A new conservatory has the power to transform, revitalise, and ‘open up’ your home. Period or modern, conservatories can complement any style of home.
That’s because you have a wide range of potential options to go for, both in terms of the type of conservatory you choose, and the materials you use to build it. This means you can tailor your new conservatory according to the surroundings and your design preferences.
In this article, we’ll look through the most popular options available to you, and break down what makes them so special. It’s also important to consider the various materials and finishing touches you can utilise across your conservatory that can enhance its aesthetic quality, improve its efficiency, and ensure it stands the test of time.
Use this guide to help you learn all there is to know about conservatories in the UK. Then, you’ll be better equipped to plan those critical details throughout the installation process.
To learn more about the best conservatory prices, including installation, then we recommend you consult multiple installers and compare their quotes. With multiple quotes, you can take advantage of the best deals and choose the installer who makes the best offer.
GreenMatch is here to make this process as quick and simple as possible. Rather than finding installers for yourself, our dedicated team can do this for you by matching you with up to 3 conservatory installers in your local area.
All you have to do is fill in our simple form. Get started today by clicking the link below.
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The best type of conservatory in the UK is subjective. Determining what makes the best conservatories will be based on your own taste, as well as how well it suits your home.
To help you reach a decision as to which type of conservatory would fit your home best, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular types in the UK.
Victorian conservatories are one of the most recognisable conservatories in the UK. Iconic for its apex, steeply pitched roof with gothic style ridges and finials.
Victorian conservatories are equally recognisable for having a rounded bay front, usually with 3-5 facets. With a bay style, you can make the most of the space in a Victorian conservatory and you have several vantage points with the most wide-open view.
Despite being distinct for its Victorian finishings, a classic Victorian conservatory can suit any style of home as long as the material suits your existing windows.
For those who prefer a more understated aesthetic, the Edwardian conservatory is simpler and less decorative than a Victorian design. However, these are still very popular for being bold and elegant, making a nice addition to any modern or traditional-looking homes.
The key difference between the two is the shape: an Edwardian conservatory is rectangular with only three outward-facing facets.
This shape does allow maximum floor space and, with a four-sided apex roof, an Edwardian conservatory also catches maximum sunlight.
A hip-back (or double-back) roof, where the roof slopes into the wall rather than running straight across, gives the appearance of a separated roof. This style is also characteristic of an Edwardian conservatory, although they can also be built with a traditional gable roof if that’s your preference.
Lean-to conservatories make a nice, more affordable addition to any size or style of home. Lean-tos are also referred to as Mediterranean conservatories since they have a one-sided roof that slopes from the end of the roof, similar to a Mediterranean sunroom. This simple feature offers a contemporary feel that suits a modern home.
If your home is built with a low roofline line and eaves projecting from the side of the roof, you will find that a lean-to works best since the pitch can be adjusted for this.
More than any other conservatory, a gable-end gives you the opportunity to extend your home and truly maximise inside the space. A gable-end conservatory roof is similar to a Georgian-style conservatory in that they are square or rectangular.
Where they differ is in the roof. A gable-end roof is the same height across the entire conservatory to meet the roof of your house, whereas a hip-back slopes from the apex. This extends the overall space in your conservatory, giving plenty of space for natural light through the roof and giving a gable-end its characteristic grandiose.
The ‘sunburst’ front roof also sits vertically rather than sloping towards the centre, in the same way as most houses do. Despite their imposing appearance, these conservatories will make a nice fit with any size or style of home, although they will complement traditional heritage properties best since they’re reminiscent of the Georgian era.
Even more than the Gable-end, a T-shaped conservatory gives you the opportunity to extend your home to meet the garden.
This is because a further section extends from the centre of the conservatory. This extra section can have straight sides or be multifaceted. As for how far this extra space can extend, this is usually up to you. The main section, or the top of the T-shape, is attached to the house.
A T-shaped conservatory can also be designed in various styles, like Victorian or Edwardian. This gives you the flexibility to characterise your new conservatory in any way you’d like, as well as giving you more options in terms of the best complementary windows and doors.
The additional space that comes with T-shaped makes them the best conservatories for large homes, especially those with plenty of space in their garden.
To find the best conservatory for your home, we recommend you seek advice from a professional installer who can assess your home’s requirements, and what is achievable in the space you have.
To help you with this, you can use our simple quoting service. Rather than expending time and energy searching for trustworthy installers by yourself (which can be a stressful task), you can save yourself this time and effort by getting our dedicated team to handle it for you.
With your details, we’ll match you with up to 3 of the best conservatory installers in your area. With their bespoke advice, you’ll get a better sense of the best conservatories available to you, and what will best suit your home.
You can then choose the installer who offers you the best deal for installation, by comparing their tailored quotes. This helps you to save money, while you can be sure you’ve selected a trustworthy, professional installer from our network.
Get started today by filling in the form. All of our quotes are free and come with no obligation.
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The final total costs to build a conservatory can vastly differ according to some key factors:
Considering all these elements, you can expect the overall cost of adding a conservatory to your home to range from £7,500 -£50,000+, as a ballpark estimate.
