As a way of adding more living space to your home, and providing a comfortable area from which to enjoy views of the garden, a conservatory is ideal. Not only do they add to the amount of room your property has, but they also help to bring more sunlight into the interior and provide the perfect point for accessing the garden.
Whether you require a breakfast room, a playroom, an extra living room, or somewhere to care for plants and flowers, a conservatory is a capable of offering the perfect solution. With quality double glazing and dedicated conservatory blinds, it can be a comfortable and reliably warm space all year round. Here is a guide to the kinds of conservatories and materials that are on offer and how much conservatories typically cost.
As with double glazing, it is important to do your research and to get at least three quotes from reputable suppliers before making a final decision on how much to spend on a conservatory. The amount you actually pay at the end of the day will depend on the type and size of conservatory you choose as well as its material. To give a very rough idea of new conservatory prices, a small lean-to can start at around £3,000, while for a basic Victorian or Edwardian conservatory prices tend to start at around £6,000.
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Types of conservatories
A conservatory is an extension to a home that has at least 50% glazed walls and a 75% glazed roof, and separated from the main property, usually with french windows. The most basic type of conservatory is a lean-to, which usually has a rectangular shape and runs along the back of a house, with a pent roof leading up to main building. Easy to install, and ideal for one-storey properties like bungalows, a lean-to is also usually the least expensive type of conservatory to install. An Edwardian (also sometimes referred to as a Georgian) conservatory, is a slightly larger structure that stands out from the main building and has an apex roof.
A Victorian conservatory is similar, but the far end has a bay octagonal shape. Due to its attractive appearance and ability to maximise the available space, Victorian conservatories are the most popular type with UK homeowners. Other variations, such a P and T-shaped conservatories, combine elements of Edwardian and Victorian conservatories. A sunroom, or orangery, is actually a different thing from a conservatory. Using less glazing and a more integral part of the main property than a conservatory, these types of house extension generally come at higher price points than a standard Lean-to, Victorian or Edwardian conservatory.
Apart from good quality double glazing, the other most important part of a conservatory is its frame. These are usually made with hardwood, aluminium or uPVC. Hardwood gives a very natural look, but it can be expensive, and will require extra maintenance over time. Aluminium provides a very strong and durable frame, but is also more expensive. Aluminium is more commonly used in commercial properties, while homes that are listed buildings have the most need to use hardwood. The majority of homeowners find that uPVC is the best choice of material for their conservatory’s frame. Inexpensive, hardwearing and easy to maintain, uPVC is available in either standard white of wood-grain effect.