The Zero Stress Guide to Conservatories


What You Need To Know Before You Buy a Conservatory

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Range of Conservatory Styles

Top tips

  • Choose a style to complement your home
  • Size really does matter
  • Use an architect if you want an unusual design

Victorian Style Conservatory

Victorian Style Conservatory

Lean-To Style Conservatory

Lean-To Style Conservatory

Edwardian Style Conservatory

Edwardian Style Conservatory

P-Shaped Style Conservatory

P-Shaped Style Conservatory

Conservatories come in a wide range of shapes and styles to complement everything from a small terraced cottage to the grandest mansion.

It should go without saying that it is important to choose a style and size that complements the architecture of your home but many purchasers get carried away and ignore this basic tenet. The result can be seen in vast conservatories that are almost bigger than the homes on which they are built, or intricate, Victorian-style extensions on box-like modern buildings. It’s not a good look and, even worse, it can actually knock thousands of pounds off the value of the property.

Many people have no options about where on their property to site their conservatory. However, if you do have a choice, make sure you build it onto a well-used room such as the kitchen or living room.

Depending on its shape, it is generally inadvisable to put doors in the front of the conservatory as this creates a corridor that allows less flexibility for positioning furniture.

Your choice of conservatory will depend on your budget and lifestyle. As well as the different shapes other choices to make include whether to go for full glass, lower infill panels or dwarf walls; single, double or sliding patio doors; period details such as coloured leaded lights – almost any combination is possible. It is also a good idea to copy interesting details from your house design – such as bargeboards and unusually shaped windows – into the design of your conservatory.

If you can’t find what you want ‘off the shelf’ you can go down the bespoke route – which may indeed be necessary if you have a unusually-shaped home. This is naturally more expensive but it does mean you can have a conservatory made to measure and designed to meet your every whim.

Remember, too, that size matters. Always calculate the desired internal floor area when ordering a conservatory and bear in mind that most suppliers provide quotations based on external sizes.

It’s a good idea to mark out the area of your new conservatory before obtaining quotations. Use stakes and string and, if possible, fill it with the planned furnishings to check whether you have as much space as you want. If moving furniture is impractical, use sand or chalk to mark out the spaces they will take up.

Finally, if you’re looking for a specific and unusual design, have plans drawn up by an architect – but, as with all suppliers, speak to several before making a decision about which to use.

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