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UPVC Conservatories

UPVC Conservatories

UPVC Conservatories Design, Style & Price Guides.



How much does a conservatory cost?

Orangery Conservatory

A new conservatory is a hugely popular way for UK homeowners to extend their properties and one of the most versatile and cost effective examples of this are uPVC Conservatories.

The combination of lightness, strength, insulating qualities, colours, finishes, and cost make it an ideal material to use for your new conservatory.

Taking into all that into account, alongside the very large collection of different shapes, sizes and competitive pricing structure, surely makes a uPVC conservatory one of the most sensible and value for money home improvement investments you can make.

We have put together a “buyers guide” to the different types of uPVC conservatories on offer in the marketplace, that we hope can help you in your search for the perfect home extension.

Our Buyers Guide Contents:

  • Aspects of uPVC Conservatories Design.
  • uPVC Conservatory ideas- what to use it for?
  • What the different types of conservatories are.
  • Price guide – how much does a uPVC conservatory cost?

Key aspects of uPVC conservatories design

For this, we look at three main areas, the roof, the walls (sides) and the base.

Conservatory Frames – what the sides are made of.


As the subject matter at hand is the uPVC conservatory, then we will restrict ourselves to covering a few main pointers about using this material.
Conservatory Frames

Heavy Loggia Conservatory Frames

UPVC conservatories are quite lightweight when compared to timber, but with longer profile sections you may need to use frames that have galvanized steel reinforced sections to aid in stability. The uPVC profiles themselves are multi-chambered, which aids in both stability and insulation.

White frames are very popular, but there are close to 20 or so different colours in the market, even those that have a timber grain surface – which can produce a conservatory that looks as if it’s made of wood.

The frames can run fully double glazed from floor to ceiling or, as many folks choose to add, you can have some solid sections at the foot of the frames – most often seen in the form of dwarf walls.

The thickness of the frame can also change the look and feel of a conservatory. Heavier and thicker uPVC frames, such as in a loggia conservatory, can make the room look more substantial. Whilst, conversely, using slimline frames give a conservatory an altogether much more light and elegant touch, such as in a Victorian style conservatory.

The frame also needs to account for the entrance door. A popular option for smaller uPVC conservatories is to use a set of French Doors.

If you have the width, then a set of bifold patio doors will make the conservatory look amazing. With bifold conservatory doors, we suggest they are “bottom hung” so that they don’t put the weight load onto the overhead conservatory frame.

Different Roofing Options


Poly-carbonate Lean-to roof

Before

The type of roof you fit on your uPVC conservatory will have a significant impact on the visual appearance and potentially the way you enjoy the room itself.

The three main options for the roof are to have, poly-carbonate, full glass or tiled.

  • Poly-carbonate is a cost effective type of cellular rigid plastic sheeting that is very often used in smaller or “budget-conservatories”. It has some solar protection properties, but is nowhere near as good as a double glazed or tiled roof for insulation from noise or heat transfer. Many owners eventually upgrade to tile or double glazing.
  • Full glass conservatory roofing has to be at least double glazed, otherwise you will cook or freeze in the room. The latest products offer high thermal efficiency and can even keep themselves clean. A glass roof is the classic thing to use, it makes your conservatory look light and even gives the illusion of extra height.
  • Tiled conservatory roofing has become a trend for those upgrading the old roof, either from glass or polycarbonate. A tiled roof takes away the classic “sun-room” feel from the conservatory and turns it into more of a house extension. If you like a more “permanent” look, then a solid tiled roof may well suit you best.
Tiled lean-to roof

After

The roof has an impact on the inside the conservatory, in that a thin roof that offers little protection can lead to the room becoming insufferably hot in summer and unbearably cold in the winter.

On the flip side, a solid roof will take away from the amount of natural sunlight entering the room and can make it dull and gloomy.

If you are replacing a conservatory roof, then you know what your existing design issues are and what they are like to live with, but for a new conservatory it’s worth while giving this some serious consideration during your planning.

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Conservatory ideas

10 popular ways to make the most of your conservatory



kitchen lean-to

L-shape Lean to kitchen conservatory

Do you already know what are you going to use your new conservatory for, or are you still thinking about it? Here are a few popular uses that homeowners around the country enjoy.

It probably not going to surprise you to know that about 40% of uPVC conservatories are used as some kind of dining room and around 30% as a living room. But you can use your imagination and make the room fit for a lot of other purposes:

  1. Living room
  2. A work at home office or study area
  3. Dining room
  4. Reading room / library
  5. Use it for your “home theatre”, video games and entertainment
  6. Kitchen extension
  7. Relaxing sun lounge room
  8. Breakfast bar area
  9. Play room for the kids
  10. Keep gym equipment / snooker or pool table. Put a Jacuzzi or similar

I’m sure you can come up with yet more ways to use your conservatory, but for sure, it’s not just a place to “dump stuff” and can be a much loved and used part of the home.

UPVC Conservatories Style – What are the most popular styles of conservatory


What is a Lean-to Conservatory?


upvc conservatoriesA lean-to conservatory is the style that can be used anywhere and suit any size requirement.

Flat sided, square or rectangular, the room has a single sided roof which typically slopes away from the property that it is attached to – although you can slope it in any direction, to give it some individual styling.

