Dating back as far as the 19th century, enhancing living space through a conservatory has remained one of the most popular home renovations for decades. However, not only is a conservatory a significant investment, but it will also completely alter the appearance of your property, which means that choosing the right style is imperative. This isn’t a decision that you should attempt to make overnight as several factors will need to be considered, such as your budget, as well as whether your property is modern or traditional.
With this in mind, having specialised in conservatories in Milton Keynes and the local areas for many years, our team have helped hundreds of clients to determine what conservatory type is best-suited to their home. So, we have compiled our knowledge to create a full guide on making this important decision.
Determining What Conservatory Type Is Best For You
Whether you are replacing your existing space or are putting together a new design from scratch, building a conservatory is a home upgrade that is guaranteed to come alongside a wealth of benefits. Not only can a conservatory add up to 15% to the value of your property, but it is also considerably more affordable than a home extension while still providing ample living space. This means that although it will require an initial investment, you will most definitely enjoy a return for many years to come, providing that you choose your conservatory type and materials carefully. To ensure this, we recommend asking yourself the following questions, which we will take a closer look into throughout our guide:
- What Should You Consider Before Building A Conservatory?
- What Is The Difference Between A Conservatory And Orangery?
- What Are The Different Types Of Conservatories?
Before delving deeper into the different types of conservatories available, it is essential to take into consideration the key factors which will impact whether your home is suited to this upgrade. Together, these will help you to begin shortlisting what styles you like the most, as well as those that will be able to fulfil your requirements. Start your research by thinking about the following:
The Use Of The Conservatory
Spending time determining how you would like to use your conservatory once it is finished will help to narrow down the qualities you will look for in styles. For instance, if you would like a space where you can enjoy the summer weather without becoming too warm, then you may want to consider styles which feature a temperature-controlled roof, as opposed to opting for a fully glazed conservatory. For those who plan to convert their new space into a home office or playroom, on the other hand, privacy will be essential, so again, you may not incorporate as much glazing as a traditional conservatory would have.
Keep in mind that while you will have to choose a particular conservatory style, it can be altered to fit with your vision. Many aspects, from the roof to the glazing, can be tailored to meet with your requirements; you will just need to ensure that you make these clear during the initial design process. If you’re stuck for inspiration, then take a look at Ideal Home for different ideas on how you can use your conservatory.
Where Your Conservatory Will Be Located
Many homeowners are surprised to find that the position of their conservatory will have an impact on the type of flooring, heating and ventilation they will need to incorporate. Typically, any conservatory that is built north-facing will remain a cooler temperature as it is not exposed to as much sunlight as those located on the south. This means that south-facing conservatories, on the other hand, will need to be designed with additional features to prevent the room from overheating.
Regardless of where your conservatory is positioned, double glazing should always be installed to allow you to maintain a steady temperature. The added layer of glazing means that not only will your conservatory remain cool in the summer but also cosy and warm during the colder months. Here at Crown Windows Buckingham, all of our conservatories are designed with double glazing in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas to ensure that clients can enjoy their new space all year round.
Whether You Need Planning Permission
When making any significant upgrade to your property, it is vital to check whether you need to apply for planning permission. For most conservatories, the project will fall under permitted development, which means that you already have the right to go ahead with the build, providing that it meets with the outlined criteria. These rules cover points such as the height of the conservatory, along with how much land it covers. A full list of regulations you must consider when planning a conservatory can be found on Planning Portal.
If your proposed conservatory designs do not meet with the permitted development guidelines, then you will need to apply for planning permission, which usually comes alongside a fee. This involves completing several pieces of paperwork before sending them off for approval. If your project is accepted, then you can go ahead with works; however, if it isn’t, unfortunately, the only solution will be to amend your designs so that they fit with the original rules.
What Materials You Plan To Use
Another aspect that you will need to consider is the material that you plan to use as these will differ based on the above factors. For example, if you did want to create a more private space that felt more like an extension of your home rather than a conservatory, then your design should maximise brickwork and include a fully tiled roof. Whereas, for those who adore the traditional aesthetic of a conservatory, a glazed space would be a sought-after option. In this instance, you will then need to determine what glazing type is best, whether this may be thermally efficient glass or those with a slight tint to prevent glare.
