A Complete Guide To Getting A Conservatory

If you’re looking for more space in your home without the hassle and expense of moving house, then a conservatory might be the answer. A conservatory can provide an additional room that has a multitude of uses, including entertaining, dining, relaxing and storage. 

When it comes to choosing a conservatory, there are a few points to consider including the style, design and what you will use it for. Read on for our complete guide to getting a conservatory which we hope will inspire you to extend your space. 

A brief history of conservatories 

Although they are thought of as a modern addition to homes, conservatories can be traced back as far as the 16th century when wealthy landowners wanted to cultivate the citrus fruits brought by traders from warm regions of the Mediterranean. Orangeries were usually enclosed structures with tall vertical windows and built with brick, stone or wood. They expanded in size over time to grow more produce and be used as a space for entertaining.

Sloping glass roofs were pioneered in the 18th century to bring in more light, and the 19th century saw the dawn of impressive large public conservatories such as the Great Palm House at Kew Gardens. 

After conservatory construction halted in World War II, the 1970s saw the introduction of smaller domestic conservatories using insulated glass. Today’s conservatories have the latest in glazing technology for maximum heat during the day. 

What are the benefits of a conservatory? 

Although it is a big investment, a conservatory has many benefits to offer. 

  • Adds an extra room to your property 
  • Introduces more natural light 
  • Increases the property value
  • Several designs and roofing options to choose from
  • A focal point of the property 

What is a conservatory used for? 

A conservatory is an extra room in your home which opens up a wealth of possibilities. Here are a few of our suggestions of what you can use a conservatory for. 

Garden room 

Add in some comfy furniture for a lovely space to gaze out over the garden, come rain or shine.

Open-plan living room 

Many people are opting for open-plan living, and a conservatory will extend your current space to make room for more furniture whilst keeping a similar theme and feel. 

Dining room 

Creating a dining room in your conservatory gives you a designated area for meals with family and friends.

Kitchen extension 

Kitchen space is always at a premium so extending this much-used room is a great idea to give you room to cook in style and for extra surfaces for appliances. 


If you have children, a dedicated room for all their toys and games can keep the rest of your home clutter-free! Plus it gives them their own space too.


The pandemic saw a rise in working out at home, and a bespoke exercise space is a great way to keep fit when it suits you and to save money in the long term. It’s also a good investment for the future, with Post Office Money claiming that houses in the UK with a home gym sold for 44% more than those without.

Relaxation room

Fancy a calm and tranquil sanctuary to practice meditation, pilates or yoga? Transform your conservatory into a zen den – furnished with comfy cushions, throws and scented candles.

Games room 

A conservatory is a wonderful area for a computer game zone, a board game station or for pool, table tennis or table football. Ideal for young and old alike! 

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory? 

You don’t need planning permission to build a conservatory or single-storey extension if: 

  • The height is no more than 4 metres (or 3 metres if within 2 metres of a boundary) 
  • The conservatory does not cover more than half the garden
  • The roof ridge point is lower than the roof eaves of the property.

If you need help determining if you need planning permission for a conservatory, please contact our friendly team

Do you need building regulations for a conservatory? 

A glazed conservatory is usually exempt from building regulations if it:

  • Has a floor area of less than 30m² 
  • Is built at ground level 
  • Has glazing or translucent material on a minimum of 50% of the new wall and 75% of the roof
  • Is separated from the house by an external wall, door, or window
  • Has an independent heating system with its own temperature controls. 

If you’re not sure, then our expert team will be able to help. 

What are the new conservatory rules?

From June 2022, new rules following calls by environmental groups mean that any new conservatories need to show that they don’t overheat in the summer. This is part of measures aiming to future-proof homes against ever-rising temperatures. Window sizes will be limited to specific percentages relating to the floor area of a room and house, and the direction they face will also be taken into consideration. 

What are the different types of conservatories? 

You’re spoilt for choice with styles of conservatory. You can choose classic or contemporary, to complement or contrast with your property. 

Edwardian conservatories 

Edwardian conservatories offer precise lines and maximum space. The square, flat-fronted projection offers clean-cut elegance that blends easily into the character of your home.

This classic design is a stylish way to extend your property. If you’re looking for something a little more ornate, try a Victorian conservatory. 

Victorian conservatories

Striking and distinctive, Victorian conservatories create a classical, period extension to your home and complement most types of property. One of the more popular styles of conservatory, they are inspired by Victorian design and architecture and are available in 3 and 5-faceted versions. 

Looking for something a little less detailed? Try an Edwardian conservatory. 

