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Edwardian Conservatories

Edwardian conservatories.

What are the options for Edwardian conservatory designs and how much do Edwardian conservatories cost?

As one of the styles often referred to as Period-conservatories, the Edwardian style of conservatory home extension is one that first became popular during the reign of King Edward VII, which was from 1901 to 1910. The other well-known period conservatory designs being Victorian & Georgian.

The appearance of this style followed the Victorian conservatory era, and is deliberately much less ornamental, as designers at the time had become “fed-up” with all the fussy, ornate Victorian styling fashion.

As result, you will notice that detailing is minimal, with the emphasis on giving the occupants a more uninterrupted view of the outside garden.

Edwardian conservatories are regular square or rectangular shapes. They have vaulted roofs with 3 or 4 sides. In some instances, the 4-sided roof is hipped and can sometimes lead people to mistake an Edwardian conservatory for an Orangery.

However, there is quite a difference in cost between the two home extensions, with a decent sized orangery costing around £20,000 and uPVC Edwardian conservatory prices from £10,000 to £12,000.

In this guide you will find sections covering:

  • Edwardian design options.
  • Optional features for Edwardian conservatories.
  • Quick guide to Edwardian conservatory prices.

Edwardian Vs Orangery

What are the options available for Edwardian conservatory home extensions?

Popular Edwardian Conservatory designs.

Basic designs choices for the Edwardian conservatory style of room are:

  1. Glass sides, full height.
  2. Low rise Dwarf walls.

In a lot of cases, low rise solid walling is used for an Edwardian conservatory, it is extremely popular and gives the room a more “permanent” appearance. The wall height is usually no more than 600mm or 2 to 3 feet. Bricks are most often seen used, but natural stone or renders are interesting alternates.

This would translate into about 8 courses of regular brickwork from the finished floor height. More brick will be visible from the outside, dependent on how high the internal floor of your conservatory is above the external ground level. For example, if your garden slopes quite a bit, you could have a lot more exposed walling on one side than the other.

Adding brickwork will increase the initial cost, because it will require extra labour and materials.

The more “contemporary” approach to Edwardian conservatory design is to use as much glass as possible. With double glazing technology improvements ever increasing the energy efficiency of glass conservatories, it now allows for widespread use of glass without having to endure excessive heat build-up.

Windows & doors for your Edwardian conservatory

A typical Edwardian conservatory is going to have a considerable proportion of glass in the design, so it is important that you use the most energy efficient glazing that you can get for your budget.

To put it simply, the wider the gap you have between the inner & outer panes of glass in the sealed double glazed units, the more energy efficient it will be. Having said that, this increase in efficiency will actually drop if you have the gap too big. Having an excessively big gap allows convection currents to form and that is what you need to avoid as it will actually transfer heat (or cold) from one side of the glazing to the other.

You can tell the energy efficiency of any given window unit by checking the WER or Window Energy Rating label. It goes from A++ to G. C is the lowest acceptable rating to meet building regulations. B-rated double glazing is usually good enough to cope with the British Weather.

The size of the gap can run from 6mm to 28mm, in 2mm increments. For a conservatory, you should be thinking in terms of no less than 12mm. The 20mm gap unit is the most effective in the current range and, once you add the thickness of the 2 panes of glass (2 x 4mm), you get a total dimension of 28mm.

Glass can be very dangerous when broken, and so there are building regulations covering the use in high risk areas. Given that in a lot of conservatories there is floor to ceiling glazing, this is important to get right. Not only for compliance, but also to keep your family safe.

Safety glass must be used in a critical areas such as:

  • Any glazed area within a window below 800mm from floor level
  • Any glazed area within a window that is 300mm or less from a door and up to 1500mm from floor level
  • Within any glazed door up to 1500mm from floor level.
Safety Glazing Diagram

Safety Glazing Diagram

As you can see from the diagram, this regulation is likely to apply to all full height glass conservatories.

Windows are also important where you want to create ventilation. Many Edwardian conservatories feature a row of “top light” windows just below the roof-line, both as a design feature and for the ventilation.  It’s worthwhile noting that for each opening window, some installers add a small charge.

What type of door best suits an Edwardian conservatory?

The best doors for your extension can depend on how much room you have to fit them and what you want from them.

For smaller Edwardian conservatories, or rectangular rooms where the door is going to be on the short side, a set of French doors can be ideal.  French doors can open outwards, which means they don’t take up any internal space – god for a small conservatory.

For larger or wider conservatories, you have the opportunity to use sliding patio doors or Bifold patio doors. Both of these types of door work well when you have a good width to fit them into. Bifold doors work particularly well when you have a lot of width to work with.

Edwardian Conservatory Doors

Edwardian Conservatory Doors

Options for Edwardian Conservatory Roofs.

As mentioned briefly above, an Edwardian conservatory roof is typically either 3 or 4 sided and can be a regular pitched roof or a hipped version.

As with many other conservatory styles there are options for different roof materials such as:

  • Polycarbonate: A Low cost option that a lot of owners opt for when they first install a conservatory. However, many owners replace polycarbonate with glass or tiles at a later date.
  • Double Glazed full glass: Not as cheap as polycarbonate, but offer much better sound and heat insulation. Solar glass cuts down glare and self-cleaning glass options keeps the roof looking good.
  • Tiled: Tiled Edwardian conservatory roofing is the most expensive option, but gives the best insulation from heat, cold and noise. There are some lightweight options from synthetic or even metal roof tiles that look great. Guarantees of up to 40 years, but expect a lifetime of trouble free use.

Edwardian Conservatory Roof

For solid conservatory roofing, there are quite a few things that you should pay attention to. Building regulations and structural strength being two of them. There is more information about this on our conservatory roof page.

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Timber Vs Aluminium Vs UPVC Edwardian Conservatories.

There are loads of UPVC Edwardian conservatories around, mainly due to the relatively lower cost when compared to timber or Aluminium. Aluminium Edwardian conservatories are, currently, a rare sight.

As far as wooden Edwardian conservatories are concerned, hardwood is an option, but is a lot costlier than UPVC. An alternative is to use engineered timber.

Whilst engineered timber for conservatories is primarily softwood, it has been factory treated to preserve the timber. Alongside that, it is made from alternating layers of wood laminated together to create a timber that has no fixed grain direction. The lack of one directional grain drastically reduces the tendency of softwood to expand and contract so much, and stops the timber from warping and cracking.

Pros & Cons

  • UPVC: Long lasting, cheaper, energy efficient, low maintenance.
  • Hardwood: Long lasting, more expensive, energy efficient, medium maintenance.
  • Engineered wood: Long lasting, less costly than hardwood, natural timber finish and kerb appeal, needs some maintenance.
  • Aluminium: Strong, slimline frames, long lifespan, low maintenance, relatively costly.

A Quick Guide to Edwardian Conservatory Prices.

The main things to bear in mind when it comes to the cost of an Edwardian conservatory are, the size, the roof type and the amount of solid walling in the design.

For example, a tiled roof Edwardian conservatory with a lot of dwarf walling is going to be quite a bit more expensive to install than a polycarbonate roofed full glass version.

In any event, it’s always best to shop around and get several quotations from large and local companies to compare what is in the market.

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