What is a Conservatory?
What is a Conservatory?
June 13, 2017
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Georgian Conservatory
June 16, 2017
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Edwardian Conservatory

Edwardian Conservatory

What is an Edwardian Conservatory?

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The name has been linked with this style of conservatory since it was brought into fashion during the time that King Edward VII (Edward the 7th) was on the throne of England.

It is one of the three types of designs known as period conservatories, having got their names from the King or Queen who reigned at the time they first appeared, the others being Victorian and Georgian conservatories.

As a “follow-up” to the Victorian conservatory style, the Edwardian conservatory was almost rebelling against the high levels of ornate décor that the Victorian era liked so much by having a much less fussy or ornamental appearance.

The overall objective is to be a room that has clean lines, have a regular shape and allow lots of natural light.

What does an Edwardian Conservatory design look like?

At the time it appeared, the Edwardian style rejected all the fuss and ornamentation prevalent beforehand and that is why you will see them in square or rectangular designs.

That “regular” base shape will also be reflected in the roof appearance. Almost the exact opposite of the multi-faceted Victorian style that preceded it.

The aim was to keep detailing to a minimum and allowing the occupants to have a clear a view of the outside as possible. So you can expect plain glass side walls without fancy decoration.

The only time this would be different is if dwarf walling is used in the design.

Edwardian conservatory roofing is pitched and usually made up of 3 sections sloping upwards from the outer edge of the room to meet at the centre ridge. Which, coincidentally is where you might find the only “fancy bit” in the shape of a horned decorative ridge-line. Some installations do, however, feature a four-sided pitched roof.

One design feature that can be seen a lot in the Edwardian style, is a series or row of small windows at the top of the frames. Looking like transom windows, the technical name for these would probably be clerestory windows.

Edwardian ConservatoryThe square or rectangular shape and pitched roofing, combined with nice lines and good proportions give the Edwardian conservatory a very attractive appearance and a great addition to any home.

Alternative Personalisation & styling options

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Even though you may only be building three sides of the conservatory (the 4th is your house wall) you can opt to have a 4-sided pitched roof or stick with the typical 3-sided option.

timber Edwardian conservatoryThe 4-sided roof looks somewhat like a lantern roof, but you need to make sure the side which drains to the existing property has a very effective guttering system to be able to deal with rainwater coming off the conservatory.

Small to medium sized Edwardian conservatories work well with a set of French doors. If you have the width, then they look amazing with a full set of Bifold doors fitted.

If you are not a fan of a full glass or translucent Poly-carbonate roof, then why not look at a fully tiled or slated design. A solid roof on an Edwardian conservatory can look really good and it also eliminates any internal glare that you may get from standard glass roofing.

Dwarf walls are a regular feature of conservatories, and when done properly can add real character to the room.

Popular Features & Options

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Choice of Primary Construction Material

The main frames and roof beams can be made from a choice of Aluminium, uPVC or Timber. Within the timber range you have hardwoods, such as Oak or you could use an African hardwood such as Idigbo.

Modern timber products include engineered timber, which has a very stable nature. It is strong and without graining issues which make it almost impervious the warping and shrinkage.

Roofing systems

what is a conservatory?The lowest cost option would be to incorporate poly-carbonate panels which, although they are light & cheap, may come with a few issues regarding heat management.

A much better, though costlier option is to go for a full glass double glazed conservatory roof. If you want to improve the performance of the roof, you could opt for coated glass (low-emissivity) with Argon gas filled sealed units.

Self-cleaning glass for the roof is also an excellent product to keep your glazed roof in tip-top condition.

Tiled and slated conservatory roofs are becoming more popular, especially as a replacement for an existing building. Many folks are replacing their poly-carbonate systems for a solid tiled roof.

There are a few different products you could use such as:

Concrete tiles – A comparatively cheap tile covering, but heavy and gets even heavier in the wet as they can absorb water.

Clay Tiles – similar properties to concrete tiles.

Quarried Slates (Natural Slate) – A wonderful tile. Classic colour, not so heavy as concrete tiles and slate tiles add terrific character to any building.

Synthetic slate – some different versions are in the market that mimic natural slate and also look good. Such as fibre cement slates (smooth or textured).  You could also look at tiles that are made from a combination of recycled plastic and limestone (Tapco Tile do these really well).

The benefits of synthetic roof tiles are their lightweight and durability.
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Which material is best for an Edwardian Conservatory?

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For the construction of the frames, which give the conservatory its basic theme:

UPVC – known for being strong, lightweight and easy to maintain. uPVC is one of the most frequently used materials for conservatories.

Timber – With options to use natural or engineered timbers, the level of choice for wood is excellent. An alternate to Oak or other traditional hardwoods is an African hardwood called Idigbo (a lot like Teak).

Aluminium – Again, another lightweight material. Structurally strength allows it to be used in some very striking ultra-modern type conservatories. Literally available in 100’s of colours.


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Glass & Energy efficiency

  • Double or triple glazing
  • Coated solar low-e glazing
  • 6 mm to 21 mm gap sealed units
  • Self-cleaning glass
  • Toughened or Laminated

Colours & Security

  • uPVC, up to 15 different options
  • 150 + colours for aluminium powder coat
  • Multi-point locks for windows & doors
  • Internal window beading
  • Safety glazing for windows that go to floor level
  • Georgian bars, leaded, obscure or patterned glass

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More Conservatories

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How much does an Edwardian conservatory cost?

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As usual, you would need to take into account the actual finished design specification that you are looking for a totally accurate price.

But for the purposes of a rough guide, you could reasonably expect to see Edwardian Conservatory Prices for a 3.5 m (11.4 feet) wide x 3.5 (11.4 feet) deep, full glass room from £9,500 to £11,000.

If you wanted to go a bit larger, say in the region of 4m x 4m (13ft x 13ft) you would see the price rise to around £13,000 to £15,000+.

If you wanted a tiled roof you will need to have a bigger budget to allow for the extra construction & materials being used.

If you want to know average prices for different types of conservatory go to this page.

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Some Frequently Asked Questions

How much do Edwardian Conservatories Cost?

The cost of  an Edwardian style varies depending on the size and final design choices – you can find an average price guide here

Do I need planning permission for an Edwardian Style extension?

If it falls within the guidelines for a permitted development, your Edwardian conservatory will not require planning permission – check with your local planning office before building!

Planning portal info: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200125/do_you_need_permission

How long does it take to arrive after I order it?

This is what is known as the Lead-Time and it will vary from supplier to supplier.

I have seen companies that say they can cut the lead time to 2 weeks, but 4 to 6 weeks is not unusual, but for more complex designs you may need  6 to 8 weeks.

How much time will it take to build ?

It will change a bit from contractor to contractor, but for the average sized room where the job runs smoothly, it can take about a week or so.

All the installers who quote for your work are members of recognised UK Trade Associations – look for these Logos
  • fensa
  • GGF
  • trustmark
Richard Williams
Richard Williams
Richard has been in the Home Improvement Industry for over 10 years and contributes articles to many lifestyle & home blogs.