Conservatories UK: Designs & Styling
The first thing you should know is that we only deal with reputable companies, any Installer that we use will be a registered member of a National Trade Association which ensures you benefit from enhanced consumer protection rights, insurance backed guarantee schemes and deposit protection.
The next thing to know is that we have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to use our service; you only need to send us some brief details and we will do the rest.
We are here to help you find great conservatories & the lowest conservatory prices matched with the best standards of workmanship.
What types of Conservatories are there?
Conservatories come in a large array of appearances, colours & shapes, some very grand, some quite simple, but most designs can be found to fit into a general category that will give a broad idea of how the Conservatory will look and what features predominate in the design.
As mentioned above, Conservatories come in many shapes & sizes; some are more easily identified than others; so to give you an idea of what the most popular Conservatories look like, you can find them below:
What can I use my Conservatory for?
People add a new conservatory to their properties usually because they are in real need of more living space. But it may just be that you simply have always wanted a conservatory or to want improve the appeal and resale value of the property.
Either way, it can be worthwhile thinking about how you want to use the new space – Just for fun, here are the top 6 reasons*given for building conservatories:
- 50% wanted an extra living room.
- 20% wanted more natural light in their homes.
- 15% were looking at using the room for dining.
- 10% built it to create a better impression (increase appeal)
- 5% went with a childrens’ recreational area.
(*The percentages are not exactly accurate, but reflect the overall purposes given by responders to a consumer survey by which.co.uk)
However you want to make use of it, there are some things worth considering about your new conservatory before you go out and invest your hard earned money.
1 How big should the conservatory be?
A conservatory, unlike a brick extension, can be built without the need for planning permission if you keep within a certain set of guidelines, one of which is size.
To give you a very rough idea, in a nutshell, the new conservatory should not take up more than half of your garden space (this includes any exiting extensions in the 50%), the highest point should be lower than your existing property eaves (roofline), and keep it within a 3m depth for a semi-detached house or 4m depth for a detached house.
There is more detail about planning permission for conservatories here: UK Planning Portal
If we exclude your budget, the optimum size of your conservatory is probably going to be determined by how you plan to use it.
For example, if you plan to use the conservatory as a dining room you will need space for your main dining table, the chairs, maybe some side tables or cabinets and also room to move around in comfort. That means you can’t have it too small. On the other hand, for a kids play area you don’t have such “fixed” requirements for space.
To give yourself a really good idea of the size, mark out the area on the ground outside your home where the conservatory is going to be built – you can mark it out with pegs & string lines or use chalk dust to create an outline. You can then maybe use some patio furniture in the marked out space to see how things fit (don’t forget to mark out the door).
Marking out the conservatory area on the ground will also enable you to see how much of your garden will be left to use after the room is built. If you decide upon a smaller conservatory, then square or rectangular shapes (lean-to) give more usable inner space than rounded ones (Victorian).
2 How much will my conservatory cost?
We go into more detail about conservatories prices on the following page, conservatory-prices, but the cost of your new conservatory (excluding internal furnishings etc.) will be largely dictated by the style of room you want and the size of it.
A good quality conservatory is estimated to add around 10% to the resale value of a property. So, based on an average house price in the UK of around £230,000 outside London, and around £450,000 in London, you could theoretically use a budget of between £20,000 to £40,000 (depending on where you live) and still make a “profit”.
However, not all of us have that kind of budget and will be looking for lower cost options.
There are 2 main pricing aspects to consider, the second of which can be easily overlooked in the early stages.
- The cost of the conservatory itself.
- The cost of interior finishing.
Once your conservatory is constructed, you will need to decorate and furnish it. Whilst lighting and power sockets may be including in the initial cost, heating is unlikely to be included and is highly likely to be needed given the British weather.
An average quality UPVC 3×3 conservatory (3000mm x 3000mm or 10ft x 10ft) might cost in the region of £5,000 to £6,000 and will come with a set of French doors and include a standard guarantee of 10 years.
If you want dwarf wall includes than you need to allow about another £1,000.
A Victorian uPVC conservatory measuring approximately 3.5m x 3.5m should cost in the region of £9,000 to £12,000 depending on the final design choices that you make. Again, if you want dwarf walls, the price will increase.
Here are a few prices, you can find more detail on our conservatory cost guide page.
|Conservatory style & size||Frame & roof type||Cost guide|
|3 x 3 Lean-to||uPVC, White with polycarbonate roof||£5,000 to £7,000|
|3 x 3 Georgian or Gable||uPVC, White with polycarbonate roof||£6,500 to £9,000|
|3.5 x 3.5 Victorian||uPVC, White with polycarbonate roof||£7,500 to £10,500|
3 What type of conservatory roof to use?
There are 3 main options for your conservatory roof and those would be:
- We go into more detail about conservatory roof options here.
Poly carbonate is considered the lowest cost option when compared to the others. It is quite durable and shatterproof and has some protection from UV light, but not as effective as a double glazed or tiled installation.
Double glazed, full glass conservatory roofs have features such solar-control and self-cleaning glass. A modern glass installation will be very energy efficient and offer a lot more protection from cold or heat than polycarbonate.
Solid conservatory roofing makes use of concrete tiles, quarried slates and synthetic slates or tiles. You can also get the latest synthetic tiling systems in quite a decent range of colour options.
Having a solid roof will give you the most protection from heat or cold, but you lose a lot of natural light.
4 What type of conservatory frames to use?
The main structure of a typical home conservatory is going to be made from uPVC, timber or aluminium. Whilst each of these materials may share a lot of properties, they all have their own good or bad points and there can be a significant difference in price between them.
UPVC is by far the most often used material for home conservatories currently, and given the advantages of using uPVC, its likely to stay that way for some time.
Some of the advantages of uPVC conservatories are that the material is light, strong, durable and very long lasting. The ease of manufacture and availability of supply also goes to help uPVC conservatories maintain very competitive prices.
You can see more about uPVC conservatories here.
Timber conservatories, whilst not as prevalent as uPVC, hold a special attraction to many homeowners who love wood. Hardwood conservatories are considered by many to be the only choice.
There are not many disadvantages to owning an Oak conservatory, other than you need to take good care of it and maintain it properly, however, even a small to medium sized Oak conservatory could set you back 10’s of thousands of pounds. So the main drawback would be the comparatively high price.
An alternative to hardwood is to look at engineered timber conservatories. The use of timber laminated timber composites is fast gaining a foothold in the conservatory market. Better priced than hardwood, they bring wood conservatories into the modern age.
Engineered timber is less prone to the same problems as natural grain timber (shrinking & expanding), and this stability of material makes it ideal alternative to hardwood, keeping it looking good for longer with less maintenance.
Aluminium, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of timber. Being lighter, stronger and more easily made into slim profiles than wood or uPVC, gives the modern aluminium conservatory the ability to be made into some truly striking contemporary designs.
Price wise, you could be looking at aluminium & hardwood conservatories being the higher priced of the 3 materials.