Along with roofing and walls, it will also prove beneficial to research into the window frame and door materials. Over our many years of experience installing conservatories in Buckingham and the local areas, we have noticed the significant increase in the use of uPVC. uPVC is not only reliable and durable, but it will also remain in perfect condition with little need for maintenance. For more details on the benefits of uPVC windows and doors, take a look at Windsulation.
When planning a conservatory, a question that we are often asked by clients is how the design differs from an orangery. This is a factor that you should most definitely consider before scheduling your project as it may mean that your requirements are better suited to an extension as opposed to a conservatory.
The difference between the two is relatively straightforward; a conservatory is primarily glass with glazing covering not only more than 50% of the walls but also 75% of the roof at a minimum. An orangery, on the other hand, is designed as a brickwork structure with large windows and a roof with less than 50% glazing. They combine features of both a conservatory and a small extension, often with a roof lantern instead of a fully glazed roof. Spending time researching into the two and comparing examples will help you to determine which option you plan to go ahead with.
Once you are confident that a conservatory is the best route for you, its time to begin shortlisting styles that fit with your vision. Luckily, there are now a number of different conservatory types, each of which boasts different features. The most popular include the following:
For those who are hoping to stick with the most traditional conservatory style, a Victorian design would be the best-fitting route. Designed to encapsulate the ornate architecture of the Victorian age, this conservatory type features multi-faceted walls and a high roof, complete with decorative touches. As the majority of the build is glazed, a Victorian conservatory allows you to maximise on natural light, enjoying a full view of the outdoors. This is ideal for families who enjoy spending a lot of time in their garden during the warmer months, hosting BBQ’s and socialising with loved ones.
With a super flexible design, an Edwardian conservatory can be transformed into a dining room, chill-out zone, playroom and much more. The appearance itself combines the traditional features of its Victorian alternative while incorporating a modern twist. As opposed to being designed with a bay-like appearance, the Edwardian is either rectangular or square in shape, allowing you to take advantage of enhanced living space. This also makes it much easier to decorate as you will not have to opt for custom-made furniture to fit with the unique shape of the room inside.
Much like Victorian conservatories, the roofing on a Georgian style is more decorative, meaning that the ridgeline is complete with horns and designs often feature a row of small windows just below the ceiling.
Another style that links with the Georgian era is a gable conservatory, which is very similar in appearance to the design mentioned above, yet with a few slight differences. The biggest change in design is in the roof, which follows the same idea of the roofing on your property, with two sloping sides that meet in the middle. The front of the roof stands upright, yet is still equipped with glazing which allows plenty of natural light to stream in.
As the roof of a gable conservatory is often taller than its alternatives, it remains a sought-after option for those who want to create the illusion of a larger space in a smaller conservatory. However, when opting for this style, we would highly recommend incorporating features that will limit glare, such as window films, to prevent the room from overheating.
A lean-to conservatory is an excellent option for those who prefer a more simplistic design and are less keen on the traditional style alternatives. They do not feature any decorative roofing and multi-faceted walls, but instead, a straightforward box-like floorplan with clean lines. The roof is also straight and sloped as opposed to being a lantern-shape, making them ideal for homes which may have additional height restrictions in place.
Due to the nature of a lean-to conservatory, they remain incredibly versatile, which means that the design can be altered to fit both large and smaller spaces. They can also be seamlessly slotted into more awkwardly shaped areas without making the appearance of the property exterior look cluttered.
In more recent years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of clients who opt for combination conservatories in Aylesbury and the surrounding areas. A combination conservatory is designed bespoke to you, taking your favourite features from several different conservatory types and blending them together. When choosing the combination route, it is important to keep in mind that the planning process is likely to take a little extra time as there are a number of components that will need to be considered. The design will be created from scratch, incorporating the materials and qualities that you like the most.
Create The Perfect Space For Your Family!
A conservatory is most definitely a worthwhile investment, whether you are replacing your existing space with a modernised design or building from scratch. There are endless opportunities on not only how you can use your new room but also how you can customise the design to fit with your requirements. Every aspect can incorporate a touch of personality to create the perfect space for your family to enjoy for many years to come!