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Regardless of where you live in the country, you’ve probably seen a fair few Victorian-style conservatories in your area. This is because it consistently ranks as the most popular option people choose for a conservatory design. This is partly because the style is appealing, but also because it suits many different properties. It looks equally at home on a modern house as it does on a more traditional period property.

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It is also a versatile design, offering ample floor space to use however you wish. These conservatories look good when used as dining rooms, and just as appealing when used as a playroom, an office or simply an extension of the living room, providing somewhere to rest and relax.

What is a victorian conservatory?

The Victorian conservatory is identified quite easily by its bay front. This will have either three or five facets depending on your preference, and on the options provided by your chosen conservatory manufacturer. It is possible to have more – such as seven facets for example – but these are rarer. If you wish to buy a standard design you will normally get three or five facets.

The bay front will typically be on the shorter end which juts out from where the conservatory is attached to the main property. The door can be on one side or at the bay end, depending on which option suits your needs. More often though they have either a single or double door design on one side.

The Victorian design is also typified by its apex roof, which has a ridge along the top where the sides and end all come together. This is usually quite detailed but you may well find you have a choice of designs to look at.

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Victorian conservatory designs

Once you have decided this is the type of conservatory for you, it is worth spending some time thinking about the actual design you will have. Typically speaking, a Victorian conservatory will have a dwarf wall upon which the frames for the windows will sit. However this is not always the case; some designs offer floor-to-ceiling windows offering greater visibility into the garden.

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Consider which option you would prefer before shopping around. The traditional (some would say, more appealing) look is to go for the dwarf wall. This has the effect of making the entire conservatory look more solid. It is also then possible to match the brick to the brick used for the main property. Alternatively it can be rendered and painted to match the main property, thus looking more a part of it than something that has been stuck on afterwards.

You also need to consider whether you want to go for a frame and windows made from uPVC or wood. It is also possible to get aluminium in some cases. Wood will be more expensive and require upkeep, since it will need staining or painting on a regular basis. In contrast uPVC needs no upkeep at all other than a quick wash down with hot soapy water from time to time.

The roof offers up more possibilities for alterations to be made. For instance glass is nice and light and airy but it can make the room too hot in the summer. Polycarbonate is often a better option – and cheaper too for those on a budget. Finally consider vents and the type you will have to help control the temperature in your new Victorian conservatory.

How much does a Victorian conservatory cost?

This kind of conservatory can be more expensive than some other designs such as an Edwardian for example. It does depend on where you buy it, who installs it and the materials you use, so there is a lot of leeway in terms of price. However the Victorian conservatory tends to have a larger footprint than some other designs, including the Edwardian. This is because of the faceted front that is a distinct part of the design.

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Basically the design itself is a square or rectangle with both front corners cut off. As you can imagine, a small conservatory would lose a considerable amount of space with these corners missing. This means you need to have a fair size in order to appreciate this design and still have ample room to use for your purposes.

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You can buy a small basic uPVC DIY Victorian conservatory kit for less than £3,000. However this assumes you will be able to construct it yourself with the help of a friend or three. Larger sizes will cost more. The average price for having one installed is around £7,000, but again this depends on size, materials chosen and the company you choose. Prices can go higher and reach around £10,000 in some cases. Do consider your options and shop around to get a good quote too.

Choosing a company

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Recommendations are worthwhile if you can get them. Alternatively get a selection of quotes – three minimum – and compare them carefully. Consider every aspect and try and get information on each firm to see who ranks best. Long-standing companies with a good track record should be high on your list of possibilities.

Planning permission

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Most conservatories will come under the permitted development rules. This means that providing your conservatory meets the limits and requirements set out for this type of development, you don’t have to seek permission.

In order to make sure you don’t fall foul of these rules, check the Planning Portal on the UK government website prior to planning, ordering or installing any conservatory – just to be on the safe side.

Install time

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This depends on the size of the conservatory, the amount of groundwork involved and whether you go down the DIY route or get the experts in. Bespoke designs take longer to make but the install time should be similar.

The base and dwarf wall will need to be completed and allowed to dry fully before the remainder of the conservatory is installed. The final completion of the conservatory can take a few days on top of this, depending on size and complexity.