Looking for modern conservatories? If you’ve already begun researching the term ‘conservatory’ online, you’ll know that there are a multitude of different modern conservatory styles to choose from.
Your initial foray in to this brand new – and at first, perhaps, confusing world – will have raised some questions too.
What exactly is a Lean-to conservatory and how does it compare to other modern conservatories from both a practical and cost-perspective?
Another option you may have looked at, of course, is house extensions. These are – as you may have noticed already – a lot more expensive than most modern conservatories. Would it be cheaper to get a quote kitchen extensions instead?
Again, there’s lots of data to compare – so much, in fact, that it’s probably making your head whirl.
Once you have looked at the the style and cost of conservatories UK-wide, you can start to put in place a budget that will help you to achieve your design goals.
Whether you choose an orangery conservatory in the end – or something entirely different – our team of experts will be able to save you time and hassle.
All you have to do is request a free online conservatory quote through our website – we’ll give you a call shortly afterwards to see if you’d like
In the meantime, let’s talk about modern conservatories in a bit more detail, so that you have a starting point from which to begin your design.
Modern Conservatory Designs
As suggested at the beginning of this article, conservatories designs vary tremendously. For this reason, we thought we’d talk in a bit more detail about the different styles that are available; this may help you to decide which conservatory is best for you.
Here are three different designs for modern conservatories to get you started.
If you have limited garden space – or own a small/one-storey property – then lean-to conservatories should be on your design radar.
The lean-to conservatory is characterised by a sloping roof and typically has a dwarf wall that runs around its perimeter, although this is not essential (you could use floor-to-ceiling glass if you prefer – but we’ll talk about themes later on in the article).
Lean-to conservatories are either square or rectangular in design. This means that no floor space is wasted. Alternatively, you can combine it with a Victorian conservatory.
This is called a P-shaped design – which consists of two separate spaces: a spacious square one and a narrower segment (which can each be used for different purposes: the former as a playroom, the latter for a dining room).
A conservatory is built mainly from glass and its roof will be approximately 75% glazed.
The traditional orangery is of mainly brick construct and features pillars. In direct contrast to a conservatory, it’s roof will be mostly tiled.
Orangeries UK-wide that were built in this classical mode tended to look more like extensions of the existing property.
So why are we including the orangery in a discussion devoted to modern conservatories? Contemporary orangeries feature lots more glass – sometimes as much as a conservatory – and can be designed in an open-plan format that connects them to the main body of the property.
As such, they can sometimes be mistaken for conservatories.
For the above reasons, orangeries should fall in to the orbit of your research when looking in to conservatories design options.
Victorian conservatories can be built to conform to either a 3- or 5-faceted design. When we use the term ‘faceted’ we are describing how many sides the structure has.
As with a lean-to conservatory, the Victorian can be designed to include a dwarf wall that traverses the perimeter of the extension. If you wish to eschew the traditional look, you can replace brick with floor-to-ceiling glass.
As we also touched upon earlier, you can combine the Victorian conservatory with the lean-to style to create two distinct living areas.
Want some help?
If we’ve piqued your interest at this stage, why not contact us for a free conservatory quote. Whether you want an orangery – or have been investigating home extension costs – we can provide you with some guideline figures to help you define a budget.
Modern Conservatory Roofs
Modern conservatories succeed or fail on the merit of their chosen roof style. A conservatory roof cannot be simply stylish though – it must also be energy efficient, whilst also allowing the new dwelling to breathe by way of suitably installed ventilation.
Let’s now consider the different conservatory roof options that are available.
Glass Roof Conservatory
Whether you choose a Victorian, lean-to or orangery conservatory, your installer will ask you whether you want a glass roof. Should you jump at the chance or look at other roofing options for comparison instead?
Ideally you want glass that has a low emissivity (low-E) rating. Without it you could lose as much as 10% of your heat through your home. This will cost you money. Modern conservatories should therefore be designed using glass that’s thermally efficient.
Low-e glass has an inner pane that is normally coated with metal oxide. This lets light in but makes it difficult for it to escape. Conservatories UK-wide now use this type of highly efficient glass instead of other alternatives like polycarbonate.
Solid Roof Conservatory
If you can afford it, a solid roof conservatory would be a wise investment. From a thermal efficiency perspective alone, it can be up to 15 times more effective than a standard polycarbonate – or even glass – roof.
So we would recommend investigating this particular roof style if you want to save money and make your conservatory or orangery in to a space that can be used all day and all year round.
Replacement Conservatory Roof
The conservatory roof deteriorates faster than any other part of the structure. Although a replacement conservatory roof isn’t a style as such, we have listed it here to emphasise that you don’t need to demolish your extension and start afresh.
A new conservatory roof could cost you between £2000 and £5000, which is still cheaper than starting from the beginning – so there is a real cost saving advantage if you decide to refurbish your conservatory instead.
Beware that, in some cases, you can’t just install a new conservatory roof. Your conservatory was mathematically designed to withstand the weight of your current roof – but it won’t necessarily have the load bearing capacity to withstand the pressure exerted by your new one.
Your installer may need to excavate the base of your conservatory to determine whether the new roof will work. If there are tree roots nearby – or your site is built on filled land – these could also affect your replacement conservatory roof options.
For further advice about planning permission and building regulations relating to conservatory roofs, visit the government’s online planning portal.
Modern Conservatory Ideas
The interior matters just as much as the exterior of your conservatory. You’ll be spending lots of time there – so it’s important to seek out fresh conservatories design ideas that will add value to your extension and make it a pleasant place to be.
