether or not this is something you need, even before you start calling around for quotes. UK planning laws require that conservatories are permitted developments, which means they can only be installed if the meet specific guidelines, such as;
- The conservatory cannot take up more than half of the property around your original house.
- The conservatory must not be as high as the highest part of the house
- If installing at the back of your house, the conservatory cannot extend beyond the back wall by more than 3m on an attached property and 4m on a detached property
- They can be no higher than 4m
- Conservatories cannot have any side verandas, balconies, or raised platforms
Please make sure you also check the following amazing conservatory gallery!