Gable-ended conservatories 

Proud and imposing, gable-ended conservatories are reminiscent of the grand orangeries of days gone by. The stately design works well in both modern and traditional properties and maximises the use of space. The front elevations with windows up to the apex of the roof bring in more light to make the space inside feel more bright and airy.

Lean-to conservatories 

Stylish and cost-effective, lean-to conservatories are a simple and affordable way to improve your home.  Designed to run across the back of your property, the lean-to conservatory provides a light and airy room which makes the best possible use of your space. The ends of the design can be finished either vertically as gable ends, or be hipped back diagonally from one or both front corners.

P-Shaped conservatories

Combination and P-shaped conservatories offer you the best of both worlds as you can combine two conservatory styles for greater flexibility and more space. The P-shape conservatory gives you two distinctive areas which can be used for different purposes, such as dining and relaxing. Conservatories can also be combined to create “T” and “B” shapes, so you’re unrestricted when creating your dream room. 

Lantern conservatories 

Unique and elegant, the roof of a lantern conservatory has two tiers separated by a row of small windows. This adds a sense of height and presence to the overall structure, and if fitted with glass rather than polycarbonate, you gain more light and an uninterrupted view of the sky. Please note that the lantern style may need additional support. 

How much does a conservatory cost?

As with any extension to your house, there is a sizeable price tag. Not only do parts and labour have to be taken into consideration, but there’s also the preliminary stage of preparing the ground and laying foundations. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that a conservatory is a lot cheaper than having an extension built or a loft converted, and you will be adding value to your property in the long term. 

The table below gives you an estimate of the cost of a conservatory in the UK, but please contact our team for a bespoke quote. 

Conservatory type (3.5m x 3.5m) Range – Low Range – High Average cost 

Lean-to – uPVC £9,000 £11,500 £10,250 

Lean-to – wood £12,750 £14,250 £13,500 

Victorian – uPVC £12,000 £13,500 £12,750 

Victorian – wood £16,000 £17,500 £16,750 

Edwardian – uPVC £10,500 £12,000 £11,250 

Edwardian – wood £13,500 £18,000 £15,750 

(Ballpark averages from Checkatrade)

Does a conservatory add value?

According to Homebuilding.co.uk a well built conservatory has been estimated to add between 5% to 15% to the value of your home, but this will very much depend on its quality and where in the country you live. Remember, as well as any monetary value that you will benefit from in the future, in the meantime, you’ll have more space in your home to enjoy as you like. 

What colour finishes are available for a conservatory? 

At CR Windows we offer a range of colours and finishes for your new conservatory. As well as the ever-popular uPVC, you can choose a natural wooden look, an understated door or make a bold statement with bright colours. 

What are the types of conservatory roof? 

Another point to consider for your new conservatory is what the roof will be made from. We’ll talk you through the options available at CR Windows. 

Glass Conservatory Roofs 

Our number one customer choice for conservatory roofs is glass. The glass we use for our conservatories is toughened for safety and has self-cleaning properties that are floated into and onto the glass, preventing any scrapes or scratches. Our conservatory roof glass is available in three options – Activ Aqua, Activ Blue and Activ Neutral, which gives a greater level of solar control, keeping your conservatory cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Tiled roofs

A tiled conservatory roof allows you to enjoy your conservatory all year round, whatever the weather. 

The benefits of a tiled roof include regulating the temperature, reducing noise and glare, and minimising heat loss. This means a further benefit of lower energy bills.

Our composite slate tiles are made from a recyclable blend of limestone and polypropylene for an authentic look without the risk of cracking or shattering. Our tiled roof systems are compatible with conservatories of all shapes and sizes. 

Lantern roofs

Lantern roofs are all about extra natural light and are suitable for conservatories, flat-roofed extensions, new builds, orangeries and kitchen diners. The contemporary and innovative design increases the height of your room and self-cleaning, toughened glass is fitted as standard.

What type of door should I have in my conservatory? 

Don’t forget to consider the type of conservatory door you would like! Choose from either french, patio or bi-folding doors. We exclusively use PVC-U from one supplier, so your conservatory, windows and doors will all be perfectly colour matched and last the lifetime of your conservatory.

Looking after your conservatory 

Once your conservatory is installed, it will hold its value for longer if you keep it clean and in good condition. Clean all windows, frames and doors regularly with a recommended product, and check window and door locks from time to time. 

Conservatories from CR Windows 

A conservatory from CR Windows is unique and based on your individual requirements. Our team are here to help you through every step of the way – from design and planning to build and finish.  

And for complete reassurance, we offer a 10-year guarantee on all products that we manufacture and install. 

If you have any additional questions about conservatories, we’d love to help. Get in touch today to speak to our friendly team.

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