Bi-folding conservatory doors will give your build a modern twist. Conservatories UK-wide are now being built with this style of door, which opens out from the centre and collapses in to neatly stacked panes to provide you with a beautiful panoramic view of your garden.
You can choose from a range of different materials too. If you are on a budget, then UPVC bi folding doors – or, at a push, timber framed bi folding doors – would work well.
But if you have been looking at modern conservatories and want to achieve a minimalist look, aluminium should you be your material of choice (budget not withstanding).
Modern conservatories are often enhanced by the look of a composite door which – although very robust and practical – can be purchased in a range of shades: rosewood, golden oak any many others too.
And because they are built using reinforced plastic and a super-strong structural frame, they’ll keep your conservatory secure.
From a design, longevity and security perspective, composite doors should be your first choice (that is, if you can afford it). You won’t have to compromise on your conservatories design either.
You can buy composite bi-folding or patio conservatory doors – plus a range of other designs too, which means the world is your proverbial oyster.
A glass extension is different to a conservatory. The latter is built predominantly from glass but supported on brick (normally dwarf) walls and a roof.
A glass extension – which is sometimes referred to as a loggia – will often share the same characteristics as conservatory; but it will be constructed using pillars that provide additional structural integrity. This makes them less likely to bend in high winds. They are also more energy efficient.
House extensions are expensive. Why not go the slightly less expensive route instead and connect your kitchen and conservatory spaces together by knocking through the wall? This will create an open space that lets in lots of light (especially if you have decided to build a loggia/glass extension – which we discussed just now).
The conservatory could become a dining room and you could use underfloor heating to keep the open-plan living space nice and warm. If you are using lots of glass then you will want to think about how to prevent glare – and stop your kitchen extension from becoming too hot.
On that note….
House extensions that use a lot of glass will need to have blinds installed. Even if glass extensions aren’t your thing, blinds will help keep the heat in at night and keep your conservatory private during the day.
Here are a few types of conservatory blinds to consider:
- Roman blinds. Modern conservatories can look great with Roman blinds. Made from fabric and supported by stiffening rods, they come available in a range of different colours. The downside is that they attract dust and, if they get damp, can become mouldy.
- Venetian blinds. Conservatories UK-wide use Venetian blinds. If you are thinking of buying this particular style, choose aluminium ones and not UPVC. That’s because other materials won’t be durable enough to resist the heat in your conservatory. Venetian blinds are relatively cheap to buy and don’t corrode. Stylistically they can jar – so make sure they work well as part of your overall design.
Modern Conservatory Extension Costs
How much will an extension cost? A lot more than a conservatory extension, that’s for sure. Expect to pay something in the region of £30000 on average.
Home extensions don’t need to be that expensive though – if you plan your design to ensure that it is compliant with planning and building regulations, you could pay as little as £6000 and as much as £2000 (which is still a significant saving).
You can get help from your chosen installer, who can also give you extensions costs. The government’s online planning portal is brimming over with lots of useful resources that you can use to plan your conservatory design.
Ready for Some Prices?
We hope that we have provided some interesting conservatories design ideas for you to consider. If you already have an idea of what you want – or just want to explore prices first – you can request a free online conservatory quote by using our calculator.
You can get as many prices as you want, too. You could request an orangery conservatory quote and then another for Victorian or Edwardian conservatories.
Once we have received your details, we’ll give you a call to discuss the best way forward.
Should I Buy Underfloor Heating for my Conservatory?
Underfloor heating is ideal for modern conservatories, although not necessarily smaller ones. They heat the space evenly, so are extremely efficient. You’ll need to choose from one of two options: electric or water.
Electric underfloor heating is perhaps the better option from a conservatories design perspective. If a repair is needed, then it’s easy to access the mechanism in question – whereas, with underfloor water heating, it can be difficult to access the pipework. But the choice is yours entirely.
How Can I Keep My Conservatory Climate Balanced?
It’s important to maintain an equilibrium. If too much heat escapes from your conservatory, you’re wasting money on heating bills. If it’s over-efficient, you could end up with condensation or damp problems. T
rickle vents – which can work manually or automatically, depending on the type you buy – can be used to increase/decrease the amount of ventilation within your conservatory.
You can also buy temperature-controlled window vents that open when it gets too hot – thereby letting the heat escape. Manual versions that can be controlled using a spindle can also be purchased if you have a limited budget.
Do UPVC Window Frames Come in Different Colours?
A UPVC conservatory doesn’t have to be white and bland. You can buy them instead in a range of different colour schemes that will thematically tie-in with the other conservatories design choices that you have made.
Why spend 30% more on timber framed conservatory windows and roofs when you can buy UPVC that mimics a woodgrain appearance? That said, the palette is limited to a range of choices.
Aluminium conservatories can be colour-coded to specification, meaning you can choose exactly the shade you want. Modern conservatories look great with a splash of colour – how you go about choosing the right shade is up to you.
How Should I Decorate My Modern Conservatory?
Whether you are looking to build an orangery conservatory, or a more traditional one, you’ll need to think about the interior design element. Rattan is a popular type of conservatory furniture, as it looks stylish and lasts longer than wicker.
Aluminium conservatory blinds are better than standard roller ones – as they don’t obstruct your view of the garden when open (they are made of a finer material) and don’t attract insects.
Carpeting might be preferable; but. if you have underfloor heating, they will trap heat. So you may want to think about a tiled conservatory floor instead.