Lean-to Price Guide

How much does a Lean-to Conservatory Cost?
Aoximate Size (mm)  Frame & Roof Type  Lean-to Price Guide
 3500 x 2000 uPVC & polycarbonate £5,500 to £7,500
 3500 x 2500 uPVC & polycarbonate £6,500 to £8,500
 4000 x 2000 uPVC & polycarbonate £6,000 to £8,000
 4000 x 2500 uPVC & polycarbonate £7,000 to £9,000
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What is a Victorian Conservatory?


Victorian conservatory

Victorian conservatories are characteristically rounded or faceted in appearance. A Victorian conservatory can have 3 or 5 facets (or angled sides) with a high multi-sided vaulted roof.

They are typically quite ornate with fancy details in the roof ridge-line and are one of the “Period style” conservatories.

Victorian Price Guide

How much does a Victorian Conservatory Cost?
 Approximate size (mm)  Frame & Roof Type Victorian Price Guide
 3500 x 3500 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £9,500 to £11,500
3500 x 4000 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £10,000 to £12,000
 4000 x 4000 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £12,000 to £14,000
Get Quotes Here

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What are Edwardian & Georgian Conservatories?


Georgian Conservatory

Both of these conservatory designs also belong to the “Period-style” of extension and are quite similar in that they are mostly built as square or even cubic shapes.

The main difference between the two designs is in the visuals. Georgian are quite fancy and Edwardian has a more uncluttered, clean lined appearance. Both have apex roofing and may sometimes have an upright gable end.

Edwardian & Georgian Price Guide

How much does an Edwardian or Georgian Conservatory Cost?
Approximate Size (mm) Frame & Roof Material  Price Guide
3500 x 3500 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £7,500 to £9,500
3500 x 4000 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £9,000 to £11,000
4000 x 4000 mm Full glass sides, uPVC & Poly-carbonate £11,500 to £14,000
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What are P, T & L Shape Bespoke Conservatories?


L shape conservatoryThese conservatories are usually a variation or combination of one or more of the above, such a Victorian P-shape, Lean to L-shape or Edwardian T-shape.

It’s a very popular way to have a larger conservatory designed.  Sometimes, as in a B-shape conservatory, you can have two Victorian sections connected in the centre by a lean-to design.

Bespoke Conservatory Price Guide

How much does a Bespoke Conservatory Cost?
Conservatory Style  Construction Material   Price Guide
 P-shape Victorian  uPVC / Glass / Brick £10,000 to £20,000
 L-shape Lean-to uPVC / Glass / Brick £9,000 to £15,000
 T-shape Edwardian uPVC / Glass / Brick £15,500 to £25,000
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What is an Orangery Conservatory?


Orangery ConservatoryOrangery conservatories are often considered as at the top of the conservatory range. Each orangery is built to order and to the style of the client, so the room can be totally bespoke.

A classic orangery design will feature a flat roof with one or more raised glass lantern sections.  Extended use of pillars columns and panels are typical for an orangery.

Orangeries Price Guide

How much does an Orangery Conservatory Cost?
Approximate Size Frames Material Price Bracket
Small Orangery Supply only Timber or uPVC £8000  to  £12,000
3000 mm x 3000 mm Engineered Wood £18,000  to  £25,000
4000 mm x 3000 mm Hardwood (oak) £25,000 to  £35,000
Over 4.0 x 4.0 metres uPVC / LSL Timber / Hardwood £30,000 to  £50,000 +
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Conservatory Bases


The foundation or base of your conservatory, whilst not seen, is very important. The base needs to be stable and solid or your conservatory could distort or even totally fail.
There are 3 options:
Trench Foundations

Trench Foundations For A Conservatory

Concrete slab: Usually a flat, reinforced concrete base about 9’’ to  12” thick. If you have good ground beneath it then a slab is more than acceptable.

If your garden is prone to flood, a concrete slab base could get undermined and cause subsidence.

Trench Footings: Literally a trench dug into the ground onto which brick or block-work is built up to the finished floor level of the conservatory.

Within the confines of the brick walls, the ground is covered with hardcore stone, compacted and then covered in a layer of concrete.

This is a very strong and stable base that is good for any size conservatory.

Prefabricated steel base: Almost a “kit”. Steel beams are welded together to match the footprint of the room and then rested onto individual concrete plinths placed at key loading points. Great for ground that is full of pipes or cables as you don’t have to do much digging.

Again be aware of using in areas prone to flooding. Not really suitable for larger conservatories.

Here are a few Conservatory FAQ’s

Do I need Planning permission for a Conservatory?

In a high proportion of  installations in England & Wales, the conservatory has been built without needing planning permission, as it qualified as a “permitted development”

If your conservatory meets the requirements for this, then you may not need planning permission – check with your local authority

https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

What about building over utilities or manholes?

If you are going to build over a manhole or sewers there are rules to follow.

If you are building over a main sewer pipe, water pipe, gas line etc, talk to your utility provider about what you need to do.

How long does it take to build a conservatory?

Wide question with a wide answer.

For the actual construction works, a small, steel base conservatory can be built within a week and medium sized conservatory can take 10-15 working days.

If you need planning permission, you could need anything from 4 to 8 weeks just to  get it.

If you allow 12 weeks from ordering the conservatory to completion and habitation , that should be enough.

Will the value of my house increase if I build a new conservatory?

It’s generally accepted by property valuers, that a well made conservatory can add up to 10% to the resale value of a residential property.

So getting a new conservatory can not only make your home bigger, it can be a wise investment also.

Have your conservatory fitted by professionals – free written quotes for all types of conservatories

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Simon Emerson
Simon Emerson
Simon has a long and successful background in the construction industry, going straight into building from college. A regular and valued contributor of many home improvement articles on the web.