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What is a Modern Glass Conservatory?

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Conservatories originated in the 16th century and were typically constructed from brick, wood or stone, with tall windows covering most of the sides. As technology advanced, iron, aluminium and glazing were added. Nowadays, glass conservatories are back in style and the demand has grown once more.

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, these extensions also offer homeowners a multitude of benefits.

Modern or contemporary glass conservatories are a type of building typically attached on only one side of a house. They come in many different shapes and size, and with recent advances in material technology, they are now becoming spectacular bespoke glazed extensions.

As you would expect from the name, the rooms’ primary features are glass walls and a glass roof, but it is not uncommon for them to have some type of solid roofing.  The primary purpose of a glass conservatory extension is usually to serve as a social or dining area, but they may also be used as living rooms or kitchen extensions.
Glass conservatories add aesthetic value to a home and are the focal point of the architecture of a building.

The use, or lack of, decorative elements allows the structures to exhibit styles from classic conservatory design all the way to minimalist rooms with a Nordic feel.
It should also be noted that they are multi-purpose rooms. Not only do glass conservatories serve as dining or seating areas, but can also be used to house sun-loving plants, as they will thrive in the natural light entering the structure.

Depending on manufacturer, the type of glass and materials used for the frame differ. It is common for manufacturers to use blue anti-sun solar control glass, as it is more comfortable on summer days.

As for the roof, polycarbonate is not the type of roof material to be used for this type of conservatory. What you require for a glazed roof is a material that is highly energy-efficient and protects against summer heat gains.

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What Are the Main Differences between a Glass Conservatory and a Regular Conservatory?

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In the simplest terms, we can divide the category into two sub-categories, which would be the “glass box” and “classic conservatory”.

1 Classic glass conservatories

Full Glass Contemporary Conservatory

Full Glass Contemporary Conservatory

While it’s true that regular conservatories are, to some extent glass conservatories as well, there are a few design differences that set them apart.

In most cases, the walls of a regular conservatory are only 70-80% glass and up 20-30% percent brick, stone, and other materials covering the lower section of the extension. The solid parts typically comprising of dwarf walls that rise to around a metre so in height.

More contemporary designs for the glass conservatory have drastically reduced the use of materials other than glass, and the frame supporting the structure is the only “solid” material.

Loggia Conservatory M

Loggia Conservatory

A Loggia conservatory is a good example of what a modern contemporary conservatory looks like.

The Loggia style itself spans two categories in that it could easily be described as a hybrid born of mixing a conservatory with an orangery, taking design clues form both.

It can make extended use of glass in the sides, and roof, but also cleverly include pilasters and columns that add greatly to the visuals, without taking away from the overall theme of a contemporary glass conservatory.

Lean-to styles are another great candidate for use as full glass conservatories.

Their “box-like” nature, sharp angles and simple roofline work well with the latest slimline uPVC and aluminium frames, and with the latest offerings in the market is just proves that conservatories have moved a million miles away from their humble beginnings as a “greenhouse”.

The flexibility in what can be done with a glass conservatory allows for wider or slimmer frames, but the main element of having a room that is open to the world, with abundant natural light should be borne in mind.

2 Modern glass box conservatories

Veranda Style Glass Conservatory

Veranda Style Glass Conservatory

These home extensions make full use of the latest glass technology to create a new niche in the market. It may be counter-intuitive to say so, but they actually also make superb use of solid flat roofing in some designs.

The idea is to use as much glass in the sides as possible and keep the room as near “frameless” as possible, if not entirely frameless.

This look is achieved by extended use of structural laminated glass in the sides, supported with more laminated glass beams and fins in the roof section.

You need to really pay attention to the insulation qualities of the glazing and go for the highest efficiency you can get. Otherwise you will end up with a super-modern glass box that you can’t use because it’s either baking hot or freezing cold inside it.

There are also other good reasons for using safety, toughened or laminated glazing and those are security and safety. Security against intruders and safety in case of accidents.

Also safety glass is mandatory for building regulation compliance in the UK for areas where glazing reaches ground level.

Modern glass box conservatories are all built to order, you can’t go to B&Q or Homebase and pick up a DIY kit. Glass box conservatories need to be designed and installed by professionals that have loads of experience in this working with type of conservatory.

Modern glass conservatories can also feature unique touches such as spotlights and roof vents. Homeowners can install electronic roof vents (available with a thermostat and rain sensor), features which can be controlled easily with a remote control.

There are also many ways to upgrade a conservatory, including the option of adding underfloor heating either during or after construction.

Bottom line

How much do glass conservatories cost?

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A modern glass conservatory is a great addition to any residential building, as adding extra space to a home is often a necessity for a growing family, as well as a great way to increase the property value.

get free quotesThe Box design glass conservatory may very well not suit the tastes of everyone, and for sure is not something that is going to be a low cost option or something you can embark upon without a great deal of planning and consideration.

The cost of a bespoke glass box conservatory is simply going to be down to how big it is, what it looks like and who you choose to design and install the room. But for a medium sized glass box conservatory you could be looking at prices from £30,000 to £50,000 +.

Of the more “classic” designs you could expect o to find fully fitted glass conservatory prices in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 for a 4.0m x 3.0m lean-to and around £15,000 to £20,000 for a Loggia style glass conservatory.

More about different conservatories

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Modern & Contemporary Glass Conservatory Designs

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