If you were to imagine a conservatory, chances are you are picturing a Victorian conservatory. These types of conservatories became popular during the early 1800s in the UK during the reign of Queen Victoria. They gained fame primarily as garden rooms for their ability to nurture the growth of plants during the harsh winter months, enabling conservatory owners to have fresh vegetables and fruit. True to their Victorian style, these conservatories are known for their craftsmanship, intricacy and beauty.
Victorian conservatories stand apart from any other contemporary designs by having a classical appearance and ornate architectural flourishes. This type of conservatory can also be built using a P-style structure, which adds extra structural complexity to the extension.
If you decide to go for this conservatory style, you can either go for one with a dwarf wall or full-height glass walls. The option of a full-height glass wall with polycarbonate panelling does not exist for a Victorian conservatory as few would be willing to cheapen the overall look of a grand Victorian conservatory with cheap building material.
However, you can choose from either glass, polycarbonate or tile for your roofing. This is due to the outward look of a polycarbonate roof being quite similar to a glass one, though the longevity of this elegant look is shorter. Homeowners generally prefer tiled or hardwood flooring to complement the luxurious design of their Victorian conservatory. They also tend to go for heated flooring as it is excellent value for money.
How much does a Victorian conservatory cost?
A Victorian conservatory’s cost breakdown falls into three categories, foundation, building materials and installation charges. The cost of the conservatory’s foundation is often overlooked by homeowners looking to build a conservatory, but it ends up adding a lot to its long-term value. This cost is also quite variable as the length of the footing depends on what kind of soil your property has. It is recommended that you go for a solid foundation since a Victorian conservatory is quite heavy due to its ornate roof and the dwarf wall that homeowners generally opt for.
The cost of the materials for your new conservatory will depend on what type of roofing and walls you go for and the logistics cost of these materials. The costs will skyrocket if you choose a dwarf wall, triple-glazed glass with low-E (low emissivity) and original slate tiles. Using cheaper materials such as coloured concrete tiles or polycarbonate panes for the roof and double-glazed glass for the walls will significantly reduce the end cost of the conservatory. However, to get the full benefit of going for a beautiful Victorian conservatory, it’s recommended that you go for the higher-end materials.
The most significant variable for cost is the installer charges. It’s essential to go for a highly skilled installer for this type of conservatory as you are already spending extra for a complicated structure and a luxurious look. It would be pretty disastrous if all of this went to waste due to the negligence of an incompetent installer. The cost for a skilled contractor will vary considerably depending on where you live. The cost will also vary greatly depending on whether you live in a metropolitan area versus a more suburban area.
What is a Victorian Conservatory?
A Victorian style conservatory can be described as a reiteration of an orangery without the use of so much brick. It does this while maintaining, or even increasing, the amount of ornateness in design. Orangeries were sunrooms that started being added to homes during the 17th century. They were also used for growing vegetables and fruit during the cold winter months when other forms of farming were not possible. As the solid orangery structures were costly to build, only the extremely wealthy could afford them during this period.
During the early 19th century, the growth of the upper-middle class allowed for a lower-cost option to gain pop