Most conservatory walls are made up of a section of brickwork from the ground up, and windows panes that circulate the entire structure.
This style is preferred over having glass walls from the floor-to-ceiling, since bricks offer more insulation which helps regulate the temperature in the summer and the winter.
The best material for your conservatory roof also very much depends on your preferences. Below we’ve listed the most common materials, along with their key features and benefits to help you decide for yourself.
A glass roof is the most popular since it allows the most natural light to fill your conservatory. If you’d like to keep plants in your conservatory, then they’ll be very happy living under a glass-roofed conservatory.
Glass roofs can also come in various styles so will suit any home. The glass panels can also be reinforced with aluminium frames to withstand harsh weather conditions.
The glass can also be coated to prevent a greenhouse gas effect that would otherwise trap too much heat in the summer and too much cold in the winter.
Tile roofs are popular for those who would like their conservatory to match their home, giving the appearance of an extension.
A tiled roof also acts as an effective insulator, so might be a better option for those living in especially cold climates.
Polycarbonate roofing is the easiest and most affordable option to lay your roof. Like a glass roof, polycarbonate roofs are poor natural insulators. Some polycarbonate materials might be better insulators than others, but overall it won’t have the same thermal effect as tiles of low-E glass.
A polycarbonate roof can allow light to shine through. Polycarbonate sheets can also be shaped more easily to fit the style of your home and come in a variety of colours.
When it comes to choosing the best material for your conservatories’ windows and doors, then it will depend on what suits your home’s style and your budget.
However, when considering these options, having an awareness of the various pros and cons that come with each might also help you decide.
uPVC is very popular options for your conservatory windows and doors since they are highly durable, low maintenance, and relatively more affordable. It’s also usually available in a range of colours to match your home, no matter the style.
Despite its lower price points, uPVC is a highly efficient material that reduces heat loss more than wood or metal frames. It’s also a highly effective insulator, meaning it will help to keep your conservatory warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Wooden conservatories, usually timber, are a great choice of material because of their distinct aesthetic appeal. The elegance and charm of wooden conservatories look best alongside traditional, heritage properties.
Despite this, you shouldn’t feel limited since there’s a range of hardwoods and varnishes that can help match the colour of the wood to your liking. What’s more, wood can be easily cut and shaped according to your design preferences.
However, varnishing and re-painting will need to take place every now and then, which is more maintenance than most other options. It also sits on the more expensive side compared to other materials.
Aluminium is a very long-lasting and very durable construction material. It’s also an easily recyclable material.
Though it can complement modern homes well because of its sleek, simple appearance, it can be easily adapted to also suit period architecture and conservatories.
This hardy material can support large panes of glass with only a slim frame. Smaller sightlines also let in more natural light and give you more open views to enjoy.
Aluminium will not insulate as well as uPVC unless it’s fitted with an additional thermal break that sits between the pane of glass and the frame to prevent heat loss.
Selecting the right glass for your conservatory is an important step since you want to make sure that important elements such as thermal efficiency, safety, and maintenance are accounted for.
Just as with usual windows you might have across your home, double glazed windows in your conservatory are a great option because they are thermally efficient, and can reach efficiency ratings of A+, or A++ if you install triple glazing.
Double glazed windows have two glass panels with a layer of argon glass between them. This gas stops heat from escaping through the glass, instead keeping it in the conservatory. This lets you enjoy more optimal comfort levels in your conservatory while also saving you in monthly energy costs.
Low E glass
Reflective Low E glass is a great glass option as it deflects the sun’s light and heat. This means you won’t be disturbed by your conservatory trapping too much heat on bright summer days. During winter months, the protective layer can also trap heat inside the conservatory.
Therefore, this type of glass goes perfectly with a frame material that is a poor insulator, like aluminium or wood.
Four times stronger than standard glass, tempered, or ‘toughened’ glass is heated to 650⁰C then rapidly cooled. This thermal treatment toughens the glass as the centre remains in a state of tension.
Its strength reduces the risk of breaking, and will also ensure that it breaks into smaller pieces, rather than large, more dangerous shards. It’s also lightweight making for easier installation and reducing the burden on the building materials.
Fitting self-cleaning means there’s no need to worry about cleaning hard-to-reach spots on your conservatory roof. Self-cleaning glass has a coating which absorbs UV sunlight which breaks down dirt and debris buildup on your window. Then, when it rains, this is able to wash off your windows completely.
As you can probably guess, there’s a lot that goes into putting a conservatory together. Even your location can have some bearing on the overall installation costs since installation companies will charge you based on the time it takes to deliver parts and labour.
That’s why we also recommend choosing locally based installation companies to build your new conservatory. It’s also a good idea to compare multiple quotes before choosing an installer, to get a sense of the fairest and most accurate costs, based on your home’s specifications.
To find the best conservatory companies near you, and for local, tailored quotes, use our free quotes service.
It’s simple: fill in the form and our dedicated team will match you with up to 3 conservatory installers based in and around your local area.
With their quotes, you have the opportunity to find the best deals for installation before paying anything.
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