Lean to ConservatoryMay 30, 2017
What is a Conservatory?June 13, 2017
What is a Victorian Conservatory?
A Victorian Conservatory is one of the period types of conservatory, so named after the reigning monarch (King or Queen) at the time they first appeared and can be found in both urban and rural homes.
Sometimes referred to as Victorian sun-rooms, they offer ornate high roofs and a faceted or rounded appearance.
What does a Victorian Conservatory design look like?
A typical example will have a bay fronted shape with 3 or 5 facets (sides) and a vaulted angled roof featuring a fancy ridge-line. As a quite ornate and “curved” conservatory it’s not really best suited for use in small designs.
This Victorian, similar to other designs, can be built with full glass sides or feature Dwarf-walls (brick low level walls) to add a more “solid” visual feature.
Alternative Personalisation & styling options
P-shaped Victorian Conservatories
Larger versions can be made more individual by combining with other styles. P-shaped Victorian conservatories often merge with a Lean-to section to create bespoke designs. The conservatory can be built to run along the width of the property or turned 90 degrees to extend away from the property.
An added feature that suits this style is to add a “lantern” to the centre of the roof. A lantern section can be a very decorative and sympathetic finishing touch to an already ornamental upper structure.
Brickwork & Panels
It’s very common to see Victorian conservatories making use of brickwork. The use of Dwarf walls seems to particularly suit this design.
However, if you are not a fan of exposed brick, you can use a render coat and paint the surface to the colour of your choice.
An alternative to “solid” walling is to fit uPVC or composite panels.
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Foundations & Bases
Building your conservatory on a solid base is essential to ensure it is structurally sound and long lasting.
However, you do have a few choices at hand.
- Strip or trench foundations are the traditional method and can support a room of any size.
- Concrete raft bases can be used where you are sure that the ground underneath is stable and does not suffer from subsidence or flooding.
- Pre-fabricated steel bases can be purpose built and don’t require the same amount of digging as a trench foundation.
Each one has its pros & cons, so consult with your supplier or designer as to which suits your property best.
Popular Features & Options
The type of door that you choose to have fitted will impact on the use of space, especially important for smaller conservatories.
It might be something easily overlooked at outset, only becoming apparent when the structure is built and you are thinking about furnishing the interior. Inward opening doors on a small room can be a real nuisance.
French Doors are a popular choice because they open outwards and fit neatly onto any one of the faceted sides of a Victorian design.
Sliding or bifold doors might be an option for a larger version, such as a P-shape, where they could be fitted to the longer straight section.
A Victorian conservatory roof is steeply sloped, many sided and a key visual feature of the design.
Poly-carbonate sheets are sometimes used as the primary material because of its low cost and light weight. Lots of homeowners do complain, however about noise & heat issues with Poly-carbonate.
Modern Conservatories feature great examples of fully glazed roofing that have excellent insular and thermal properties which are most effective in temperature management.
Inert gas filled sealed units (Argon gas), low-e Solar control with self-cleaning properties would be at the top of the range, capable of regulating heat or cold and keeping the conservatory comfortable even on the coldest or hottest days.
Tiles and solid roofing are becoming a trend as owners move away from poly-carbonate or have an old glass roof which is in need of replacement.
By using a solid or tiled roof, you will be sacrificing natural light and the conservatory appearance more resembles that of an extension than a sunroom.
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Choice of Primary Construction Material
For the construction of the frames, which give the conservatory its basic theme:
UPVC – light, long lasting, strong. uPVC is happily used in conservatories all over the UK.
Timber – Oak or other traditional hardwoods used in conservatories look great. There are some great African hardwoods such as Idigbo, which has a light colour much like teak.
Aluminium – very strong and light. Excellent surface finishes, produced with slim profiles – Not a cheap conservatory solution.
Glazing & Energy saving
- Double or triple glazing
- Coated solar low-e glazing
- 6 mm to 21 mm gap sealed units
- Self-cleaning glass
- Tough or Laminate
Colours & Security
- uPVC in over 10 colours
- 150 + colours for aluminium
- Multi-point locks for windows & doors
- Internal beading for added security
- Safety glazed to floor level
- Georgian bars, leaded lights, obscure or patterned glass
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How much does an average Victorian conservatory cost?
What is an average sized Victorian conservatory? For many it would be measure approximately 3.0 to 3.0 metres square (3 x 3).
At this sort of size, you could find Victorian conservatory prices in the market hovering around £7,500 to £9,000 for a uPVC version with a poly-carbonate roof.
Get a more detailed breakdown on this page: Information & price guides
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Some Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need planning permission for a Victorian Conservatory?
Many conservatories in the UK have been built without requiring planning permission, It all depends on whether or not your room fits the description of a “permitted development”.
Check with your local planning department – always!
Planning portal info: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200125/do_you_need_permission
Can I just replace my existing conservatory roof?
Yes you can simply replace the roof of your Victorian conservatory if the supporting structure is in good condition.
Find out more here
Can I have a uPVC Wood effect appearance?
Yes. Many suppliers, if not all ,who deal with uPVC conservatories will be able to make the frames in different colours that have wood-grain effect surfaces.
All the installers who quote for your work are members of recognised UK Trade Associations – look for these Logos