Conservatory and extension styles
When looking for a bright and airy extension for a house, many people begin by researching conservatories. In recent years, however, the range of home improvements on offer has exploded. Impressed by the new designs, many people now choose an orangery or glass extension for their home. Read on to learn about all the different styles.
Conservatories were originally used as winter greenhouses, but due to the expensive plate glass used, they were only available for the mega rich. During the Victorian period, they began to take on more of a social role, as a place to host dinner parties and afternoon tea.
Due to the rich history of the conservatory, the outward appearance has adapted over the years according to the style of the times. It's not just the shape that's changed – the window and door framing, roof pitch, and ornate detailing also reflect the architectural preferences of the period.
Several centuries later, and conservatories have become affordable for most households. Classic conservatories replicate these historical styles, from square Edwardian brick orangeries to rounded glass Victorian designs.
Also known as a 'lean-to' conservatory, this style sits up against the house, with a sloping roof. Its simple design means it's a timeless classic, and will suit almost any property.
With a single facing glass roof, this conservatory is often used as a 'sun room', as it lets in the optimum amount of light during the day. Better quality glazing means that you can use a Cheltenham conservatory all year round, making the most of the winter sun without trapping the heat in summer.
A typical Georgian conservatory is a square or T-shape design with a gable front and a low hipped roof. Georgian style orangeries also exist: uPVC or aluminium fluted columns sitting on a low dwarf wall, topped with a lantern glass roof.
The Georgian style is less recognisable by its shape than by its decorative features. Traditionally this style offers less glass than frame, as the window style features 'Georgian bars', or astragal bars, which divide up the glass pane into squares. This style is very symmetrical, and works well with a set of French doors to help balance the design.
Similar to the Georgian style, Edwardian conservatories have square or rectangular designs and a mid-height brick wall. The main difference is that the windows are free from glazing bars and tend to feature opening fanlights. The Edwardian style can be replicated as an orangery, with brick columns and corners breaking up the wall of windows.
Edwardian conservatories are the most pragmatic, as with their square design and brick base they can operate as any other room. You can also specify an Edwardian style with a tiled roof, for a more affordable and brighter alternative to a house extension.
A Victorian conservatory is probably the most popular classic style. It features one or more bay fronts, with either 3 or 5 facets, depending on whether you want more angular or rounded edges. Fitted with a glass roof, you get a stunning panoramic view of the sky.
Victorian conservatories are characterised by their gothic revival detailing, such as cresting and spike finials. They also go well with French doors fitted in the bay, and windows with arched detailing or decorative glass fanlights.
Also known as a 'gable end conservatory', this style is characterised by its vaulted roof and wide front, offering maximum light ingress and views to the outside. For York conservatories that are wider than they are long, you can run the ridge lengthways to angle the glass roof for better views.
Like all styles, you can customise the York conservatory with your choice of windows and doors, switch out the glass roof for a lightweight tiled roof, and even add a brick base.
Veranda conservatories have a sloping glass roof that extends past the front glass wall to create a glazed garden veranda. The glass roof can be angled from flat up to 45 degrees, depending on the look you want for your home. The system uses structural aluminium, but uPVC 'caps' can be fitted to match your conservatory.
The veranda can project outwards anywhere up to 4.5 metres, with support from oak posts. This creates the perfect space for a garden table and chairs under a covered patio area. Full width bi-folding doors really make a difference to this conservatory style, opening up the home, letting in more light and creating the feeling of space.
Hip back conservatories
A hip back conservatory means that the centre point or ridge of the roof is the most elevated point, with all facets or panels sloping downwards. This leaves you with a roof that is symmetrical on all sides. An alternative option is to choose a roof that remains vaulted where it meets the wall. Edwardian, Victorian and York conservatories are all available in hip-back roof options.
Orangeries have the same origins as conservatories, and are most similar to an Edwardian hip-back in style. Instead of walls made of glass, they feature brick or uPVC pillars between the windows. The roof also features an internal ceiling border, or 'pelmet', with a roof lantern sitting in the centre. This gives the orangery the appearance of a traditional extension, with the light, airy feeling of a conservatory.
Homeowners choose orangeries over other garden room styles for a few reasons. The first is style – the elegant design of an orangery adds a touch of grandeur to any home. With a larger area of bricks, the orangery offers better insulation, more shade, and more privacy.
Orangeries can be customised with your choice of bricks, frame and roof materials, and door styles. You can even have your orangery rendered to match the outside of your home.
Glass extensions are made almost entirely of glass and add a bold, unique visual element to your home. They can be built in even the most testing of spaces, and let an unrivalled amount of daylight into your home.
The 'glass box' is the most contemporary style of glazed extension, and is available within a uPVC or aluminium framework. For slimmer sightlines and better views, we recommend sleek aluminium frames.
One worry about glass extensions is whether they will overheat like a greenhouse in summer. Glass technology has improved immeasurably in recent years, and can achieve high thermal performance. Double and triple glazed windows, doors and roofs are engineered to harness the sun’s natural energy, without transferring too much heat in or out of a room.
Tiled roof extension
A tiled roof extension is built to look like it has always been a permanent part of your home. It is a solid, minimum fuss structure that offers extra space and privacy, without seeking to make a bold statement. You can choose a full build extension with masonry walls, with your choice of brick or stonework. Alternatively, you can choose a conservatory base with uPVC or aluminium glazing, for a brighter room.
Tiled roof conservatories are available in any shape and size, designed bespoke for your home. You can even choose the roof pitch and tile colours, as well as incorporating roof windows.
One of the main reasons to choose a tiled roof conservatory is that it isn't necessary to apply for planning permissions, if it abides by certain conditions. You can read more under the 'Permissions' tab.