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Which Type of Conservatory?

conservatoriesMost conservatories can be defined by either their shape (Lean-to, P-shape, T-shape, L-shape, Dome or Gull Wing) or by their style (Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, Orangery Etc.) But you can combine the both to create something that suits your property (maybe a “P-shaped Victorian).

However, one of the first considerations could be the amount of space that you have available to build a new conservatory.

The size of your new conservatory or orangery will also be a primary factor that can dictate whether you will need planning permission to build it.  Small Conservatories can usually be built without planning, but rooms that extend more than 3000mm for a semi or terraced & 4000mm for a detached house will usually need planning permission. (find out more here)

You will also need to decide which type of material you want to use in the main structure of the room, your main choices are:

  • Wood: Hardwood, Soft wood, Engineered Wood.
  • Aluminium:  With a choice of over 150 RAL colours.
  • UPVC: White, coloured or woodgrain effect finishes


With infill panels, Victorian conservatories take you back to the “old style” or traditional sun-room, from modest to grand; they present an ornate and sometimes elaborate addition to the family home.


Edwardian conservatories tend to give a greater feeling of space and in many instances are more practical than Victorian Conservatories primarily due to the simpler floor plan; square or rectangular forms are the most common.

P, T & L shaped

The P-shaped conservatory would tend to be one of the larger styles, having been commonly used to join up two rear rooms of a property – often covering the complete width of a home, adaptable as one large conservatory or two adjoining rooms.

Lean-to & Veranda

This type of conservatory offers the simplest of designs, often used as a sun lounge at the rear or side of a property the “lean to” will consist of flat or plain sides with a single angled roof area, although the inclusion of a hipped roof is also common.


Unique in their appearance, orangery conservatories make use of pillars, combined with an “atrium” type of design style, giving them the ability to be built to look like a period sunroom or a contemporary ultra-modern home extension.

Garden Rooms

The major difference to a conservatory is that a garden room is typically independent of the main structure of the house. It could be something as simple as a small sunroom to a” Scandinavian” style lodge with all the “mod-cons”.

Other points to consider


If & when your installer asks for a deposit, you should ensure that it is covered under some kind of guarantee, some offer insurance backed deposit schemes.

Check that it also includes any “work in progress” or items like “failing to comply with building regulations.

The guarantee should encompass the complete value of your project and it is important that the guarantee can be transferred to the new owner in the event that you sell your home in the future.

Installers covered by a Trade Body such as DGCOS will have this type of consumer protection.

About the installation process

Most conservatory / orangery projects will follow a similar process and that is likely to be as follows:

  1. Arrange to have your home survey done
  2. Get written quote – you may be asked to pay deposit when you accept quote.
  3. Consult with installer to see if planning permission is needed
  4. Get a set of drawings / plans done by the installer including structural calculations
  5. Submit for planning permission if it is needed – also get building control approval
  6. Foundations & ground work stage (don’t start anything if still awaiting planning approval)
  7. Construct the main conservatory structure
  8. Interior works – Paint, décor, light, heat. Power etc.
  9. Exterior – make good the outside and landscape
  10. “snagging” check – quality control to confirm work is acceptable
  11. Sign off the work & pay balance
  12. Enjoy!

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